Video Problems

Video cues are only available with SCS Standard and higher license levels.

It has been said: "The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from". The field of video file formats is littered with "standards", some proprietary and some public domain. Research the MPEG format and you will find it contains many "parts" and this results in variations of the MPEG format. Handling the different formats is implemented via video codecs, but there are multiple codecs available for the same formats. The end result of this dog's breakfast is that it is difficult to include in SCS a video playback facility that can successfully handle all formats.

After a lot of research an experimentation, we have found the xVideo and TVideoGrabber (TVG) playback libraries to be the most suitable for use with SCS. xVideo is basically a sophisticated wrapper for DirectShow, which is the Microsoft multimedia API.

Note: Before going further in trying to resolve video issues, make sure you have the latest LAVFilters installed and that you are using TVideoGrabber (TVG) as the video playback library in SCS. This combination has been found to work very well with all video file formats we've tried. If you have done this and still have video playback problems, then read on, or contact support@showcuesystems.com.

Here are some problems that have been reported by users, and suggestions on how to overcome them.

SCS fails to pre-load a video cue

This can occur if the video playback library (eg TVG) runs out of resources to pre-load all the video files it is trying to load. This is most likely to occur if you are using video hotkey cues because SCS tries to pre-load files for all hotkey cues so they are ready for 'instant' playback. If this is the case in your production then set the property Do NOT Pre-Load Video Hotkey Cues. You can set this property in Production Properties - Run Time Settings. After saving your changes, close and restart SCS. Although there may now be a slight delay in starting a video hotkey cue, tests have shown that this delay is quite small, especially when using TVG.

Loss or reinstatement of a secondary screen

If you lose connection to the secondary screen (eg due to a dodgy HDMI cable) then SCS will attempt to recover from this situation. It's not a 100% guaranteed solution, but SCS will (a) detect if a screen has been disconnected or connected, and (b) attempt to reposition and resize the video/image targets. The following warning message will be displayed in the status line of the main window: "The number of connected screens has changed. SCS will try to recover but we recommend you close and restart SCS."

You will be able to access the 'close window' X marker, etc, as well as the SCS toolbar and/or menu items.

The checks on screens being disconnected or connected are not made if your production does not use any secondary screens (eg if there are no video/image cues).

Video doesn't show on second screen

Microsoft has provided a number of Video Renderers over the life of Windows versions, and you have a need to change the default renderer chosen by SCS, which is VMR9 Windowless. If you find that your videos do not play on the second screen, then try changing the Video Renderer to VMR7 Windowed or VMR7 Windowless. You change this setting in Options and Settings - Video Driver Settings.

Video doesn't play when using the xVideo video playback library

First of all, try changing the Video Renderer to VMR7 Windowless. You change this setting in Options and Settings - Video Driver Settings.

If changing the Video Renderer doesn't help then this may be a codec problem.

One solution that has been reported was to remove the XviD codec that was installed with the K-Lite Codec Pack. But note that this is not a guaranteed solution.

Another solution that a user reported was to install the relevant Windows Codec Pack. If you are using Windows 7 then try installing the Windows 7 Codec Pack version 4.0.8 or later. The codec pack is free, and you can download it from windows7codecs.com. If you are using Windows 8 then try installing the Windows 8 Codec Pack version 2.0.1 or later. The codec pack is free, and you can download it from windows8codecs.com. Warning! The default installation settings for either of these packages may cause your browser start-up and search options to be changed. We strongly recommend you select the 'Detailed Installation' (or equivalent custom option) so you can decline these changes.

I have a Matrox DualHead2Go/TripleHead2Go and I can only configure this as a stretched display

Matrox tech support have advised us that their GXM units can only configure the connected displays as a single stretched display unless you have a Matrox graphics card that supports independent mode. To get around this limitation you can go to Options and Settings - Video Driver Settings in SCS and configure the stretched display as independent displays for the 'Screen' in Video/Image Cues.

Error "No combination of intermediate filters could be found to make the connection"

We are investigating the cause of this error, but we do have a work-around. The error originates in DirectShow but we have found that it only seems to occur when the video monitor window is 'added' to a video stream. This occurs on opening or re-opening a video file, such as after 'stop everything'. When you get the error message you can just click OK and the program continues OK except that video fades will not work, and you will probably continue to get the error message for all subsequent video file opens.

You may find the error is cleared by rebooting your computer and/or by opening another cue file that has different video cues. But if that doesn't help then the following work-around is your best option.

Work-around: It seems you can avoid this error by setting the Video Monitor Size to None under Display Options. Note that this option is set separately for the two operational modes, so if you use both Performance Mode and Design Mode then you may want to change this setting for both operational modes. After making the change, click OK and then close and restart SCS. You will of course, no longer have a video monitor display - only the main video image on the secondary screen.

Other Tips

Other tips if you're having playback problems:

Reduce the video acceleration in Windows Media Player (WMP 11, that is). Go to WMP, Sync, More Options, Performance, and move the video accelerator slider to the mid position.

Similar to the previous dot point, but if you don't see a "video accelerator slider" then this may be relevant: Using Video Overlays should be switched off in Media Player in order to project image with SCS and Nvidia Quadro FX cards. (To be found in Extra... Options... Acceleration... Advanced.. Use Overlays.)

Also similar: if you don't see either the "video accelerator slider" or the "Acceleration" panel, but you do have a checkbox labeled Turn on DirectX Video Acceleration for WMV files, then make sure this checkbox is clear.

Something else to check is the bit rate. A variable bit rate can cause problems, particularly when playing two cues back to back. Seems like the bit rate is set from the first cue and stays that way. Easiest solution is to encode everything with the same fixed bit rate.