Viewline FAQ

If you have any question that you cannot find an answer to then please contact us.

Who are the people behind Viewline?

The Viewline team is made up of ex drainage contractors and software developers – to create a reporting application designed by experienced, qualified CCTV survey operators.

This means you are getting the best of both worlds: over 30 years of hands on drainage experience, experts in all things CCTV and an excellent development team. The end product is easy to use and conforms to MSCC5.

We’re a British company and we pride ourselves in superb customer service and continual innovation.

Tell me the Viewline process so I completely understand it.

Viewline is an application that allows you to enter the data from your CCTV survey in an easy way and in a way that conforms to the national standard. Data means video, pictures, observations and site details. The standard is MSCC5 or BS EN 13508-2:2003+A1:2011. A bit of a mouthful but this standard applies to the UK and has been adopted in Europe and the rest of the world.

Viewline saves all this data to a database that can be located anywhere; on your computer or on your archived storage even synced to the cloud.

So as long as you don’t lose the database, you can’t lose your information.

Reports are then created from the information held within the database. The database can even be used to export that information to a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Tell me the Viewline process so I completely understand it.

Viewline is an application that allows you to enter the data from your CCTV survey in an easy way and in a way that conforms to the national standard. Data means video, pictures, observations and site details. The standard is MSCC5 or BS EN 13508-2:2003+A1:2011. A bit of a mouthful but this standard applies to the UK and has been adopted in Europe and the rest of the world.

Viewline saves all this data to a database that can be located anywhere; on your computer or on your archived storage even synced to the cloud.

So as long as you don’t lose the database, you can’t lose your information.

Reports are then created from the information held within the database. The database can even be used to export that information to a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Adding your Company Logo.

In the Contractor Manager (via Settings or just F7) of Viewline you can edit, remove and create your Contractor details. That’s basically your details – although Viewline will cater for an unlimited amount of contractors, generally there is only one main contractor and that’s you.

You can add your Company Logo here. Viewline will accept JPEG, BMP and PNG image files. The optimum dimensions and a downloadable format are shown here.

I'm seeing an 'error' message in red when I look at my projects.

When you open the project manager you will see a list of your projects, normally with the word ‘Healthy’ next to the project title. This means that the project is available from the location you saved it to. For example, if you saved a project to My Documents/CCTV Surveys, Viewline will check that path to see if your project is located at My Documents/CCTV Surveys. If it is then you will see the word ‘Healthy’.

If the project has been moved to another location you will see the word ‘Error’, this does not mean there is a problem with the project, it means the project has been moved.

Viewline Specification.

System Requirements

  • Minimum – Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system (32 or 64 bit)
  • Recommended – A Fully DirectX 9 Compliant Video Card running on any 32 bit Windows and capable of displaying at 1024×768.
  • Minimum – 256 Meg RAM. Recommended 1 Gig +.
  • Minimum – 1 Gig Hard Disk Space. Recommended 10 Gig+ (100 Gig for DV Video).
  • Minimum P4 1.6 Ghz or Equivalent. Recommended 3 Ghz + (Using on the fly compression, more with DV Video).
  • DirectShow compliant VideoCapture device.
  • Codecs to view video file format.
  • Reports – a PDF reader and/or Microsoft Office

How do I change the distance reading of the last line in the observation list (normally MHF)?

You will see that the last code/observation shown is the finish reference, normally MHF. To change the distance or the finish node reference just double click (or right click) this observation and you will see a list of finish node references as well as the SA code. You can select any of these and then change the distance/position and Save.

I cannot get a specific type of video to work with Viewline what should I do?

Viewline generally supports any valid Windows video format that provides codecs for the DirectShow interface. This means that making Viewline aware of additional video formats is in most cases simply a case of ensuring that you have the correct codec installed on your system. For example to play DivX movies you would need a DivX codec, for Xvid, you need an Xvid codec etc. We find that the most useful Windows component for handling video decoding and encoding is the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack. This comes with FFDshow and allows DirectShow to handle an array of Video formats which in turn provides this functionality to Viewline. You can search Google for specific video codecs but most of your needs should be catered for with K-Lite Mega Codec Pack on your computer and configuring to your requirements. We recommend Xvid MPEG-4, if available.

I can't save/attach a video file to an active header.

There could be a number of reasons, the following are most likely:

  • The video file may be large and Viewline is busy dealing with the size.
  • It’s not in a recognised file format.
  • If you can’t see the video file in the folder it’s supposed to be in then it might be that you need to select all files rather than the already selected MPEG, AVI extensions.
  • We have come across some users who put their original video files in the same folder as the Viewline project database and then try to import those files to the same folder that they are already located in. This makes sense as Viewline does this when you import from another source; video files are pulled into the project file with a Viewline created unique name. However Viewline does not like being asked to import (create a file linked to a header) from a folder to the same folder. It’s simpler just to attach the video straight from your memory stick. If, for whatever reason, you have video files in the project database folder and you want to attach them to headers, then just slot those video files in a separate folder within the Viewline project folder.

Problems when source video and Viewline generated video are saved in the same folder.

When Viewline attaches a video to a section header it gives that video file a unique reference number and stores the video file in that project’s folder. Some users also want to store the original video file within the same folder and this can be done as long as those additional files are put into their own folder. Problems may occur otherwise as related video files are viewed as the same, which creates a conflict.

Live video seems to freeze when I'm recording, how do I stop this?

When Viewline is recording you should also be able to watch the live preview. If you can’t then there is some form of issue with the video capture settings on your computer. If you have both K-Lite and X-vid installed then it would definitely be worth removing one of them and seeing if this resolves the problem. Also make sure there isn’t another application using the video stream (some capture devices install their own player). Also make sure your system has enough resources to cope with live video play and recording; the processor, RAM and video card are all adequate. Make sure your Windows device is up to date with updates.

I have just installed the dongle but nothing much seems to be happening?

You can always phone us up but check this page out first and also read through the rest of these frequently asked sections. If you are going to phone us it would be useful if you downloaded and installed Team Viewer first, it’s free and will enable us to access your computer to resolve any issues.

How much does Viewline cost?

Viewline is protected by a usb security dongle and each license you purchase will provide you with a single dongle. A single license for our domestic reporting package is £550.00. The price is negotiable if more than one license is required.

There are no additional charges, we provide a lifetime license without an annual subscription fee.

How does Viewline work, how do I get started with it?

To help you get started please take a look at our getting started video. Additionally you can find more information in our instructions section. Or contact us to arrange an online demonstration/training session or just to ask a question. We’re only too happy to help.

Viewing from DVDs/SD cards or importing video from the same.

With an SD card please ensure that the card is available to your computer. Within Viewline when you come to import a video you must browse to the card which will have become available as a new drive in Windows, and select the video file that you wish to work with. DVD videos can be of two types, either a true DVD video or a collection of video files. In the case of the later the method is identical to that of loading a video from an SD card. With a true DVD video when you browse to the dvd drive you must next browse into the VIDEO_TS folder and the videos contained within the DVD will be displayed as files ending in the extension .vob. If you correctly installed the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack with Viewline you will be able to open any of these files directly in Viewline. If you do need to find or configure a codec this is MPEG2 video.

Can Viewline export to XML?

Yes, Viewline has an export to XML option on the Report Manager. If you choose this option you will also be able to choose if you require images and videos to be exported into your destination folder. The XML option is useful for importing your project data into other external applications.

What would be a recommended hardware setup?

If you are reporting live it is important that your video capture device is installed correctly. We recommend reporting live and connecting the video out from your camera system to a USB video capture card connected to your computer. This way video can be recorded directly into the program and observation pictures attached to observation details. We supply whitelisted video capture devices, cables and adapters which are optimized for our software but there are other capture devices available and should work well. Ensure you have your capture device set-up correctly. If you can’t see an image in the video pane then it is likely you have not configured your device (or it’s driver) correctly. Also make sure you have the ‘Live’ button pressed.

More information concerning connecting a video capture device is available here.

Can I install Viewline to more than one machine?

You can install 0ur CCTV reporting software to as many machines as you wish, although some aspects of the software are disabled. We provide a dongle to enable full use of Viewline.

Does Viewline come with a graphics/drawing package?

Viewline does not come with a drawing package.  Drawings can be imported into Viewline and will form the last page of the report. Viewline accepts BMP, JPG and PNG formats. All drawing packages will produce these.

You could create your drawing using traditional pen and paper. Scan and save as a JPG or BMP and import into the project.

DrainCad supply an OS map of the site and add drain run information supplied by you to create a high quality drainage plan.

Can I save live video to the project?

You can save video footage to each section header. The process is quick and easy, with the correct codec the file sizes are small. The benefit is that you could then send the project database to your customer along with a copy of the Viewline installer and they could view it in exactly the same way as you can, through the interface.

What’s the best set up for Viewline?

We feel that it’s far safer to view via a standard monitor and record the survey, directly, to Viewline. You may wish to save to memory stick or SD card and report later.

I’m having some difficulties getting the video footage to play via Viewline. Any ideas?

If you are having difficulties seeing video footage through Viewline try the following:

If you are connecting via USB make sure it is working.
Make sure you have installed your device’s driver and that your Capture device or graphics card is working correctly.

Check you have the correct codecs loaded. Check that the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack is still installed (you may need to download and install again but it’s free).

Right click the Viewline video pane, make sure your Capture device is selected and adjust the settings if required.

I’m having problems with PDF reports, can you help?

Viewline needs a PDF viewer to enable PDF reports. Make sure you have Ghostscript Lite installed. PDF reports with a lot of data may take some time to compile. You may need a little patience. PDF files can be printed to file or to paper. Some people get confused about this. If it’s printing to file, then you are creating an electronic version. Give it a relevant name and note where you are saving it.

An observation code that I need seems to be missing from the observation code list. What do you recommend?

If you can’t find an observation code then you always have the option of creating a new one using the observation editor. You can even add your own parameters.

I want to abandon the survey using the SA code, how do I do that?

You will see that the last code/observation shown is the finish reference, normally MHF. To change this to SA (Survey Abandoned) just double click (or right click) this observation and you will see a list of finish node references as well as the SA code. You can select any of these and then change the distance/position and Save.

The last observation (MHF normally) always shows the same distance as the previous observation. Is there a reason why?

It’s the way the database works. When you want to change it just double click the observation and change the distance.

I made a mistake and want to move a header and all its attached observations and pictures. Can I do this?

Yes. If you made a mistake with a section header, don’t worry you can move the headers around, even remove them. Just right click the header you want to move.

How do I access video settings?

Right click the video pane, select Settings and select your Capture device from the drop down list. There is also a video codec drop down list at this point and you can adjust the screen format.

I am seeing a green bar at the bottom of the video window, how do I remove that?

With the ‘Live’ button selected, right click the video pane, select ‘Analog Format’ and from the list select your format. In Europe/UK this will normally be PAL I.

Can Viewline pick up streams from Wireless Drain Camera systems?

Yes, Viewline will pick up and display RTSP streamed video. If your camera system outputs streamed video via WiFi all you need to know is the RTSP address. Viewline will connect to the camera and display video footage. This can be watched live, while recording, making observations and grabbing images from any device; laptop, tablet etc., with wireless.

Why can't I use the Word Report option?

This will function correctly as long as you have a version of Microsoft Office on your computer. If you have Office installed and you are still having problems then please contact us.

Buttons are missing and something looks wrong with the interface.

This is normally a DPI issue. Go to Control Panel/Appearance and Settings/Display and uncheck the box that says ‘Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays’.

What is an HTML report?

This is a specific type of report format designed by Viewline. (You’ll see other report providers trying to provide something similar but this was our idea and others have copied us. We have found this to be the case with may of our innovations. It’s a form of flattery).

The HTML report packages up the information you have put in and, in effect, creates a standalone web page that you can send to your customer. When it is opened you will see each section with a video attached to it. Click on the video to play, click on the section to view the observations and pictures. if you have attached a drawing then that will be available as well.

I want to send my customer the video files as well as the PDF report. How do I do this?

It depends on how you saved the video files and how your customer wants to see them.

If you recorded Live then when you look in the project folder you will see each video file named with a unique reference number. Of course, if you sent these to your customer they would have difficulties cross referencing the correct video with the survey. You can copy these files and save them elsewhere with a different file name that makes sense to you and your customer. Then just copy these files to a disc or memory stick. You could send them over the internet but video files are normally quite large. To view them your customer can right click the file and select ‘Open With’ and choose the media player they want to use. Windows comes with a media player but we recommend VLC (VideoLan), it’s very good. (We know some users just add the extension Mp4 to the end of each file to enable auto playing of the file. This works but we’re not going to recommend it just in case it doesn’t work for you or your customer).

Viewline has the facility to create a HTML report in Report Generator. This creates a browser based report with video files attached to each section surveyed. The information is packaged within a folder named the same as the project. This can be copied to disc, memory stick, uploaded to the internet or sent as an attachment (it will be a large folder). This is the easiest and simplest way of sending your customer video files.

I'm still having problems, what do I do now?

Talk to us. We recommend downloading and installing Team Viewer. This will then allow us to access your computer and sort any problems out.

What is the maximum database size?

The maximum database size is 4Gb (the data stored is your observations and pictures). Videos are stored outside of the database. A survey that exceeded 4Gb probably would be as a result of a lot of pictures being added. In the unusual event that this limit were exceeded we would recommend that a new project is created.

There may be some versions of Viewline that have a smaller limit (1Gb). Downloading and installing the latest version of Viewline will resolve this issue.

When I save video files to Viewline they are named using a long number, why is that and can I change this?

Viewline gives each saved video a unique reference number to stop duplication of file names and thus prevent any of your files being overwritten. It’s aimed at preventing you from losing your work. You can copy these files and save them elsewhere with a different file name that makes sense to you. To view them you can right click the file and select ‘Open With’ and choose the media player you want to use. Windows comes with a media player but we recommend VLC (VideoLan), it’s very good.

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