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Old June 9th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #1
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Nvidia PNY540 and AspectHD - disaster!

I have just spent a lot of time, money and effort building a new HDV edit suite with a Nvidia PNY540 and AspectHD specially imported to South Africa from the US. I now discover that when using Premiere Pro 1.51's built-in HDV settings for 1080/50i, the system works beautifully, with smooth HD ouput via the PNY video breakout box to a broadcast monitor.

HOWEVER, when using the $500 AspectHD plugin with Cineform 1080/50i settings I get a major 3 sec picture jump everytime I press play and stop! I submitted a ticket to Cineform technical support only to be told that this is a known issue with AspectHD and the PNY540. As the PNY540 is sold bundled with AspectHD by Videoguys, who I bought the stuff from, I'm pretty pissed. How is it possible that the "free" HDV option works seamlessly, while the $500 option is glitchy on playback? I get no jumps on playback from Vegas 6.0a either. What's up, David?
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Old June 9th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #2
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Technically it is not a bug, it is your monitor that is resyncing. To get the high level of playback performance under Aspect HD, the playback engine is completely separate from Premiere. When Premiere is scrubbing it "owns" the playback overlay surface (on your video card) when you hit play the CineForm engine owns the playback surface. The switch happens in less than 10 milli-seconds, yet some monitors/cards take longer to refresh. You will notice from timeline scrubbing to playback there is no visible flash on the desktop, and that is the same signal that is sent to the external monitor (the overlay surface is used on the desktop and the external monitor -- all controlled by the Nvidia drivers.) The basic PPro 1.5.1 doesn't switch to the accelerator engine, so there is no transfer of the overlay, therefore no monitor re-sync. So whether this is your monitor that is slow at re-syncing or something the PNY540 driver is doing, isn't much CineForm can directly address. As cards like the 540 become more common we hope to pursue more custom development to limit or remove the discontinuity (like what are pursuing with HDSDI cards -- no resync required.) I hope this makes sense. In my own tests on one of our PNY540 based systems, the monitor took 1.5 second to resync (it was an Sony GDMFW900 24" CRT.) So it seems that the card is syncing faster and it may be a monitor issue alone. Clearly I don't recommend replacing your HD display, so I hope you will find the benefits of a 4X faster editing experience out weighs the delayed start on the external monitor.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 04:33 PM   #3
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I can't believe that others have not complained about this before. To me it's totally unacceptable - I'm not using an lcd screen, but a dinkum interlaced CRT-based TV monitor. I've never seen anything like it on other systems - the Canopus NX plays back smoothly, no glitches at all. I'll do some more testing and fiddling with other screens, but the current situation is untenable. No client will sit through a jumping screen everytime you hit play or stop.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #4
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What is the difference between "Jumping" and "Delayed Start"? Is there just a pause or is there a frame on the screen and then a jump into play mode?

Are you using the PNY 540 in an express PCI slot? I understand that is the only way to get HDV out of it so I guess you are. I was planning to get one of these video cards when I upgrade my Motherboard to pci express so I would like to reduce this issue as much as possible.

Same issue with the Matrox card?

The canopus nx board works with Premiere? I thought it only worked with Edius...
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Old June 9th, 2005, 07:48 PM   #5
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I didn't think is a an issue with the cards (Matrox or NVidia), it is that the external monitor wants to resync. Many Aspect HD users have used the S-Video output of many different cards for nearly two years now without this issue (particular to PAL/NTSC displays which re-sync is not an issue.) So the playback doesn't jump, the playback is performing as it should, yet the external monitor is taking time to show the output.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 01:52 AM   #6
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I tried using an LCD monitor with an S-video input as well last night. It looks worse than the CRT when it jumps! If Cineform users have been doing this for two years without problems with SD out of their video cards, is the problem that we now have HD resolution out? I'll try a few more options today.

BTW, Canopus NX works with Edius Pro, but does have a PP1.5 plugin which Canopus are apparently improving on for increased features. It is a far better solution than the one I have as it's hardware driven - very nice, but a tad expensive.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 07:47 AM   #7
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Further tests:Problen only with AspectHD

I've now tried other monitor options with the PNY540 video overlay, and the ONLY time I experience this glitch is when using the AspectHD plug-in, and only in PP1.51! In Vegas 6.0a there is no such problem, which leads me to suspect that it is indeed AspectHD that is the culprit. I'm thinking that the "trick" which AspectHD uses of scrubbing in full resolution but playing in reduced "preview" resolution is the problem. In PP1.51 all playback is in apparently in full resolution, so the monitor doesn't need to "resynch" while in AspectHD the switch between resolutions is what causes this "jump".

Depending on which monitor you use, the problem appears slightly differently. On an LCD with S-video in, there was major picture disturbance at both play and stop of the timeline which was so bad that eventually I had to switch the monitor off and on again to refresh the screen. On a standard PAL TV set with composite input the picture jumped up and down and the overlay was lost for a second or two on both play and stop. On a broadcast monitor with S-video in, there was a 1.5 sec black screen on play, and a 2.5 sec jump on stop. I havn't tested it on a broadcast monitor with component inputs yet.

What I can't understand is why the PNY540 is being feted around as the solution for external monitoring when using AspectHD if there is this glitch. If I was able to adjust the preview quality in AspectHD manually to full quality, or whatever PP1.51 uses, then the problem would probably disappear. How that would impact on the "4x faster" performance of AspectHD is open to discussion.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #8
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This data does make me feel that PNY540 is more at fault. Users of the original Parhelia had no such problems (and a card I have used a lot.) The reason I recommended S-Video to a broadcast monitor is that PAL/NTSC is always the same, there is no resync to switch between resolutions (PAL is only 720x576 50Hz.) Pro 1.5.1 only plays in half res, so that is not the reason -- the reason what I explained in my first post, but now I believe the NVidia card is delaying outputting the overlay (not just monitor resync.) I'm sorry you have this issue, I just to used my first 540 cards a couple of days ago (I haven't tried the S_video output.)
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Old June 10th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #9
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This is a quote from Cineform support:

"What you're seeing is a result of a resolution change. Aspect HD projects use half-resolution playback to increase performance, and what you're seeing is that resolution change on your overlay surface. Both your video card and monitor have to adjust to this change, causing that delay. The built-in HDV presets do not incorporate this, as they play back at full resolution.

If your overlay surface is on an LCD, you can try changing to a CRT, as they are generally able to make these changes faster.

Otherwise, the limitation is with the FX 540. While the FX 540 is a great workstation card and very capable, it is a little slow when changing resolutions."

Based on this, I'd say that the solution still lies with AspectHD, as it is the half-resolution playback "trick" which is causing the problem. Am I the only person with this problem? If not then Cineform should highlight the incompatability of the PNY540 for use with AspectHD. I'll take this up with Videoguys as well. as they bundle the two products, waxing on about how great they work together, if so, then the response from Technical support is inadequate, and we need to get to the bottom of this.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 03:04 PM   #10
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Derek,

I find it funny that you quote my support team to me -- preferring their simplier explanation, which is completely correct but doesn't get all the way to the heart of the problem. I'm trying to help, I know you are a more advanced user (hey you also moderate an HDV forum) so I doing my best to give advanced answers. Sometime talking to the engineers involved can be helpful, although our answers can be technical. If you having trouble believing me, set Aspect HD up to de-interlace while scrubbing -- this actually sets the scrub and the playback to the same resolution (I know this as I coded it that way) -- if you monitor re-syncs it is the 540 card not liking the overlay hand-off (then you should get a Pahelia.) If that works perfectly you have a solution. Sorry I can't do any more testing with the 540 today as I'm at home sick.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #11
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Hi David - of course I'm looking for a solution here, but am finding it hard to understand why in 1.51 the PNY540 works perfectly, but with AspectHD it's glitchy. I have de-interlaced selected, and everything is fine while scrubbing. It's at the moment of playback and stop that there is this loss of video overlay - I can see the desktop displayed on the video monitor underneath the jumping. As this problem is specific to when I use AspectHD, of course I'm looking to you for answers or possible solutions. The speed with which tech support responded to my ticket leads me to believe that I am not the first person to note this mismatch between AspectHD and the PNY540. My point if that is the case is that Cineform should have made the issue known and warned purchasers of AspectHD that the issue existed and that the Parhelia was a better choice. So, I ask again - am I alone in having this problem, or is it one which is known to Cineform?
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Old June 10th, 2005, 06:38 PM   #12
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No it wasn't known, the answer support gave assumed you were causing a resolution change (de-interlace off) -- which due to the nature of display resolution must cause a monitor re-sync -- itself that is not a bug and that would happen on any monitor. So they answer was generic for was happens on any display. But by removing resolution change from the mix (selecting de-interlace) the fact that PNY540 doesn't maintain output is new to me. We will be looking into that.
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Old June 11th, 2005, 01:09 AM   #13
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Thanks David. Please keep in touch offboard if you need to discuss tech details, etc in order to get to the bottom of this.
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Last edited by Derek Serra; June 11th, 2005 at 04:48 PM.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 07:57 AM   #14
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We will be looking into this as well. I'm not sure why it is happening at all. While the technical reasons David gives explain the issue, it seems silly that no one at PNY or Cineform is willing to address a solution.

I'm going to dig into this with both companies. We need to find out if this issue is also related to specific monitors. Or motherboards. And if it is an NTSC and PAL issue.

Gary
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Old June 12th, 2005, 03:25 PM   #15
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Thanks Gary, I would like to know before I buy it, that's for sure.
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