MediaPortal Comskip and Transcode Bat and Bash Scripts

As I mentioned earlier, I use MediaPortal to record DVB-T broadcasts. As these end up quite big, I then use two scripts to check the recordings for adverts and to transcode the recordings to a mkv file (smaller and better supported).

This solution isn’t very elegant, since it is for my personal setup which is a little unusual, in that the recordings are done via a Windows XP MediaCentre PC, they are then analysed for adverts using Comskip and are then transferred to my Ubuntu-based server, which then transcodes the files to an MKV file and the adds Chapter markers to those MKV files using the file from Comskip. Thus there script is in two parts, one a Windows Bat script and the other is a Ubuntu Bash script.

The scripts are below. First, the Windows Bat script that runs the recorded file through Comskip and then copies it over to the server. Since I wanted to only run one script for all the recordings made in an evening, the script takes the file name from MediaPortal, which passes it to the script after the file is finished recording, using the Comskip plugin. This explains all the weird “Echo” in front of all the terms, since basically it is putting all the commands into another script, which is then run early each morning.


ECHO Rem Batch commands for %1 START >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO CD "C:scriptscomskip" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO START "" "C:Program FilesVideoLANVLCvlc.exe" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO %%SystemRoot%%explorer.exe "Z:" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO ************************** ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO Post Processing started on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO ECHO Starting mpeg2repair %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO mpeg2repairHelper.exe %1 %1-fixed.ts >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO ECHO mpeg2repair finished on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO Comskip started on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO comskip %1 >>"%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO Comskip finished on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "Z:new_files.log" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO ECHO ComClean started on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO mencoder "%~dpn1.ts" -edl "%~dpn1.edl" -alang eng,nar -noskip -vf harddup -oac copy -ovc copy -of mpeg -o "%~dpn1_clean.ts" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO ECHO ComClean finished on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO New file %1 being moved to Server ^>^> "Z:new_files.log" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO Tidying started on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO %%SystemRoot%%explorer.exe "Z:" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO CD "%~dp1" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO ren *.edl *.ts.edl >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO ren *.txt *.ts.txt >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ren *.chap *.ts.chap >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO Moving Clean TS to Server directory on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO IF EXIST "%~dpn1_clean.ts" del %1 >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO xcopy %1 Z: >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO IF EXIST "Z:%~n1.ts" del %1 >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
REM ECHO xcopy "%~dpn1.edl" Z: >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO del "%~dpn1.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO xcopy "%~dpn1.ts.chap" Z: >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO TS and others moved to Server directory on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "%~dpn1.PostLog.txt" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO ECHO %~n1.ts moved to Server on %%date%% %%time%% ^>^> "Z:new_files.log" >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO TASKKILL /IM vlc.exe >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"
ECHO Rem Batch commands for %1 FINISH >> "C:scriptscomskiptrans.bat"

Thus this script creates the trans.bat file, which is then run via a scheduled task. All the stuff starting with REM are lines that the script no longer uses, but that contain interesting code that might be useful in the future. This includes using a program called mpeg2repair, that was meant to clean the recording in-case there were any errors during transmission, but the program error-ed out too many times. Another line was also meant to use Mencoder to cut the adverts out directly using an EDL file created by comskip, but this resulted too often in audio/video sync problems, I think as a result of the original .ts file having some errors in it, so I REMed out that line as well.

The second script is my Ubuntu bash script, which is run every morning, after the trans.bat script (created by the script above) is run.

# Written by FakeOutdoorsman and updated by mysoogal further updated by prupert
# Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported
# trackback
echo started on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` > /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.ts" >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
chmod -R 777 /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.ts" -exec /home/server/Desktop/handbrake/HandBrakeCLI -i {} -t 1 -c 1 -o {}.mkv -f mkv -e xvid -b 1200 -2  -a 1 -E faac -B 160 -R 0 -6 dpl2 -D 1 -C 2  -v '{}' ; >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
echo finished on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
echo attempting to add advert chapter markers on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.mkv" -exec /home/server/scripts/ "{}" ; >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
echo advert chapter markers added on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
echo starting clear up on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
cd "/mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/" || { echo >&2 "Source folder not found"; exit 1; } >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find . -type f -name "*.ts" -exec sh -c '[ -f "${1%.ts}.ts.mkv" ]' _ {} ; -delete >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find . -type f -name "*.ts" -exec sh -c '[ -f "${1%.ts}.mkv" ]' _ {} ; -delete >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find . -type f -name "*.ts.mkv" -exec sh -c '[ -f "${1%.ts.mkv}.mkv" ]' _ {} ; -delete >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find . -type f -name "*.ts.chap" -exec sh -c '[ -f "${1%.ts.chap}.mkv" ]' _ {} ; -delete >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.mkv" -exec mv {} /media/video/Video ; >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.edl" -exec rm {} ; >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.txt" -exec rm {} ; >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
echo ts files deleted and moved script stopped on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log

This is run by a cron job every morning. It uses Handbrake to transcode the .ts file to a .mkv file. It then runs a third script (below called to use mkvmerge to add chapter markers to the mkv file that Handbrake created. Finally, it moves the mkv file to where all my Videos are stored. At the very end, there are some commands to delete the .ts files and the intermediate .mkv files ONLY if the mkv file has been correctly created.

Here is the script:

echo started on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/trans.log
mkvmerge --chapters "${VIDEO%/*}/${ENC%%.*}.ts.chap" "$VIDEO" -o "/mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/${ENC%%.*}.mkv"

This script is called by the main Ubuntu script above.

I also have a separate script that I use to transcode the .m2ts files produced by the Sony PS3’s PlayTV program:

echo started on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` > /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.m2ts" >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
chmod -R 777 /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.m2ts" -exec /home/server/Desktop/handbrake/HandBrakeCLI -i {} -t 1 -c 1 -o {}.mkv -f mkv -w 720 -e xvid -b 1200 -2 -a 1 -E faac -B 160 -R 0 -6 dpl2 -D 1 -C 2 -v '{}' ; >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
echo finished on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
echo starting clear up on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
cd "/mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/" || { echo >&2 "Source folder not found"; exit 1; } >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
find . -type f -name "*.m2ts" -exec sh -c '[ -f "${1%.m2ts}.m2ts.mkv" ]' _ {} ; -delete >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
find . -type f -name "*.m2ts" -exec sh -c '[ -f "${1%.m2ts}.mkv" ]' _ {} ; -delete >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
find /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV -name "*.mkv" -exec mv {} /media/video/Video/TV ; >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log
echo m2ts files deleted and moved script stopped on `date "+%m/%d/%y %l:%M:%S %p"` >> /mnt/media/documents/ruperts/TV/transm2ts.log

Because Comskip can’t be run on .m2ts files, I don’t call the script, since there is no .chap file to use.

I would freely admit that these scripts aren’t very user friendly, since they are customised just for my setup. However, if readers would prefer a useful version that was more user-friendly, I could create that. It is possible to convert the Ubuntu Bash script into a Bat script for Windows. However, I don’t think there is any alternative to the mkvmerge file for Windows that the Ubuntu script uses.

Also, sadly, the devs of Handbrake are a little blinkered. They created the CLI interface so you can run Handbrake via the commandline, which is great. The CLI also creates Exit codes, which is very useful for scripting. However, the Exit codes only tell you if the CLI worked correclty, not if Handbrake worked correctly. So if the transcode failes, but the CLI worked corretly, it will exit as if nothing went wrong. Sadly the Handbrake devs don’t see this as a problem. Kind stupid imho, but hey, it’s their loss. Thus, there is no way of telling if the transcode worked correctly or not, the only way to check is to see if the file you want to be created is there…doh!

3 thoughts on “MediaPortal Comskip and Transcode Bat and Bash Scripts

  1. Would be great to have a script to use mkvmerge with DVD rips to make the chapters automatically.

  2. I am sure there are DVD ripping programs that can do that already, like DVDFab maybe. I think even Handbrake can add chapters (though Handbrake is still focussing on mp4 files…)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.