How to Solve Windows 8 Can’t Convert WTV to DVR-MS?

The Issue

WTV format is a container format that Microsoft uses for storing TV content recorded by Windows Media Center starting from Windows Vista. WTV is the successor to the earlier DVR-MS file format that was used in Windows XP Media Center Edition.

On Windows 7, one can right-click WTV files to convert .WTV files to .DVR-MS for easily playback or for later convert the .DVR-MS files to MP4, WMV, AVI, MKV, etc. for various usage.

However, on Windows 8, “Convert WTV to DVR-MS” option doesn’t exist on the right-click menu. If you trying to run the option from the command line such as c:\Windows\embrn>cd /d c:\windows\embrn
wtvconverter “c:\WTVS\discovery.wtv” “G:\Ready for WDTV\” /showUI

It just returns the error: “WTV Converter cannot convert the file from .wtv to .dvr-ms format because the content is not compatible with the .dvr-ms file format.”

Reason Why “Convert WTV to DVR-MS” option is missing on Windows 8

The issue is related to Microsoft’s strategy towards Windows 8. There are 3 editions of Windows 8: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise. The Windows Media Center is available only for Windows 8 Pro as a separate software package from the Windows 8 store. Microsoft aimed to build a rich audio and video experience in Windows Media Center, such as DVD playback, TV show recording, and the option of “Convert WTV to DVR-MS”.

So it is not strange some people with Windows 8 Pro 64bit with Media Center added can use “Convert WTV to DVR-MS” from right-click and the command line to batch convert c:\Windows\ehome\wtvconverter.exe e:\wtv\*.wtv k:\dvrms works successfully.

How to Fix “Convert WTV to DVR-MS” option missing on Windows 8

If you are with Windows 8, you can upgrade your system to Windows 8 Pro and you will get a free copy of Windows 8 Media Center Pack. If you don’t have the Pro version of Windows 8 and you want WMC, you’ll need to pony up $69.99 to get the Windows 8 Pro Pack to be able to record TV shows and to be able to Convert WTV to DVR-MS.

If you do not plan for upgrade to Windows 8 Pro or do not want add the Windows Media Center, TechiSky also introduces a professional WTV Converter for Windows 8 to batch convert WTV to MP4, AVI, WMV, MKV, MPEG, MP3, etc.

3 comments on “How to Solve Windows 8 Can’t Convert WTV to DVR-MS?

  1. Jon says:

    An easier way is to create a shortcut to c:\Windows\ehome\wtvconverter.exe on your desktop and just drag and drop a .wtv file on it…it will create a DVR-MS file in the same dir as the .wtv file….just sayin

  2. Dan says:

    Thanks for the tip Jon

  3. RobD says:

    Sorry looks like I pressed 6 ilo 8, should be win8 pro 🙂 [facepalm!!]

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