H.263 Video Messages in the Voicemail


I’m trying to set the Asterisk to leave a video message to the mailbox, but there is some compatibility problem, although h263 is identified as the matching codec, as you can see in the debug messages below:

Does anyone know how to resolve this problem?


David :unamused:

This is interesting and something I’ll test, but it won’t be today (Monday) unfortunately. Are you just setting the format in voicemail.conf to h263 or is there some other wizardry involved,

PS i’ve not checked voip-info or google - just off the cuff interest.

Have you setup your sip.conf correctly ?

Once video support is set up and the video phone supports it it works.

ie videosupport=yes in sip.conf and the codecs in each sip.conf


That’s my sip.conf (you’ll see that video support is enabled):

context=default ; Default context for incoming calls
bindport=5060 ; UDP Port to bind to (SIP standard port is 5060)
bindaddr= ; IP address to bind to ( binds to all)
srvlookup=yes ; Enable DNS SRV lookups on outbound calls
useragent=VMS ; Allows you to change the user agent string
dtmfmode = rfc2833 ; Set default dtmfmode for sending DTMF. Default: rfc2833

context=default ; Where to start in the dialplan when this phone calls
host= ; we have a static IP address

This is in my voicemail.conf:

; Default formats for writing Voicemail

In addition to the error messages that I sent previously, I also get this:

[quote]Oct 30 04:17:18 WARNING[16845]: channel.c:2333 set_format: Unable to find a codec translation path from h263 to unknown
Oct 30 04:17:18 WARNING[16845]: file.c:821 ast_streamfile: Unable to open /var/spool/asterisk/voicemail/default/123456/busy (format h263): No such file or directory
Oct 30 04:17:18 WARNING[16845]: channel.c:2333 set_format: Unable to find a codec translation path from h263 to gsm
Oct 30 04:17:18 WARNING[16845]: file.c:821 ast_streamfile: Unable to open beep (format h263): No such file or directory
– Recording the message
– x=0, open writing: /var/spool/asterisk/voicemail/default/123456/INBOX/msg0002 format: wav49, 0x84c5070
– x=1, open writing: /var/spool/asterisk/voicemail/default/123456/INBOX/msg0002 format: wav, 0x84b3c18
Oct 30 04:17:18 WARNING[16845]: channel.c:2333 set_format: Unable to find a codec translation path from h263 to slin
Oct 30 04:17:18 WARNING[16845]: app.c:622 ast_play_and_record: Unable to set to linear mode, giving up
== Spawn extension (default, 123101123456, 1) exited non-zero on ‘SIP/5060-084bb788’

Could it be that:

  1. I should record an OGM in video format (if yes, how?)?
  2. I should add a video file format for messages, as wav is only for audio?

It seems that although video might be supported, voicemail prompts, files and config is not video-friendly by default.

Is there any documentation about this issue, with examples?


i dont know much about sip video, but i would guess that in voicemail.conf you’d need to enable a video storage format (other than wav49/wav, which are audio formats) to be able to store video…

That’s what I said, but is it supported?

I think so but I’m not entirely sure. Your first step is to enable the codecs you use for video in the video storage format…


Other than videosupport=yes and enabling the codec NO other changes seem to be needed. I have it working on a lab system and these where the only changes made.
Do you have G729 licences on this Box ? try enabling a few other codecs.


Tells it all in very plain english. Your peer doesnt support G729 so the call falls back to H263.


Hi Ian,


Yes, I purchased G.729, but as you noticed, the soft-phone I used for the test didn’t support G.729.

I enabled also gsm and G.711 and the call went through.

Now, I think that the problem remains that I don’t have an outgoing message in H.263 (that’s a minor issue) and that I don’t have a video format file defined, as the message stored was in wav format and didn’t contain the video.

Does anyone know if anything other than wav, wav49 or g723 exists in terms of file format or if I can install a video file format that would store the H.263 data?



I dont thik so please read my quote at the top

Also what softphone are you using ?


Hi Ian,

There are 2 issues:

  1. What I was able to do is to login to my mailbox using the IVR from the same soft-phone and I saw the video message, so it was stored correctly, only NOT emailed as video. Are you getting an email with a video clip attachment? is it a wav format file? I am sure that the file format needs to be changed. There’s no other logical explanation for that.

  2. Regarding the outgoing message, I assume that when you call the mailbox, the outgoing message is audio only, right?

The soft-phone is proprietary, but I tested it with video phones and it works fine.

Do you have any suggestion on how to see why the email is not delivering the video?



Ok So it IS working,

As to your question, No I dont get the video just the wav and yes the OGM is voice, as I would expect, as the Vast majority of calls are from voice sets.

To email the video you could call a script on VM exit.


Yes. Now it is working.

I did 2 things:

  1. I recorded an OGM by leaving a video message and copied it manually from /INBOX to the main folder and renamed it busy.h263 and unavail.h263, so now when I call with a video-enabled soft-phone, I see my OGM, while the WAV OGM is stil played for voice calls. I’ll need to build a script to allow the users to do that once I’ll launch the service.

  2. in voicemail.conf, I changed the format line to include h263, so it looks like this now:
    Before, I put h263 ahead of wav49 and I got the h263 message by email, which leads me to understand that the Asterisks only mails the first format.


  1. Is there a way to view these h263 files? I didn’t succeed with Windows Media Player.
  2. Is there a way to send both attachments and not only one (preferably when a video call is detected)? I noticed that on each call, a h263 file is created, which is not so good, but its size is 0, so there has to be a way to do that, right?

You were referring to a script that would be created. That’s the same as duplicating the email sending process by the Asterisk, isn’t it? Can you explain how it’s done or send a link to a manual/guide?



Astersik records the ur incoming video not in pure h263 file but only sequence of h263frames with their headers.
So u wont be able to play that file with conventional players.

By the way asterisk supports h263 in pass through mode. So it does not process the h263 data (frames) . It will only forward them to destination or save it as raw h263 data ( As described above).

Yes U can do one thing u can play that raw file using Playback()…

What’s “Playback”?

Also, any idea how to send both wav and h263 files by email, assuming that we’ll manage to play it?

Is there a tool out there to convert h263 raw files that Asterisk is storing to readable files?