How to download old City Council videos

Tons of old City Council and committee meetings are available to stream on the Rogers TV site — but what if you want to download the videos? Here’s a quick guide.

(Disclaimer: I’m not sure how legal this is.)

1. Cut a hole in the box Find your video

Screenshot of City Council video page

Go to the page with all the City Council videos and find the video you want to download. For this example, let’s use yesterday’s meeting.

2. View source

Video web page source

You’re going to need to look at the page’s “source” — the HTML itself. Generally, you just right-click on a blank area of the page and choose “View Source” or “View Page Source”. If you have trouble, here’s detailed instructions for various web browsers.

Scroll down until you find the part that looks like the screenshot above. It’s a list of the video player properties. Copy the snippet at the part I’ve highlighted in orange. It’ll start with 'file': '/_include… and end with h264.

3. Grab the file

XML page with direct link to video file

Open a new tab/window, type “rogerstv.com”, and paste the bit you just copied. (See the address in the screenshot for what it should look like.) At the bottom of the page there should be a link to the actual video file. Right-click and choose “Save As…” or “Save Link As…”. Warning: it will be a very large file, probably several gigabytes, so don’t try this at Starbucks.

4. What now?

You probably want to save or use a specific clip in your preferred video editor. (I like Openshot, but that’s only for Linux; however, you’d be amazed what you can do with VLC.) If you’re not sure how, Google “trim video” plus the name of whatever you’re using. Enjoy!

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