How-to: Remove annoying ad breaks from pre-recorded TV

LifextenderMany TV stations lift the volume of their ads to ridiculous levels. I wouldn’t mind ads if they were the same volume as the movie, but the stations have taken it too far, requiring watchers to fiddle with their remotes each time an ad break comes along.

If you have a Digital Video Recorder or Home Theatre PC, you may like to consider removing the ads from your recorded shows. This will save you time when you watch old recordings, and save you from the volume hikes.

I have played with a number of ad removal programs in the past, with limited to no success. It is not an easy task for any programmer to write software which will remove ads flawlessly. For it to be done well, it should look like it was easy.

Lifextender is a program which will remove ads from your recordings. I was sceptical when I first downloaded it, but then after recording a few shows and running Lifextender over them, I was really impressed. It worked! There was no manual work or switching between programs required. It looked after it all.

Lifextender sits in the tasktray or can be run manually. You can set it to scan your recorded shows at set times of the day or it can process them once the recording is complete. There are a whole heap of options available to you, but the default settings will suit most needs. I can’t understand why it is still in alpha phase of development. I came across no problems.

Lifextender can run as a Media Center plugin or as a stand-alone application. I have set it to run at 2:00am in the morning so that the processing doesn’t interfere with my general computer use.

Lifextender is available for free from cnet or

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6 comments so far »

  1. Chris Duckworth said, on January 30, 2008 @ 9:52 am

    There is a tickbox in the settings that allow you to keep the original file. This way you do not need to be concerned about Lifextender removing any legitimate content(not that it has for me.)

    I have had it working succesfully in both XP, Vista and 7

  2. tim said, on September 12, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

    Hey guys, i have created a batch file that will automatically convert .wtv files back to .dvr-ms so ads can be removed. You just need to set it as a scheduled task.
    Post and file at my blog

  3. Kimbo said, on April 28, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    Can’t get this to work with XP Pro on mpg files – assumed because it doesn’t have Media Center and has trouble recognising my alternate folder location for recorded TV files. I’d love to know what the trick is.

  4. Chris Duckworth said, on May 4, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    My guess is that you would need a mpg to dvr-ms converter running before the files are processed. I don’t know of any programs that do this, but a gogole search would get you a long way.

  5. Scott said, on September 20, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    The Lifeextender link appears to be broken.. it links to a Japanese site

  6. Chris Duckworth said, on September 20, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    The link must have broken in previous days. I have included a link to cnet. I love this application. I saved a copy to my hard drive. Thanks for letting me know about the broken link.

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