Filename extension: .dvr-ms
Developed by: Microsoft
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The DVR-MS filetype, short for Digital Video Recording-Microsoft, is a proprietary video and audio recording format developed by Microsoft. Introduced with the Media Center edition of Windows XP in 2002, DVR-MS was created to allow users to record and playback television programs on their computers. It built upon the earlier MPEG-2 transport stream standard, enhancing it with digital rights management and metadata features specific to the management of recorded TV content, such as program details and ratings.

How DVR-MS Works

DVR-MS files encapsulate MPEG-2 video streams and digital audio inside an Advanced Systems Format (ASF) container. This combination supports time-shifting functionality, a key feature for pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding live TV. Metadata pertaining to recorded content, like broadcast time, channel information, and program details, is stored in the format's attributes, enabling a rich media experience within compatible software platforms.

Software Compatibility

Originally, DVR-MS files were primarily supported on Windows platforms, with native playback on Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center. Third-party video players and conversion tools, such as VLC media player and HandBrake, later incorporated support for this format, enabling a broader range of users to access DVR-MS content. Additionally, video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Windows Movie Maker, have provided users with the means to edit DVR-MS files, offering more versatility for personal video projects.

Alternatives to DVR-MS

With the advancement of digital video formats, several alternatives to DVR-MS have emerged. One notable successor is the WTV format (Windows Recorded TV Show), which debuted with Windows 7 as a more efficient and flexible replacement. Moreover, open standards such as H.264 have become widely adopted for video recording and streaming, thanks to their high compression efficiency and broad compatibility across devices and operating systems. As technology evolves, more users are turning to formats like MP4 and MKV that offer a balance of quality and convenience for digital video recording and playback.


The DVR-MS filetype holds a place in the history of digital video recording, serving as a pioneer in the integration of TV programming with personal computing. While newer formats have largely superseded DVR-MS, its contributions to the evolution of media consumption and management continue to influence current media technologies. The proliferation of sophisticated video codecs and container formats ensures a continuous improvement in the way visual media is captured, enjoyed, and shared.

Supported converters for DVR-MS files

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