Chromium Browsers getting "MEDIA_ERR_DECODE: Failed to prepare video sample for decode" errors

Hi there,

We’ve got an HTML5 video player with which users can play both VOD and live streams. Occasionally, while watching the live stream, users run into the following error:

MEDIA_ERR_DECODE (CHUNK_DEMUXER_ERROR_APPEND_FAILED: Failed to prepare video sample for decode)

After which playback doesn’t seem to recover.

The only common threads I’ve been able to find between the errors is that it mostly happens on live streams and it looks like it only affects Chromium-based browsers like Chrome, Edge & Opera.

I’ve scoured various forums online for similar errors, but there isn’t a lot about it online.

Hi @emile.hay , welcome to Bitmovin community and thanks for reaching out to us. The error shared above is most likely caused by a decoding issue in the codec pipeline in the browser.

It is possible that the streams have some encoding issue or incompatibility which causes this behaviour.

Can you please share some additional information about your streams and player that you are using?

There are a few things that you can do to confirm this.

  • Test with different players like Bitmovin player, Shaka, Dash.js/HLS.js etc. to check if the issue is happening for all player. If happening with all players, then it is related to streams itself.
  • Try using Bitmovin encoder for generating the streams(if not already used) and see if problem persists.
  • Check media internals in Chrome browser in dev tools. The events and messages in media tools section can shed some light on the issue. Please see below a screenshot of where to find media internals in dev tools.

If problem is found to happen only with Bitmovin player or Bitmovin encoded streams, then I will suggest to open a support ticket through your Bitmovin account to share more information about the test setup and test streams to allow our support team to take a deeper look into it.