Feature request: trim

A perpetual problem on sports recordings (like college basketball) is starting late and running long. I have plenty of disk space so I can add lots of padding on the end, but it would be nice to be able to trim the beginning and end of recordings to remove unwanted stuff.

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Do you mean after the fact?

Do keep recordings of sporting events forever?

Yes, after the recordings. I do keep some sporting events forever for certain teams :smiley:

I would like this too. I generally like to record with padding at each end because start times are sometimes a bit off.

Being able to set a start and end point after completing the recording and get Channels to actually trim the video file would be brilliant.

I’ve looked around at length for a Mac app that would do this without then going through a lengthy and CPU intensive file conversion process that typically loses things like embedded subtitles.

An easy and simple way of discarding the padding would be the single biggest improvement I can think of for channels.

Maybe you could use the commercial editor to cut off the end of the program you don’t want.

Thanks, it I think it would work except my understanding of the commercial detection is it doesn’t actually trim the file, it just marks chapters that then can be set to automatically skip.

I’m using Channels with Plex which doesn’t understand the markers. Therefore, I’m looking for something to easily and quickly actually trim the files.

Maybe I’ve misunderstood how the advert detection works? Is there an option to get it to actually cut the file?

Yes. You are correct. Channels does not trim the file just provides markers where the commercials are. If you are using with plex you would need a script to cut the file and import to plex based on the edl file generated when you used the commercial editor. There are some examples around in the forums hacks section.

Thanks, I’ve not seen these scripts. I’ll check them out!

I suppose an alternative approach here would be for the Channels library browsing interface to improve such that using a hybrid set up of Channels and Plex is unnecessary.

Features such as:

  • sort by various attributes (ie critic rating, date of release etc)
  • filter by genre, arrange by show, series, episode
  • download for offline viewing

If Channels had the above, I would just ditch Plex. The commercial skipping works very well from what I've seen and saves the bother of editing the files.

And further to the issues noted here: Problems recording Hey Duggee (UK freeview)

It would be great to be able to manually set the start point of a recorded show. When shows start substantially after the time noted in the guide (as above with some Hey Duggee showings), com skip doesn't pick it up because the recording includes part of the previous show. If I could manually set the start time of a show through the Channels app interface, it would just quickly allow me to deal with these issues without the significantly time consuming task of trimming and transcoding the recordings.

If you have access to a Mac, go into the DVR storage to locate the file, use a tool to transcode it into something that will open in Quicktime and use the Quicktime trim feature, iMovie or FCPX (or similar) to lop off beginning & end fluff (and commercials too if you like).

You can also open the file in VLC to work out where you want those crops to occur... then open it in Handbrake and set the start & end time to those times. In my experience, that won't be as precise as using an actual editor... but it would get most of it. However, this is not the answer for cropping out commercial breaks too.

Thanks, I’m trying to avoid the transcoding process though because it is:

  1. CPU intensive (therefore slow)
  2. Labour intensive identifying the trim locations

The great thing with com skip in Channels is it does edit the file, it just knows which bits to skip. This is great but if the recording started so long before the actual show that it recorded part of the previous show, it doesn’t pick that up. Hence being able to manually set a start time would be great.

Yes, I understand. Perhaps/probably on the Windows side of the tech world, there is a video editor that will let you do what you want to do without having to first transcode it into something that Apple has endorsed (as a Quicktime-capable format)? In other words, work with the mpg file directly.

In any event, a dedicated video editor would be the way to make pristine, long-term (stored) copies of any videos DVR'd by Channels. That is what editor software does- let one very precisely edit some video exactly as they want it. While Channels could probably add editing features along these lines, I would guess that this is not an oft-requested feature vs. countless other things people wish Channels could do too. Rather than wait for this to possibly become something they might add at some point, you could get any existing video the way you want tonight if you have the right video editor app.

Much more simply, there's a tool for every job. If you think of Channels as just one tool, there's another tool much more specific and capable at doing this kind of thing. And it exists now.

@tmm1 is there any hope that manually marking the start and end times could be added to the apps? It would be so good to just find a recording, start playing it and then mark the actual start point. All of the recording prior to the start point would just be marked as if it were an ad break. So no CPU intensive re-encoding, no slow CPU intensive analysing for auto marking of ads. Just a simple “this is the start” button.