Monday, September 27, 2010

Viewing HDSLR Videos on Your Computer

For those of you who are brand new to DSLR video and are having difficulty viewing your work on your computer, I thought I'd offer you hopefully, a solution.

For some of you, it's quite easy. Just offload the files from your camera or media card to your desktop, double click the .MOV or .AVI  file and hit play. Instant movies on your screen in HD! However, many are discovering that it's not quite that simple. You may double click the file and nothing comes up, or you may get the dreaded 'File Type Not Supported', or most likely, your video may come up, but it's playback is not smooth at all or there is no audio.

So what's going on here? Why does it have to be so difficult? Those of you on the latest top-of-the-line computers are probably looking pretty smug right now, and that's  the issue…your computer. If it's old with a slow processor, you'll have problems. Also, if you do not have the correct media player installed on your machine, that will prevent you from viewing your work. It has to be the right kind of player to run the native files coming out of your DSLR. They have to be compatible. And also to some extent, it could be a graphics card issue. You may need to upgrade your graphics card, although not likely.

The files that come out of your camera are high-resolution, highly compressed files - and while the compression does a good job of keeping file size down, it also means you need a sizable computer to decode them. If the files play more smoothly on your camera’s LCD than they do on your desktop, try downloading the latest version of VLC Media Player.

VLC is free and an open source cross-platform (PC and Mac) multimedia player that plays most multimedias files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols. It is easy to use, yet very powerful.

One trick however : you have to change one setting in preferences:

Go to Tools > Preferences
In the lower left of the box click the checkbox “Show settings – All”
Then go to Input/Codecs > Video Codecs > FFmpeg and look for the option called “Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding”
Change it from “none” to “all”
Save and restart VLC

Another must have player for your computer is Quicktime which is also free, comes from Apple, but works on both Windows and Macs.

Now grab some popcorn, your favorite beverage and sit back and relax and enjoy your videos.

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