Audio & Video Software forum


Editing commercials out of recorded TV?

by ItWasMeInThatSandwich / November 20, 2013 5:56 AM PST

Hi all,

I'm looking for a fast, easy-to-use editor (Win 7) that can read/write MP4 and MKV recordings. Video Redo was recommended to me, but I'm not sure which version to get, or if there are alternatives I should check out.



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All Answers

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Sorry no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 20, 2013 6:04 AM PST

As MKV is not an encoding but a container I can't guess where you are in the learning cycle of video formats, containers and encodings.

Again, since MKV is a container of any of the dozens of encoding methods, you would never find an editor that could claim it would edit the video in the MKV unless they were being short on words and sidestepping the real discussion.

Until we know the encoding inside the MKV "box" my answer is no.

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More info
by ItWasMeInThatSandwich / November 20, 2013 10:24 AM PST
In reply to: Sorry no.

Thanks Bob - I don't know what's in the MKVs but they're standard SD video DVD recordings ripped with MakeMKV if that helps. I can edit them pretty quickly on the recorders (Funai) before dubbing and ripping, but I'd like to have the option to skip the initial editing until I decide whether to watch a series. My immediate need is editing of MP4s recorded with PlayLater. It would also be nice to be able to edit TV recorded in WMC, but IIRC even Movie Maker can do that so I imagine pretty much any software would be able to handle those...


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So why not Movie Maker?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 20, 2013 11:08 AM PST
In reply to: More info

As you can guess, this can be time consuming as most video formats do not support snipping out this or that but push you into a full re-encode cycle. But let's go with your solution. Why not use that?

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by ItWasMeInThatSandwich / November 20, 2013 8:44 PM PST

Movie Maker is slow and cumbersome and doesn't work with the MKV's - that's why I'm looking for something better.I was under the impression that Video Redo can cut segments without chopping it into pieces and re-merging, and limits re-encoding to the cut points?

Just on my 3 Funais I have several hours of recordings most days, so speed is critical...


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Here's why Video Redo can snip.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 20, 2013 11:25 PM PST
In reply to: More...

Since it is possible to snip content without doing a full re-encode in MPEG-2 which is your bog standard Video DVD encoding, that's why it pretty fast.

Again, MKV is a container. If the AV encoding was MPEG-2 then snipping would be just as fast as before but a more advanced encoding would have the editor decode and encode which can be time consuming.

-> Be aware that many think they will find a faster piece of software but that's so well discussed and no one has found Waldo yet. I don't want to upset you but you do need to catch up a little here and I can't duplicate it all here for you. Some get upset at that and I apologise.

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Not at all...
by ItWasMeInThatSandwich / November 21, 2013 12:41 AM PST

...I appreciate any help I can get. Unfortunately the forum's search capabilities aren't very helpful.

Anyway I don't want to spend a lot of time researching - I'm more inclined to rely on earlier advice and take my chances with Video Redo TVSuite (although Pinnacle has a TV-oriented version that might be worth a trial first).


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OK, by now you figured out MKV is a container.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 21, 2013 12:58 AM PST

A box that hold encoded content and does not tell us how the content is encoded. Since how the content is encoded determines if a video editor can handle the content, we go get tools like MEDIA INFO to peek inside the MKV file to see what's inside.

But let me share the free old tools I use.

1. Handbrake. I use this to convert between encoding. Often called TRANSCODING this is useful to get content into an encoding that the editor can work with.
2. DVD Flick. I don't use this much anymore since it's only for Video DVD (hey, that's a standard and a video editor person would know what that is?) But it's a killer free app.
3. ImgBurn. The Swiss army knife for recording to DVD/CD.
4. Virtual Dub. An old but solid tool that if I need to snip MPEG is as fast as it gets. New users may get upset with it but it's free and gets a lot of jobs done.

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by ItWasMeInThatSandwich / November 21, 2013 4:12 AM PST

Great info but I don't plan on ever reading or writing a DVD, or re-encoding a file. Software that can read my MKV's (or MP4's for that matter) but can't rewrite without full re-encoding is no use to me. IIRC I looked at Virtual Dub once but it ignored .MKV and maybe even .MP4 files. I think I used ImgBurn to create Linux Live dvds a few years back - probably the last time I burned a disk of any kind. I know a lot of people use Handbrake in conjunction with streaming devices but my WDTV SMP and VLC on laptops and tablets play my MKV's fine as-is...


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So we're clear?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 21, 2013 6:01 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks...

If the encoding is one of the more advanced ones then no snipping except at specific time points.

I'm going to go technical here but classic video encoding uses some sort of "frames." I frames, B frames and so on. So far, to snip it only can happen at an i-frame and even then you have to deal with the audio sync. So for now, the MPEG-2 is the only encoding that does snipping without a move to a full decode and encode.

Are you catching up?

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by ItWasMeInThatSandwich / November 21, 2013 6:53 AM PST
In reply to: So we're clear?

Hardly! You're telling me that no software can make cuts in a MP4 file without a full re-encode? In that case I apologize for wasting your time here, because I'll just buy more $50/TB disk space rather than spend hours waiting for file saves. Skipping commercials is a pain, but it's far preferable to wasting even more time cutting them...


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Not really.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 21, 2013 7:02 AM PST
In reply to: Clear?

The problem is that MP4 is not a standard but a witches brew of levels, features and you can get lost in the details at

Not only that, due to the license and patent issues you can see why it's rare to find a free app to deal with this one.

So are you clear now that you jumped into a very deep topic? I can carry a long conversation about this because part of my work over the years has been video encoding/decoding inside those DVRs.

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by ItWasMeInThatSandwich / November 21, 2013 7:23 AM PST
In reply to: Not really.

...if I gave the impression I'm looking for a free solution - my time is quite valuable to me. As you can see, I have zero interest in video editing per se, or the intricacies of video file formats; I'm only interested in the practicalities of being able to watch commercial-free recorded TV. It's not a "deep topic" for me - either there's a simple solution, or I live with skipping commercials on my handful of non-Funai recordings...


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I wish it could be simple. But MP4 meant it won't be.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 21, 2013 7:31 AM PST
In reply to: Sorry...

And since the market for what you are asking for is pretty small, the companies that dive in and would make an app that deals with "MKV with MP4 inside" video editing that can snip brings us back to what is most likely a list with that number that was first used by the English around 1598.

You have your specs and I don't want you upset with me but I wish you good hunting.

Why not find a video player that can skip forward 5, 10 or your selected number of seconds?

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by ItWasMeInThatSandwich / November 21, 2013 7:57 AM PST

...the Funai recorders do that - they have variable skip/replay, which also makes the editing a breeze. Unfortunately the WDTV SMP does not, but it's been highly requested as a FW upgrade...

Still, no matter how cheap disk space gets, leaving half a GB of garbage in every recording is morally reprehensible to me...


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