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Old October 9th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #1
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So what am I doing wrong.

Hi there.

I hear lots of Vegas users complementing Cineform on their codec, stating: it speeds up playback, and colour fidelity, etc, etc.

So what am I doing wrong, I am recording material using the Canon XH-A1 camera in PAL land (UK), and in Vegas 7 or 8 I capture this material as HDV 1080i .m2t files, I place them on my timeline and I am getting 25fps realtime Preview / Full playback in a HDV 1080i project, as soon as I add any effect, then this obviously drops the frame rate down a bit.

I was hoping that with a slight increase of decoding power, thus using the Neo HDV package, I may be able to get the same results, but with a bit more horse power to do some effects.

So I have installed the trial of NeoHDV.

My first issue is that using HDLink for capturing, the output files seemed to have been scene detected split, way too often, I actually shot a piece, and there should be 8 files, although when captured through HDLink I have 22 files, and it has split these in the middle of shots.

So I have tried taken my original .m2t captures from Vegas (which work) and converting these to the Neo files again using HDLink, This time I do have the correct amount of files, and they seem to be about double the size of the m2t's, which would seem about right.

If I then import these into my PAL HDV 1080i project, using the same preview / full settings I am only getting about 12fps.

So what am I doing wrong, why do others, see a speed increase, and why do I see a speed decrease of about 100%. Just to point out I do not believe the speed decrease is down to hard drive speed as I am using a Fibre Channel SAN and I am getting a reading of 350MB/s in read and write using the Decklink Disc Speed Checker.

Any help greatly appreciated.

Matt Wright
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Old October 9th, 2007, 10:30 AM   #2
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What are your CPU and RAM specs?

Vegas 7 & 8 did a excellent job for accelerating the M2T decode, so the performance difference was reduced. The performance advantage of Wavelet like CineForm kicks when you preview at reduced resolution. Decoding at half is 2.5-3X faster than decoding full, and decoding to a quarter is at least 2X faster again (not including the faster filtering benefits.) Note: Make sure you use the smart rendering mode with HDLink.

Your conversion issue sounds like packet loss. Try an M2T capture from the same tape, then convert that. If you don't have the scene break issue, either your PC is too slow (but it would have to be pretty old these days, like a Xeon classic -- not Core2) or your Firewire port is flakey.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #3
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Hi David

I am running a Mac 8 Core 3.0Ghz, with windows XP64, and 8GB Ram.

So hopefully there is enough power

Matt
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Old October 9th, 2007, 11:25 AM   #4
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Weird, try a plug-in Firewire card as something is not right.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #5
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So what about playback speed, Should I be able to play back a single stream of HDV 1080i Cineform in Vegas in Preview / Full mode, at 25fps ?

Thanks Matt
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Old October 9th, 2007, 11:52 AM   #6
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I would expect so, although Preview half is the recommended mode.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 08:41 PM   #7
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This is what I ran into, captured clips using neo hdv onto an external drive, too many clips, most of them were unusable, just deleted them and captured again on my second HD in my computer, 300 gig, no problem at all, correct # of clips, everything worked fine, So, I never try to capture clips onto a external. and I'm using a firewire card.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Mobley View Post
This is what I ran into, captured clips using neo hdv onto an external drive, too many clips, most of them were unusable, just deleted them and captured again on my second HD in my computer, 300 gig, no problem at all, correct # of clips, everything worked fine, So, I never try to capture clips onto a external. and I'm using a firewire card.
Capturing from Firewire to a firewire drive, if on the same bus, is prone for failure. Firewire to USB works.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 10:55 AM   #9
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David, has any ever reported issues with corruption of another drive plugged into the same 1394 card as the capture device related to the use of HDLink, even if that drive isn't being used for capture?

I ran into a situation yesterday with my HV20 where my Raid 0 backup drive was sharing the same Adaptec 1394 card as the HV20 capture cable, and after a problematic HDLink session (already sent in a trouble ticket #611-5408617 to tech support about repeated "Can't connect to M2T device..." problems and HDLink taking forever to start and recognize the camera), I started getting messages from windows about not being able to write back cached data to the external 1394 drive, and eventually, the drive directory was damaged, and my last year's backups were toast, had to reformat the drive. In this case, I was capturing to an internal SATA drive, the external 1394 drive just happened to be in the line of fire, so to speak.

Yesterday put the backup drive on its own dedicated 1394 interface, and only using the Adaptec 1394 interface for capture, hopefully this will be more robust as I sure don't want to have to deal with this sort of disaster again!

Thanks for any insight,

Michael
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 10:59 AM   #10
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Yes, we have heard of that, and we don't recommend sharing the firewire bus with the camera and anything else.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 11:01 AM   #11
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If its not already there, perhaps this recommendation should be included on the Cineform FAQ or tech notes?

Or in my case printed in 72 point all-caps red letters when the app first runs. :-)
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 12:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Eskin View Post
If its not already there, perhaps this recommendation should be included on the Cineform FAQ or tech notes?

Or in my case printed in 72 point all-caps red letters when the app first runs. :-)
It is not always the case, as on some systems it works fine, but it one of the check point when a customer reports capture issues. We often ask people to trying capture to their system drive as that rule out a lot of issues.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 01:18 PM   #13
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Unfortunately, in this case, I was capturing to a system SATA drive, and there just happened to be another 1394 drive plugged into the same Firewire controller as the HV20. When I had a capture issue with HDLink, it appears to have cause an issue with a cached writeback to the drive unrelated to the capture itself.

Two things I've learned from this:

1) Capture on a dedicated 1394 card with no other devices attached to that card, even if they aren't being used for the capture destination so if there is a Firewire issue, it doesn't necessarily effect other devices plugged into the same card.

2) Disable write caching on my 1394-based backup drives.

Cheers,

Michael
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Old December 5th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #14
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Interestingly, I'm now seeing the same symptom as the first message in this thread, when doing realtime capture/transcode (Cineform only, no simultaneous M2T) from the HV20 with 3:2 pulldown and scene detect, I'm getting way too many files generated. If I capture the same tape first as M2T, then have HDLink convert to Cineform, the splits are correct. I'll stick with that as my workflow as it takes about as much time and seems more robust. This is with the latest Neo update as of yesterday, the HV20 on its own Adaptec 1394 board, capturing to an internal SATA drive that has no problem with straight M2T capture. System is a Athlon64X2 4600, 2 GB RAM, running XP-SP2 and nothing significant running while doing capture. I never saw this issue on the previous release of HDLink, but am glad to have a useable workflow.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #15
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Too many splits means you are getting packet loss over Firewire, this points to a bad firewire card or under powered CPU. When do conversions at the same time as capture, some system get too busy and "forget" to read all the packet coming over firewire before the hardware buffer overruns. Bad or cheap firewire cards can have too little memory FIFO to prevent packet loss when the system is loaded.
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