ViihdeHelper 4.4.3 published

A small update to the Chrome extension was published today. This version adds the option to disable the downloading of the text file with the program information. The setting can be accessed in the options view, the same view where the file name format of the downloaded recording and your username and password are defined.


The updated should be automatically applied, but you can verify in the extensions list that version 4.4.3 is listed.


ViihdeHelper 4.4.2 published

A small update to the Chrome extension was published today. This version fixes a small race condition when downloading multiple recordings at the same time. The symptom of the error was duplicate file names.

The updated should be automatically applied, but you can verify in the extensions list that version 4.4.2 is listed.

ViihdeHelper 4.4.1 published on the Chrome Web Store

I finally got around to paying the extension developer fee, and become a “real” extension developer. This means that for the new versions of ViihdeHelper, you no longer need to mess around with the “Developer mode” and unzipping files etc. You just have search for ViihdeHelper on the Chrome Web Store, and add it to Chrome from there! Alternatively use this link:


The other information on my Elisa Viihde page about the extension still holds (configuring via Options link, VLCLauncher for open in VLC functionality etc).


ViihdeHelper 4.3 released

A new version of the ViihdeHelper Chrome extension has been released today. As always, the latest version is downloadable from my Elisa Viihde page. This version mostly includes features suggested by users.

Download selected

This feature allows you to easily start the download of many recordings at the same time. I have not tested if there is a limit to the number of concurrent downloads though.


Download file name format change

The previous version included the date and time when the recording was made. The format of the date unfortunately did not support sorting on date. To remedy this, the date-part of the downloaded recording is now in this format: yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm. Furthermore, you can in the “Options” of the extension decide whether you want the title first or the time first.


Encoding functionality changes

A few suggestions of tweaks to the generated ffmpeg command string have been implemented. A new setting for deinterlacing, and audio is set to be re-encoded as AAC as default. With a CRF of 22, medium preset setting, and deinterlacing on, a 240MB file ended up as 82MB.

ViihdeHelper 4.2 released

A new version of the Chrome Extension is released. Head over to the ViihdeHelper page to download it.

Nyt, suuren kysynnän vuoksi, löytyy myös suomenkieliset asennusohjeet.

This version also works on the “Kohta poistuvat” page and when downloading, it provides the name of the recorded programme + time when the recording happened as the filename. Furthermore, it also provides a textfile with the same name with recording description, tv channel, duration, and date recorded.


Downloaded recording:
Elokuva. Die Hard - Koston enkeli (K15)_22.10.2011 21.00.00.ts

Downloaded text file:
Elokuva. Die Hard - Koston enkeli (K15)_22.10.2011 21.00.00.txt

Elokuva: Die Hard – Koston enkeli (K15)
(Die Hard: With A Vengeance/USA 1995). Vauhdikas toimintatrilleri käynnistyy, kun sankaripoliisi John McClane (Bruce Willis) on pidätetty virastaan ja hänen avioliittonsa on hajoamassa käsiin.
2 h 35 min
Nelonen 22.10.2011 21:00:00

Please try it out and let me know what you think.

Elisa Viihde recordings automatically expiring

Today I received an email from Elisa stating that due to changes in the copyright legislation, starting from this autumn, recordings older than two years are automatically removed from your account.

This is quite a disappointment, because one of the reasons I chose Elisa Viihde instead of other similar services, was that recordings did not expire.

Fortunately, they have created a new portion of the Elisa Viihde web page where they show which recordings are about to expire. Unfortunately, I noticed that my extension does not add the download icon on that page.

In a couple of days I’ll try to release a new version of the extension that will also add the download icon to the expiring recordings page. The current version of the extension works if you click on the recording to show the details page.


A final note: The “ffmpeg encoding while downloading” functionality introduced in the version 4.1 is experimental at best, so please verify that the encoded recording is fully functional with subtitles and everything before trusting that you have a backup of your recording. The normal “download” functionality works as it always have done.

The newest version of the extension is always available for download on my Elisa Viihde page.


ViihdeHelper v4.1 released

I got a comment on my Elisa Viihde page from “Pekka” asking whether it would be possible to get an encoding link for a recording considering the size of the “raw” downloaded recordings. He suggested a script to tmpgenc.

I decided to dig around and experiment a bit, and came up with a small additional function to the ViihdeHelper extension that generates a small command for downloading and encoding the recording in one go using ffmpeg. I chose to not re-encode the sound track, use x264 as video codec, and mkv (Matroska) as the container. This is what it looks like:


This part of the UI is activated by clicking the “film strip” icon. The functionality is not available in the list of recordings, you need to enter the “details” view to get the film strip icon.

Note that I am NOT an expert when it comes to video encoding etc, this was just something that works for me. I am more than willing to receive suggestions how to make things better.

Short introduction to the functionality:

The first field is for the CRF value. This can be thought of as ‘quality’, the smaller number the better quality, but also larger output file size. Something around 18-24 should be ok.

The second field is for selecting the preset setting. Basically this is a selection of how much time the encoding process should put on analysing the data trying to make the size smaller and the quality better. Choose as slow a value as you have patience for.

The following fields are for skipping time at the start of the recording (commercials etc), and to determine the length of the output. If these are empty, the entire recording is encoded. Also note that you need to specify something in every field for the setting if you want it to be active, e.g. Skip 1 min and 0 sec at the beginning. For some recordings I had problems skipping to the correct position immediately, so that why it is seeking the position to start, rather than skipping to it. This means that it will take a while for the actual processing to start.

For recordings that have the subtitles as a separate track, a checkbox in the subtitle setting will overlay the text on the video track. It defaults in the output to the 0:2 track, which is usually Finnish subtitles (dvb_subtitles). If the desired subtitles are on another track, you need to manually modify the command.

Finally, the file name field takes the value from the title of the recording, but it can of course be modified.

The resulting command that is shown in the text box can then be copied and pasted into the command line in the folder where you want the recording to be saved.

With the settings in the screenshot above, the recording of Tomb Raider, 1h 59min ended up as 1.4GB on disc, compared to 2.6GB as reported by Chrome in the raw download.

Please let me know how it works.

The download link can be found on the Elisa Viihde page of my blog.