Editing DVR-MS Files

I love my Windows Media Center – it’s been in place for a little over 2 years now (I think, it’s all been a blur of watching what I want, when I want) but the one thing which has bugged me is the amount of disk space the recordings take, especially given I can now access more programming than before, I simply have problems storing it until I can view it!

Until now, my solution has revolved around plugins I have found via that meca of MCE goodness, The Green Button community site, I’ve been using DCut to edit out the start and stop buffers (I’m still allowing -5 minutes from start and +15 minutes from stop to allow for ‘changable’ broadcast times), I’m then using Power Compress on the resulting file to transcode to a more efficient .WMV format (though, in the process, MCE seems to lose the ability to quickly fast forward through streams).

BUT WAIT – There’s another way!

If you’ve got access to your .dvr.ms files on your local LAN and have a PC (yes, you’ll need that 2′ interface) running Windows XP, you can use Windows Movie Maker with this wee registry tweak which Chris Lanier has just (re)blogged about. For the sake of redundantly archiving this tweak throughout the Interweb, I’ll attach it here and quote it below:

 Open Notepad and paste the following in it.


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

“FriendlyName”=”WMT MSDVR 2 Dexter Filter”


@=”C:\\Program Files\\Movie Maker\\wmm2dvr.dll”



Save the file with a .reg extension (example: MM2.reg) and then double click on it to merge it with your existing registry.

So – I’m yet to try this at home, but it’ll sure save me the grief I get when wanting to chop up files and re-encode them, when everyone else wants to watch (Recorded) TV or use the Media Center Extender (which borks when the local MCE machine is grinding it’s way through a re-encode.

Of course, out of interest, I tried doing this on the Beta version of Windows Vista I’m running and what do you know? It supports DVR-MS import and editing nativly (with some VERY nice .WMV options). I’ll have to type up a Vista fanboy post soon I think, the ‘yay, they’ve fixed that’ list is getting longer every day that I use it.

Thanks Chris, Thanks Green Button Community!!







2 responses to “Editing DVR-MS Files”

  1. SimonK Avatar

    That has made my communications presentation a whole lot better – now I don’t have to convert DVR-MS to WMV (with significant loss in quality) before I can edit them! But there’s a hitch..

    When I open the DVR-MS file in Movie Maker (after applying the registry changes of course) the resulting file has about an inch chopped off the bottom. Now this would not be a problem if I didn’t have a vital piece of text that is chopped in half! Any ideas why this should be, or more importantly how I can fix it? Thanks

  2. Rob Avatar

    My initial answer would be to get you to check the resolution of your source video versus the resolution of the output, though – arguably, the output content would be more likely to stretch rather than crop your source.