Tips, tricks, FAQs and technical information for Drastic hardware and software products

How to License Drastic Products

chip licDrastic's software products install and will run in demo mode, with a number of restrictions (10 second media duration, watermarks, length of run limitations).  For testing, we recommend getting a temporary license, which uses the same process as getting your permanent license once you have purchased the software.  In both cases, you will need to:

  • Run the license application installed with your software
  • Put your name and email address into it and press generate
  • Email the site code created to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with what you are requesting (perm/temp, which software)
  • Once we have emailed you back your site key, copy it into the license application and click register

Read more: How to License Drastic Products

Drastic YCbCr Codec for Windows (Deprecated)

The Drastic Technologies YCbCr codec for QuickTime, Video For Windows (VFW/ICM) and Direct Show allows third party applications to use files (AVI and MOV primarily) generated by VVW, Titan Series, QuickClip and MediaReactor.  Please note, this codec has been deprecated.  The new codecs are available as part of the MediaReactor Workstation.  The original codec with updated installers is still available here.

Read more: Drastic YCbCr Codec for Windows (Deprecated)

Closed Caption Format Support

verifycc iconDrastic products generally support closed captions.  Video I/O products can capture and play back closed caption information.  MediaReactor can convert closed caption formats along with the video and audio files.  DrasticPreview products can decode and display both 608 and 708 captions for preview and confidence monitoring.  For some captions, default language/fonts can be set up, which are described here.

Read more: Closed Caption Format Support

IndieCam MOV File Reader Configuration

The IndieCam cameras are small, light, HD and 2K recording RAW bayer pattern cameras.  They provide the raw data via HD-SDI by embedding it into a SMPTE standard signal that can be recorded by most uncompressed recorders.  Because the type marked by the recorder is SMPTE YCbCr 10 (v210 in general), the RAW data cannot be automatically detected.  To use these files in Assimilate Scratch and MediaReactor, the system must be set up to re-label these files.

Read more: IndieCam MOV File Reader Configuration

Drastic Metadata Elements

chip metaDrastic software supports a wide range of metadata elements.  These elements are stored within the actual media files when available, and also stored in a side bar XMP file, using both the standard, and a custom DTD, with the Adobe specification.  Please see each file format's specification for its metadata.  The XMP file metadata format is outlined here.

Read more: Drastic Metadata Elements

Supported Audio/Video Hardware

chi4 video hwDrastic supports a wide variety of audio and video hardware for products such as MediaNXS, DrasticPreview Pro and Drastic DDR. The current product families Drastic supports are AJA, BlueFish444 and Blackmagic adapters for audio/video I/O, and AMD or NVidia for video processing. For a more detailed list of hardware and versions, please continue reading.


Read more: Supported Audio/Video Hardware

ProRes Color Shifts In Post Production

chip proresThe gamma/color shift problems of ProRes are well known, but the cause is not always clear.  ProRes itself is very well defined, and should be completely shift free in the YCbCr domain at 10 bits per component.  The transform to YCbCr from RGB can be specified within the compressed frame, and this same specification can be used to properly convert YCbCr to RGB.  With both 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 variants and the metadata/compatibility of the MOV container, ProRes should be an ideal format for post production.  This article explores why it often isn't.

Read more: ProRes Color Shifts In Post Production

Reading MXF Files

chip mxfThere are a huge variety of MXF types and directory styles.  This article goes through some of the most common types, and describes how Drastic DDR (hardware disk recorders), MediaNXS (HD-SDI I/O software), DrasticPreview (VGA/DVI professional media player), DrasticPreview Pro (HD-SDI media player with test and measurement), MediaReactor Workstation (Adobe/Apple/Avid/Scratch plug ins), MediaReactor (file translation and transcode) and most other Drastic products work with them.

Read more: Reading MXF Files

Adding New Languages To QuickClipXO

The QuickClipXO interface is written in the Java programming language. It supports custom message strings which can be used to display alternate text for most of its controls and displays. The displayed text is chosen based on the language and country code to which your operating system is set and the inclusion of a corresponding properties file. Once the appropriate properties file has been translated, send the file to Drastic for inclusion in the standard exe compile.

Read more: Adding New Languages To QuickClipXO

RS-422 Splitter Cable

chip rs422When working with RS-422 protocols (Sony 422, Odetics, Pioneer, VDCP, etc) it is often useful to directly monitor the incoming, return or both serial streams.  This is a cable that can be built to use two RS-422 ports to monitor one or both streams. 

Read more: RS-422 Splitter Cable

Multi Channel Audio In Drastic Software

Drastic software can support up to 16 channels of audio.  These can be 16 mono channels,  8 stereo pairs or all channels in one, depending on the setup and file type. This article covers the kinds of audio that the software can produce, and the audio setups it is able to read automatically to combine multiple channels of audio with video.  For creation, you will need MediaNXS, MediaReactor or DrasticDDR.  For playback and reading, this also applies to DrasticPreview, DrasticPreview Pro and the DTMediaRead SDK.

Read more: Multi Channel Audio In Drastic Software

FileBrowse Parameters

Drastic server software includes an HTTP server for local or remote control / access from a standard web browser. One of the files, FileBrowse.html, allows for file selection from selected drives using the web browser. Depending on the command line, FileBrowse can be used to save, load, add or open files without direct access to the file system.

Read more: FileBrowse Parameters

DTMediaRead Pipe Utility

The DTMediaRead SDK now includes a utility called dtmrpipe.  This utility allows the user to 'pipe' out uncompressed YUV2 or BGRA video data to another application.  It can also be used to pipe an uncompressed stereo audio stream in 16 or 32 bit little endian.  This is useful for feeding other applications, such as ffmpeg, with the output of file formats, types or codecs it doesn't support.

Read more: DTMediaRead Pipe Utility

Net-X-Code Quick Start

Server Demonstration - Quick Start

If you have followed the quick start setup in the manual, your server is now ready to demonstrate all the major features of the Net-X-Code tool set. The easiest way to to do this is to install the demo media zip, and follow the steps below.

Read more: Net-X-Code Quick Start

Controlling DrasticPreview

DrasticPreview and DrasticPreview Pro can be called by external applications with command line parameters.  If there is already an instance of the application running, the parameters will be transferred to the running instance, and the called one will exit.  This is especially useful where the workflow requires the system to display particular aspects of a clip in an automated fashion.

Read more: Controlling DrasticPreview

Controlling 4KScope

4KScope supports both command line parameters and keyboard control.  This command line parameters can be used to allow 4KScope to open automatically on startup in the mode and size required.  The keyboard commands can be used to capture compressed and uncompressed frames directly from the incoming signal.

Read more: Controlling 4KScope

Advanced Time Code Setup

chip tcDrastic products like DrasticDDR and MediaNXS support a wide variety of time code sources.  The default selectable configurations will usually be the correct ones for most standard workflows.  For other workflows, the time code sources need to be more finely controlled.  This document covers the time code source precedence setup for Drastic products

Read more: Advanced Time Code Setup

Linux Requirements for Drastic software

Most Drastic software is available on Linux x86_64 as well as Windows (32/64) and OS-X (32/64).  Linux testing is done on RedHat, Centos and Ubuntu (Debian base), but due to the variety of flavours of these base distributions, it is important to check that all the required support libraries are included in your distribution.  This article outlines the absolute minimum packages required to run any Drastic software.

Read more: Linux Requirements for Drastic software

WMVCore.DLL not found error

One of the file format plugins (dtx_aWMFDirect.d1x) for Windows 32 and 64 relies on Microsoft Windows' media components.  With some versions of Windows, like Vista Business or 7/8/8.1/10 KN, Microsoft does not include these components by default.  To fix this error, you can either delete the dtx_aWMFDirect.d1x and dt_WinMedia.d1x from the installation folder, which will disable WMV/ASF read/write, or install the missing components from Microsoft.  

Read more: WMVCore.DLL not found error

MediaComposer AMA Link Sony XAVC-S MP4

Avid tools support MPEG-4 using QuickTime as well as using MediaReactor Workstation. QuickTime cannot handle newer MP4 formats like XAVC-S and MPEG-2 for Sony and other manufacturer's cameras.  MediaReactor can, but when adding them to Media Composer/Newscutter/etc, you must specify which reader you want to use. 

Please note - Upon linking, we generate a unique key for each file which is stored by AVID in their database. Further attempts to re-link the file will be done using initial settings unless either the file is renamed or the Avid cache is cleared.

Read more: MediaComposer AMA Link Sony XAVC-S MP4

Native Premiere Edit While Ingest

Version 6 of MediaNXS, Net-X-Code and MediaReactor all support native editing while ingesting for MXF files in Adobe Premiere.  Normally these will be OP1a MXF files, using either DV25, DV50 or IMX for SD signals, and AVCi-100, DNxHD, XDCam or XAVC-S for HD and 4K signals.  All these formats are supported under Adobe Premiere without any extra plugins, just using the native MXF reader in Premiere.  To edit while ingest AVI, MOV, MP4, or other file types, Drastic's MediaReactor plugin for Adobe Premiere can be used in conjunction with our RTIN file.

Read more: Native Premiere Edit While Ingest

VTR Control Setup

In QuickClip, QuickClipXO, MediaNXS, DTouch, VVW Series DDRs and Titan Series DDRs, VTRs appear as EXT (external) channels. External channels can be set up in either LocalConfig, DDRConfig or the Drastic Setup Wizard utilities.  This page describes the settings in detail to allow customization or advanced setup.

Read more: VTR Control Setup

4KScope - Training Mode

4KScope version 6 and greater includes a training mode for use at educational institutions that purchase 4KScope. It is also available free for personal use. In this mode, the various scopes can be accessed using internal multi pattern video to practice or learn how to use waveform monitors/vectorscopes.  All of the video scopes are enabled in this mode, and it does not require any hardware.  The multi patterns will generate most of the standard patterns used in video testing, in the correct color space and transfer mode, from CCIR-601, Rec.709, BT.2020 and even HDR10.

Read more: 4KScope - Training Mode