I mentioned a few times already that some videos on CNTV’s website are especially problematic, and impossible to download. CNTV’s new Beta version of CBox seems to handle the issue.
I tried the previous version of this software before, but I never managed to get it work. I found this article recently that kinda explains what the problem was.
The newly-launched China Network TV Station (CNTV) received intensive attention from netizens because it provides free access to video programming and high-definition channels of 51 television stations including CCTV and other local stations. However, this has led to high web traffic, semi-paralyzing CNTV. Currently, there are problems with the CBOX software which was specifically designed to download television programs however people can still view videos via the website.
As CNTV was launched not too long ago and the CBOX software is a brand new product, CNTV will need some time to solve relevant problems. During this period, clients of the China Railway Communications Company and China Education and Research Network may be faced with the ineffectiveness of the CBOX software, but CNTV is now striving to solve the problems.
If you are desperate about a particular program of CCTV (or some other local channel), give this software a go.
Presuming you are here because you’re interested in Chinese Opera, I used CCTV11 as example in the short guide below.
Download the software and install it. I think it can be integrated into Internet Explorer, but I don’t use that (and I don’t suggest it to anyone, by the way).
CBox works with Windows XP, Vista and 7.
I installed Asian character sets before, but if you haven’t done so yet you might need the installation CD of your operating system.
In CBox’s menu, choose the 直播中国 (Live broadcast China) tab.
Under the 栏目 (Column) tab you can browse videos by program, but I found that those are the same not working ones that are uploaded to the website itself.
Choose the channel you would like to watch. You are able to see only the last three days, so be careful not to miss the program you’ve been waiting for. (This was some kind of note for myself too.)
Now a little trick is needed, since the program schedule won’t be synchronized with your local time. For example, I live in Hungary, and I had to click the item that is 6 hours later in the schedule than the one I actually wanted to watch.
You might need to click back and forth a couple of times to find the program you want, broadcast is cut into 1 hour parts (o:oo am -1:oo am and so on).
Now that you already have the stream, it’s up to you what downloader you choose, I found Replay Media Catcher a convenient and effective tool. Videos are downloading in 5 min long parts, you need to join those later or you can make a playlist from them if you are lazy. Ultra Video Joiner is a nice (and actually working) tool to join parts.
Bertrand as a programmer and experienced Linux user explained a more cost-efficient method for joining files:
Before spending a lot of money to buy software that joins files, remember you can join files with the “cat” command natively on linux:
cat file1 file2 file3 > resultfile
Available for Windows as well for free, download and install:
open a prompt
cd to the directory where your video files are
"C:\Program File\GNU\bin\cat" file1 file2 file3 > resultfile
My notes for Windows users:
With a standard install the location of the “cat” file will be
Your command line will look like this:
"C:\Program Files\GnuWin32\bin\cat" file1 file2 file3 > resultfileIt won’t work with all video formats, but it’s fine for MPEG-1, MPEG-2 or MP3.
"C:\Program Files\GnuWin32\bin\cat" A.mpg B.mpg C.mpg > whateveryounameit.mpg)
Tip if you are not familiar with DOS commands:
Copy your files to the root directory of your HDD, then you just have to type
C:\ in the command line to get to your files’ location.
Good luck and enjoy TV!
PS. No, the left guy on the example picture is NOT doing that what you’re thinking of right now.