DVR With Automatic Commercial Skip

About: Rare non-pretenious life form in Los Angeles.

I hate commercials...especially the repetative ones on my favorite shows like Law & Order and the Jon Stewart show. I've spent a long time customizing my DVR, but I've finally got it to automatically skipp any and all commercials on my favorite shows. So now its time I share my work with the rest of the world so anyone can enjoy tv without annoyances.

Step 1: Get a Computer or Just Build One From Scratch

I got a nice barebone computer system from (~500 bucks) and used that, but you can use almost any computer. I do recommend that you have at least 512MB of RAM, a 1.5Ghz or higher CPU, and a decent video card. My system is running an AMD Athlon 2800+ CPU with 512MB or PC266 DDR RAM. I also recommend that you beef your system up with a large hard drive since 1 hour of recorded TV can be up to 1-2GB in size depending on your quality settings.

For a detailed list of components please checkout my website at

Step 2: Install Windows XP

Proceed by installing Windows XP. You can use XP Home or Professional, it generally doesn't matter. If you're using XP home, here is an article on how to enable most of XP Pro's capabilities in XP Home:

Once all your hardware is installed properly and you've updated windows with all security patches, you're ready to download and install SageTV from:

You can download a 15 day trial to make sure it'll work out for you before you buy.

Step 3: Install SageTV Media Center

The SageTV Installation is very simple and straightforward. Simply click through the installation wizard, leaving all options set to default until the installation has completed.

For more detailed installation instructions please see my website at

Step 4: Configure SageTV

After the SageTV installation has completed, you'll need to complete the initial configuration before you can start using the software. The initial SageTV configuration is relatively straightforward, but requires about 10-15 mintues to complete.

For detalied screenshots of each step in the initial installation, please checkout my website at

Step 5: Add SageTV Commercial Skip Support

Download the comskip_playback_import.stvi from the following website:

Place the file in your C:\Program Files\SageTV\SageTV\STVs\SageTV3 directory of your SageTV installation. Then restart SageTV and navigate to Setup->Detailed Setup->Advanced->Import SageTV Application Package (.STVi File). Choose the file you placed into the directory and import it.

Step 6: Install ShowAnalyzer and DirMON

These 2 utilities will help you monitor your video directory for new TV recordings and automatically launch the ShowAnalyzer program to detect commercials in the newly added video mpg files.

Both utilities are available from:

Install both utilties and configure them as shown on my website:

That's it. Sit back and watch commercial FREE TV!



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    12 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    if you don't like ads, try living in Finland. Sure we don't have as much ads as you do but our ones are boring. I mean seriously. Almost nobody uses as much imagination and money as in U.S.. I myself, find watching you commercials much more entertaining than ours but I guess it can really pick your nerves if you see them every five minutes. Sincerely, (Painting my DVR currently) Veli-Jussi Haanpää


    theres a program called life extender, which can automatically go through all videos in a folder and remove all adds :)


    12 years ago

    in my opinion linux is alot more stable of an operating system


    12 years ago

    Although MythTV is a great alternative, not everyone is comfortable with Linux (wether it be the interface or even just installing the hardware). Luckily there are also free alternatives for Windows. GB-PVR & Media Portal are 2 that come to mind off hand. Both of these can also be configured to skip through commercials just as easily. They may not be as refined as commercial software, but if you just want to dabble around with PVRs they are a great place to start.


    12 years ago

    Another software like Sage is Beyond TV. For true "automatic" commercial skip with no extra setup try Snapstream Beyond TV. It works like sage and has the commercial detection built-in. Free trial is available. That's what I use and I like it a little better than Sage for a PVR software that works out of the box.

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago

    Another such program is MythTV for Linux. I myself have no experience with the program but my older brother has built his own DVR and installed linux/MythTV on the computer. MythTV has a built in function where it automatically skipps comercials (FF's) with the press of the button. Just google MythTV