3rd Party Commercial Skip with Plex

I know some of you have created or use various 3rd party apps to process commercial skip such as SurlaTablo, APLTablo, MCEBuddy, etc. and then play on Plex. Some solutions are more automated and some are fairly manual. I explored the APLTablo / Shotcut process and I can see it would probably produce stellar results but with a certain amount of hands on work. By the way I really love the feature/information rich APLTablo, check it out if you have not done so already. I really have not tried any other methods yet. I am hoping those who use certain tools/methods they have found successful can share their setup with the community. Please provide the following information:

  1. Name of solution
  2. Fully Automated (hands off) / Semi-Automated / Limited Automation / Manual
  3. Destructive / Non-Destructive
  4. Approximate percentage of shows with show content destructively removed
  5. General comments on what it does well and what it might struggle with
  6. Platforms / software requirements (Windows, Mac, Linux, Java, Python, etc.)
  7. Steps to follow to transfer and remove commercials
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Complexity void of any commercial skip, although there’s room to use some form of processing – so this may not be at all for you.

I use capto along with wrapto to create filenames, actually capto has a plex specific file name switch, and pass other arguments (path, delete when done) to capto. Create a straight forward shell script then have it run from a cron jobs… completely autonomous. There’s not GUI. Linux/Mac

I’ve not used it, but I beleive SuLa Tablo has some commercial skip feature, is command line driven, so it can easily be scripted and scheduled for automation. Python - platform independent I suppose.

Of course APL Tablo is a great tool for interacting with your tablo.

–good luck
my media player sets keys for jumps, 1minute, 30second and 15seconds so commercial isn’t a major problem, but for archive it would be nice to have them removed.

  1. SurLaTablo (I’m the author)

  2. Fully-automated

  3. Non-destructive

  4. ???

  5. Uses black frame detection. So limited by that. Short choppy moment of real content with black frames will appear to be a commercial. (currently) Doesn’t handle pre-amble content, that is short content before a black frame, it assumes it’s a commercial. Does have postscript handling though.

  6. Python 2 (NOT 3, not yet), any platform, but does require ffmpeg and optionally ccextractor for closed caption extracting.

  7. surlatablo.py -q 'query to return content of your choice' -c +Mp4zap1
    By adding the commercial zap transcode, you’ll by default get the regular Mp4 recontainerization as well as the version (ideally) with commercials zapped. For example for Texas A & M games:

    $ surlatablo.py -n -q ‘Texas A&M’ -c -C +Mp4zap1
    produces (defaults to location Sports/College Football/Season 2019):
    College Football - s2019e00 - Texas A&M at Georgia.eng.srt
    College Football - s2019e00 - Texas A&M at Georgia.mp4
    College Football - s2019e00 - Texas A&M at Georgia-z.mp4

So how did that example do? Pretty well. However, there was an extra point or field goal that happened really fast between commercial breaks… so it got zapped. But just that one (pretty sure).

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