Mysterious security cam vid
September 1, 2011 4:30 AM   Subscribe

I am attempting to play a video file that has come from a security camera, under Ubuntu. I think it's a codec problem, but I'm not sure of the solution.

The header of the video starts with 4HKH. I believe this is indicates a H.264 codec. I've installed various packages that seem like they might support the file, but the best result I've gotten so far is through VLC, which indicates a file length of ~30 mins but will not play video.

Does anyone know what package/resource I need to introduce to get such a file to play correctly?
posted by chmmr to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
It's a HIKVISION codec. I have used the player and converter here for this type of files without any issue.
posted by rom1 at 4:41 AM on September 1, 2011

If you can't/would rather not install the codec, you could try uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo.
posted by caek at 4:43 AM on September 1, 2011

Sorry, I just read now that you're using Ubuntu. I am not aware of any Linux player that can play this. Your best chance is the Hikvision converter I linked to.
posted by rom1 at 4:45 AM on September 1, 2011

Yeah, I've already downloaded that exact converter but wine didn't like it (no great surprise there.) I'm installing virtualbox/XP now, see how it goes. Thx for the advice, I was thinking along those lines but didn't want to go to the trouble if some random Ubuntu package would get me there.
posted by chmmr at 4:48 AM on September 1, 2011

No guarantees, but I've had some success in the past using ffmpeg to convert strange video files into Theora .ogv format.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:14 AM on September 1, 2011

the usual command line would be ffmpeg -o outfile.ogv -sameq
posted by LogicalDash at 5:14 AM on September 1, 2011

Oh wait if you haven't already you should definitely install the non-free-codecs package from Medibuntu.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:19 AM on September 1, 2011

I tried those codecs from Medibuntu, nothing worked. Found a WinXP machine in the house, installed the HIKVISION converter, got it as an avi now. Problem solved. Thank you all for all your help.

(That said, I am still curious to solve the problem under Ubuntu.)
posted by chmmr at 5:52 AM on September 1, 2011

According to this dodgy-looking product page HIKVISION is just a container format for h.264. Theoretically there should be no reason you couldn't extract the video stream from it, provided you knew where it started and ended...

avidemux is a simple video editor that says it can open ASF files. Try that?
posted by LogicalDash at 6:47 AM on September 1, 2011

you did not say anywhere in the post that what you have is an ASF file. I got that from the product page apparently. oop.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:48 AM on September 1, 2011

The converter tool works under Wine, so there's that. A few example video files are up on the mplayer site, but it looks like nobody has added easy decode support. It does seem that the converter tool is little more than some code to demux the funky format an pass it to various GPL libraries to do the re-encoding.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:09 AM on September 1, 2011

Converter tool failed under Wine for me. No idea why, it does seem like a reasonably simple program. With a terrible, terrible UI however! I've downloaded various packages that seem like they might add support for the codec, but nothing's worked in the slightest. Certain threads on other forums seem to suggest that there's simply no Linux support for this codec as of yet.
posted by chmmr at 2:11 PM on September 2, 2011

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