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Author Topic: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?  (Read 29570 times)

Don N

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This has always been a problem for me, and I would like to find a fix.  My camera videos all get recorded in the proper directory.  Some are readable (meaning I can retrieve them and watch the video) and some are not readable (meaning I can't view the video).

If I look at the properties, of the non-readable files, everything seems to be normal (i.e. stored in the proper directory, byte size is normal, type of file is normal, etc.).  If I try to play the (non-readable file) I get this message (The file is already in use. Close other programs that might be using the file, or stop playing the file, and then try again.).  I have no idea what other programs would be using the file or why the file would be in use. 

I've attached a sample of what the one readable file looks like and what the non-readable files look like.  If someone has some insite on how to fix this problem, I would appreciate some feedback.  The Activity Monitor shows the camera coming on, thus accounting for all 13 of videos being "recorded."
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 11:47:07 AM by Don N »
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Chris S.

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 12:28:03 AM »

Don,
Instead of a thumbnail view, can you provide a "Detail" view of the directory ?
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Don N

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 12:37:17 AM »

Chris S.  Here is a detail view
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Chris S.

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 10:20:38 AM »

Don,

Take a look at these reference posts.

This post here, has a link to another post that I created describing your situation.
Take a look and see if it is a similar problem.

This post was for the 3.204 issues
http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=9251.msg55065#msg55065


This post was for the 3.203 issues referenced in the above post
http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=8245.45

I ended up going back to AHP 3.203, but still have the "zero" length video recorded files.
I ended up putting some delays in the macro after the video recording stopped to allow the system to complete the video
processing , and close the file. Otherwise, I would get "zero" length files as you did.

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Don N

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2006, 01:48:37 PM »

Chris S. -- Thanks for the suggestions, but ...

I put in delays (1 second) at the beginning and 2 second delays at the end of the Camera Recording Macro.  This had no affect.  I'm still getting unreadable files mixed with readable files.  This has been a problem for me from the beginning.  None of the last three (AHP) updates have made any improvements.  So it appears to be a problem that X10 chooses to ignore.  I would guess that it's a simple timing issue that could be easily resolved by checking for completion of the video being recorded in the PC's directory before accepting another recording request.


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Chris S.

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2006, 03:02:55 PM »

Chris S. -- Thanks for the suggestions, but ...

I put in delays (1 second) at the beginning and 2 second delays at the end of the Camera Recording Macro.  This had no affect.  I'm still getting unreadable files mixed with readable files.  This has been a problem for me from the beginning.  None of the last three (AHP) updates have made any improvements.  So it appears to be a problem that X10 chooses to ignore.  I would guess that it's a simple timing issue that could be easily resolved by checking for completion of the video being recorded in the PC's directory before accepting another recording request.


1 or 2 second delays I doubt will be long enough.
In my post under 3.203 issues, I ended up putting a 1min 30sec delay (1:30) after the video recording stopped
before I allowed another video recording to begin. Your system may be faster, or slower.

I ended up running tests to determine the amount of time the original video file would need to complete it's
processing before I allowed the Macro to run again and start a new recording session.
What I did was ;
1) Have the folder open with detail view (so I can see the file being created (with time stamp) and size (zero length initially)
2) Run the Macro from either a control pad (while sitting at the PC) or run the Macro on the PC
3) Keep an eye on the file size

When video recording starts, you will see the new file created in the Windows Explorer view at zero bytes,
wait for the recording to stop, and starting counting, or look in the AHP Log to see when (time) the video
recording stops, and then keep an eye on the file that was created and the AHP time clock.
At some point, the video file's size will change from zero byte to whatever.
That duration in time will be the minimum delay that you will have to put in the macro after the video recording stops (and clears whatever flags)
for a new video recording session to begin.

I hope this didn't sound too confusing.

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Don N

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2006, 08:40:55 PM »

Chris S  -- no problem in following your instructions, they were very clear.  In my setup, I find that it only takes 1-2 seconds for the video's file size to change once the recording stops.  I've repeated the test many times with the same result.  I'm running (initiating) the Macro from the PC.  And each time the video is readable. 

In another test, I would initiate the Macro again before the first video completed it's recording.  I did this multiple times in various tests.  This would simulate, I presume, real motion being detected by the motion detector.  When I did this, some video's became unreadable.  Generally, the first video recorded correctly.  Subsequent videos became unreadable.  So it seems that when the motion detector sent multiple signals to start recording videos, the videos were unreadable (with the exception of the first video).  Once the motion detector complete it's cycle (in my case, I have the motion sensor send an off command after 1 minute) I'm able to send another motion sensor on command and that video recording is readable.  Is this making sense?

So after doing this testing, it seemed to me that the nonreadable video recordings are a function of the motion detector sending multiple signals to start recording before the current video recording is finished.  How to prevent the Camera Recording Macro from sending video recording signals before the current recording "session" is completed seems to hold promise for eliminating nonreadable videos.  So that's where I'm at now --- trying to figure out how to prevent my Camera Recording Macro from sending the next video recording signal before the current video recording is completed.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2006, 08:42:28 PM by Don N »
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006, 11:42:40 PM »

Don N,
Can you try this:
Set a flag as the first step in the macro and clear the flag as the last step.  Condition the macro to trigger only if the flag is not set.

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Don N

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2006, 01:08:29 AM »

Charles Sullivan ... that was a good suggestion.  One that I thought should work.

I've tried setting flags before, as you suggest, and the result is the same.  The Camera Recording Macro still gets initiated by the motion sensor multiple times.  I'm not sure why this doesn't work ... but I thought I read in this forum that testing flag conditions isn't always reliable.   

I use an RR501 transceiver to receive the RF from the motion sensor.  I'm going to set it up to turn off the RR501 once the motion sensor activates the Camera Recording Macro.  Then turn on the RR501 as the last step in the Macro.  I'll do some tests with that configuration.  Results to follow!!!!!   

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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2006, 01:37:22 AM »

Don N,
Are you sure the RF isn't reaching both the CM15A and the RR501?  Other posts have indicated this as being the source of a problem. and it appears there's no way to disable a macro being triggered from an RF signal received by the CM15A.  (You can disable transceiving but not triggering.)

I'm not sure what you mean by turning off the RR501.  Merely sending it an OFF signal doesn't stop it from transceiving.

Instead of a flag, you might try creating a dummy appliance module at some unused housecode/unit address.  Turn it ON/OFF and use its status as the condition in your macro.
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Yesterday it worked.
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X10 on Windows is like that.

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Don N

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2006, 11:07:46 AM »

Charles Sullivan ... Ah, you are right about "turning off" the RR501.  It would only turn off the appliance attached to the RR501 and have no affect on RF reception.  Your other suggestion that RF signals may be reaching the CM15A could be a problem.  As a test, I'll surround the CM15A with some kryptonite (or other suitable material) to help block RF reception.  If that doesn't work, I'll try the dummy appliance module suggestion.  Stay tuned.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2006, 03:41:47 PM »

Well I wasn't going to reply to this thread as I stopped using the video capture for this after the beta test was over and it still wasn't fixed! ::) ???
I thought this would have been fixed by now! ::) ???
But since Don N asked I will provide the work around I use since Don still has the problem I did!!
Since your having video capture problems use auto stills at the rate of 00:05 not true seem less video but it is good enough for me!
I've never had auto stills fail to capture! :D Now I do get some bad pics occasionally when switching from cam to cam! ;) :D ;D
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 03:44:41 PM by Tuicemen »
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Don N

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2006, 08:16:02 PM »

Well I wasn't going to reply to this thread as I stopped using the video capture for this after the beta test was over and it still wasn't fixed! ::) ???

Wow ???, as I understand what you just said ... this function has never worked And I've been screwing around with this for weeks trying to figure out what I've been doing wrong.  Guess I didn't read the small print on the AHP box when I opened it.  Tell me again why this stuff is being beta tested ... why isn't the results made public by our community organizers (if they are the beta testers), why isn't the non-working function removed from the latest plug-in update, until it's fixed by X10?   :o :o :o :o :o    

I guess the "line" between working and not working just got smaller in the advertising world!!!!!!!      

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Tuicemen

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2006, 09:09:29 PM »

Well I wasn't going to reply to this thread as I stopped using the video capture for this after the beta test was over and it still wasn't fixed! ::) ???

Wow ???, as I understand what you just said ... this function has never worked And I've been screwing around with this for weeks trying to figure out what I've been doing wrong.  Guess I didn't read the small print on the AHP box when I opened it.  Tell me again why this stuff is being beta tested ... why isn't the results made public by our community organizers (if they are the beta testers), why isn't the non-working function removed from the latest plug-in update, until it's fixed by X10?   :o :o :o :o :o    

I guess the "line" between working and not working just got smaller in the advertising world!!!!!!!      


I wouldn't say it has never worked!
Some I assume have it working however I never could get it to work 100% !

Actualy if you deep into the forums I have reported this before as well as the work arround ! ;) :D
If you check the update notifications you can see what was fixed Unfortuneatly as you stated they don't state what is currently outstanding! Many users forget bugs or not working componets if they find a work arround they usualy stick with the work arround! :(
I apoligize for not posting sooner  :-[ :-[ As I state before I thought this was fixed and someone would help you get it working! ;) ::) also post  isn't under AHP(iWitness)
I'll start a thread in the Software problems and bugs section titled "Outsanding Bugs and  Software Issues"
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 09:17:18 PM by Tuicemen »
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Don N

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Re: Some camera videos are readable and some are not readable -- why?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2006, 11:04:27 AM »

Tuicemen --- Thanks for the suggestions.  I will try the Stills when I get some more time.  Thanks for setting up the new thread "Outsanding Bugs and  Software Issues."  Hopefully, this will help close the loop between beta test findings and new software updates.

Now to summarize my findings regarding using a motion detector to activate a camera for recording videos.
1.  A single RF signal (created by walking past the motion sensor) transmitted to a Camera Recording Macro will produce, in most cases, one readable video file.
2.  Multiple RF signals (created by walking back and forth past the motion sensor) transmitted to a Camera Recording Macro will result in many unreadable video files.
3.  Inserting time delays in the Camera Recording Macro did not eliminate unreadable video files.
4.  Setting/Statusing flags in the Camera Recording Macro did not eliminate unreadable video files.
5.  Ensuring the RF signal didn't reach both the CM15A and RR501 did not eliminate unreadable video files.
6.  Creating a dummy appliance module and using its status as the condition in the Camera Recording Macro did not eliminate unreadable video files.
7.  Using a RF Command ON/OFF in the Camera Recording Macro did not eliminate unreadable video files.

Perhaps there are combinations of the above actions that may work.  I did not try any combinations.  If there are folks out there that are successfully using a motion detector, sending multiple RF signals, to record multiple videos ... I would like to hear about your setup.
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