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Thread: Issues with displaying video (case 3360)

  1. #1

    Issues with displaying video (case 3360)

    Hi there - I'm working on a DirectRT input file that will display 10 second .wmv files (faces morphing from a neutral to emotional face). Subject presses a key when they notice the face showing an emotion. There are 3 blocks of 36 trials, and faces are selected from one of 3 types (happy, fearful, angry).

    For the most part the videos will run fine. However, about 3-4 trials have display problems, and it's not always the same video file. The problems are either:

    - the video file fails to display, even though the trial is running (I have to press an eligible key to move to the next trial). Sometimes the file briefly flashes at the beginning but then the screen is blank.

    - one part of the file, the grey background, displays briefly, and then the entire picture including the face appears and the video runs normally

    - part of video shows a band of green at the bottom, and there is some more ghosting of color than is usual (see the attached photo).

    Again, this isn't entirely consistent across video files. Even when I remove a video file that seems to have recurrent problems from being presented, the problem still recurs.

    Tried modifying the colour.txt file, ran into same problems regardless of setting.

    Platform is a Dell Inspiron N411Z, running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, DirectX 11. Had a similar problem on another HP laptop, but no problems with DirectRT v2010 on a desktop computer.

    Any thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012


    This might help. It's a link to a codec package that is likely to help with a variety of audio and/or video issues that our users occasionally report.


    ffdshow tryouts is a free codec update package for use with DirectX, DirectShow, the Windows Media Player (WMP) and other AV technologies. The package can be especially helpful when used with non-Microsoft AV programs such as DirectRT and MediaLab.

    Installing this package has been helping some users with video and audio issues in MediaLab--it may also be of help with DirectRT as both programs rely on overlapping audio/video technologies.

    Here is the link:


    A few important notes:

    • This is not OUR software! We're posting the link here because we expect it may be very useful for users having audio and or video issues especially with Windows 7 and later.
    • The current release as of this post is v1.2.4422 which was released Apr 9, 2012.
    • It may not be initially obvious but there ARE both 32 and 64-bit versions of the package on the download page--see the "Current Official Release" heading (e.g., see attached screenshot of the page when last visited on Nov 14, 2012).
    • If you are unsure when installing, try accepting all the default install options--you can always revise choices later and the defaults seem appropriate for most users.
    • The package can be uninstalled if desired or re-installed with different options. There is also a graphical user interface you can use to change options after installation.

    We'll start posting more info as we gather user feedback, so let us know if you have any luck with it! So far, it seems good.

    If you would like to know more about exactly what this package is/does there are tabs and links to additional information on the download page linked above. You can also read it's Wikipedia entry which provides additional references if you are extra hungry for info:

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ffdshow..._configuration

    Please let me know if you have any success with this, issues, or questions.

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  3. #3

    video - what about not playing .avi and .mpg?

    Thanks for the suggestion. However, my understanding is that ffdshow tryouts doesn't have alternative codecs for Windows Media Player 12? If that's the case I could try a different file format like .avi or .mpg. However, I haven't been able to successfully play an .avi or .mpg file using my DirectRT input file. I've tried directly calling .avi files in the input file (rather than a StimList, which doesn't work either) but with no success. Again, the .avi and .mpg files play in WMP12. But they don't appear at all when running the input file. I am using Windows 7 Home Premium - could that be part of the problem?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    One of the tricky things about this is that media may play perfectly fine in WMP (any version) and yet not look or act the same in MediaLab or DirectRT even though our programs use the same technology. We're just coming to understand this stuff now. It seems there are licensing issues whereby certain codecs used by the WMP (for example) will only function in Microsoft applications. This is one reason some users might get video but no sound. Installing the ffdshow is a workaround for this. I have yet to see that it doesn't help when WMP 12 is installed but that might be true--may I ask where you read that? Most cases we are looking at are usually Windows 7 machines though so it'd be odd. Is it something you could at least try? Can't speak to the "home" version--haven't played with it much.

  5. #5
    Sure - the wikipedia site mentions that WMP12 doesn't use the ffdshow decoder, and it seemed like the .WMV codecs in the decoder go up to WMP9. I wonder if the issue is the program I used to render the original .AVI files into .WMV format (Freemake Video Converter) - perhaps there's an issue with the codecs used in that program.

    At the same time (even after changing the DivX codec to ffdshow) I still can't play .AVI files in DirectRT.

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