Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Commercial Free TV*

Using Your PC to Record and Watch TV is “Good”. No Commercials Is Better!

I used the switch to digital TV broadcasting as my excuse to stop watching TV.

Why have I stopped? Because I reached a certain Maximum Threshold of Tolerance. And, I don’t want to risk a RSI, (repetitive-stress injury) ala “carpal tunnel”, from constantly reaching for the remote so I can hit the Mute, Skip, Pause, Die You Stinking Commercial, Die !!! buttons. Also, I despise “reality TV”. I don’t think I’m alone.

The usual method for defeating commercials is to record your desired program on a Betamax, VHS, TiVo, DVR, or Media Center PC, and then “fast forwarding” (skipping) over the commercial advertisements; which long ago failed to meet the most modest standards of taste and decorum. Or we purchase movies and watch those… a few trailers at the beginning we can tolerate.

There should be a better way, and there is.

Today’s free download: If you use Windows Media Center to record programs, there is a pure genius program, for which I would like to throw the author(s?) a parade, which will automatically strip the commercials out of your recordings. That’s right – remove. That results in smaller files, and more enjoyable entertainment.

Lifextender is a dead-simple commercial-removal application designed exclusively for Windows Vista Media Center users. There is ZERO configuration required, however, there are plenty of options if that’s your thing.

[note: Lifeextender is “donationware”, meaning you can “tip” the author any amount, if you so desire. I “tip” my geek hat, and that’s for sure!]

* Orig post: 6/17/09

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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June 12, 2010 - Posted by | advice, computers, digital Video, dtv, how to, software | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Wish Lifextender had been available when I was into taping commercial free programs. I am no longer a TV fan, just got tired of “so many commercials” and such “junki” programs.

    However, Lifextender sounds like a great gadget for those of you who still enjoy TV and taping.


    Comment by Gaia | June 13, 2010 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      Nice to see you here again.

      Yes, that is an advantage of “digital content” over tape recordings. But, there’s always the ‘fast forward’ button.


      Comment by techpaul | June 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hey Paul,
    I’ll be trying it once i get my hands on a high speed connection… ;)



    Comment by Ranjan | June 13, 2010 | Reply

  3. Read that… But i’m compelled to use dial-up.. However, the speed isn’t that bad even.. I get 35-45kbps… Enough for me. Afterall, i’m not a download freak.


    Comment by Ranjan | June 14, 2010 | Reply

  4. How does it detect which parts are advertisements?


    Comment by Adrian | June 14, 2010 | Reply

    • Adrian,
      I would only be guessing, and I refer you to the website.

      … but I am sure there are flags. The old way was, to listen for the large volume increase that accompanied commercials.


      Comment by techpaul | June 14, 2010 | Reply

  5. Hi Paul,
    just to say that you sense of humor is remerkable.

    I have read at least a dozen of times this review and every time I laugh when I read you reached the Maximum Threshold of Tolerance etc etc etc because of commercial spot:)


    Another commercial and ads/banner hater;)


    Comment by leofelix | June 17, 2010 | Reply

    • leofelix,
      If I was captured by the enemy, all they would have to do (to learn all my secrets) is show me non-stop The View, complete with commercials, and I would ‘crack’ in just a few hours.

      There is no worse torture than our current daytime TV. (And.. I am only half joking…)


      Comment by techpaul | June 17, 2010 | Reply

  6. Almost as annoying as commercials is the trend for programs to spend a minute after a commercial to replay what happened before the commercial. This is, I presume, aimed at the audience whose attention span is that of a mushroom. Also, these ‘talent’ programs which insist on using MTV-style jump cuts and running commentary. Some of us would like to actually WATCH the performer without you turds constantly interrupting.


    Comment by John | June 14, 2012 | Reply

    • John,
      Remember all the way back to when the TV broadcasts went “digital”? And you had to get a box to receive the signals?
      Well, I used that as my excuse to stop watching TV altogether. Not only was the majority of the programming garbage, but I just got TOO fed up with commercials – the pharmaceutical commercials in particular. (I did some time back sign up for Netflix, though.)
      I did not like how crude and low class (vulgar, even) the language and behavior portrayed was getting…

      Without television, I am happier and more productive.. and I wouldn’t be surprised if I regained an I.Q. point or two, and perhaps a smidgeon of sanity too. (They started calling it the “idiot box” long before ‘reality TV’ came along..)

      But they don’t care that they lost me as a “customer”. I am over 25.


      Comment by techpaul | June 14, 2012 | Reply

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