songshow plus worship presentation software

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Encountering loss of video backgrounds or SSP hang ups with WMV videos in Windows 10*

3/12/2019

Applicable SongShow Plus Versions:
This article applies to all versions of SongShow Plus 8 on Windows 10 build 1809 or later.

Symptom:
When a user has Windows 10 installed and is trying to use certain WMV video files as video backgrounds, video chains or in a slideshow (several videos), the user encounters errors that may be presented in a few ways:

  • Applied video backgrounds will initially play but then are lost.
  • SongShow Plus stops responding or presents a "Please Wait.." error while or after playing videos.
  • Video chains (SSP) or slideshows (SSB) with several videos in it stop playing part of the way through and may present a generic error or one specific to an out of memory condition.
  • Song or scripture text disappears (this is a side effect of the video memory issue and not directly related to text).

Possible Cause:
Some undocumented change(s) to Windows 10 build 1809 and later are affecting memory used to render and play WMV videos. We have determined that this issue appears to be isolated to Windows 10 build 1809 (October 2018 release) and later. Earlier builds of Windows 10 and Windows 7 do not exhibit this behavior under the same conditions. This state is causing excess memory to be used and will cause various errors.  Since this may be occurring in the background it is possible for it to initially go unnoticed until another process (text or later video) is also effected.  Once the error occurs, SongShow Plus must be restarted to clear the error.
This issue trigger is directly related to resolution of the WMV videos used.  It is fairly common to get HD videos at a resolution of 1920x1080 for use in SongShow Plus. In some cases even higher resolutions are used.  The higher the resolution, the more memory is required to render it.  Unfortunately, in this case, larger amounts of system memory will not resolve this since the application processes are still limited to a certain amount of memory regardless of system memory.

Preferred Solution:
Roll back to or reinstall the prior version on Windows 10 - Build 1803 (April 2018 release).  This is the preferred solution because it will get back to a pre-error state and allow you to resume using the video content as before.  The remaining solutions offered are work-arounds and will have varying degrees of success depending on your situation.

Depending on when and how the Windows update was done, the user may still have the option to roll back the Windows update.  In the Windows 10 settings go to Update & Security > Recovery and see if the "Go back to the previous version of Windows 10" option is available.  If it is not but you have a previous backup image containing Windows 10 1803, you can use that to roll back. If you do roll back successfully, you should also be able to prevent feature updates to avoid automatic updates back to 1809.  This is a process that should be handled by your IT staff.  While the SongShow Plus support team may be able to give some information on this, they will not be able to do it for you.

Possible Solution:
Acquire the video(s) in a different video format.  If you currently have the H.264 plug-in for SongShow Plus, you can get or re-render your videos in this format to avoid the issue. You could also use MPEG-1 videos as they are still natively supported in Windows 10 - MPEG -2 videos are not.

Possible Solution:
Acquire the WMV video(s) in a lower resolution format.  Most that have encountered the error are using 1920x1080 resolution videos.  Getting or re-rendering these videos to a resolution of 1280x720 or lower can avoid the issue.  NOTE: This only lowers the memory consumption and delays the error so if numerous videos are used in a video chain or slideshow, users may still encounter the error, it will just take a little longer.  There are several free online tools that can be used to re-render the videos yourself and Microsoft's Windows Media Encoder can still be found online. NOTE: This is a discontinued product and there is no support but it can be found here - https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=67406 - caveat emptor.

Possible Solution:
Avoid situations where multiple videos are played at the same time.  In some cases, this is occurring when users are setting a global or slideshow background as a WMV video that is 1920x1080 or larger and them playing another video as content.  In many cases users are unaware they are doing this since without transparency set the user will only see one video anyway.  Check the global and slideshow properties for overlapping or redundant video backgrounds.

Possible Solution:
Avoid using a Fade (or other crossing transition) for videos. This can also occur if a cross-fade transition is used because for a short time both videos are played.  This does not happen every time but more likely the longer the transition time.

Permanent Solution:
We are currently working on changes to the SongShow Plus video engine to rectify this.  This is a major change and will require extensive testing before production release.  Thank you for your patience.

Please contact the support team if you have any questions or you feel you have similar behavior that is not related to the cause described above.

(TS311)


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