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Old October 28th, 2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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How to view Flash XDR files on PC

It is possible to play both the quicktime and cdv files on the PC. When you run the quicktime files through the gSpot codec utility it identifies the codec as xd5b which is a mpeg2 fourC sub-category. If you run the cdv file through the gSpot codec utility it identifies the clip as a basic mpeg2 file but obviously it can't be played that simply.

The quicktime files play in Nero Showtime after a bit of buffering.

Both the raw Flash XDR files and quicktime files play in DGMpegDec version 1.52.
DGMPGDec MPEG1/2 Decoder and Frame Server
You can use this to demux the video on either format and get a m2v file which plays back in Windows Media Player and edited in Windows Movie Maker. I cannot get them to playback in Sony Vegas but you could use another program to transcode to avi to edit them such as MPeg Stream clip.

You can use other programs to demux the signal to an editable format but I like the advanced features of DGMPGDec such as honouring/ignoring or forcing pulldown flags.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #2
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Hi Ian-
Thanks, this is excellent information. I'll download and test later today.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #3
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You have to be a little careful with this method. It doesn't work 100%. There is still something a little funky with the m2v files. They will not play as smooth as other 100 mbit m2v files and the clip will not import into into Liquid because of errors in the stream. The method I have used was with a mp4 demuxer which seemed odd. This gave me an odd file format that then could be loaded into DGMPGDEC and converted to a m2v file. This loaded into Liquid but still didn't play back very well. Once I encoded a new 100 mbit m2v from from that m2v file however it played fine although the first 5 frames were blocky.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #4
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I feel the reason that the first few frames and sometimes the last few frames are not always perfect is because of the Flash XDR rather than the encoding. You also have to be mindful that buffering on playback becomes an issue, especially when you first open the clips. For those that have shot a lot on HDV and generally pre-roll before the action you should be fine with few messed frames.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #5
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it's not the bad frames I have a problem with. It's the fact that the stream doesn't play back as well as another strem at the same exact bitrate. In fact I encoded the 100 mbit file into a new 100 mbit file and the new one plays much better. While this method does work it doesn't give perfect results and for editing you want this stuff to be as smooth as you can get it.

I have done a lot of work on mpeg2 encoders and right now I can tell you there is something slightly off with these demuxed streams. What I cannot tell you is if it is the quicktime wrapperon a PC, the way we are demuxing or the XDR itself.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 09:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
it's not the bad frames I have a problem with. It's the fact that the stream doesn't play back as well as another strem at the same exact bitrate. In fact I encoded the 100 mbit file into a new 100 mbit file and the new one plays much better. While this method does work it doesn't give perfect results and for editing you want this stuff to be as smooth as you can get it.

I have done a lot of work on mpeg2 encoders and right now I can tell you there is something slightly off with these demuxed streams. What I cannot tell you is if it is the quicktime wrapperon a PC, the way we are demuxing or the XDR itself.
Hi Thomas-
If you can identify anything, please let us know. We getting great playback performance on FCP, but that does not mean we have the stream 100% correct. I seriously doubt there is a problem with the Sony MPEG2 CODEC, but we could easily introduce an error in all the muxing of the audio, video and time-code.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 05:07 PM   #7
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I don't think the problem is on your end Mike. I think it is the funky way the open source software trys to yank out the raw m2v data from the quicktime file. These tools were not designed for this and there could be some tiny thing that gets left out. I think the raw picture data is there but I think it doesn't get layed out very well since apple has their own way of muxing the streams.

Another reason why I think you guys are good is because I downloaded the trial version of Calibrated software quicktime component for playing back quicktime wrapped mpeg2 files on a PC and everything seems to work great except for the audio. The audio was all static. The stream also didn't play back vert smooth but I tried it from my single core laptop so that may have something to do with that. I can however play back 1920x1080 m2v files perfectly on this system. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with the way quicktime does things.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 09:18 PM   #8
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Hi Thomas-
Thanks for the feedback and confirmation. We've had several conversations with the Calibrated Software guys in hopes of improving their playback performance. This could be a very handy playback tool, if they can reduce the processor and disk I/O performance requirements.
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