Dealing with FFMPEG Error while opening codec for output stream…

Quick post about the ffmpeg error message: “Error while opening codec for output stream #0.0 – maybe incorrect parameters such as bit_rate, rate, width or height” .

We received some video files from a partner in the Safecity project, which did not play in all media players.
We tried VLC, windows media player, and a variety of other players but nothing worked.

Checking the file with a hex editor, I saw there was data within the video, and thought to try converting with FFMPEG using commands such as:

ffmpeg -i “damaged_file.avi” converted_file.mp4

However, ffmpeg  failed with the following error message:

Error while opening codec for output stream #0.0 – maybe incorrect parameters such as bit_rate, rate, width or height

More