Decoder overload
  • Hi all. I have a 2018 Mac Mini, quad core i3 with 16GB of RAM. I have 8 cameras attached via ethernet, 5 of which capture motion / continuous capture using the sunset to sunrise schedule. I keep getting this message: "One or more video frames could not be decoded due to decoder overload - this can result in jerky/uneven video in live displays and/or captured footage - try reducing camera frame rates." All cameras are supplying native H.264 video. Two of the cameras require re-encoding to transform the video the way I need it (I had to rotate the image in a manner that isn't supported with the built-in software on the camera itself).

    My question is if this is a machine being overloaded because the CPU / integrated GPU isn't able to keep up, or is this an external drive that can't keep up? I'm using a 4TB Seagate (spinning, not SSD) USB3 drive, but have considered going Thunderbolt 3 / SSD route. Any suggestions?

    EDIT: I neglected to post the framerates...they are at 15 FPS, but drop to 10 FPS at night (nothing I did, they just do when the IR switches on).

    EDIT2: I configured all the cameras to be at 10 FPS. I'll see if that helps. My nightly reports say that CPU usage is 38% average.
  • This is a new message in SecuritySpy 5.2.6 (but not a new problem - previously it would go unreported, which is why you are only seeing this message now). Different Macs have different abilities to decode H.264/H.265 video data in hardware - in the case of your Mac mini, this functionality is provided by the Quick Sync Video module built into the Intel Core CPU (on other Macs, this functionality could be provided by the GPU and/or the T2 chip). This processing does not show up in the CPU usage levels.

    The warning message means that frames are being queued for decoding faster than the hardware is able to decode them, which is an undesirable situation that can lead to noticeable problems with live video. Reducing the frame rates of your cameras was a good idea, and that may resolve the problem.

    More information on this can be found in this FAQ: I'm getting a "decoder overload" warning, what does this mean?
  • Should have checked the FAQ first, but thanks for responding. Changing all the cameras maximum frame rate to 10 seems to have helped quite a bit. I haven't received the error message since the change, but live video will stutter if motion is being detected and recorded. Not a major issue, the captured video appears to be at a consistent frame rate.

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