Q & S Icons in Recorded TV on Windows 7

I have noticed that some TV shows have an S icon in the thumbnail and some have Q icon. In this example both are on the same machine, both are WTV files recorded by the same Vista machine running TV Pack. Anybody know what Q & S indicates?



There is a running thread on it on TGB that still doesn’t seem to clear it up, a memeber of the eHome team posted

“It is two different methods of creating the thumbnail.  ‘S’ is for the
Smart version, and ‘Q’ is for the Quick version.  Please let us know if
you see any strong differences between the two.”

But that still doesn’t explain it

On Twitter: dan13l @isdixon Seen and Queued. Seen = watched. Queued = not

That would make sense but can’t be right as they all have been watched

Richard Miller points out the registry key for it:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Thumbnails\QTHUMB]

Edit again:

It looks like its: S and Q are two different methods of creating the thumbnail, I guess this is only showing for the beta and the icon will be gone in the final version


Final word on it via Twitter:

the_ape @isdixon The S and Q are for Smart and Quick, they are being removed in final, basically Smart finds the start of prog, Q doesnt

Final Final word

Smart thumbnail – generated by analyzing first 10
minutes of recording after pre-padding and  applying some algorithm to
pick up best thumbnail – lots of memory and CPU usage.
Quick thumbnails – pretty much first I-frame after pre-padding or so.



About the author Ian Dixon:
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.
  • Richard Miller

    Here is the key for S
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Service\Thumbnails\STHUMB]

  • Richard Miller

    Not completely sure what S and Q are but something to do with thumbnails

  • Anonymous

    I believe that the Smart version is scanned in some way to ensure that the thumbnail is 1) from the correct program, and 2) not from a commercial.

  • smicale

    My guess is that S stands for Standard definition. i am wondering if for shows recorded in HD you will see a H or HD.

    Just a guess.

  • smicale


    did you make the move to Windows 7 as your main Media Center PC? I did over the weekend because of that recording issue I was having with my Tuners I talked to you about awhile back. So far it is working like it should now so I am happy.


  • TheChief

    I like that. So wtih Smart (the default in the final release I assume?) you no longer have 20 black thumbnails in a folder? does it always find a frame from the actual recording? sweet!

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