Monday, August 25, 2008

Skip Commercials with ShowAnalyzer - Soon with H.264 Support!

If you use a Home Theater PC (HTPC), you likely are "in" to skipping those commercials.  Two of the best commercial skipping applications are comskip (which I've used for a while now) and ShowAnalyzer.  I'm planning to give ShowAnalyzer a try this month just to compare the two and also because ShowAnalyzer has H.264 support in its most recent private beta.  That means my SageTV HTPC will soon be able to detect commercials for the Hauppauge HD-PVR!  Even if you already are using Comskip or another commercial detection program, I recommend you purchase a copy of ShowAnalyzer today.  Find out why below.
What is ShowAnalyzer?
ShowAnalyzer is used for detecting and removing commercials from TV programs that have been recorded using HTPC software such as SageTV, BeyondTV, Windows Media Center, Vista Media Center, MythTV, GBPVR and more.   With ShowAnalzyer installed, your HTPC checks each recorded show for commercials and marks them so you can skip the commercial with a press of the button.
What's New for ShowAnalyzer?
Jere, the developer of ShowAnalyzer announced the following on the SageTV forums:

ShowAnalyzerSuite V1.0 is ready for beta testing.  The new version is full of new features and was written from the ground up.  The biggest new feature for me will be the h.264 (and therefore HD-PVR) support.
It's not perfect yet and likely has some bugs, but if your adventurous and want to be one of the first to try out the new version, Jere's distributing the installer in a private forum at  If you want to check out those new features and are willing to give the beta a try head over to the dragonglobal site, purchase the ShowAnalyzer Suite, register on the forums & send Jere a PM

If you're not up to beta testing, the public release date will be September 1st.

Price Increase - AND free lifetime upgrades at current price if you purchase before September 1st.
With ShowAnalyzerSuite V1.0 nearing release to the world at large, the price must increase to cover the higher royalties that the MPEG Licensing Authority requires.
Starting September 1st, the prices will be as follows:
ShowAnalyzerSuite (includes 1 year of upgrades): US$29.98
Maintenance Renewal (one additional year of upgrades starting from purchase date or expiration of current upgrade license, which ever is longer): US$14.99
The September 1st date is dependent on V1.0 being released that day.
Good News for current owners of ShowAnalyzer & those who buy before September 1st
As appreciation to the beta testers (not private testers), everyone who has purchased ShowAnalyzer prior to September 1st will get lifetime upgrades.
To cover the next royalty increase, there will be another price increase when I add the ability to actually cut the commercials out of the file. Since ShowAnalyzerSuite will then include encoders, the MPEG Licensing Authority will want more royalties. I am considering making the encoders (thus the higher price) optional, but I haven't decided yet. Regardless of my decision, it will be considered an upgrade, not a new product.

So if you think you might ever use ShowAnalyzer, I encourage you to get your copy now (you have about one week before the price goes up) and lock in your future upgrades.  Plus, it's always a good thing to support the guys like Jere who develop great applications for the HTPC community.
Get your copy of ShowAnalyzer
For a how-to on setting up commercial detection check out this article.