Fixing Color Bars

  • Updated

If your RAY or server-grade encoder loses signal, you and your audience will see color bars instead of your broadcast content.

Common causes of signal loss are:

  • The encoder is receiving a weak video signal.
  • The encoder preset input format doesn’t match the video signal it’s receiving from your switcher or camera.

The Encoder Is Receiving a Weak Video Signal

If color bars are randomly appearing and disappearing from your video, you’re most likely sending a weak video signal to the encoder. image3.png

This is usually caused by one or more items in the  path the signal takes from the camera to the encoder. Here are some troubleshooting steps resolve them:

  • To identify what’s causing the weak video signal, begin by removing equipment from the signal path and be sure your cables themselves can generate a strong video signal. Then, add the equipment back in piece-by-piece. By doing so, you can identify when the signal becomes weak again. That will indicate the issue is being caused by the last piece of equipment you added.
  • If you’re switching cameras, look at your video to see if a specific switch causes signal loss. Then verify your video input format matches that camera or switcher’s output settings. 

The Encoder Preset Input Format Doesn’t Match the Video Signal It’s Receiving

If you’re seeing color bars consistently throughout the encoder video, the encoder either isn’t detecting a signal or the video input format doesn’t match what your camera is sending to the encoder. 

If you hear audio but see color bars, the encoder is receiving a signal and the input format isn’t correct. 

To fix the color bars in this situation, you’ll need to match your encoder preset’s input format to what your camera/switcher is sending to the encoder. 


What signal is my encoder receiving?

You can see the last detected input signal on an encoder's details page, which you can access from the Encoderspage.

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Encoders page. 
  3. Click the encoder you want to see the video input signal for. image10.png
  4. Under Details, see the last detected input format your encoder received. image5.png

The last detected input only updates after you stop the encoder. To make sure the information is up-to-date, stop the encoder and refresh the page. 

To resolve the color bars, create a new or edit an existing encoder preset with that signal as the input format. 


Create a new encoder preset

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Encoder Presets page. 
  3. If you want to create a new encoder preset, click Add Preset in the top right. image4.png
  4. Fill in the information required and use the signal you found as the input format. image9.png
  5. Click Add and you’ll be able to use the new preset. image2.png

For more information on creating presets and recommended output format, see Create a New Encoder Preset


Edit an existing encoder preset

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Encoder Presets page. 
  3. Hover over the encoder preset you want to edit and click it or click the options icon image6.png > View Details. image8.png
  4. Click the edit icon image7.png in the top-right.
  5. Change the input format to your last detected signal by clicking the dropdown menu. image1.png
  6. Click Save

For more information on input format and recommended output formats, see the table in Create a New Encoder Preset.

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