SER Player

Introducing SER Player for Windows, macOS and Linux.

SER Player is a video player for playing LuCam Recorder SER files.  SER files are used for planetary, lunar and solar captures and this player allows these captures to be viewed in the same way AVI files are viewed with a standard video player.

SER Player is an open source application available for Windows, OS X and Linux (Download links below).

  • Debayer RAW colour frames to produce colour frames.
  • Invert frames to produce a negative version.
  • Gain and Gamma adjustment.
  • Colour channel alignment.
  • Convert colour frames to monochrome frames.
  • Colour saturation adjustment.
  • Colour balance adjustment.
  • Frame area cropping.
  • Resizing frames to a smaller size.

Supported save formats:
  • SER Format.
  • Uncompressed AVI (DIB Codec).
  • Animated GIF.
  • Individual images (JPEG, BMP, PNG and TIFF).

Technical details:
  • Released under the GNU GPLv3 licence.
  • Written in C++ using the Qt cross-platform application framework.
  • Because it uses Qt it could be built for iOS or Android to run on tablets.  This have not been done though.
  • Reuses some of PIPP's code.
  • Still a work in progress!

Supported languages:
  • Danish
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese (From version 1.7.4)
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Thanks to all the volunteers who provide their time to produce the translations.
Volunteers for translating SER Player to new languages are always appreciated.  This simply involves translating a list of English text to your own language, no programming experience is required.  Please email if you want to help.

SER Player Downloads

Pre-built versions of SER Player for various platforms can be downloaded from the links below.  If you have any issues with these binary images, including download problems, then please drop me an email to let me know.


Windows (64-bit) (27.8 MB)
Windows (32-bit)  (23.7 MB)
These are zipped Windows installers.

macOS (64-bit): SER-Player_macOS_v1.7.2.dmg  (13.8 MB)
macOS Disk Image file containing a .app file.
Note that this is an unsigned App as I am not a member of the Apple Developer Program.
For details of installing unsigned Mac software please see this:

GNU/Linux AppImage Package (64-bit): SER_Player-v1.7.3-x86_64.AppImage  (20.8 MB)
AppImage Package (32-bit): SER_Player-v1.7.3-i386.AppImage  (20.6 MB)
*** AppImage packages updated 27-Sep-2019 to fix problems with the old AppImage packages on newer Linux releases ***
AppImage packages are designed to run on all major Linux desktop distributions and are the fallback option if SER Player is not available in your distribution's repository.

For details of using the SER Player AppImage see: SER Player AppImage Usage

Debian Based Linux Distributions
SER Player is now included in the Debian repository which means it will become available in Linux distributions based on Debian as they release new versions.  Below is a list of the more popular Debian based distributions that contain SER Player.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver
  • Linux Mint 19
  • Debian 10 Buster
  • Linux Lite 4.0
  • Peppermint OS 9
  • elementary OS 5.0 Juno
To install SER Player on distributions that support it, simply install the 'ser-player' package using the package management tool of your choice.  Many thanks to Cyril Richard of SIRIL fame for his tireless work on getting SER Player into the Debian repository.

Arch Linux
SER Player can be found in Arch User Repository (AUR) with the package name 'ser-player'.

SER Player project on GitHub:
Here you can find the complete SER Player project including source code.  Also here are the pre-build versions for current and previous releases.

Example SER files:
Jupiter monochrome capture (C14 + ASI174MM camera): (16MB)
Mars raw colour capture (C14 + ASI120MC camera): (11.7MB)
Here are a couple of very short captures in SER format that can be used for evaluating SER Player.


v1.7.4: Not released yet

  • Added Japanese translation.

v1.7.3: 27 Sep 2019
Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed minor issue with text colour on processing dialog with dark desktop themes.

v1.7.2: 16 Feb 2018
Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed issue with colour balance estimation when non-default bayer pattern is used for debayering.
  • Various updates to allow code to work on big-endian processors (Untested).
  • Fixed error where new version check was included in Linux repository builds.

  • Added support for building SER Player for Linux distros.
  • Updated save frames dialog to make it more user friendly.
  • Added support for NeuQuant neural-net quantisation algorithm for improved colour GIF generation.
  • Added ability to disconnect playback controls to allow a greater zoom.
  • PNG image writing made faster, plus support for 16-bit data and true monochrome added (libpng now used).
  • TIFF image writing made faster, plus support for 16-bit data and true monochrome added (TIFF code from PIPP used).
  • Added Polish language translation.
  • Updated rendering of frame details text to remove jitter due to changing width (Mac issue mainly).
  • Changed video background to very dark grey.
  • Added Russian language translation.

v1.6.016 Aug 2016

  • Added functionality to fix broken (0 framecount) SER files rather than just rejecting them.
  • Fixed bug in Windows installer that failed to install MSCVP120.dll.
  • Changed Linux releases to distribution independent AppImage packages instead of .deb packages.

v1.5.2: 04 May 2016
Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed dependency issue with Debian packages and Ubuntu 16.04.

  • Added Spanish language translation.

v1.5.0: 23 Mar 2016

  • Added support for viewing SER file thumbnails in Explorer (Windows Only).
  • Added support for resizing frames when saving them.
  • Added support for aligning RGB channels.
  • Added support for generating animated GIFs.
  • Added support for generating raw AVI files.
  • Added support for frame cropping.
  • Added support for CYYM, YCMY, YMCY and MYYC bayer patterns.
  • Added German language translation.

v1.4.1: 09 Nov 2015

Bug Fixes:

  • Corrections to Danish language translations.

v1.4.0: 07 Nov 2015
Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed playback of SER files with incorrectly set pixel_depth in header.  Not really a bug in SER Player but lets play nicely!
  • Added controls to modify display colour saturation and colour balance.
  • Added controls to modify gain and gamma.
  • Added support for 'reverse' and 'forward + reverse' play.
  • Added start and end markers to restrict frames that are played.
  • Added support for saving multiple frames as images, including while playback is active.
  • Added a histogram viewer.
  • Added option to open recently used SER files.
  • Added option to open folders recently used to save frames in.
  • Added support for saving frames as a new SER file, with or without processing.

v1.3.0: 19 Sep 2015
Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed issues when zooming larger than screen allows.
  • Added French language translation.
  • Limited Update checks to once per 12 hours.
  • Added auto-playback when loading a SER file.

v1.2.0: 27 Jun 2015

Bug Fixes:

  • Corrected initial zoom to 100%.
  • Added support for language localisation and a Danish translation.
  • Added updated version check to allow users to keep up to date with the latest version.
  • Added support for generating Debian Linux binary packages (.deb).
  • Slight redesign to the SER Player icons.

  • Initial release.

User Features:

  • Playback of v2 and v3 SER files.
  • Debayering of raw colour captures.
  • The video can be resized via a menu option or simply resizing the player.
  • The playback can be changed via the playback menu.
  • The frames can be viewed one at a time using the forward and backward buttons.

About the SER File Format

The SER format was originally devised by Heiko Wilkens for his Lucam Recorder image acquisition software.  This format is an alternative to the AVI format for capturing data from web cams and fast frame rate cameras for planetary, lunar and solar imaging. 

Advantages of the SER format over the AVI format:
  • SER files are simpler for software to process because the format is simpler.
  • SER files do not rely on video codecs as AVI files do.
  • SER files allow each frame to have an accurate timestamp.
  • SER files can support greater than 8-bit data.
The potential disadvantage of the SER format compared the AVI format is that is does not support lossless compression which can be achieved with AVI files using a suitable codec.