CONVERTING .AVR files to DIVX or XVID
When connecting up your Echostar PVR5020 to your PC using USB, you can transfer recorded broadcasts over to the hard disk in your PC. However, there are 2 problems:
This page will give you a rather quick introduction on converting the AVR extension files to XVID, which most DIVX players support. Converting to DivX is similar, which I assume you will understand after reading these instructions.
You are probably wondering why converting to DIVX rather and not to regular DVD format (MPEG2)? Well, that's because my home system plays XVID/DIVX, which takes considerably smaller sizes -e.g. more to push on a disk. As we record basically small series and documentaries which we don't share with many others, I therefore see no reason to burn recorded broadcasts towards DVD.
Note: Although you nowadays can install a driver from Echostar to open up the AVR files directly, my experience is that it works fine for playing the files, but after testing dozens of 'one-click' conversion tools, none of them were able to match the easiness and quality of the instructions below. Most convertors still did not recognize the format, others gave simply poor results.[update Sept '07]
LINUX users: A visitor of this site reported that the procedure below also works fine using Project X under Ubuntu. Use it to convert to .TS and then use winff convert to .avi/divx. Thanks Kasper for this tip ;)
Ripping / Demuxing your AVR file using Project X:
Step 1: Copy from recorder to PC
Step 2: Demux the Audio and Video
In the example below (fig 2) I've added 2 AVR files to my project
Select parts of the video to export/demux
If you don't need all of the recorded program, you could choose to cut out bits and pieces at this stage. Anything cut out will shorten the conversion process later on, however you can choose to convert the complete file and cut or copy bits and pieces out of it when it's converted.
To select bits and pieces to decode:
Use the "+" and "-" signs (1) and (2) on above window (fig 2) to set the markers. Red will be skipped, green will be written to your new file. In the example below (fig 3)you can see I cut out a bit in the middle and the end.
Step 4: demux the files!
After this process, the file will be demuxed (video is split from audio in separate files). You can close Project X
Converting to Xvid using Gordian Knot
This will bring up the DGINDEX frameserver (fig 6).
note: By detault, you don't have to adjust settings if you're working with PAL, but you can doublecheck that the output method is "demux all tracks".
Note - you can add multiple files by using the CTRL key.
From now on, changes you make within Gordian knot will be calculated throughout all fields, showing you impact of those changes. What we need to do is find the right setting to get our compression without sacrificing quality too much. You can theoretically use Gordianknot to make an exact 1 CD or DVD large file, but that's only interesting for DVD rips. In our project it doesn't matter that much.
Now you get to the encoding panel.
When all done, click "add job to encoding queue" and start the conversion process when you like to. You can select multiple projects, and let all run one after another like during the night. During the conversion process, the MP3 file is created, the video file is scanned, and a compressed copy is created. This requires CPU power and can take a rather long time.
When finished you will have a ready-to-play .AVI file.
To cut and/or save scenes out of the generated .AVI file, click here...