One big problem with windows media center is the large amount of harddrive storage it consumes. Having your favourite shows on your harddrive takes a major part of your harddrive, if not all capacity.

I found an application that automatically creates xvid files out of your dvr-ms files. It is time consuming but by putting it on a schedule you can automatically convert your shows while not using your windows media center.

By converting your dvr-ms files to xvid your tv-shows shrink to a minimum fith in size. Now several shows can be recorded on a single dvd-r.

The application is crunchie and it is free. I found it on an australian media center community site. Crunchie needs dvrmstoolbox to function properly. After the installation two icons show up in the program folder. Crunchie and crunchie configuration. Before launching the program a configuration of Crunchie needs to be done.

Configure Crunchie
Configuring crunchie is simple. Be sure to have an installation of DVRMSToolbox and point to DVRMSToolbox program folder in the Folder Configuration in Crunchie Configurator. Choose source folder where all your dvr-ms files resides. Choose a folder for temporary files and a folder where all your converted files will show up.

 


Not recommended settings.

Folder options
Remove source file. Enable this option when you have tested crunchie and it works as you want. Renaming dvr-ms files gives you a better date formatting to the converted files.

Encode options
Default bitrate is 2500. A lower value gives you smaller files but decreases picture quality.

Recording selection
Include and exclude fields filters recordings. To convert all recordings, use an asterisk "*" in the include field.

Schedule Crunchie
To schedule crunchie, open the "Control panel" and select "Scheduled tasks". Create a schedule task.

Tips! Let crunchie convert all tv-shows that are older than one week. These tv-shows might be shows you want to watch but not had the time to.
Tips! Let crunchie start encoding after the necessary windows media center optimization. The windows media center optimization is actually shutting down and restarting windows media center software (soft reboot). I usually do a reboot also at night to create stability and reliability. At last media center reenters hibernation mode.
Tips! Add the conversion library (where your converted files is) to your video files in windows media center. This makes it easier to access your converted files within windows media center.

You can download Crunchie here!