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I have a HAR324-8 DVR, and when I export a video clip, I get an MP4 that I cannot play with Windows Media Player 12, Chrome, or Edge browser. When I open the file with VLC Media Player 3.0.16, it will play a few frames before VLC crashes.

Oddly enough, I am able to upload the file to Google Drive and after a while, it seems there is some processing done in the background (I'm not sure what) but it will then allow me to play the MP4 I've uploaded using Chrome or my Pixel phone.

Can someone tell me what is happening and how I can get this file converted to a format that can easily be played by any general-purpose OS/smartphone without needing to download additional codecs? Is there software that can be purchased that will allow me to analyze and convert this file to something playable by most platforms out of the box?

Here is a sample clip: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ihj0mWhldg8VhysxGS2aXFsefMgx1oxb/view?usp=drivesdk

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As this should not be a problem, I can only assume there is either a fault with your DVR or your machine. Having some error messages could help, but really it's not a question of "how to make DVR generated mp4 playable" and more troubleshooting your setup.

I'd be surprised if there was anything in your Google Drive that was processing your file, so perhaps your computer has a problem in reading a file from certain locations?

There are various codec converters available that will transcode to the format of your choice, assuming they can successfully read the input.

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  • Is there a program you could recommend for transcoding this file. I was worried that this DVR might have been creating invalid MP4s. Or would you know how to prevent VLC from crashing?
    – simgineer
    Jul 5 at 15:49

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