If you use Windows 7 Media Center to record TV, you’d probably prefer skipping commercials. After all, a big reason you record programs is to avoid commercials, right? Here’s a fairly simple and free way to start skipping commercials in no time.
In Windows 7, the .wtv file format has replaced the dvr-ms file format used in previous versions of Media centre for Recorded TV. The .wtv file format, however, does not work very well with commercial skipping applications.
Our first step will be to convert the recorded .wtv files to the previously used dvr-ms file format. This conversion will be done automatically by WtvWatcher. It’s important to note that this process deletes the original .wtv file after successfully converting to .dvr-ms. Next, we will use DVRMSToolBox with the DTB Addin to handle commercials skipping. This process does not “cut” or remove the commercials from the file. It merely skips the commercials during playback.
Download and install the WTVWatcher (link below). To install WtvWatcher, you’ll need to have Windows Installer 3.1 and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.
If you get the Publisher cannot be verified warning you can go ahead and click Install. We’ve completely tested this app and it contains no malware and runs successfully.
After installing, the WtvWatcher will pop up in the lower right corner of your screen.
DVRMSToolBox and DTBAddIn
Next, we need to download and install the DVRMSToolBox and the DTBAddIn. These two pieces of software will do the actual commercial skipping. After downloading the DVRMSToolBox zip file, extract it and double-click the setup.exe file. Click “Next” to begin the installation.
Unless DVRMSToolBox will only be used by Administrator accounts, check the “Modify File Permissions” box. Click “Next.”
When you get to the Optional Components window, uncheck Download/Install ShowAnalyzer. We will not be using that application.
When the installation is complete, click “Close”.
Next we need to install the DTBAddin. Unzip the download folder and run the appropriate .msi file for your system. It is available in 32 & 64 bit versions.
Just double-click on the file and take the default options. Click “Finish” when the install is completed. You will then be prompted to restart your computer.
On the Commercial Skip tab, make sure the Auto Skip option is selected. Click “Save”.
If you try to watch recorded TV before the file conversion and commercial indexing process is complete you’ll get the following message pop up in Media centre. If you click Yes, it will start indexing the commercials if WtvWatcher has already converted it to dvr-ms.
Now you’re ready to kick back and watch your recorded TV without having to wait through those long commercial breaks.
The DVRMSToolBox is a powerful and complex application with a multitude of features and utilities. We’ve showed you a quick and easy way to get your Windows Media Center setup to skip commercials. This setup, like virtually all commercial skipping setups, is not perfect. You will occasionally find a commercial that doesn’t get skipped.
Need help getting your Windows 7 PC configured for TV? Check out our previous tutorial on setting up live TV in Windows Media Center.
How To Skip Commercials in Windows 7 Media Center [How-To Geek]