RealPlayer 8 Basic
Frequently Asked Questions

Playback Questions

  1. How do I configure RealPlayer 8 Basic to work with a network firewall?

    RealPlayer 8 uses varying configurations depending upon the firewall setup. Our firewall pages have instructions on how to configure RealPlayer 8 to work with a firewall.

  2. Why do I receive a "missing plug-in" error when I type an address into the Location bar in RealPlayer 8 Basic?

    The RealPlayer 8 Location bar works similarly to the Address or Location bar in a web browser. However, you can only enter addresses for RealMedia files in the RealPlayer Location bar. If you enter an address that does not contain a RealMedia file (such as a web page address), you will receive a "missing plug-in" error.

  3. Why is RealPlayer 8 Basic still rebuffering or giving poor playback from many sites?

    Packet loss occurs when information is unable to successfully travel from one server to another. Previous RealPlayers have interpreted lost information as rebuffering, hissing, crackles, and skips. RealSystem G2 (and RealSystem 8) is designed to minimize the effects of packet loss.

    In RealSystem G2 (and RealSystem 8), RealProducer is used to encode RealMedia into streams of varying bandwidths. When RealPlayer 8 connects to a RealServer serving the variable bandwidth content, the server detects your Internet connection speed and sends the best stream possible for that connection. As the quality of your Internet connection changes due to packet loss, RealServer switches to a lower bandwidth stream. This causes a difference in the audio quality, but eliminates the rebuffering, hissing, crackles, and skips. When the quality of your Internet connection improves, RealServer switches back to the higher bandwidth stream. The switching is instantaneous so that there are no breaks in playback.

    However, at sites where the content is not encoded using RealSystem G2 (or RealSystem 8), RealPlayer 8 will still rebuffer, hiss, or skip when the connection becomes too thin to consistently support the stream. This is expected behavior.

    To minimize poor playback from those sites not using RealSystem G2 (or RealSystem 8), try playing the content during times when Internet traffic is not at its peak. U.S. business hours and weekend evenings are peak times. Connections and playback will be better at other hours.

  4. What can I do to improve the video image during playback?

    To receive the best possible video image in RealPlayer 8 Basic, follow these guidelines:

    • Set your monitor to 16-bit (thousands) or 24-bit (millions) color.

    • Update the video drivers on your computer. Contact your computer or video card manufacturer for driver updates.

    • If you are running other programs while using RealPlayer 8, exit any programs that you are not using.

    • Do not use the Zoom button on lower bandwidth clips.

    • Try turning off optimizd video in the Preferences dialog box.

  5. What can I do if the audio sounds like it is being played too fast or too slow?

    If audio sounds too fast, too slow, scratchy, or distorted, change the RealPlayer 8 performance settings:

    1. Start RealPlayer 8.
    2. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
    3. Click the Performance tab.
    4. Click the Settings button in the Sound card compatibility section.
    5. Select the Disable 16-bit sound or Disable custom sampling rates check boxes to modify the way that RealPlayer and the sound card interact. You may need to experiment to find a combination of settings that work best for your computer.
    6. Click OK in the Sound Card Compatibility dialog box.
    7. Click OK in the Preferences dialog box to save your changes.

  6. Why do I have problems with video or system freezes when playing video content with RealPlayer Basic 8 for Windows?

    With the video enhancements in RealPlayer Basic 8, there are a few requirements to ensure the best video experience. If video appears erratically or you experience system freezes while attempting to play video files, you may be able to solve it with the following suggestions.

    • RealPlayer requires a minimum of 16-bit color in Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, and 2000. If your computer is incapable of displaying at least 16-bit color, you may only get a black square in RealPlayer when you play video content.

      To check your color settings:

      1. Click the Start menu, choose Settings, and then Control Panel.
      2. Double-click the Display icon.
      3. Click the Settings tab.
      4. Make sure that "High Color" or "True Color" is selected in the colors list.
      5. Click OK.
      6. Restart your computer if prompted.

    • RealPlayer requires Microsoft DirectDraw (DirectX) certified drivers.

      RealPlayer uses DirectDraw for the following Optimized Video features: Hardware Stretching, Blitting, and Overlay support. The video hardware must support these features in order to function correctly with the Optimized Video setting.

      Many popular video cards use WinDraw drivers instead of DirectDraw drivers. The WinDraw driver incorrectly reports the capability of the video hardware to RealPlayer, causing RealPlayer to think that the video hardware can do things that it cannot. When the video is optimized and the video hardware cannot support the optimization, problems will occur. Problems range from poor quality or garbled video to RealPlayer becoming unresponsive and system freezes.

      If you experience similar problems, try disabling the Optimized Video setting in RealPlayer.

      To disable Optimized Video in RealPlayer:

      1. Start RealPlayer.
      2. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
      3. Click the Performance tab.
      4. Click to clear the "Use optimized video display" check box in the Video card compatibility section.
      5. Click OK.
      6. Restart your computer.

    • The following cards are known to have DirectDraw problems. Regardless of the setting in RealPlayer, optimized video is automatically disabled if any of the following card and driver combinations are detected:

      ATI Rage II+ PCI, ati_m64
      RAGE PRO TURBO AGP 2X (English)
      Matrox Millennium G200, AGPMGAXDD32.DLL Matrox
      Millennium G200 AGP, mga64.dll
      Matrox Millennium G200 AGP, tsirchnl.dll
      Matrox Millennium II PowerDesk, MGAXDD32.DLL
      Matrox Millennium II PCI, mgapdx64.drv
      Diamond Viper V33", vprddle.DLL
      NVIDIA GeForce 256 AGP Plus (Dell), NVDD32.DLL
      Diamond Viper V330, vprdrvle.drv
      Diamond Viper V550, NVDD32.DLL
      Hercules Thriller 3D Series (v 0.81.3539), v200032.dll
      Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc.
      Stealth II G460 Ver. 1.12\x0d\x0aV, stlthg46.dll
      STB Lightspeed 128, with STB Vision 95, stbvisn.drv
      Diamond SpeedStar A50 for Windows 98, DMSSA50x.dll

      ALL STB cards that use nVidia Riva 182zx:
      STB Velocity 128 3D, stbv128.drv
      STB Velocity 128 (TV Support), STBV128.DRV
      STB Lightspeed 128, without STB Vision 95, stbls128.drv
      S3 Inc. Trio64V+, s3_2.drv
      Chips And Technologies, Accelerator (new), chipsnd.drv
      Cirrus Logic 7548 PCI, cirrusmm.drv

      NeoMagic controllers (widely used in Dell laptops):
      NeoMagic MagicGraph 128XD, NmgcDD.dll
      NeoMagic MagicGraph 128XD, Nmgc.drv
      NeoMagic MagicGraph 128 PCI, nmx.drv
      NeoMagic MagicMedia 256AV, NmgcDD5.dll
      Diamond Stealth II G460, s2g432le.dll
      Diamond Stealth II G460, s2g432le.dll