Video Output diagnostic guide

BASIC VIDEO OUTPUT DIAGNOSTICS (further points will assume that you have already checked these points)

When opening Mistika, it will check the video board and it will do some basic diagnostics. If Mistika fails to initialise it in the selected format, it will show a “Video board not present or wrong type” dialog.

If this error appear:

  • First check that there is no other Mistika opened and blocking the video board for itself.  (for example, check the linux bar for any mistika instance)


  • Make sure the selected format is compatible with your board. Best test is to try a small format (PAL/NTSC or a basic HD format) and try again. If it works in simple modes then it can be a license issue or a wrong video settings combination. If still does not work:

  • Try a reboot, in case that the video driver had crashed in a previous session

  • Use the manufacturer diagnostic tool, to see if the problem is related to Mistika or not.

          - In the case of DVS boards, you can execute the following in a console:

su -

svram colorbar

The video board will output colorbars.

- In the case of AJA boards, you can use the "cables" utility. Since Mistika 8.6 it is provided in the MISTIKA-ENV/Mistika_Extras_AJA_driver folder.   In general, the easiest way to use it is to configure the video format in mConfig, open Mistika, close it, and then open the cables utility. In this way it will show the exact configuration that mistika was using.


  • If  the manufacturer tool does not detect the board

If it does not detect the board, then the problem is not related to Mistika but to the video hardware (internal or external) or its drivers.  Next thing is to see if the system is detecting the video board. To do that execute (depending on the video board model)

lspci |grep “DVS”


lspci |grep “AJA”


If no device appears, then remove the video board and put it again. If it does not solve it, then the video board is probably broken (but we recommend to remove all other boards except the GPU and do a last test, sometimes another board could be creating conflicts).

If the board appear on that list but not in the manufacturer tool,  then the problem is probably in the driver or firmware.  

  • If the color bars or tets signal appear in the display: Then the hardware is ok and the problem is related with Mistika. Check your video settings or try with other Mistika version.

  • If the manufacturer tool does not give an error when told to send a test signal, but you do not see the signal in your display:  Then the problem points to external cabling and video devices.   Ultimately it could be that the videoboard is failing, but in this scenery it is the less probable cause, as it is passing all the internal diagnostics.

That is the general diagnostics recommendation. The following are particular cases in more detail:

Problem: No video board error appears on Mistika startup, diagnostics are passed, but there is no Video output

- If your video devices only support 1.5 Gb then check that mConfig->MasterFormats->Use 3Gb SDI is not active.

- If the video board has a breakout box, check that the cables from the video board to the breakout box are firmly attached, and in the case of DVS boards check that the 3 cables are not in a wrong order.

- If the system has a DVS break out box, check that both LEDs are lighting solid, not blinking. If they are blinking then check the cables (as in the above point), and if it is a new system check the firmware version of the DVS board (they are different depending if you use a breakout box or not). Meanwhile, AJA boards do not have this difference.

- Check with other cables and external monitor. If there is no error it means that Mistika is able to communicate normally with the video board, so the probable cause is external.

Problem: Using an AJA Corvid board in Stereo3D there is a one frame delay between both eyes.

This is a known issue in old firmware versions. Just update the driver and firmware of the AJA board to the latest version and it will solve it. 

NOTE: Since Mistika 8.6 version, the mConfig will do these upgrades automatically.

Problem: SDI Images are stable, but they are tinted on pink, green, or blue

Check that mConfig->MasterFormats  is set to YUV422 or RGB444  as necessary for your external reference monitor.

Problem: I am using DVS board in QuadSDI. There are no errors and the video output works well in basic formats,  but my display does not detect the signal in 4K/UHD modes, or it is unstable.

NOTE: Some monitors fail to autodetect signals. When possible, It is recommended to force the monitor to a particular mode (same as mConfig)  using its menus before starting diagnostics for this particular cases.

Some displays require the video metadata payload to be preset in all SDI channels (for example some projectors based on two independent controllers managing each signal separately), but the DVS boards only put it in the first SDI link.  The usual solution is to force the display manually to the exact video mode that is used (including all settings like resolution and color space).

In the worst case, if a particular display only works in autodetection mode then the only solution would be to use an AJA board rather than DVS, as the AJA board puts the metadata in all channels

Problem: Mistika works in realtime in the GUI monitor, but not in Live Video mode

Disconnect the SDI input cables (if any) and test again. In rare cases an input signal of a different clock rate than the output format can create problems to the video board

Check the video board slot positions (remove all the unnecessary boards for this test and put the video board in a fast slot). When adding other boards some combinations may work better than others.

If the above tests failed, reboot the system and make a test in  very simple conditions:   1920x1080 25p,  using a simple effect with no image files, for example just a Wipe effect,  also disconnecting color panels  and any unnecessary hardware.  If it still fails  to sustain realtime but the GUI succed to provide realtime (Live video Off), then the videoboard is probably broken. Test with another unit to confirm.