Can’t play backup video

I have a DVR-4980 and I cannot play the videos on a PC. I need to provide copies to law enforcement But it won’t do any good if they can’t play them. I have tried both VLC and windows media player. Any ideas?

19 replies

Userlevel 2
Hi @J4 Collective

Welcome to the Community.

Could you please check what is the video file type of each recordings that you backup?
It might be that the file was not converted to either AVI or MP4 that is why it is not working with VLC.

Hope this helps
I have tried both AVI and mp4.
On a Windows 10 PC, I have the latest version of VLC and Windows Media Player. The AVI and MP4 files will not play in either software
@NorbsA any other ideas?
@NorbsA still no ideas? Not giving off a good impression of Swann Customer Support.
And a correction: my recorder is a NVR-8580. The other unit was what I replaced.
I've found that I have to convert all Swann .264 download files. I use HandBrake: https://
@stadtmkw Really? So Hardbrake will convert the Swann files to something useable? Sweet. I will give it a try tonight
so I tried Handbrake, but it won’t read the files. @NorbsA do you have any ideas?
If you're trying to add multiple files at a time, it throws an error. Try adding one file at a time. Not optimal but a workaround for a bug.
@stadtmkw thanks for the info about multiple files. I will try that
Userlevel 2
Hi @J4 Collective

May you please provide the current firmware/ software version of your unit?
Also just to clarify, are you doing the export/backup on the actual unit or you are using the HomeSafe view software to do the backup?
i am trying to backup from the actual unit.

it is a nvr8-8580
software v7.1.0-20180317
hardware dm-357

does that help?
Userlevel 5
Hi everyone,

I don't normally have any issues with VLC playing MP4 files from any units.

I've had some success using Media Player Classic with FFDShow playing .264 files, but YMMV.
So last night, I formatted my USB drive on the NVR, backed up each mp4 file separately and VLC would not play them.
Still don’t have a way to give video the Law Enforement.
I'm challenged by the same problem. I can't find a way to convert .RF files. I can play them using the HomeSafe software but nothing else will convert them. I'm fascinated to see someone in this thread using Handbrake but that does't work for me either. I am downloading to a Mac btw.
so after a couple of calls to tech support, turns out you can’t back up to a large external drive. It has to be 32GB or smaller. So I bought a smaller drive and the mp4 files play fine.
Please ignore my last comment... I discovered this morning that the option of video format are ONLY on the H/W unit itself... not via Remote Playback or download.