Advertising breaks

Advertising breaks can spoil your favourite programme, and if you're planning to keep a recording, you might well want to remove them. Luckily, many PCTV products come with Videospin - Pinnacle's free video editing package (if your product didn't come with videospin, you can simply download it at www.videospin.com

Note: some older PCTV products come with Studio QS, Videospin's predecessor. Everything we're doing here works similarly in QS, but you can of course download the new package if you want to.

Once you've got the package up and running, using it to cut out unwanted adverts is simple:

Import your film

Click on the folder icon at the top of the left hand window and a browser will open up allowing you to locate your film on disk (unless you've set PCTV to place it somewhere else, it'll be somewhere in your "mydocuments/videos/capture" folder).

VideoSpin will automatically start searching through your movie and dividing it up into scenes. This is useful if you're editing a home video, but not so good if you're just trying to remove ad breaks, so just cancel this operation and your movie will appear as a thumbnail in the media window.

Drag the film down to the timeline (the horizontal strip at the bottom of the screen). This shows you the entire length of your recording as a rectangle, and you can play it back with the buttons under the monitor at the right hand side.

You can also move the playback head (the vertical line at the left of the timeline) back and forth through the movie by dragging on it at the top of the timeline.

Find the start of the film

PCTV always starts your recording a little early to avoid loosing the beginning of the programme if schedules are running early, so your first job is to trim the start. Drag the playback head to find the moment your programme begins (you can see the current frame in the monitor). Now, click the razor icon at the top of the timeline to slice your video clip at the playback head, then select the unwanted portion, and simply hit delete.

The first few minutes will vanish from the timeline and the programme will begin precisely at the point you've chosen.

Locate the ads

Now, scan through the film until you find the first advert break. Locate the point at which the ads begin and click the razor. Find the end of the ads and click the razor again. Now, simply select the ads and delete them. It's as easy as that.

Render the movie

Once you've removed all the breaks (and cut out any overlap from the end of the film), you're ready to create your finished clip.

Click the Make Movie tab at the top of the screen, and choose the AVI filetype, then click the Create File button and choose a new location for your edited programme.

VideoSpin will now create your finished movie. This may take a while, especially if it's a long programme, but you can just leave it to work on its own. When it's finished, you'll be able to watch your movie without advertising breaks.

If you've got the InstantDVD add-on, you can also use Videospin to write your programmes to a DVD for playback on your TV.

*Offer valid until 30th September 2008