29 July 2012

Convert recorded TV into a torrent ready video file

Ever wonder how those torrent TV shows are made?

I have been using Windows Media Centre for a very long time and before that I used Beyond TV and before that I used, and before that...

It does not really matter what you use to record your TV with.  There are various way and methods of doing it.  This article will cover converting the recording into a nice ad free compressed file that is high in quality and small in file size.

In the past I needed a toolbox full of tools to do this.  Now I have found a single app that allows me to do everything in one place.  This one is a paid for app but it is quite worthwhile if you plan on doing this often.
The app is called VideoRedo TVSuite.

Step 1 Keep only the good stuff
Open the Video 
Run Ad Detective (Ctrl +A)

This will go through the video file and attempt to fins scene changes and identify ads.  It is creepy how accurate it is. The portions of the video file that is either ads or pre or post recording will be added to the cut list.  Every now and again you might have tweak a scene here or there but it is pretty good just out the box.

Step 2 Make it smaller
Now that you have just the show that you want you can start the process of converting it to a much higher compression codec like H.264 MP4.  The reason you would want to do this is because most recorders, Media-centre included, use MPEG2 based hardware encoding.  This allows the hardware to to do all the heavy lifting for recoding video on-the-fly as it is aired.  The output file is high quality but can be very big.

Once you are happy with your cut list do the following:

Save the video File (Ctrl + S)
Select the default H.264 MP4 profile.
Click Options

This is where things get interesting.  There are a few "standard" formats for ripping and encoding TV series.  The following setting will convert the video to wide screen "Standard Definition"

In the Video Section
  • Change the Max Resolution to 720 x 400
  • Aspect Ratio 16:9
  • Max Bitrate 1100 Kbps
  • Aspect Correction Custome crop adn resize
  • Deinterlace Smart

Click Cropping and Resizing

From the Presets select "Letterbox to Widescreen"

In the Audio Section
  • Encoding Type AAC
  • Bitrate 128 Kbps
  • Sample rate 48 KHZ
  • Compression Automatic

Check "Save as new Profile"

This will now now set the setting up a a template so for all future conversion just select the profile and it will be the same.

Click OK
Click Save and wait for the video to convert.

That's all there is to it.

Step 3 Store or Share you new video file

In this example the original file was 2.15GB the converted file is 270MB.  The new file is much smaller and would generally be considered to be "the same quality."  You can select higher resolution and bit rates for a better quality conversion, but the files will be correspondingly bigger.  Because we selected an industry standard codec the file would play on most media players.

Next up you might want to create and host a torrent for it.  You can use the guide below to do so.


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