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CrystalPlayer Professional: Frequently Asked Questions


Q1.1: What is CrystalPlayer?

A: CrystalPlayer is the advanced video player for Windows platform with one goal in mind: to rise the video playback pleasure to the maximum. We do a lot of features in Crystal, so you can use its powerful abilities to improve the quality of all your video material

Q1.2: What happened with CrystalPlayer Free?

A: We do not support CrystalPlayer Free and it is not available for download anymore. Please consider purchasing CrystalPlayer Professional, since it has lots of more features and it is a fully supported product.

Q1.4: Will be CrystalPlayer available for other platforms?

A: Probably. We're hardworking on Crystal2 - next generation digital media processing platform which would allow easy porting of our multimedia software to any architecture. Once we're finished you'll see CrystalPlayer on Windows, Linux, PocketPC, Macs, etc.


Q2.1: Crystal crashes or displays green screen when I try to play a file.

A: Crystal uses YV12 format by default. There are decompressors which work incorrectly with it. So it crashes Crystal. Please install correct decompressors or disable YV12 format (Options->DirectShow->YV12)

Q2.2: Why does Crystal Player use so much memory?

A: Crystal Player uses video buffer to buffer decompressed video data. Video stream is huge: for example, 640x480x30 movie requires 9MB to buffer one video second. You may configure memory usage in Options->Frame buffer

Q2.3: Why is my video playback a little bit "jerky"?

A: There're two reasons. First one is speed slack. Probably your computer has not enought speed to decompress video and audio information in realtime. The other reason can be non-DMA file reading of large blocks. When you computer is transfering large data blocks from some device by using PIO (non-DMA) mode, CPU can't do anything but transfering. Check drivers for DMA mode which must be enabled or set read block size to 64KB so then memory halting periods become very short (invisible).

Q2.4: Why do I see green screen with little showings of the movie?

A: Crystal requres codecs to decompress in different memory places (for buffer realization). And incorrect codecs may shows only differences between current and the last frame. Crystal can correct this. Enable Options->DirectShow->Troubleshooting Green/Black Artifacts item.

Q2.5: What is Overlay and why is it fast?

A: Overlay is the hardware ability of the video card. Usually video image is a bit matrix in the video memory. Each pixel is defined by few bytes in the memory. Overlays allow to show few memory matrixes at the same moment. Processor gives instructions to video card where on the screen the overlay matrix should be placed. And if the pixel has a key color in the screen matrix, video card shows the pixel from the other memory matrix - from overlay matrix. Why are overlays so rapid? Overlays allow to show YUV color format. Codecs usually use YUV formats instead of RGB - for better compression. So overlays don't require YUV->RGB conversions. Overlays provide hardware resizing with filtering. When you stretch the video frame, processor should generate another video frame with different dimensions but when your computer uses overlays it's not the problem - processor just gives instructions and video card resizes the frame automatically with every monitor refreshing. Also overlays provides hardware clipping. If video window is half-covered by another window, processor should know about covering window's form and process clipping. But overlay is visible by key color and it hides automatically.

Q2.6: Why does Crystal play few video files in different ways (positive or negative) unlike other players do?

A: Most players are just shells over Active Movie component - that's why they inherit all bugs and features implemented in standard Windows Media Player. CrystalPlayer goes another way - it uses DirectShor only for media decompression. CrystalPlayer has internal renderers and internal parsers for different formats (AVI, MPG, Real), internal filters and buffers.

Q2.7: Why does Crystal use decompressed data buffering? Is it faster?

A: There is the only negative thing in buffering - if DirectShow connects decompressor with video renderer quite well, it may be a little bit faster - decompressor draws in video memory directly but buffering requires one more memory copying. Positive things: buffer provides shock-absorption, it smoothes time usage while decompressing, you can also pause the playback and wait until buffer becomes full, you may order Crystal to do it automatically. Any way when you're using filters or other on-screen effects the one more transfering arrears anyway - then the buffer is only positive feature.

Q2.8: Why does CrystalPlayer display subtitles on TV but the rest players don't?

A: Like a filter, CrystalPlayer draws subtitles directly on the video frame, not on the screen. So subtitles are sent to the overlay and many video cards show only the overlay surface on the TV, not the whole screen.

Q2.9: Can I make the quality of the movie better with CrystalPlayer?

A: Sure. Crystal Player provides you with postprocessing video filters - these filters make the picture better by removing some known artifacts. You can also use video filters to make the picture a little softer or sharper, to align brightness levels (auto contrast) or to remove temporary noise from the movie.

Q2.10: What should I do if CrystalPlayer works but there is some video file that cannot be played for some reason.

A: First of all, make sure it is the problem in CrystalPlayer. That is because many splitters and decompressors found in common codecpacks are known to be buggy. If the problem lies in CrystalPlayer, try to disable one of the CrystalPlayer splitters (Options->Splitters). If it does not help, contact us. Please describe the problem in detail and we will try to fix it.

Q2.11: My movie has several sound tracks. How can I switch between them?

A: Today Crystal supports many tracks of any file format. You can also attach an external audio file to additional tracks. Use context menu (right mouse click) while playing to select active audio track.

Q2.12: I have XVID movie and I can't play it. I have installed several codecs. What's wrong?

A: Probably you have installed FFDShow filter. It's a good one but there are some formats with experimental support in it, such as XVID. You should uncheck XVID item then.

Q2.13: I have a sound card but CrystalPlayer refuses to play sound. What's wrong?

A: CrystalPlayer has internal audio renderer. It plays sound through the