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Old February 16th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #1
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Should I get rid of ffdshow?

I have a thing on my computer called ffdshow, which apparently is a codec. I'm not sure that is all it is, but it is interfering with the operation of Prospect HD in PPro CS3 on my system. When I try to play a timeline under Prospect HD, it freezes and a countdown dialog box flashes for less than a second preventing any use of the player. Neither can the timeline be rendered or exported. I can "catch" the dialog box with the alt key, and it counts down for 25 seconds, during which the audio portion of my project automatically plays, and after which the video will start to run but 25 seconds out of synch with the audio.

What do I have to do to get rid of this monster? That is:

1. Do I need ffdshow on my system? [not sure how I got it, but it probably came with a format conversion program]

2. is it enough to uninstall and remove the codec itself, or do I have to do something more drastic?

3. Can Prospect HD be tweaked to work with/around this beast?

Does Cineform know of a compatability problem here?


I have not tried editing any of my HDV stuff in PPro CS3 without the use of Prospect, but I know that SD projects are NOT affected. I don't think the problem is with CS3.

Anyone have any experience with this? Suggestions?
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Old February 16th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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From Wikipedia: ffdshow is a media decoder and encoder mainly used for the fast and high-quality decoding of video in the MPEG-4 ASP (e.g. encoded with DivX, Xvid or FFmpeg MPEG-4) and AVC (H.264) formats, but supporting numerous other video and audio formats as well. It is free software released under the GPL license, runs on Windows and is implemented as a DirectShow and VFW decoding filter.

From me: It should be completely straightforward to uninstall, via your Control Panel add/remove. Things will likely work fine without it, but that will depend on what raw footage you are using (HDV, AVCHD, etc) and what other codecs are on your system (because once ffdshow is removed your system will revert to whatever codec has next highest priority, and that will depend on which OS you are using).

For example, the audio in AVCHD is an AC3 stream. Cineform recommends installing AC3filter to decode that, but presently ffdshow may be doing that job for you.

Edit: I should clarify, Cineform avi and mov files should not be needing to use ffdshow at all. Where it comes into play is with HDLink, during the conversion from raw footage to CFHD.

In any case, it is free and easily reinstalled, so try uninstalling and see if that fixes things.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #3
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we don't recommend using ffdshow, it can be setup to cooperate, but its default configuration can clash with CineForm functionality.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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My sincere thanks Graham and David. Following Graham's suggestion I uninstalled and deleted ffdshow from my system, and was able to regain use of the timeline under Prospect. However, Premiere defaulted to the next codec, which was DivX, and that was interfering with the loading of projects into Premiere. So I uninstalled that too. But there has been a terrible price.

Premiere is now able to run with whatever codec is active now, but my render times have gone through the roof. I set it up to render 40 minutes of SD video overnight. After 9 hours and 42 minutes, it was at 90%. My best time under the present codec is 17 munites to render a 1 minute clip. I set it to render another 20 minute clip this AM, and it managed to do a 10 minute clip in 3 hours something.

This is on an eight core machine under Windows XP, with 3 Gb of available memory. Premiere is using memory to the limit, but it seems to only run on one core at a time. If a second or third core kicks in for a moment, the first core cuts back. I'm not sure how to get it to really make use of the multiple cores, but these render times out way out of line with what I was used to before the codec trouble started.

Since the current project is SD, this is a Premiere problem and not a Cineform one, so I guess I should move to that forum. But if anyone here has a thought, I would appreciate your comments.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #5
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Just my .02. Just for comparision, I used vegas 9 and i7 920 6gigs DDR3. 20 minutes video take 9 minutes to render. Something is not working correctly in your system. Your 8 cores with 3gigs of rams should render video much more faster than you got it now. Your rendering time is insanely long. You should really look into why that is. Good luck.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 02:03 PM   #6
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Thanks Bruce, that is what I'm trying to do. Trouble is, I don't know how to go about it.

This is a rather new development, not sure what is causing it.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear that.

Uninstall and reinstall Propsect (probably wont help but it's quick and easy). If that doesn't help, try a repair install of CS3 (still fairly quick). If THAT doesn't work, consider a full uninstall and reinstall of CS3 (may well help, but it is a pain to do).

EDIT: What is your SD footage? MiniDV?
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Old February 18th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #8
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Boy is my face red! Graham, your final edit question rang a bell for me, and I checked it out today. It now looks to me that the problem was the footage, not my system.

The codecs I eliminated had to go, that has not changed. However, I have long known that PPro does best on original footage it has captured, and does not like converted avis. The footage I have been working with was avi files converted from VOB files on some DVDs I had recorded from television programs.

At first I was able to edit those files in Premiere rather easily. But when I get rid of ffdshow and DivX, then they slowed down.

Today I captured some DV footage from MiniDV tape, and they rendered in much more normal time. 9 minutes of footage rendered in 3min 50 sec.

So I think the system is fine for now. My thanks to one and all who gave it a thought. You helped me get back to normal.
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