A129 Pro jerky video playback on MacOS with Quicktime Player

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I've just updated to the latest MacOS 10.15 Catalina overnight and the issue with Quicktime Player being unable to play videos smoothly from the A129 Pro is still there using either the iGPU or the dedicated GPU (where available). Quicktime seems to use software decoding anyway from what I can tell of these files.

If you're a Mac user then the videos for the front and rear will play at around 2fps in either the OS preview thumbnails, quick preview or Quicktime Player.

If you download and use either VideoLAN / VLC player or IINA they will play perfectly (hardware permitting).

Quicktime does play 4k files from other sources fine but for some reason A129 Pro files on both the front and rear cause it problems.

Just a heads up and workaround for people using these cameras who have bought from retail.

If it's an SDK issue then this issue may become more widespread as other cameras using the same chipset / SDK become available.
 
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I just noticed as well, when exporting the files it exports them as it plays them - ie what it knows is a 30fps source file becomes a 2fps exported h264 or h265 file.

Maybe a keyframe or long GOP thing throwing it off.
 
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I did some more testing with this and the A129 Pro h264 files straight out of the camera do have keyframes at half the frame rate, so for a 30fps clip there are iframes / keyframes every 15 frames and that's the same for front and rear video.

This ties in with QuickTime playing at 2fps and exporting at 2fps.

I've tried re-encoding to both h264 and h265 files with iframes / keyframes matching the fps and the resulting videos both for the front and rear channels then play smoothly in the MacOS finder preview and QuickTime.
 
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I've reported the issue to both the Apple Quicktime team and Viofo - I doubt I'll hear from Apple but you never know, they might fix it their end :)
 

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so for a 30fps clip there are iframes / keyframes every 15 frames and that's the same for front and rear video.
That is the normal rate for dashcam/action cam video, so is not the cause of your problems.
 
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The Mavic 2 Pro footage is all one keyframe every 30 frames as was some other footage I'd dug up.

Something in the A129 Pro seems to be causing this - I'll hook up the A129 Duo later and see if that plays ok on MacOS.

Whatever it is it needs fixing otherwise it's going to generate issues and waste support time for all MacOS users who query it.
 
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I'm happy to try any raw footage from various sources on MacOS to try and narrow down what's going on

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The Mavic 2 Pro footage is all one keyframe every 30 frames as was some other footage I'd dug up.

Something in the A129 Pro seems to be causing this - I'll hook up the A129 Duo later and see if that plays ok on MacOS.

Whatever it is it needs fixing otherwise it's going to generate issues and waste support time for all MacOS users who query it.
I prefer one every 2 seconds (60 frames), makes the background update less annoying when there is insufficient bitrate and frees up a bit of bitrate to use for quality instead, but 15 frames is normal for dashcams since that is the default in the Novatek SDK, and always has been.

Must be something else causing it to not play anything but keyframes.
 

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Can you share one of those jerky files.
 
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It's certainly a pain in the bum - it does seem it's an Apple problem but triggered by something the cam is doing differently to normal.

I've dug out some old some footage of an old SG cam and as you say a keyframe every 15 frames but that plays ok in QT.

I've tried the old Streetstorm camera too that's Ambarella and that's ok up to 2560x1080.

I'll have to dig the 0906 out to see if the 1080p footage from that does it too.



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Can you share one of those jerky files.
Sure - this should be one of the 1080p rear files triggering the issue in QuickTime on MacOS.

It's fine in VLC and other media players I've tried.


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does it play ok in Dashcam Viewer?
I'll try it later mate, not near that laptop at the mo

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As mentioned, jerky with QT and plays fine with VLC.
 
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does it play ok in Dashcam Viewer?
OK sneaked a quick look - same problem in Dashcam Viewer on MacOS as QuickTime (guessing it uses the same APIs)

I'm intrigued to hear how the file above works for other people on MacOS.

This was a brand new install with hardly any software installed yet.

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is it only the 4k files from the A129PRO that are having problems, other Novatek camera files are ok?
So far both front and rear video from the A129 Pro is affected.

I've got an A119v3 and A129 Duo here so I'll do some testing before and after upgrading them.

I dug out some footage from an SG cam from last year and that played fine on MacOS. I'll update the firmware on those you sent as well for testing.

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Would've been a better test if I still had Mojave, upgraded yesterday.
I saw the same issue with Mojave and Catalina

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