DrasticPreview Pro - HD-SDI Player

DrasticPreview Pro Professional Media Player

DrasticPreview Pro is a media player designed to support the majority of media formats used in the broadcast and production industries. DrasticPreview Pro can play many, many different flavors of media files. It supports today's most important file types, and includes a number of others we've added over the years. This innovative software allows the user to view their files on a VGA/DVI monitor and the HD-SDI outputs of supported video cards, without tying up the native, or even compatible (typically in high demand) production or broadcast device or application. Play media for collaborative and review applications, scene marking and EDL construction. Play media stranded by failed or unavailable legacy devices or applications. Play all your files from one station, using one application.

90 Seconds with DrasticPreview

The main GUI offers a full range of transport controls for forward and reverse playing and cueing, displays time code and audio levels, playback mode, and file name, and shows a slider to indicate the current position within the clip. The on-screen viewer window may be scaled to effectively accommodate varying viewing requirements, including a full-screen mode.

Media can be selected through a standard browse approach, or dragged and dropped onto the display window. Once loaded, the clips may be played or viewed in various playback modes, including normal, looping, and palindromic. DrasticPreview Pro provides a full range of keyboard/number pad commands for transport control and other settings, and window resizing including zoom and pan controls. Cut, copy and paste (CTRL+X/C/V) of time code is also available for moving time codes to text documents, spreadsheets or TCCalc.  Pasting a time code will automatically seek the file to that point.

Supported hardware includes AJA's Kona and Corvid series, Bluefish444's Epoch|SuperNova and Blackmagic's DeckLink, MultiBridge and Intensity series video boards.

Transport/Playback Section

dpp transplay 2

The Transport/Playback Section offers the following functionality:

Time Code Controls - The current time code location is displayed, and the user may click on the time code and enter a time code location by the keyboard, and press enter to cue up that location.

File Name Display - The current file name is displayed.

Mode Display - The current playback mode is displayed (Normal, Palindrome or Loop playback modes are supported).

Speed Display - The current playback is displayed, 100% being normal playback speed. A negative percentage is indicated for reverse playback.

Video Standard Display  - The video standard of the current clip is displayed.

Time Code Source Control - The selected time code source is displayed, and the user may select between available time code sources by clicking on this control and selecting from the popup menu.

EBU Control - The selected EBU mode is displayed and the user may select between available EBU modes by clicking on this control and selecting from the popup menu.

Audio Meters - Audio meters are displayed for up to 16 channels of audio.

Picture - Select Picture to view the normal video output.

Vector - Select Vector to see the output through the Vectorscope.

Wave - Select Wave to view the output through the YCbCr Waveform Monitor.

Wave RGB - Select Wave RGB to view the output through the RGB Waveform Monitor.

Histogram - Select Histogram to view the output through the Histogram.

Data - Select Data to view the hex or decimal value associated with each pixel in the image.

Position Bar and Slider - Click on any point on the slider to instantly cue that relative point in the file, or 'grab' the pointer and drag it to quickly scrub through to find a particular scene

  • Fast Reverse - Play the file in reverse at the fastest possible speed
  • 5 Seconds Back - Cue the frame 5 seconds before the current location (or the beginning if less than 5 seconds from the first frame)
  • 1 Frame Back - Cue the frame immediately before the current frame, useful for finding a specific location
  • Reverse Play - Play at -100%, or normal speed in reverse
  • Pause - Stop playback and display the frame at the current location
  • Stop - Stop playback and cue the first frame
  • Play - Play at 100%, or normal speed
  • 1 Frame Forward - Cue the frame immediately after the current frame, useful for finding a specific location
  • 5 Seconds Forward - Cue the frame 5 seconds after the current location (or the end if less than 5 seconds from the last frame)
  • Fast Forward - Play the file (forward) at the fastest possible speed

Track Info Data

Media file track info including size, frame rate, bit rate, audio sample frequency and rate, codec/fourcc and channels

The Track Info data window may be selected by pressing the Track Info button on the GUI - this section displays:

  • Duration - both in current time code type (HH:MM:SS:FF) and as a total number of frames
  • FPS - frames per second to two decimal places
  • Width - in pixels
  • Height - in lines (for both fields if interlaced)
  • Bit Depth - per pixel or per component
  • FourCC - video codec information
  • Bit Rate - overall rate of the file in bits
  • Video Channels - video channels bit array
  • Audio Codec - audio fourcc descriptor
  • Audio Channels - audio channels bit array
  • Audio Frequency - samples per second
  • Audio Bits/Sample - how many bits in an audio sample

Time Code Data

Time code display showing frame value, absolute (zero based) time code, VITC, LTC/SMPTE, User Bits and extended data

The Time Code data window may be selected by pressing the Time Code button on the GUI - this section displays:

  • TC (time code) - Absolute position
  • LTC Frame - Longitudinal (SMPTE) time code
  • LTC Ub - Longitudinal (SMPTE) user bits
  • VITC Frame - Vertical interval time code
  • VITC Ub - Vertical interval user bits
  • DATA 0 - user data or size (4 bytes)
  • DATA 1 - user data or pointer (4 bytes or greater) Basic Elements

Time code type is specified by the last separator:

  • : (colon) = Non drop frame
  • ; (semicolon) = Drop frame
  • - (dash) = 24 FPS (FILM)
  • . (period) = 25 FPS (PAL)


Metadata display, showing the media files internal metadata (comments, descriptions, camera, gps coordinates, serial, device, edit data, url, etc)

The Metadata window may be selected by pressing the Metadata button on the GUI - this section displays over a hundred metadata elements with information addressing the many facets of each media file's existence, and in some cases the attributes of a selected track, or stream. For a complete list of metadata fields, see the Drastic Metadata page.

Play List

Play list containing all the tracks to be played in order, or random access by double clicking on entries

The Play List window may be selected by pressing the Play List button on the GUI - this section allows the user to set up a list of clips to be played in sequence. The Play List is not as full featured as the timeline in DrasticDDR and MediaNXS, but it will play through a simple list of clips.

Visual Comparison Modes

Visual comparison modes

DrasticPreview Pro can compare two files (two 3d stereo eyes, or an original and compressed file) using an XML .DT3D file to specify them.  Once loaded, visual comparisons can be made including:

  • Left eye only (first source)
  • Right eye only (second source)
  • Anaglyph Red-Blue
  • Anaglyph Red-Cyan
  • Anaglyph Amber-Blue
  • Anaglyph Green-Magenta
  • Interlaced eyes
  • Checkerboard 3D
  • Onion skin
  • Difference with threshold multiplier (0..64)
  • Over under
  • Side by side
  • Seamless split used Split Vert/Horiz and Split Vertical, Split Horizontal
  • Mirror
  • A-B with threshold and black/white invert
  • Dissolve with mix
  • Boxes sized by mix
  • Wipe (used the Wipe drop down) with mix

Channels may be inverted, flipped vertically and horizontally and swapped as needed.  Most wipes may also be inverted. More information can be found here.


Zoom and Pan

Video playback in the application fully supports zooming and panning the video in still or playback.  Using the scroll wheel of the mouse the image can be zoomed out to cover a small part of the screen, or zoom in to closely check individual pixels.  Left clicking and dragging will move the image to view different parts while zoomed in.  Clicking the right mouse button will fill the application with video, and clicking the middle button will set the image to pixel for pixel (where every image pixel is exactly one screen pixel).  Zoom is available in windowed or full screen mode.

Time Code Display

A dedicated time code field not only displays the current time code location but allows the user to enter a known time code location within a selected clip, and press Enter to cue that frame. In Full Screen mode, an optional time code display may be overlaid in Full Screen Mode. The user may select between available time code sources by clicking on the time code source field.

Closed Captioning

DrasticPreview Pro supports CEA-608, CEA-708, OP-47/RDD-08 Closed Captions. The closed caption information will be displayed over the video frame when enabled.  Supported sources include SMPTE 436, MCC, AAF, SCC, STL, EBU, embedded and many other formats subtitle formats like XML/VTT/TXT/CAP/ITT. See the caption section below for more details.

Please note:  The CC feature is only available when running under a temporary or permanent license.  Please contact Drastic if you want to test this feature.

Audio Channel Selection

DrasticPreview Pro fully supports up to 16 channels using AJA, BlueFish444, Blackmagic or ASIO hardware.  16 channel metering using CALM act loudness r.128 meters are standard.  If only two channels are being monitored, DrasticPreview Pro also allows any channel pair to be selected and playing on the first audio pair for monitoring.


Vectorscope for CbCr monitoring with luma stick and mini picture 

 The Vectorscope displays a traditional Cb by Cr X-Y display with overlaid reference graticule.  Color accurate graticules automatically switch between SD and HD color spaces.  The markers include color points (for standard bar checks) at 75% and 100% saturation.  All the standard points are boxed;  red, magenta, blue, cyan, green and yellow.  A skin tone/flesh line is provided to allow for easy hue adjustment as well as standard diagonals.

The exclusive Drastic Luma Stick (patent pending) displays luminance distribution and strength in a space saving and intuitive graphic format.

Wave Form Monitor YCbCr

YCbCr waveform monitoring with mini picture

 The YCbCr Waveform Monitor displays the levels of the Y, Cb and Cr from the left of the picture to the right of the picture with all the lines summed into one graph.  The Y, or luma/luminance, graph provides accurate white and black level information, as well as the range in between.  The Cb and Cr display the +/- 512 levels of chroma of both types.  This provides a visual representation of the chroma range of the signal.

Wave Form Monitor RGB

RGB parade waveform monitor with mini picture

 The RGB Waveform Monitor shows each of the red, green and blue signals as independent graphs, displaying the RGB, or chrominance/color values associated with the signal.


RGB histogram display with mini picture

 The Histogram view shows the distribution of red, green and blue within the signal as a series of discrete bars that make a continuous graph for each color.  This display provides an overview of the tonal range of each color in the picture.  Each bar is the count of the number of pixels for one of the 1024 possible colors.  These totals are then auto ranged to fit within the graticule and represent the relationship between the levels of each color and between each other.

Data View

Data view of the actual hex or decimal values of the pixels within the picture.  RGB 8/10 and YCbCr 8/10 supported, depending on the files internal colorspace

The data view presents any area of the image as YCbCr 8, YCbCr 10, RGB 10 or RGBA 8 pixel values, depending on the native color space of the file.

Supported File Formats

(Note: Hardware output support is limited to standard SMPTE video sizes and frame rates as supported by the user's AJA, Bluefish444 or Blackmagic video card)

Support is Windows + Mac unless otherwise indicated

Extension File Format Codec Read
ARC IFX Piranha Audio/Video (YCbCr/RGB 8 only) X
ARI Arri Raw 12 bit bayer X
AVC, AVCHD, MTS AVC-HD MPEG-2 camera media X
AVI Windows DVSD, DV25, DV50, DVHD, CineForm*, CineForm3D*, YCbCr 8 & 10 SD/HD, standard codecs X
CDX Codex ActionCam Raw bayer images X
CINE Phantom Phantom 10, 12 and 14 bit bayer X
DNG CinemaDNG 10, 12 and 16 bit bayer X
DPS DPS Compressed DPS files (Windows only) X
DPX Cineon RGB 8, RGB 10, YCbCr 4:2:2 X
DPX CineForm* CineForm*, CineForm3D* X
DT3D DT3D XML 3D redirector X
DVS DVS Uncompressed YCbCr and RGB files X
FLM FLM Adobe FilmStrip X
FLV/SWV FLV/SWV Flash/Shockwave video X
GEN GEN 4:2:2 YCbCr (Avid DSHD) X
GV XML/NO/A/T/I Grass Valley disk record native (K2) X
HDR YUV DV25, DV50, DVHD, AVCi100*, RGB, Uncompressed YCbCr 8 & 10 SD/HD X
HDV HDV MPEG-2 camera files X
ISMV MS SS Microsoft Smooth Streaming  X
JS Jaleo/Mistika Sgo native 4:2:2 YCbCr X
KRW Kinefinity KineRAW Compressed Raw X
LXF Leitch/Harris DVSD, DV25, DV50, DVHD, AVCi50, AVCi100, MPEG-2, h.264 X
MKV MKV Matroska audio video X
MLV Magic Lantern Raw 14 bit bayer with PCM audio X
MOV QuickTime DV50, DVHD, AVCi100, YCbCr 8 & 10 SD/HD, MPEG IMX X
MP4 XAVC-S Sony XAVC-S HD/4K Cameras X
MP4 MPEG-2 Sony/Canon camera X
M4V/A/MP4 f-MP4 Fragmented MP4, M4V, M4A X
MPEG MPEG-2 4:2:0/4:2:2 SD/HD up to 80 mbits/sec X
MTS, M2TS M2TS AVC-HD camera files X
MXF AS-02 AVCi*, DNxHD*, DVHD, JPEG-2000* X
MXF AS-11 DPP UK AVCi100*, IMX 50 X
MXF Avid DV25, DV50, DVHD, DNxHD*, Uncompressed X
MXF Canon MPEG-2 X
MXF JPEG-2000* DCP Encrypted (requires EasyDCP license) X
MXF JPEG-2000* Digital Cinema - DCI Unencrypted X
MXF EditCam DV25, DV50, DVHD, DNxHD* X
MXF Grass Valley Grass Valley iCR X
MXF Harmonic MPEG-2 X
MXF h.264/AVC MPEG-2 X
MXF IMF Interoperable Master Format X
MXF JPEG-2000* Grass Valley Infinity X
MXF OP1a AmberFin, EVS, MainConcept, MOG, OpenCube, Rovi X
MXF OP1a/Omneon DV25, DV50, DVHD, AVCi100*, Uncompressed X
MXF OP1b Panasonic AVCi 4K* X
MXF Panasonic-P2 DV25, DV50, DVHD, AVCi100/200* X
MXF Panasonic Varicam LT & 444, AVCi Ultra X
MXF Pinnacle MPEG-2 SD/HD X
MXF Snell & Wilcox MPEG-2, IMX X
MXF Sony XDCamHD, XDCamEX 4:2:0/4:2:2 X
MXF Sony HDCam SR 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 X
MXF Sony F65 raw bayer X
MXF Sony F5, F700 raw bayer X
OMF OMF DV25, JPEG, Meridien, AVBV, CamCutter (Windows) X
QNT Quantel Raw uncompressed YCbCr images X
R3D RED Red camera files X
RAW ML/IOI Magic Lantern RAW, IOIndustries RAW bayer X
RBG RED BLU GRN Uncompressed RGB X
RMF RMF Canon C500 raw 10 bit bayer files X
RTIN RTINDEX Real time replay of CBR and VBR records while still recording X
RTV RTV Uncompressed Video Toaster files (Windows only) X
Stills Series of stills BMP, SGI, PSD, RAW, YUV10, YUV16, VSR, RAS, RAW, JP2, JPG - Series of stills (many others) X
TREC Camtasia Screen capture file (also mov/avi) X
V210 V210 4:2:2 10 bit YCbCr image sequence X
VOB VOB Unencrypted X
VPB/QTL Quantel Quantel uncompressed YCbCr images X
VRW Varicam Raw Panasonic Varicam Raw X
WEBM WEBM Youtube format X
WMV/ASF WMV/ASF Unencrypted/DRM Free only X
Y4M Y4M YCbCr raw stream X
YUV YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 YCbCr image sequence X
Y U V YUV Multi file component YCbCr files X

* = may require optional license

Playlist Support

DrasticPreview Pro can load and save a variety of playlist formats, from simple text files with lists of paths to DCI/DCP/IMF playlists:

LOG (.log  (R/W)
Avid ALE *.ale/*.alg  (R/W)
Windows Playlist *.wpl  (R/W)
Windows ASX *.asx  (R/W)
Text *.txt (R/W)
M3U List *.m3u (R/W)
EDL *.edl  (R)
QuickTime Playlist *.qtl/*.xml (R)
D-Cinema/IMF Playlist *.xml  (R)

Closed Captions

DrasticPreview Pro supports a wide range of embedded/internal closed caption formats as well as external closed caption formats and subtitle formats.  If any of these caption types are found in the same directory as the main file, with the same file name, they will automatically be loaded and displayed.

Embedded Caption Formats

  • CEA-608, CEA-708
  • OP-47/RDD-08
  • MXF SMPTE 436 and Avid embedded
  • MPEG-2, h.264, MPEG-4, AVC1 user space
  • TS/MTS CC in separate PID
  • GXF SMPTE 360
  • LXF Leitch/Harris
  • MOV CC Tracks

External Broadcast Caption Formats

  • SCC Scenarist SD Captions
  • MCC MacCaption Format 708 Captions
  • AAF Avid Format 708 Captions
  • STL EBU Broadcast Captions

Subtitle Caption Formats

  • Avid Caption - txt
  • Belle Nuit - stp
  • Comma Separated - csv
  • Digital Cinema 2007/2010 - xml
  • EBU Sub Titles - stl
  • Final Cut Pro - xml
  • Final Cut Pro X - xml
  • Flash - xml
  • iTunes Timed Text - txt
  • JSON (various) - json
  • QuickTime Text - txt
  • SAMI - smi
  • SoftNI - sub
  • Sony DVD Architect - sub
  • Sony DVD - txt
  • SubRip - srt
  • Sub Station Alpha - ssa
  • Swift - sif
  • Timed Text - dxfp, ttml, xml
  • WebVTT - vtt
  • YouTube Annotations - xml
  • YouTube - sbv
  • YouTube Transcript - txt

AUDIO specs:

8000Hz..96000Hz, 8/16/20/24/32 Bits, 2 Channels

VIDEO Frame Rates:

      • VariCam(1~240)
      • 14.98
      • 15
      • 23.98/23.97
      • 24
      • 25
      • 29.97
      • 30
      • 48
      • 50
      • 59.94
      • 60 or greater

VIDEO Frame Sizes:

      • Variable (60x40~4096/3112)
        - VGA/DVI/OpenGL
      • 720/704x480/486/508/512
      • 720x576/596/608
      • 1280x720
      • 1920x1080/1035
      • 2048x1080/1112/1536/1556
      • 3840x2160
      • 4096x2160/3112
      • Most Standard Video Sizes

SDK and APIs

DrasticPreview Pro is based on two Drastic APIs that are available to third party developers:

DrasticPreview - A simpler, VGA only preview application 

  • DrasticPreview SDK - A full preview engine from reading the file to playing out to audio devices, memory planes or OpenGL surfaces.  More information is available here.
  • DTMediaRead SDK - Integrate all the file types we read into your own application.  Read uncompressed audio and compressed or uncompressed YCbCr 10, YCbCr 10, RGBA or RGB 10 frames.  More information is available here.

MXF Player

With the huge variety of MXF formats and subformats, DrasticPreview Pro makes an excellent general player due to its wide compatibility with all MXF types, standard and non standard.

Closed Caption Check

DrasticPreview Pro can display CC1, CC2, CC3 and CC4 closed captions from a wide variety of sources (a list is available here) directly over the video, providing an easy way to check closed captions in files before they go to the server.

Compressed File Visual Comparison

Two files may be compared in a variety of modes, from standard seamless split, butterfly/mirror, threshold and difference to a variety of wipes, 3D modes and sizeable checkerbox comparisons.

On Set File Check

Because DrasticPreview Pro supports capture formats like RMF (Canon/Gemini/Codex), DNG (Blackmagic/OneCam), ARI (Arri/Codex), CINE (Phantom/Miro/Flex), MXF Raw F65 (Sony), MXF XAVC (Sony), MXF HDCam/XDCam (Sony), MXF P2 (Panasonic), MXF Avid (Avid/Ikegami), AVCHD (Canon/JVC/Panasonic/Sony) it makes an inexpensive add on for checking file metadata, audio, video and consistency from copy.

Pre Air Confidence Check

With support for all major server file formats (including LXF), DrasticPreview Pro can be used to check files before they are actually copied to the server.  This can avoid expensive and time consuming server crashes and bad or incorrect files from going to air.

Production Assistant Data Collection

DrasticPreview Pro is the most cost effective way for files to be cataloged and checked on laptops or other low end machines by production assistants, which saves the expensive systems for editing and finishing.

QC/QA Quality Check and Assurance

DrasticPreview Pro allows for both visual and auditory checks as well as all the scopes and loudness/rms metering, closed captions and metadata checks required to be sure the files coming into or leaving your facility are within legal limits. 

Selected Customers

ESPN, Discovery Channel, Deluxe, A&E, Corus Entertainment, Rogers, Bell Media, Technicolor, NetFlix, NBC/Universal, NBA, Avid, Adobe, SGI, Telestream, NASA,  Scenic Labs, Haivision and many broadcasters and post houses.


End User License Agreement:  International  Canadian

Please note: DrasticPreview Pro version 5 has been superseded by videoQC version 7. Please download that for the most recent player


Contact Drastic Download DrasticPreview Pro


DrasticPreview Pro installs in demo mode, with limited functionality. The full feature set of the software can be made available with a license. To obtain a license, please generate a site code and send it to us at: authorization@drastictech.com. We will send back a site key which will remove the demo limitations. Prior to purchase, the key will be temporary. There is more information on the licensing process here: http://license.drastictech.com


DrasticPreview Pro Documentation:  DrasticPreview Pro Manual

Contour Designs Shuttle Configs:  Shuttle Pro, Pro2, Xpress

Contour Designs Shuttle Pro2 OS-X:  Shuttle Pro2

How To Purchase videoQC

videoQC is available as a full featured temporary demo, which allows you to confirm your workflow is supported. Once you are happy with videoQC, relicensing provides delivery of the permanent key.

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