Comskip is a third party commercial detection engine. The files it creates can be used to easily skip commercials (adverts) watching watching recordings.

History and Support

Comskip was originally written by Jere_Jones and Malore for Sage. Further development is done by Erik to make Comskip also usable under a broader set of conditions. A support forum can be found at

Comskip is a standalone program that processes video files and generates text files which list the start and end frames of detected commercials. The commercial detection program is open source. It uses libmpeg2 to read the mpeg2 files and commercial detection was added by rewriting and tweaking some of the commercial detection code from MythTV. Current commercial detection algorithms include black frame detection, logo detect, aspect ratio changes, scene change rate, closed captioning and many more. The newer versions by Erik include sound processing using libavcodec. Support for h.264/AAC and WTV is available (donators version only).

The commercial break .txt files are generated by running the Comskip.exe file on the desired mpeg files. NextPVR also requires an .edl file (see below). Many other output formats for mpeg editors are possible, the included ini file lists the possible output options.


Download the Comskip zip file from (look for the most recent version) .


Extract these files from the zip into a directory of your choice. Some users install in "C:\comskip\" (recommended), etc., but others have suggested installing in the \Scripts directory under the Default Data Directory.

  • comskip.exe
  • comskip.ini

Upgrade Installations

If you have already configured a comskip.ini to your liking, do NOT copy the new comskip.ini to the comskip directory, as you will overwrite those settings. However sometimes the developer adds new parameters to the comskip.ini. so you can either look at the recent changes in the readme.txt, and add those lines manually to your comskip.ini, or save your old comskip.ini as (e.g.) comskip.old.txt, THEN extract the new comskip.ini to the comskip directory and adjust the particular settings from YOUR comskip.old.txt to the updated comskip.ini from the new release. It is also recommended that you look at the "modified" dates of the files in the ZIP file and extract any other updated files.

Auxiliary Comskip Tools

Use ComskipGUI.exe to see what Comskip is doing when processing a file.

  • Drag and drop the file to be processed on ComskipGUI.exe

HideRun.exe can be used to run Comskip without showing the console window.

  • Usage: HideRun "path\to\comskip.exe" "parameters for comskip".
  • Hiderun requires .net to be installed

Basic Settings

Change these settings in the .ini file:

output_edl=1    ;NextPVR uses the edl file.
live_tv=1       ;needed for live TV and parallel processing
  • You may also want to set which methods that should be used.
  • There are plenty of comments in the ComSkip.ini file.

For a complete list of ini settings please visit The tuning in the default .ini may work well for you, but tuning infomation is also available in the Tuning.htm file included in the .zip, and at the Comskip Support Forum.


NextPVR defaults to Auto Skipping. To disable the Auto Skipping of commercials on a one time only basis hit 999. To disable Auto Skipping altogether, set <AutoSkip>false</AutoSkip> in NextPVR's Config.xml file. To skip manually, just press the play button (ctrl p) during a commercial. It will move you to the next break. The OSD will show you a green time line with dark sections where there is a commercial marked.

To run Comskip create a ParallelProcessing.bat file in "Default Data Directory\Scripts".

This file, when found, is automatically run by NextPVR when it begins a recording. NextPVR wil pass <filename> <channelnumber> <oid> as input parameters to the .bat file when it is run.

A very simple ParallelProcessing.bat file:

@echo off
cd /d "C:\comskip"
comskip %1

Using a fully qualified path to change to the comskip subdir is necessary for comskip to reliably find it's .ini file. The quotes are always a safe measure for strings with spaces or long filenames.

Parallel processing can tax your CPU, so a dual-core CPU (minimally) is recommended. Running comskip in parallel is preferred, however, some h.264 recordings may fail parallel processing.

Alternatively you can start Comskip when a recording ends by creating a PostProcessing.bat file in "Default Data Directory\Scripts". You may wish to do this if you transcode your recordings first, if your h.264 recordings fail to comskip in parallel, or if you lack adequate processing power to run in parallel. If you transcode, set the comskip .ini settings to support your alternative file format.

For an example of more complex processing with logging and load sensing, see this forum thread.


Page last modified on February 21, 2017, at 02:01 PM