Automating commercial cutting

One of the nice features of mythtv is that it can do commercial detection, and from that, build a cutlist. My biggest problem, and what kept me from using this feature was that I thought you had to use the user interface to do this. Alas, I have found that indeed there is a command line way to generate the cutlist. Using mythcommflag -f <filename> you can create the commercial flags, the coming back and using mythcommflag --blanks -f give me the cutlist.

Breaks (computed using only blank frame detection)
13090 : 4 (00:07:16.10) (436)
18678 : 5 (00:10:22.18) (622)
35104 : 4 (00:19:30.04) (1170)
41431 : 5 (00:23:01.01) (1381)
51877 : 4 (00:28:49.07) (1729)
52374 : 5 (00:29:05.24) (1745)
53651 : 4 (00:29:48.11) (1788)
65357 : 5 (00:36:18.17) (2178)
78320 : 4 (00:43:30.20) (2610)
85881 : 5 (00:47:42.21) (2862)
100991 : 4 (00:56:06.11) (3366)
107762 : 5 (00:59:52.02) (3592)

The first column is the frame number (useful for avidemux), the second column is the '4:cut out' '5:cut in' column, the third column is the timecode (useful for ProjectX) and the fourth column is seconds (useful for mplayer).

Some simple perl scripting, and we have a cutlist that can be used for avidemux, or as an EDL (edit decision list) for mplayer.

HDTV Viewing update

Not much earth shattering to report here. The good news is that I have been recording like a madman, and trying to perfect the process before the new fall season begins. I think I have a pretty good process down at this point.

First, I record the shows (duh), then I use ProjectX to demux them, then I use transcode to multiplex them back together and convert them from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 (ffmpeg XviD codec) with a lower resolution. This might all seem terribly complex at first, but it's really quite simple, and the result is a file that comes in at 10% the size of the HD counterpart, and the viewing quality is almost as good.