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Convert Live TV Recordings from Windows 7 Media Center To Watch on Your iOS Device

If you use Windows 7 Media Center to record Live TV, you might want to bring shows with you on your iPod. Today we take a look at how to convert Recorded TV files and sync with your iPhone / iPod Touch.

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The other day we looked at how to convert DVDs, ISO, and AVI video files so you can watch them on your iOS device. In our continuing series we look at taking your WMC Live TV recordings, converting them, and syncing them to an iOS device.

Convert WMC Files to .dvr-ms

In Windows 7, the .wtv file format has replaced the dvr-ms file format used in previous versions of Media Center for Recorded TV.

Before being able to convert the recorded Live TV files to MP4 / h.264 using iPodifier, we first need to use Windows 7 to convert the .wtv files to .dvr-ms. Converting the files is easy…right-click a .wtv file and select Convert to .dvr-ms Format.

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If you have a lot of recordings you might want to use a utility like WtvWatcher …however we weren’t able to test it out at the time of this article.

Install & Setup iPodifier

If you don’t already have iPodifier, download and install the latest version following the wizard and accepting the defaults.

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After you launch it the first time, you’ll be prompted to navigate through the setup wizard.

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Select if you want iPodifier to add the transcoded video to iTunes and sync with your iPod or not. If you have a lot of recorded TV you want to convert and sync, then you probably want to select both options.

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Setup the video encoder CPU priority…the priority you select will depend on how much multitasking you might be doing. If you’re low on system resources you might want to select Idle.

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After a few other screens basic setup is complete. You can continue to work through the wizard and set up video sources or click the button to set them up later.

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If you want to see what iPodifier has to offer you can stop at this point and can begin using the program.

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Video Sources

Expand the  Video Sources pane on the left side and select Video Source Wizard.

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Select a name for the new video source…something easy to remember like Live TV or Movies.

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Select the source video type…In this example we’ll select TV Show and MCE for the DVR software.

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Select the path where your Recorded TV is stored.

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As we mentioned earlier, the Recorded TV files in Windows 7 Media Center have been replaced from .dvr-ms to .wtv  format, but since we’re converting them, you can leave the Video file extension as *.dvr-ms. We tried to change it to .wtv but weren’t able to get it to work. 

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Select h.264 for the video codec. You can also choose mpeg4, but h.264 usually offers better quality.

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Select the encoding quality…this is up to you but why not go for the best? If you are concerned about the amount of time it takes to encode and the space you have available on your device.

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Now select the video resolution, where in this example we want 480×320 for our iPod Touch…or you can use a custom resolution setting as well.

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You’ll get an overview of all of your settings…click next if everything looks correct, or you can go back and make changes from this point. Also, keep in mind that we can make changes to these settings at any time.

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After you have everything setup, you’ll have the shows you’ve recorded in the video list…select Enable transcoding of your recorded TV queue.

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Now wait for the process to complete…notice the total size of the Recorded TV…the size of Recorded TV files can add up in a hurry.

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When the encoding process completes, you’ll get a notification letting you know it’s done.

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Here we had part of a football game & Family Guy which we recorded and had iPodifier encode it and automatically add it to iTunes under TV Shows.

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You’ll also find the converted MP4 / h.264 files in the output location. Notice here the files are much smaller compared to the lossless originals that were recorded with WMC.

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If you didn’t set it to transfer the encoded files to iTunes and your iPod automatically, you can simple drag and drop them into iTunes, then sync your device. We also had it add the files to our iPod and that worked out great too.

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Now all there is to do is enjoy your quality recorded Live HD TV on your device.

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Settings Options

At anytime you’re using iPodifier, you can easily go back and change any of the settings you picked during the initial setup.

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One handy option is check Delete source video after transcoding, to help clean up files in your Recorded TV directory.

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Including Transcoding Options.

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Of course you can watch the converted files inside QuickTime as well if you want to.

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If you like using Windows 7 Media Center as your DVR, using iPodifier is a great way to easily take your recordings with you on your iOS device. While iPodifier works great for converting your recorded TV and adding it to iTunes and your device, there is still the annoyance of the extra step of converting .wtv files to the .dvr-ms extension. We will be taking a look at the best way to automate that process soon.

If you have some suggestions on automating the process leave a comment and let us know.

Download iPodifier

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 10/11/10

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