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Operating system error - direct show media error


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Hi everyone, this is first post in this forum, so thank you in advance for your support.

I'm creating a project in watchout 6.3.1 with Watchpax 4. Up until now I have been working with temporary files at lower resolution and everything was fine. Now that I am uploading new and heavier files with different encoding I am getting the following error:

Operating system error: -2147220891 Direct show media error

for each new file. I guess there is some problem with encoding. My control computer is reading them with no issues, but I cannot upload them to the watchpax. Moreover there is one single file with alpha channel that I cannot even import in the project or read on the computer, meaning I am missing the right codecs and that it is not compatible with watchout. 

As I am not producing the videos but just organizing them in the project, I would need clear indications about what is wrong with the video encoding in order to transmit this information to the video designers.

I am attaching the media info related to a couple of files: one is part of the new ones correctly read on the computer but impossible to upload; the other is the one encoded with alpha channel.

Thank you again.



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Seems the attached files are damaged in the upload. So it is not possible to determine the codec you are using in the 09_360-MAIN.mov file.

Keep in mind your production computer has Quicktime and WATCHPAX do not offer Quicktime, that may explain the issues with 09_360-MAIN.mov. WATCHOUT does support h.264 with no audio and ProRes (WATCHOUT 6 only) without Quicktime, but many Quicktime codecs are not supported on WATCHPAX. 

WATCHOUT supports HAP, HAP Q and HAP Alpha, but does not support HAP Q Alpha, so that may explain the issue with 17_410-MAIN_HAPQA_AE.mov

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Hi jfk, thank you for your reply. 

Thank you for the indications about HAP alpha, greatly appreciated!

I can correctly download the media info for file 09_360-MAIN.mov.txt, anyhow I am attaching it again as well as copying the text in the body of this post.



Complete name               : D:\TURANDOT\turandot 9_12\play_mov\09_360-MAIN.mov
Format                      : MPEG-4
Format profile              : QuickTime
Codec ID                    : qt   0000.02 (qt  )
File size                   : 15.4 MiB
Duration                    : 20 s 0 ms
Overall bit rate            : 6 470 kb/s
Writing application         : Lavf58.24.101

ID                          : 1
Format                      : AVC
Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile              : High 4:4:4 Predictive@L5
Format settings, CABAC      : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames   : 4 frames
Codec ID                    : avc1
Codec ID/Info               : Advanced Video Coding
Duration                    : 20 s 0 ms
Bit rate                    : 6 467 kb/s
Nominal bit rate            : 18.0 Mb/s
Width                       : 1 920 pixels
Height                      : 1 200 pixels
Display aspect ratio        : 16:10
Frame rate mode             : Constant
Frame rate                  : 25.000 FPS
Color space                 : YUV
Chroma subsampling          : 4:4:4
Bit depth                   : 8 bits
Scan type                   : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)          : 0.112
Stream size                 : 15.4 MiB (100%)
Writing library             : x264 core 157 r2935 545de2f
Encoding settings           : cabac=1 / ref=3 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x111 / me=hex / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=4 / threads=18 / lookahead_threads=3 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=25 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=cbr / mbtree=1 / bitrate=18000 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=18000 / vbv_bufsize=720 / nal_hrd=none / filler=0 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
Language                    : English




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From the info above it looks like it's avc high profile without chroma subsampling (4:4:4), which is not supported by watchout. 

You have to stick to 4:2:0 chroma subsampling. Another important aspect when encoding h264 is to NOT use B-frames. B-frames are great when you are trying to get maximum compression, but they have a very negative impact on playback performance. If you are worried about the quality when not using B-frames, just bump up the bitrate by 10%. This will have much less impact on performance than sticking to the lower bitrate and using B-frames. 

For encoding with constant bitrate I would use: 

ffmpeg -i input.mov -vcodec h264 -pix_fmt yuv420p  -bf 0 -g 30 -b:v 10000k -minrate 10000k -maxrate 10000k output.mp4

You'll have to change the bitrate to your preferences of course.


Another option would be to encode with constant quality: 

ffmpeg -i input.mov -vcodec h264 -pix_fmt yuv420p -g 30 -bf 0  -crf 18 output.mov

-crf 18 means visually lossless. By increasing that number by 6, the file size (and of course bitrate) will be about half, and the quality will decrease. You will have to experiment yourself to strike a good balance between quality, file size and playback performance. Valid range for the crf parameter is 0 to 51



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