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Old January 16th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #1
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Cineform Aspect HD: problems, problems, problems...

I hear so many good things about Cineform on these forums. But for me, it has been one big dissapointment. I am not talking about the quality of the footage which is superb... but about the performance.

I am using Aspecd HD (latest build) with Premier Pro 2.0. When I am capturing footage using batch capture I get many errors. This is a batch capture log generated by Premier Pro 2.0:

Batch Capture started: 14-1-2007 17:57:18
-----------------------------------------
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_18.avi - Capture Failed: Bad timecode range
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_19.avi - Capture Failed: File error
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_20.avi - Capture Failed: File error
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_21.avi - Capture Success
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_22.avi - Capture Success
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_23.avi - Capture Success
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_24.avi - Capture Failed: File error
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_25.avi - Capture Success
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_26.avi - Capture Success
\Mistero Buffo.prproj\05-01-2006 Deel 2\05012006_27.avi - Capture Success

Batch Capture ended: 14-1-2007 18:57:59

The first one is logical because it is the beginning of the tape. This first few seconds should be captured manually. But, the Capture Failed: File error messages only occur when using the Cineform codec. I cannot find an explanation why they occur. But this is not the biggest problem. When capturing is done, Premiere Pro 2.0. crashes in 99% of the cases. I first thought this was Premier Pro 2.0 behaviour. But to make sure, I have created two projects with exactly the same in and out points for each file. The only difference being the codec used. With the normal codec, everything is fine and the MPEG files are captured without any problems. Only the first message "bad time code range" is also displayed. But after all files are capture, I can close the capture windows without a freeze. With the Cineform codec, whatever I do, the program hangs on the capture window.

The other thing is the way it works. I pay $500 for software. First of all, I did not know that I needed to deactivate the program first. I know that is my fault, but no other program I ever used works this way. I filled the activation form in again and I got a new code. Perfecet. Then I had a problem with some hardware in my computer which resulted in a crash which forced me to install Windows again. I could not deactivate because I could not get into Windows anymore. I installed everything again but then found out that I could not active Cineform Aspect HD anymore. I contacted customer support and got a warning and I was allowed to resubmit again.

Because of the problems with capturing, I thought it might be Premiere Pro 2.0 so I installed the whole program again. I deactivated the Cineform but somehow it went wrong in the proces. I uninstalled it to find out that only the next day I received an e-mail stating that deactivation failed. So now I uninstalled the program and therefore I could not activate anymore. I have mailed customer support about this but haven't heard back from them.

I really do not think this is customer friendly. Adobe also used activation/de-activation but when I uninstall without deactivation and reinstall, it works fine without any problems. Only when I want to use it on another computer, I need to deactivate. This is the way it should work. Now I feel really bad as I payed $500 for this software which I cannot use anymore. I really agree with activation/deactivation but why can't they do it in a more customer friendly way like many other companies do?

I am sorry that for once, this is not a positive message but for me Cineform just has not been a very enjoyable experience. I hope that there is a solution for my problems as the codec's image quality is fabulously.

Last edited by Floris van Eck; January 16th, 2007 at 05:20 PM.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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Have you tried HDlink?

How about HDVsplit? I used this to get around my capture issue. I then used HDlink convert to CFHD avi.

CFHD is great stuff, and the stuff if by far the best of any company I have worked with. Just need to get them something to work with since unless it is a class issue, ....

Dave
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Old January 16th, 2007, 07:47 PM   #3
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I am not sure if I can follow you arguments. If Premiere Pro capturing works fine with the normal codec and crashes Premiere Pro with Cineform there is obviously something not right. As I paid $500 for the software, this is something I cannot really appreciate. It is not a class issue. If something works, it works. And like I said, the footage looks superb so I hope this can be solved so I can ejoy their software as everyone else here.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 07:57 PM   #4
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All I can offer is I had the same issue. Opened a ticket, and worked with CF.
I then tried another version, and now the problem went away. Was it the version? Was it some type of other patch update? There are SO many things going on with the computer, to say its CF without proof, ..

I found an issue the other day, and a few others had seen it. I found the root cause area, and CF had it fixed in a day.

So, all I am offering, is be careful about saying any piece of single s/w is the issue without lots of data.

Just my experience.

Dave
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Old January 16th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #5
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Capturing in a native Adobe HDV project is just capturing a M2T right off of the tape. Relatively easy for the PC.

Capturing to a Cineform Aspect HD project involves converting the file on the fly as it captures. Much harder.

That is why we suggested steps for you. If you don't want it to work, and just want to complain, then do not ask for assistance.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:16 AM   #6
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I will try those things but there still is this activation/deactivation issue. As long as I do not here from Cineform... I will have to wait.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #7
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Pretty clear about activation/deactivation. So, whats the issue?

Dave
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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #8
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The issue is that I currently have cannot activate or deactivate Aspect HD as I deactivated a few days ago. I then uninstalled both Premier and Aspect HD to do a reinstall to find out that I got an e-mail the next day that deactivation failed. I have contacted Cineform about this but I haven't heard back from them. I they will contact me about this.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #9
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Our email server (third party provider) went down for a day, losing some email. However support tells me that have already sent a follow up this morning.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #10
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Thanks david. I am in contact with one of your customer service employees right now about the activation/deactivation issue and am also submitting a technical support ticket for the capturing issue.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:48 PM   #11
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So what is the recommend scenario for capturing a full tape? I understand that capturing in Premiere is not the best solution. So I can use HDLink. I have tried this today but during capture it stops two times. I can then continue so I will end up with 3 files. However, no error messages are displayed during the stop in the HDLink log. Is it possible to capture 63 minutes in one .avi file? I have tried to time but no success.

The activation/deactivation issue is solved. I checked the log in the CineForm directory to find out that all submitted information is stored there and I discovered that I switched a 1 and a F in the deactivation code. I resubmitted it again with the correct deactiation code and not it worked. So that shouldn't be a problem anymore. I still hope your company will make this process more customer friendly in the future (i.e. like Adobe).
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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #12
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Use HDVsplit to get the Mt2. Then use HDlink to convert to CFHD.

Dave
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Old January 17th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #13
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I had real problems with HDLink, stopping during capture - it took me a few goes to capture some scenes... a real pain. BUT, that was with an older release, so I've no idea if they've fixed that problem.

I wish I had captured the M2T first, and then converted - at least I'd have the M2T still around if I was ever worried about the 'Medium' CFHD avi being of lesser quality - but Cineform say to use Medium, as there is no discernable differnence between Medium and High - so I did what they said :)

I hate to say it, but I do sometimes wonder whether I should have just stuck to editing the native M2T files in Premiere Pro 2... but it's too late now, with around 35hrs of footage captured!

But hey, when it DOES work, it's great - smooooth as you like... BUT I don't know whether it's Premiere or Aspect or AMD or XP, but I'm forced to save constantly in case I get one of those random crashes...
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Old January 17th, 2007, 10:55 PM   #14
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Douglas, et al.,

There are no known crashing issues due to CineForm products, we worked for months with Adobe certification on Prospect HD to make sure of this (Aspect HD is built from the Prospect HD code base.) However large project in Premiere Pro in general can cause problems without careful memory management (which CineForm helps solve better than native HDV.) Still for feature work we strongly recommend breaking the large project into 20 minute (or shorter) reels to prevent PPro running low on memory (Premiere can only address around 1.5GB, so you 4GB system will not help.)

As for these capture issues discussed within this thread, these are more camera related, for most customers this doesn't come up as their camera/system doesn't do it. We understand that the high computer load for real-time encoding causes some camera/systems to disconnect, cause the capture to stop (this is why swapping put Firewire cards can help.) With our many thousands of customers there will always be combinations we haven't tested. If there is a particular camera system combination that does this only your report through the trouble ticket system will allow to collect the data a solve the issue. Accurate system details, camera models, and video formats are the data we need -- via the ticket system please.

P.S. I will be offline at Sundance for a long weekend, so I may not find the time for much follow-up until mid-next week.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 11:02 PM   #15
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Well, I have the latest version with Premiere Pro 2, and all I can say is that capturing within Premiere is at best hit and miss. The last two 30 minute tapes I captured took around 4 hours each by the time I went back and captured pieces that didn't make it, or looked like a mosiac after transcoding. Opened up a ticket, but frankly don't have the time to go backwards and forwards with a support organization that provides support via email. It's a process that takes days to get things resolved.
Back to m2t for me.
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