Monday, June 21, 2010

ShowAnalyzer

The Ceton cable card tuner that I won (though I'm still waiting for it since shipments have been delayed) was given away by Dragon Global, the makers of ShowAnalyzer.   While I probably wouldn't have bought ShowAnalyzer for use with Beyond TV without the contest (so their marketing ploy worked for me at least), I have to say I've been very impressed with the software.

Case in point: last night I went to watch my re-recording of Royal Pains.  I had previously recorded it, but the channel change on the cable box failed (I haven't been able to determine why the firewire channel change fails occasionally, maybe 5% of the time.)   The re-recording didn't have smart chapters generated yet, so I used the manual scan feature in Show Analyzers UI.   ShowAnalyzer scanned the show (almost 7 Gigs worth) in 7 minutes flat and the detection was flawless, so I was happily able to skip commercials while watching the show.

I realize that I didn't save any time in this case since I waited for ShowAnalyzer to finish, but I don't normally run it manually, it runs automatically. In this case I was impatient and I'm so spoiled by the automatic commercial detection that I was willing to wait for it to finish so I could skip the commercials quickly.  And I didn't have to wait long.   So I'm happy with my purchase of ShowAnalyzer and would be even if I hadn't won the tuner giveaway.

Commercial skipping of previously recorded shows may be an issue if I move to Media Center.  I'm not sure but I suspect that the DVRMS Toolbox add-in for commercial skipping only works for .dvrms and .wtv files.  I'm still looking for an answer to that one.

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