Chapter 3. Troubleshooting

3.1. Blank Screen

If MagicHD starts with a blank screen and you can’t get media to display:

  • If you are running MagicHD on the same PC as MagicQ

    • you must launch MagicHD from within MagicQ. The MagicHD window title will show MagicHD (Server 1 ‘MagicHD’) or something similar
    • you must ensure the media player is configured correctly.
  • If you are running MagicHD on its own PC:

    • the MagicHD window title will show MagicHD (Art-Net universe 0) or something similar
    • you must patch MagicHD to an Art-Net universe that is being output by MagicQ
    • you must ensure the media player is configured correctly.
    • you must tell MagicHD to use the right universe. The protocol and universe are changed under File → Settings in the MagicHD application menu.
  • If the MagicHD window has filled the screen and hidden other applications you can leave full screen mode by

    • on a PC press F11 to leave fullscreen, or Alt-Tab to cycle round your applications
    • on a Mac press Cmd-Shift-F, or Cmd-Tab to cycle round your applications. Although you can’t see the mouse pointer, if you move it to the extreme top right the application menu bar should re-appear, including the fullscreen button which you can press to leave fullscreen.

3.2. Media Conversion

3.2.1. New files are not being converted

For MagicHD to spot a new media file that needs to be converted, the file must be in the right place.

  • Does the filename start with a number and underscore? e.g.
  • Is the file in a numbered directory? e.g. 99/
  • Is the directory under MagicQ PC/convert? e.g /MagicQ PC/convert/99/

Check for the new file in the show. Continuing the example above, you should see …/MagicQ PC/show/media/99/

If the new media file is not getting converted, you might see an error message flash up on the HUD or MagicQ input window. Even if you miss this, there is a conversion log file. Check here for warnings or errors.


To make it easier to analyse the log file restart MagicHD and try the conversion by itself. The log file will be small and should only contain messages relating to the problem file.

3.2.2. MagicHD won’t play new file

For MagicHD to play a media file it must be in MagicHD’s index. The automatic conversion process normally does this for you. If media has been added directly, or conversion was interrupted, the index file might be out of date. To ensure the index is right, either delete the index file or regenerate it via the menu.

If you still can’t play the media check in the MagicHD log file for errors or warnings.


To make it easier to analyse the log file restart MagicHD, locate the output layer and layer 1, then in layer 1 select the problem media file. The log file will be small and should only contain messages relating to the problem file.

3.3. Thumbnails

The most common cause of incorrect or missing thumbnails is a mismatched network configuration. This only applies to the standalone configuration. Symptoms include

  • Missing thumbnails
  • Out of date thumbnails
  • No result from RELOAD THUMBS or RELOAD ALL THUMBS in the media window

Thumbnails are retrieved via the CITP/MSEX protocol which requires both peers (in this case MagicHD and MagicQ) to be able to “see” each other. Normal control of MagicHD is via Art-Net which is a broadcast protocol. Traffic is one way (MagicQ to MagicHD) and does not require MagicHD to be in contact with MagicQ.

3.4. Network Configuration

The PC running MagicHD, and the MagicQ console, must both have their IP address and netmask set so that they are on the same subnet. For example:


IP Address



IP Address


Both machines are on the 10.x.x.x subnet so they should be able to see each other.

To test this, ping MagicHD from MagicQ and vice versa:

  • In MagicQ, type “…” followed by the IP address of the MagicHD PC. The result is displayed in the input window.
  • On the MagicHD PC, open a DOS box, terminal or equivalent and type “ping” followed by the IP address of the console.

If you have multiple network adapters, make sure you are looking at the settings for the right one. You can find out which address MagicHD is using by selecting Settings or About from the application menu.

Once the networks settings are correct, MagicQ must be configured to talk to MagicHD. The Con State entry should show “Connected”.

3.5. Keystone

If you can’t see your media, and get a collection of letters on the screen like this

Keystone error

your keystone parameters are causing one corner of the media to be folded over. The letters correspond to the 8 encoders that control the position of the 4 corners. The side(s) of the media rectangle are shown in green where they are OK, and red where they are invalid. In this example the corner (A,B) has moved inside the line from (C,D) to (E,F). As you change the encoders you should see the corner points move. As soon as the keystone area is valid the media will appear again.

  • A quick way out is to LOCATE the output layer. This sets all parameters back to default.
  • If the problem persists check that you are using the latest head file for the MagicHD output layer. The personality changed in version

3.6. No Text

If you have recently added a text file you need to re-index the media before MagicHD will display the file.

The display of different fonts depends on the underlying operating system. If a particular font is not installed, or can’t be displayed at large point sizes, the text might vanish. To overcome this select a different font. Font 0 should always display.


A quick way to test the text layer is to LOCATE it. This sets all parameters back to default. Then select the text file you want, then alter other parameters to get the desired effect.

3.7. No Live Preview

If MagicQ is not showing live previews from MagicHD the most common cause is the network configuration on the MagicHD machine. Previews are sent by multicast so there must be a network route from MagicHD to MagicQ for the network packets to reach the console.

The simplest way to fix this problem is to add a default route, on the MagicHD machine, that uses the ethernet connection to MagicQ. Instructions for showing and setting network routes are highly OS specific so you are advised to search the internet for details.