I record a lot of TV content for playback later and all these days have been using Nero Home, WinDVR or MythTV. Recently, I formatted my hard disk to reinstall Windows Vista. And all of a sudden, a friend called and told that I had to record a TV show in which she starred and it was starting in 5mins. You know when the bad times hit you, they hit you hard. I couldn't find my Nero installer and downloading it again would take more than 5 min to complete, considering how bloated the package has become lately. Instead, logic prevailed and I remembered Windows Vista Ultimate's Media Center. Scanned the channels, and started recording. The show finished and I completed recording.Happy with the recording quality and ease of use of Media Center, I went on to look at the recorded file. The dvr-ms file which was created is an MPEG2 with some ASF Wrapper. I said to myself, "How tough is it going to be to remove the wrapper and get the MPEG2 stream". I scoured the internet to discover "The Green Button" and I decided to press the button (I mean download DVRMSToolBox). It said, "some process failed"..or something. I said, "Ok, lemme try GraphEdit". Connecting the arrows between the input to a video demux would again throw some incompatible stream error. After, some 2hrs of searching for solutions and trying all the different things, I couldn't find a solution.
A little while later, as I was swearing on Microsoft, I remembered Windows Movie Maker... The saviour had arrived!! Sorry, if the story was boring, here the tutorial begins:Tutorial to convert dvr-ms to avi and then DIVX/XVID/MPG/MP4 or anything else
Step 1.) Drag your recorded TV show into Windows Movie Maker's Library (You could import the dvr-ms file as well)Step 2.) Here, you can cut/split files and play with it however you may like. (Ignore this step, if you wish to convert the whole video)
Step 3.) Drag the split/complete video file to the timeline.Step 4.) Then, Click Publish to: This Computer from the left "Tasks" section. Give a name & location and hit "Next"
Step 5.) Put the radio button on "More Settings" and from the drop down select "DV-AVI" and click Publish... and that's it!!The output process will create and uncompressed AVI file. It's an extremely quick process compared to other video processing tasks from other softwares. This uncompressed avi may be later compressed into DIVX/XVID/MPEG using VirtualDub or GordionKnot... I prefer using Nero Recode and create Nero Digital MP4 files. I couldn't find a quick solution like this anywhere online and hence decided to write this tutorial. Hopefully it'll help a few others to convert dvr-ms to avi, since Vista's Media Center does excellent recording and is simple for dummies... Happy recording!!