Tuesday, 5 December 2017

FFmpeg can open any CCTV video file?

I've heard people say "Can't FFMpeg open anything?" - unfortunately the answer is a firm 'no'.

Although FFMpeg has improved lately, and can open quite a number of tricky formats - it is quite far from being universal. Yesterday I did a test on the latest build of FFMpeg (v3.4) to see how many CCTV formats it can successfully open and convert.

For test data, I used the Kinesense collection of CCTV formats which we have collected over the years from donations from our partners. In the test, FFMpeg successfully converted only 16.5% of CCTV video file formats.

For some background on the issues surrounding weird and wonderful CCTV file formats, take a look at the eForensic's Article I wrote on this topic.