How do I configure videos for optimal playback in LabTutor Server?

Videos work great in LabTutor and can be a valuable addition to any experiment.  LabTutor natively supports the following:
  • High Definition .h264 encoded videos
  • Full-screen playback
  • Subtitles (supports multiple subtitle tracks)
  • Poster images (image displayed in place of an idle movie)

Adding videos to LabTutor is effectively a two-step process comprising:
1) Encoding video into formats optimal for LabTutor 
2) Importing and configuring the videos in LabAuthorIn this tutorial you will be guided through both parts of this process. For video conversion we recommend using Handbrake, a free video conversion application. The methods described below are devised to be used in conjunction with this.
1) Video Encoding
i. Download Handbrake (

ii. Choose the source video you want to convert


iii. Click Browse to select a destination for the output file


iv. Choose a Preset from the Preset menu (right-hand side of page). Presets already configured for LabTutor videos are located HERE and can be imported into Handbrake by navigating to Presets > Import, and selecting these files. Please note that these files will need to be downloaded to the local machine first.

v. Before going any further, it is advisable to preview your video prior to conversion. Click the Preview toolbar button and choose either VLC or Quicktime. Either of these applications are suitable but must first be installed on your machine before previewing. VLC is a free video playback application available from A preview snippet will then be encoded and played.

vi. Click Add to Queue. The video, including its settings, is now saved ready for conversion. You may wish to navigate back to the main window and set up further videos to encode and add them to the queue, or simply click the Start toolbar button on the main window or Encode in the Show Queue window, to begin conversion. Depending on the size of the videos, this may take some time.

vii. The encoded videos will be saved to the chosen destination, ready to be used with LabAuthor.

2) Importing and Configuring Videos in LabAuthor

Video files are imported into LabAuthor in the same way as other files.
i. Click on the Video tab and right-click, or select File > Import > Videos. This will open up an Explorer window where you will be prompted to find and select a video to import.


ii. The video will now be present in the video tab. Click Add Source… on the displayed window.


iii. Rename the video as desired and use it within LabAuthor as per any imported media. The Poster image dropdown enables a still image to be put in place of an idle video. Either chose an image already imported into LabAuthor, or select Import… from the drop-down to import a new image.
For a more comprehensive guide to using Handbrake- please refer to their user manual: