Cbreak Remove Commercials from Avi Files

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 19, 2006
Updated • May 4, 2013
Music and Video, tv

More and more PC users use their computer to record TV shows by installing a TV card that they then connect to the TV signal. This is not the only way to record TV to PC though, as you can also use one of the many streaming services available and record shows they make available on your system directly. The issue that some users experience now is that the recordings include commercial breaks as well as the tv show or movie that they want to watch. The freeware application Cbreak has been designed to help users remove commercial breaks from their recordings.

Cbreak works by scanning every frame of a video file, taking note of any black frames in the video. It uses these frames to divide the video up into segments. Once the segments are established, it has two modes that it can operate in:

In autonomic mode, it discards any video segments shorter than a certain time length (60 seconds is the default).

  • In manual mode, it plays each segment for you and asks whether it should keep it or not.

When all this is done, it copies the good video segments into a new AVI file along with the corresponding audio. Pretty great, huh? You can also change any of the parameters Cbreak uses to make decisions about a video stream, so it can be adjusted to your specific needs.

It needs to be noted that the program works fine if commercials are punctuated before and after with a little bit of black space in the video stream, as it is used as the discovery method. If that is not the case, the program can't really be used.

Another option in this case would be to use a free video editing software like VirtualDub, and use it to remove the commercials that you have recorded with the tv show or movie. While it may take longer to remove the commercials, it is not as bad as it sounds, especially if you follow the steps of this tutorial.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.