CCTV video format? Plays in Win Media but not VLC

Nobody Important

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I have copied some footage from my CCTV system onto a USB to check on my laptop after an attempted break-in tonight.

The thumbnails show the video:

thumbnails.JPG

But when opened in VLC it plays but shows just the vlc cone:

vlcpic.JPG

Same file plays fine in the pre-installed win media player/"film and tv" app:

winmedia.JPG

What can I do to get it to play in VLC? VLC has more options for playing with the video to get more detail, play with speed etc.

Here is the file info:

Code:
General
Complete name               : C:\Users\xxxxxxx\Desktop\20190509\N04191307.mp4
Format                      : MPEG-4
Format profile              : 3GPP Media Release 5
Codec ID                    : 3gp5 (3gp5/3gp4/avc1/mp42/isom)
File size                   : 17.4 MiB
Duration                    : 10 min 0 s
Overall bit rate            : 243 kb/s
Encoded date                : UTC 2019-05-09 17:13:07
Tagged date                 : UTC 2019-05-09 17:23:07

Video
ID                          : 1
Format                      : AVC
Format/Info                 : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile              : Main@L3
Format settings             : CABAC / 1 Ref Frames
Format settings, CABAC      : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames   : 1 frame
Format settings, GOP        : M=1, N=36
Codec ID                    : avc1
Codec ID/Info               : Advanced Video Coding
Duration                    : 9 min 54 s
Bit rate                    : 179 kb/s
Width                       : 704 pixels
Height                      : 576 pixels
Display aspect ratio        : 1.222
Frame rate mode             : Constant
Frame rate                  : 18.182 FPS
Color space                 : YUV
Chroma subsampling          : 4:2:0
Bit depth                   : 8 bits
Scan type                   : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)          : 0.024
Stream size                 : 12.7 MiB (73%)
Language                    : English
Encoded date                : UTC 2019-05-09 17:13:07
Tagged date                 : UTC 2019-05-09 17:13:07
Codec configuration box     : avcC

Audio
ID                          : 2
Format                      : ADPCM
Format profile              : A-Law
Codec ID                    : alaw
Duration                    : 10 min 0 s
Bit rate mode               : Constant
Bit rate                    : 64.0 kb/s
Channel(s)                  : 1 channel
Sampling rate               : 8 000 Hz
Bit depth                   : 16 bits
Stream size                 : 4.58 MiB (26%)
Language                    : English
Encoded date                : UTC 2019-05-09 17:13:07
Tagged date                 : UTC 2019-05-09 17:13:07
 

netstrider

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Could you give some details on the DVR model #? Also, according to the stream info it is mpeg-4. Could you verify by enabling file extensions for your thumbnails above?

Nevermind, I can see it is .mp4 in the VLC title.

DVR model number may be helpful. Generally they export players along with the footage or at least give you that option. If not, you may need to google a player for the manufacturer / model #.

Common formats are generally not allowed to be submitted for evidence. Hence manufacturers usually having their own proprietary formats so as to curb video manipulation.
 

Düber

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There should be an option before you save as to what format it is going to save it as. ( usually two options)
The proprietary format is a real pest, hardly anything plays it. ( :cautious:your file properties look strangely familiar)

It is confusing to find the right option though, so you do need to check carefully, they seem to delight in hiding it.
 

Nobody Important

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Could you give some details on the DVR model #? Also, according to the stream info it is mpeg-4. Could you verify by enabling file extensions for your thumbnails above?

Nevermind, I can see it is .mp4 in the VLC title.

DVR model number may be helpful. Generally they export players along with the footage or at least give you that option. If not, you may need to google a player for the manufacturer / model #.

Common formats are generally not allowed to be submitted for evidence. Hence manufacturers usually having their own proprietary formats so as to curb video manipulation.
Hi netstrider. Yes they are saved as .mp4. Don't know why VLC doesn't want to play it though, it plays other mp4 videos just fine. I assume the actual video format is something else/propietary (as you mentioned) and mp4 is just the container.

This is a cheap Chinese cctv dvr with no model number, I will open the case tomorrow to see if their is anything written on the inside. All it says on the outside is ET.

It allowed me to export to USB but no player included. I have installed a codec pack that allows playing of many different formats but no joy. Also Format Factory doesn't seem to be able to play it in its own mini player.

I will do some googling when I get the model number. In the meanwhile, do you know of any common cctv codecs I could try? I don't need to submit for evidence, I just want to see better for myself what happened so I can improve security on my property. The footage is not great but I think with VLC I can adjust some parameters (contrast) to play it a bit clearer.
 

Nobody Important

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There should be an option before you save as to what format it is going to save it as. ( usually two options)
The proprietary format is a real pest, hardly anything plays it. ( :cautious:your file properties look strangely familiar)

It is confusing to find the right option though, so you do need to check carefully, they seem to delight in hiding it.
Yes I will look again tomorrow. Maybe the adrenaline is still pumping right now and I'm not seeing something I should be seeing.
 

Düber

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Yes I will look again tomorrow. Maybe the adrenaline is still pumping right now and I'm not seeing something I should be seeing.

For sure.
Leave it alone now and tomorrow it will be the first option you see.

As long as you are all OK that's all that matters now.
 

netstrider

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Do you have the box the DVR came with? It usually contains a mini-CD with some software and manuals.

Sounds like it could be an EasyTech dvr (from India) or something different. A lot of local suppliers like rebranding things and that makes it a pain to find any useful information on it.
 

WAslayer

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VLC has a messages console, which can spit out debug info.. This may provide some information as to why it's not wanting to play the videos..
 

agentrfr

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The video codec is AVC, but in my experience VLC gets very confused with which demuxer to use especially with older containers

You can PM me and I will remux them for you to matroska losslessly (this way VLC will demux correctly because header information is inserted regularly)

You can try do it yourself too with mp4box, mkvtoolnix etc. - but they're pretty unfriendly to use for new users

Also, wtf PCM audio??? What is that doing together with an x264 stream o_O
 
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Zuner

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^This, works great. Haven't used it in years though, became a big fan of MPV which seems to just play everything.
mpv is a fork of mplayer2 and MPlayer.
Brings back memories, mplayer...

I switched to MPC cause i wanted simplicity (in the sense that i'm done researching or trying stuff), mpc just works nothing it hasn't played for me. Also has all the extra features/controls that i need.
 

ArmatageShanks

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Brings back memories, mplayer...

I switched to MPC cause i wanted simplicity (in the sense that i'm done researching or trying stuff), mpc just works nothing it hasn't played for me. Also has all the extra features/controls that i need.

The main reason I went to MPV was because its the only player I could find that doesn't cause my graphics card to clock up, as its a old Fermi GPU its also technically a heater. I was annoyed in the beginning as it has literally no interface, all the settings are .cfg based but I learned to like it and the accompanying thumbnail feature when mousing over the progress bar is great, can have as many as you want as large as you want.
 

Marc123

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Vlc needs to use the 264 codec. It does not play automatically.
You need to select input codec to 264 and after you're done, just change it back to automatic.
 

Pixies

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There's a setting in VLC I had to update to use it to stream from the DVR, wonder if it works with playback too? I'll let you know later when I'm at my PC
 

Nobody Important

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Sorry for the radio silence guys. Was just pre-occupied with beefing up security around here.

Install k lite codec pack? And use media player classic
I had already installed k lite a long time ago so that is why it does play in the windows media player, just VLC is where it doesn't want to play. I want it to play there because you can do a lot of adjustments (contrast/brightness) in VLC with crappy footage. But I will checkout MPC if it can do the same.

VLC has a messages console, which can spit out debug info.. This may provide some information as to why it's not wanting to play the videos..
How do I get to that console? I see now that when I open the file in VLC it is actually only playing the audio stream and not the video stream so I suspect that Marc123 below is correct:

1557653669820.png

Vlc needs to use the 264 codec. It does not play automatically.
You need to select input codec to 264 and after you're done, just change it back to automatic.
Can you explain how to do that? I think you are correct.

Use the Windows store version of VLC.
Okay, will also check this out.

Thanks everybody. Just to let you know as I am sure some are curious. I was alone at home, watching TV with most of the lights off. I heard a loud crashing sound and immediately thought someone broke into the detached garage and must have toppled some toolboxes and made the noise. I quickly checked the rooms in the house to make sure, and then pressed the panic button to get ADT. They came and checked the garage and the shed and all was fine. So it was a mystery and I felt very silly. When we were satisfied the property was vacant, ADT left. I then started checking all the rooms again on my own and saw that in one of the rooms I had forgotten to close the windows (was a hot day) but still nothing out of the ordinary. Next day in daylight I could see hand-prints in the dust on the window sill. So my theory is that the thief came to the open window and was trying to get at the burglar guard but made a noise with his tools and that is when I disturbed him. He probably thought the house was empty.

But without checking the crappy footage, I don't know.
 
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