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Old June 4th, 2009, 12:01 AM   #1
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OnLocation CS4 issues

Has anybody actually gotten OnLocation CS4 to reliably record HDV?

I have a laptop:

Intel P8700 2.53GHz
4GB RAM
320GB 7200RPM system drive
1TB eSATA (3GB/7200RPM) external (video capture) drive.

When I run OnLocation, it continuously sucks about 75% of the CPU. The monitor lags about 30 seconds behind the actual video, even when set to half-resolution. I'm recording to the eSATA drive, but regardless of to where I record, OnLocation cuts clips into many tiny clips, even though I've only clicked record once. And remote record doesn't work at all--when I click the remote record button, and record on the camera, nothing happens--the monitor ceases to update, no video is recorded, etc.

What gives? I see a lot of questions, but don't see any answers.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old June 9th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #2
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Your CPU is below spec for HDV (Adobe Premiere Pro CS4: System Requirements). Decoding HDV's interframe compression is very-processor intenstive.

The processor is essentially the culprit for the series of micro-clips. OnLocation automatically starts recording a new clip when it detects a break in the HDV stream. Under normal circumstances, such a break occurs only when recording is started at the camera--the camera actually interrupts the data stream at that instant waiting for the start of the next GOP. If OnLocation did not split the clip, the discontinuity would be captured in the clip, rendering it corrupt. Because your CPU can't keep up with the job of decoding HDV, OnLocation is detecting discontinuities where the stream is almost certainly intact.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Mapes View Post
Your CPU is below spec for HDV (Adobe Premiere Pro CS4: System Requirements). Decoding HDV's interframe compression is very-processor intenstive.
I may be reading something wrong, but the 3.4GHz minimum requirement is for a single core. The P8700 is a dual core, and should (and is) more than adequate for capturing/editing HDV. Are you telling me that OnLocation has become so bloated that what is essentially an higher-powered gaming laptop that otherwise handles HDV without issue cannot use OnLocation? I assume that because Adobe is differentiating between HDV and HD on their processor specs, that they are considering those two different things.

What a waste...

Matt
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:33 PM   #4
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Sorry, you didn't specify dual core, and not having committed processor models to memory I didn't instantly recognize the P8700 as a dual core. So, no, I'm not saying that OnLocation is too bloated to run just fine on a high-end laptop. It was simply a case of miscommunication.

Are you running the computer on battery or AC?
You mention that you set the MPEG Resolution to half. Have you tried kicking the MPEG Frames setting to I+P or I Only?
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Old June 9th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #5
 
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Matt...if a process is single threaded, the best it will do is the speed of one processor. it needs to be written to be able to parallel process with multiple cores in order to benefit from a dual core. There's still a LOT of apps that are not multi-threaded. In other words, a dual 2.53 gig processor is not equivalent to a single 5 gig processor, or even a 3 gig processor.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Mapes View Post
Sorry, you didn't specify dual core, and not having committed processor models to memory I didn't instantly recognize the P8700 as a dual core. So, no, I'm not saying that OnLocation is too bloated to run just fine on a high-end laptop. It was simply a case of miscommunication.

Are you running the computer on battery or AC?
You mention that you set the MPEG Resolution to half. Have you tried kicking the MPEG Frames setting to I+P or I Only?
Sorry, my bad. I'm a little irritable today, and shouldn't take it out on people nice enough to respond to my posts...

I was trying on AC power, and I tried both I and I+P settings--it didn't seem to help. I had wanted to use it this past weekend for a shoot. My next step is to get an ExpressCard Firewire card, and see if maybe something is funky about the laptop's built-in Firewire.

I'd really like to get this working if at all possible. This laptop has room for two drives, and if OnLocation will work for me, I can justify expenditure on another 7200RPM or solid state drive....and have a decent and professional solution for on-site monitoring/capture...

Thanks,
Matt
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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No worries, Matt. I understand being frustrated over a product that's not working.

We have a known bug where the discontinuity detection goes haywire and spews a series of micro-clips, but in our experience it's an infrequent occurrence--I'd guess somewhere in the neighborhood of one in fifty recordings. This is the first I've heard of a system with the requisite horsepower encountering this problem routinely.

Two Windows settings to check that can cause a laptop to throttle back the CPU:
1) Control Panel > Power Options should be set to High Performance. As a rule, that setting should not affect performance when running on AC, but we know of cases where it does.
2) Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced Tab > Performance Settings > Advanced Tab: "Adjust for best performance" should be set to Programs, not Background Services. Programs is the default, but some programs change it to Background.

Also, do you have any other apps running, including virus protection?

I like your thinking on trying an ExpressCard firewire port. In a similar vein, I suggest trying a different FireWire cable. btw, how long is the one you're currently using. Finally, if you can lay your hands on another HDV camera, it's worth swapping that out, too, just to isolate all the variables.

Incidentally, I did most of my CS4 testing on a 2GHz Core 2 Sager laptop with just 1 GB of RAM. CPU usage averages 40%, and I saw this bug only a handful of times in many, many, many test recordings. Latency is sub-1 second as long as I keep MPEG Resolution to half; with that setting at Full, latency is usually short, but the system occasionally stops refreshing for several seconds.
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