Multiple computers freezing with Video Stimuli

Hi Everyone!

I have created an experiment using Superlab 5 in which I have 210 videos, which are each loaded as a separate event.

To make data collection much easier, we decided to use a “shared testing lab” in our department where there are 5 computers. We tend to schedule 5 participants at the same time who all do the experiment at the same time on different computers that are plugged into separate outlets but in the same room.

We are running the experiment on Window 10, and we have checked the RAM (which is fine) but the computers seem to be freezing. On one occasion, I had 3 computers freeze at the same time of day, but all at different points in the experiment. This happened again the next day with the other 2 computers in the computer lab. In addition, I tested each computer individually running the full experiment and I did not experience any freezing. These two observations have led me to believe it is a problem with the shared testing lab and the fact that I am running 5 experiments at once, but I can’t be sure.

I have checked the following:

Input is set to “Keyboard- Single Keys”
The video loading is set to a per-trial loading rather than all the videos loading at the beginning
I have disabled auto-updates on the computers that could be causing freezing

One other discussion post suggested that this freezing can be alleviated if the videos are removed from a network drive. Our videos seem to be stored on the Desktop (ie. in the local drive) but another post suggested that IT could put these desktop files on a network drive despite them appearing to be in the local drive. Is there any way to check this on our own?

Please let me know if you have other suggestions/troubleshooting ideas to help solve this freezing!

All the best

In the experiment, can participants respond during video presentation? If so, which option is selected after clicking Settings… and selecting the Presentation Options tab?

If Keep playing movie, and… is selected, perhaps the speed in which some participants go through the experiment may result in an undetectable overlapping of videos, which could result in the computer freezing.

If this is the case, select Stop playing movie upon event end within the Presentation Options tab.

Also, I’ve taken a look at a past forum thread regarding a similar issue. There seems to be two rules of thumb when using videos within SuperLab:

1. Each video should be in its own trial, whether that’s done manually or automatically through using a stimulus list.

2. Make sure the video stops after it is not needed. This can be controlled in the Presentation Options tab.