Use Lifextender to remove commercials from recorded TV shows

Get rid of ads from TV shows you've recorded on your media centre PC

My TiVo of choice is actually a media-center PC, one running Windows Vista and its aptly named Media Center software (a staple in the Home Premium and Ultimate versions). Part of what I love about it is the extensive library of third-party tools and add-ons. My favorite: Lifextender, which automatically removes the commercials from recorded TV shows.

Using Lifextender is dead-simple: Install it, run it, then set it up. Specifically, right-click the Lifextender System Tray icon and click Options. If you want the software to work its magic on all your shows, check the Automated Library Scanning box.

Additionally, you can set up rules (by clicking the Rules tab) to include or ignore shows based on certain criteria: title, channel, duration, and so on. In fact, before you let Lifextender loose on all your recorded shows (once it strips the commercials, there's no going back), I recommend setting up a rule so that it scans only one show (maybe one that's not terribly important to you). That way you can make sure it performs to your liking.

The software works swiftly and in the background. When it's done, your shows appear in your Recorded TV library just like before--but without commercials. In my experience, it's fantastic right out of the box: no tweaking of the settings required. It did, however, have trouble with an animated show on Cartoon Network: It always deleted the teaser opening before the credits. Solution: I don't use Lifextender for that show. Other than that, it's been golden.

There are added bonuses to using Lifextender. Not only does it "extend your life" by removing commercials, it produces smaller files that consume less hard-drive space. And those files are easier to fit on DVDs, great if you're into archiving your shows. It's win-win-win.

Lifextender is donationware. If you use it, by all means throw the developer a few bucks to show your appreciation. After all, he extended your life!

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags media-centre PCsPVR

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?