Recording and cutting DVB recordings

September 2, 2008 at 3:40 PMAndre Loker

[This article has nothing to do with .NET and/or programming]

Here's a brief guide that describes how I record and cut DVB (digital video broadcasting) recordings.

Hardware and software

  • Terrate Cinergy 1400 DVB-T
    This PCI DVB-T tuner is rather old, but it runs fine on Vista x64
  • DVBViewer (15€)
    Multifunctional playback and recording suite which supports for the Cinergy 1400 through the BDA drivers
  • DVBViewer VideoRecorder Plugin (free, requires DVBViewer)
    Great extension to DVBViewer which allows overlapping recording (only if all programs come from the same transponder of course)
  • ProjectX (free)
    Excellent program to demultiplex and repair the recorded TS files. Some use PVAStrumento as an alternative.
  • Cuttermaran (free)
    Powerful cutting tool
  • Batch Cuttermaran (free)
    Cuttermaran does not come with batch processing capabilities. Batch Cuttermaran is a small utility that can process an arbitrary number of Cuttermaran projects in a batch.
  • For DVD authoring: Gui for dvdauthor, dvdauthorgui, DVD Flick or DVD Styler


1. Record TV program

I use the DVBViewer VideoRecorder plugin for recording. While most settings can be left as they are, I change two settings: first, I always record to the TS format (transport stream) . Second, I enable "+ Additional Audio" under the Channels tab.


2. Demux recordings

After I've recorded a bunch of programs I demux them using ProjectX.


Before you demux for the first time you'd want to check some settings. For general preferences use the PreSettings menu. To configure the demux process for the first time select "prepare >>" in the main window. Be sure "demux" is selected and enable "Process all collections" in the "Edit" menu.

image image

To demux a single file, use the + button in the main window (blue rectangle in the image above) and browse for that file. After it has been added use "QuickStart" to start demuxing.

To demux multiple files in a batch you need to put each file in a separate file collection. If you add multiple files into the same collection (using the + button in the blue rectangle) all files will be joined during demuxing. Instead, for each file to demux use the + button in the red rectangle to create a new collection, add a file using the "blue" + button.

Demuxing a DVB-T recording of several GB size takes some time of course. This is why I prefer to demux several files at once. I can start the demuxing process and can leave the computer alone for an hour or so.

3. Define cuts

Now that we have our demuxed files we can cut them (trim start and end, cut commercials etc.). Using Cuttermaran this is fairly easy. For each part in the recording you want to keep use the In and Out buttons to define the start and end frame and use the + button to add this part to the cut list.


If you've defined all entries in the cut list, don't start physical yet! Just save the project to disk and continue with the next recording you need to cut.

4. Process cuts

After you've saved Cuttermaran project files for all recordings use Batch Cuttermaran to process the cutting physically. This again takes some time which is why we want to do it in an unattended batch process.

Note: Cuttermaran uses elementary streams as input and ouput. If you want to multiplex the streams back to e.g. an mpeg file, you can define this in the Cuttermaran settings:


When Batch Cuttermaran executes the project files the settings made in Cuttermaran come into effect, which means that either all or none of the projects will be muxed during batch processing. Personally I prefer to mux the files to MPEG and delete the elementary streams as I watch the recordings on my Computer. If you want to create a real DVD you'll probably don't want to mux the streams but use tools like GUI for dvdauthor  or dvdauthorgui for further DVD authoring. Having the streams muxed to MPEG is no problem however as they can be easily demuxed if you need to.

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