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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:53 PM   #1
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Cineform playback worse than native m2t files

Moderators, please excuse the 2nd post from the Vegas forum. Please feel free to delete that post or append it to this one.

Hopefully somebody can help me, I'm at wits end on this one. I'm am getting considerably worse performance with Cineform NEO (trial) and Vegas rendered Intermediary files than native m2t files. On the Vegas timeline using Preview-Half mode, m2t files play at 23.976fps out the gate. The Cineform files ramp up to 17-19fps. m2t files perform exceptionally well maintaining decent frame rates with levels, color corrector, saturation, and even Magic Bullet (some stutter). Cineform can barely playback the file without effects. I uninstalled and re-installed Vegas 8. Did windows update, installed the NEO player with only the same results. Windows Media player seems to play the cineform file better than Vegas, with full screen playing smoothly. Premiere Pro 2 playback of the Cineform file is worse than the m2t also. Please help.

Windows XP with Latest Updates
Vegas 8.0c
Cineform NEO trial
HP Pavilion Laptop Core2Duo 2.0GHz
2GB Ram
512MB Video Card
7200RPM System Drive
Lacie 2TB USB External Drive (7200)
XHA1 24f
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #2
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The only time I've seen this sort of a situation, was with problems pulling from a hard drive, and with a bad media player.

I'd do a check to see how long it takes to pull one of those files from the lacie, it sounds like it's not achieving the full performance of that drive. Is it properly connecting at USB2.0, or just USB1.0? Also, I would recommend more than 2GB of RAM.

The downside of intermediate files is they require more disk space, and more disk throughput. If it can pull the data fast enough, it will rock. If not, it will play back horribly, no matter the intermediate format used. It sounds like your processor is doing a decent job with uncompressing the m2t's, but when you use an intermediate, it's taking the load off the CPU and placing it on the disk drive. It definitely sounds like it's having trouble accomplishing that goal.

Also, what quality setting are you using in Cineform? Try a Film Scan 2 and a Low quality, using the same file, and bring them into Vegas. Does the FS2 or the Low quality play better? Low quality is a smaller file size, and if it performs better, that also points to it being a problem pulling from the disk fast enough.

Carl
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #3
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Carl,

Thank you for your thoughts. I actually have fixed the problem. Not too sure what was the culprit, but reinstalled Vegas after the windows update, and Cineform performance seemed to improve, about on par with the native m2t file. On a hunch, I uninstalled Vegas 8, NEO, NEO player, restarted and installed just Vegas 8. Now I'm seeing a performance gain with Cineform, roughtly 5-6 fps faster with heavy effects than the native m2t. this is using the Render to Intermediate file in Vegas using 2.8 codec whereas before the reinstall, 3.3 codec was used.

Also, I've noticed Cineform outperforms the native file in playback in Preview-Half mode, but lags in comparison in Best-Full mode, can anybody explain why? Many thanks.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #4
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Kevin:

That is a problem we've all noted in Vegas with Cineform. Not getting the best preview at this point. I actually get a nice preview with .m2t files, but continue to edit with Cineform because of benefits and ability to CC.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:47 PM   #5
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When converting in HDLink make sure you have Vegas smart render turns on, this make most Vegas systems faster. You do want to be using codec version 3.3 if you can (NEO HDV/HD 3.1.x.)
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Old November 8th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #6
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Hi David,

Thanks for the replies, per your recommendation, I reinstalled NEO 3.1 and immediately I was back to where I started. Worse playback without effects than the native m2t file under the same settings. Problem now is that I can't get back to where I was. I uninstalled NEO and then it was crash city with Vegas, it wouldn't even open up. Uninstalled Vegas as well, re-installed Vegas only and now I am getting about even playback performance with Cineform 2.8 files as the native m2t file, nowhere near what I was getting before (5-6fps faster). As a sanity check, I installed Vegas on another Laptop which is significantly lower in horsepower (HP Pavilion ZD7000, P4 3.0 with 1GB Ram, 128MB video card) and conducted the exact same test on that machine with the exact same clips, and the Cineform clips perform 5-6fps faster than the m2t file. I did not install NEO on this machine. I am completely baffled as to why the 2.8 version runs better than 3.3 in my situation but now it seems I can't get to where I was.

Kevin
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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #7
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Running Cineform files from a USB drive may not be ideal. Cineform requires 3 times the bandwidth of native HDV, so slow disk access could cause prayback problems, that would effect Cineform more than native HDV.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McCarthy View Post
Running Cineform files from a USB drive may not be ideal. Cineform requires 3 times the bandwidth of native HDV, so slow disk access could cause prayback problems, that would effect Cineform more than native HDV.
Thanks Mike, all tests have been conducted on a local drive, not the external.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #9
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Isn't it the case that Media Player uses the multi-threaded Direct Show decoder whereas Vegas uses the single-threaded VFW decoder?
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Old November 9th, 2007, 02:19 AM   #10
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Thank you for all of the replies. Richard, I checked out your site and am still in awe of the market you carved out for yourselves, talk about thinking outside of the box, wow!

Anyhow, I have just got my system back to where it was, which is getting better playback performance with Cineform codec 2.8 files than native m2t files. For the life of me I could not get the same performance I once did no matter what I did. Uninstall NEO, uninstall NEO player, reinstall Vegas, Regvac, etc, etc, many iterations with no luck. At best I was only able to get comprable playback between Cineform and native m2t. Retraced my steps over and over again down to the Windows update, no updates needed. Uninstalled Windows Media Player 11, reinstalled with the downloaded version. Reinstalled Vegas, no dice, but as I was just about to call it a night, decided to run windows update one more time, guess what, 3 updates for Media Player. Uninstalled NEO, reinstalled Vegas (but not NEO), and wallah, my playback performance with Cineform 2.8 exceeds M2T once again. I'm not all that sure what the deal is but hopefully this can help somebody else out down the road.

Kevin
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