Windows Media Center DVR wtv files to iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by silverblack, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    I set the built-in DVR in Windows 7 to regularly record tv shows on my computer, but I rarely feel like sitting in front of my computer desk to watch the show and therefore the iPad on a couch seems to be a great idea. Windows 7 records the files in wtv format. Browsing the web for FREE solutions, two poped up on google. One is handbrake, and the other is dvrmstoolbox, both absolutely free to use; however, both require you to first convert the wtv files to the .dvr-ms format (older format used by Win Media Center in Vista). The conversion process is done using Windows 7, and is quite painless and fast. However, the handbrake and dvrmstoolbox don't always like the converted files...

    For some reasons, the programs went into problems resulting in errors in both cases. I can play the converted dvrms files in windows, and so the files should be fine, at least in theory. So the google search went on, and I came across another freeware called MCEbuddy. To begin with, it accepts both wtv and dvrms formats. It does however converts wtv to dvrms prior to ripping to mp4, but it does so in the background, and automatically remove the dvrms file when done. You just have to make sure there is extra space in the hard drive to temporarily house the file.

    Another unique feature is, instead of selecting the file to convert, you select a directory. It will convert everything in this folder, and can monitor for new files added to the folder. The converter comes in a few choice of presets, no iPad setting though. I used the iPhone setting, to keep the file small. Given that my tv tuner is not HD, I won't gain much in quality if I encode at 720p in this case.

    So here you go, MCEbuddy is the winner for getting the job done error free. The conversion is slow, and so I recommend you let it run overnight. It comes in the handy option of letting you to specify certain time of a day to run the conversion. A mp4 file size was about 400mb for an 1hr show, a lot smaller than the 2gb wtv.
  2. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Bumping this old thread because I wanted to post about something similar and the title of this thread was appropriate. Another app that will convert WTV files similar to how MCEbuddy works is MC-TVConverter. The developer is active and, based on my limited testing of it, it works very well. It's really more of a GUI front-end to a bunch of other tools (e.g., it can use Handbrake to do the actual conversion).

    The main reason I'm bumping this post, though, is because I'm wondering what the options are for doing live conversion/streaming. My experience so far has been with two apps:

    1) AirVideo. Most of you are already familiar with this. It works with WTV files (you may need to download the beta version of the server app) and seems to do a very good job quality-wise. So much so that I'm probably not going to bother with MC-TVConverter, since most TV shows I just want to watch once and then delete anyway.

    2) RemotePotato. This app shows a lot of potential, because it interoperates with WMC, letting you schedule recordings, delete shows, group shows by title or date, etc. You can even get pseudo-Live TV (you have to set a show to record and then wait about 5 minutes before it will show up to be playable). But for me it's been buggy, and the streaming video quality isn't as good as what AirVideo offers. I don't believe there's a free version to try, but for a few bucks it's probably worth checking out.

    Are there any others that anyone knows about?

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