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Video proxy not working - unknown file format


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I am trying to load 3 pre-split videos as a video proxy and WatchOUT (or myself...) is failing.


I can load each clip individually and they play back just fine.


If I try to load the three as a Proxy (from folder A.mpg, files 01, 02, 03) I get this error message:

Quicktime error: -2048; Uknown file format; Video Proxy "Media/blah blah blah/folder.mpg


If I rename the folder and files (folder A, files 01.mpg, 02.mpg, 03.mpg) I get almost the exact same error.


I have done video proxy plenty of time is version 4... Did something change with Version 5?


Its not just this one clip. NONE of my MPEG pre-split video proxies will load.


Every MPEG clip -will- play as a stand alone but WatchOUT fails on the proxy...





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From the WATCHOUT 5.1 manual, P132:




This option applies to video media only. Check this if you have pre-split a large movie, as described on page 42.

In this case, the resulting files must be placed in a folder specified in the File/Folder field.

This folder must contain one file per display intersecting the movie, each file named after its target display.

For example, assume you have a large video called “LargeMovie.mpg” that intersects two displays named “Display 1” and “Display 2”.

You would then pre-split the video into two files. Name those files “Display 1.mpg” and “Display 2.mpg” and

put them in a folder named “LargeMovie”. Finally, specify that folder in the File/Folder field of the video proxy.


◆ IMPORTANT:Always append the proper file extension to the name of either the video files or the folder containing the pre-split files.

This is needed to ensure that the correct video playback mechanism is used.

By default, Windows may not display filename extensions.

To show file extensions, choose “Folder Options” on the Tools menu in Windows Explorer,

click the View tab, and uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”.


More info is found before and after this page

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I have come across this behavior many times in the past, and have subscribed to the following protocol to alleviate any further encounters:


Name your proxy files to the EXACT same name as the display. If your file is named "Display1.mpg" and your display is named "Display1", you will get an error. Therefore, you have to strip the extension from the proxy file name so that it is quite literally "Display1". Windows will warn you about stripping the extension from the file, and will no longer associate it with an application, but WO will be able to correlate it with it's proper display.


Hope this helps!



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That used to be the case. But in the current version of WATCHOUT, you can actually do either way. I.e., you can put the extension on the folder containing the presplit (as in the past) or put it on the individual media files in the folder (which may be more intuitive).



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  • 2 months later...

I have been doing proxies in WatchOUT for years... I understand the process of labeling the folder with the file extension, removing the extensions from the files themselves, and how to properly name the files to match the screen names...


The problem as far as I can see is that WatchOUT was adding an extra "." to the file name when it was called, between the destination string and the file name. This would result in the files not being recognized.


At least as far as I could tell that's what was going on...


thankfully I had frame-lock-able graphics cards, ran the whole show as discreet files with no proxy and didn't have any frame issues... even running through ridiculous amounts of fiber between me and the Spyder switching the screen...

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According to Dataton the passage in the manual for version 5 that would lead anyone to believe you have a choice in the way to name proxies now is not correct... the method for Version 4 still holds as the correct way to do proxy labels. I have always used the folder.extension/filename(no extension) method for proxies though... I did try both ways of labeling and several combinations as well and I still could not load any proxies.




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in my experience, the only added value that proxy adds to watchout is the quicker editing interface that a single media container can provide if compared to a multi screen video made of several diffent media without proxy.


I have noticed No quality improvement by using proxy as far as the files i have been testing were encoded in the same way obviously, and oh...neither sync improvement.


So basically the proxy method is helpfull for better managing the stage and timeline valuse editing only.

Am I wrong?



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I had the same experience as Brian on a recent show. Running WO 5.1 I attempted to name the proxy folder and files using the new, simpler method mentioned in the v5 docs and got the same error. I checked upper/lower case, made sure there were no extra spaces, and got the same error each time. When I gave up and reverted to the v4 naming convention, the proxy import worked first time.


This isn't really a reliable bug report, as this happened about 10 minutes before the show when the client arrived with a new media file, but it seems to me that something about the v5 naming method is easier to get wrong.

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