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Thread: Complex video problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Brisbane, Australia

    Default Complex video problem

    Hi all.

    This is a complex question and I'm not ever sure where to ask it. If you have any ideas where I might get a resolution please suggest.

    The question is really from my brother who is a Workplace Health & Safety consultant. I'm doing the asking because IT is my business, so hopefully I'll have a better chance of following any recommendations.

    Here's the problem in his own words:

    ------ start ------

    At a client's workplace, we've set up 3 small web-cam type cameras to get 3 simultaneous digital video records of a worker in a tiny crane cabin views from front, side, overhead. The video collection on all 3 occurs simultaneously, but the software which controls the cameras produces 3 separate files. These files end in ".smf"

    To analyse the worker's postures, I need to view the video and go forward, back, pause, etc repeatedly; and I need to see all 3 views at the same time and in time sync.

    Unfortunately, the crappy playback software for these files only allows one file to be played back at a time.

    How would I go about finding out if there are software video players that can load 3 files (of this .smf file type) and allow them to be synchronised so that start, stop, rewind, pause, etc can occur simultaneously for all three?

    If there are players that can do this, but can't use this file type, can the .smf be converted to a suitable format?

    The only option I have at the moment is to open 3 copies of the player and try to line them all up. But that requires 3 clicks (which obviously can't be simultaneous) every time I want to do anything. This is EXTREMELY laborious for even a few minutes worth, and I'll eventually have a LOT of video (a few hours at least) to analyse.

    ------ end ------

    Thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions.
    - Bill Hely
    - Author: The Hacker\'s Nightmare
    - \"How to keep hackers, worms and other germs outy of your PC\"

  2. #2


    You need software that is capable of multiple video layers. It's then a case of placing the videos on different tracks and resizing into a PIP (Picture in Picture) effect. This will mean having a video in each corner of the screen.

    Will the software support the codec used? Your guess is as good as mine. Chances are its a proprietary codec that's highly compressed. Your best bet is to read here: and download trials.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Err - Northamptonshire?


    Interesting - if you look at, there's no obvious video file with an .smf extension. I wonder what it is? [/url]
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