Neo HDV - Worse Performance than m2t on timeline? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 20th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #1
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Neo HDV - Worse Performance than m2t on timeline?

I've sent a message similiar to this via the support system at Cineform. Perhaps somebody else here can chime in with some help...

This is the second time I've tried downloading and running the 15-day trial version of Cineforms Codec software to benefit from the enhancements of using the Cineform CODEC (last time was with ConnectHD).

I'm very frustrated because I am capturing source 1080i footage directly from my Sony FX1 camera into the Cineform .AVI files via the HDLink application and placing these new Cineform .AVI files directly onto my Sony Vegas 7.0e Timeline. I'm getting VERY VERY poor playback preview performance. For those of you familiar with Vegas, I'm using the "Good (Half)" preview setting.

When capturing .M2T files directly in the Sony Vegas 7 application and previewing these files on the timeline, my playback performance is 100% at 29.97fps for preview. Only when adding effects, etc does the preview performance begin to dip underneath 29.97fps. When loading the Cineform .avi file onto the timeline and playing the media, Vegas has a hard time keeping up at 25-26fps without any effects added.

The whole point of me potentially upgrading to Cineform's codec is to give me better playback performance, not worse. Frankly, if performance were enhanced, I would have no problem spending the $250 for the application but what benefit can this possible provide when it can't even match performance of raw HDV footage on the vegas timeline?

Something must not be right. What could possibly be going on?
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Old May 20th, 2007, 01:38 AM   #2
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What is the spec of your PC?
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Old May 20th, 2007, 02:11 AM   #3
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Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz
2Gb DDR2 Dual Channel DRAM
NVidia Geforce 7900GS Dual DVI PCI-E Video Card
Intel P965 Mobo
SATA RAID-0 640Mb (2X320GB) for capture and playback
SATA 320Gb Operating System Drive

It's not the "fastest" system in the world, but it is new, clean, and is running very well. Besides, remember it *does* playback HDV on the timeline just fine.

Jon
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Old May 20th, 2007, 05:07 AM   #4
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I can't help I'm afraid - but what I will say is that your machine is an excellent spec for CineForm performance. Your 2.4GHz CPU in particular is at the sweetspot for price vs performance.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 09:00 AM   #5
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Experiment with your preview settings. With Cineform, half sized previews tend to work a whole lot better than full sized previews.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 09:15 AM   #6
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I'm running Cineform AspectHD fine on a much lower spec machine then you have with a Pentium 4 processor. What other programs have you running in the background? It is not normal that you have this slow behavior.
My editing machine is not even connected to the internet, Only for updates.
No Norton Antivirus installed (it thinks it is the only software that needs to run on the machine). Fresh XP, Adobe Studio and Cineform. Works flawlessly.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 10:48 AM   #7
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Jon,

Don't use the "Good (Half) preview setting" as that actually askes for the slowest decode, than Vegas scales that to half, before presenting the frame. Use Preview Half.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 10:49 AM   #8
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Thanks all for your replies.

I too am not connected to the internet with this machine except for updates. I don't run Windows Firewall or any Anti-Virus software either.

On one hand I'm glad to hear that my "issues" are not typical.

Can somebody here confirm for me though that performance while using the Cineform .avi on the timeline is actually faster than editing raw HDV .m2t files on that same timeline?

The real reason why I'm trying to increase performance is this. I run 3 camera's while I do my live performance recordings of bands. I load all three video tracks into the timeline and use a multi-cam utility to place all three tracks simultaneously in the preview window and then select between each track that I want to use and the software makes me a final "master" track if you will.

As you can imagine, playing back three tracks simultaneously stresses the system pretty hard. I can maintain 100% preview playback with one track playing and nearly can do it with all three playing but once I start putting in transitions, etc the system slows and I mostly only can generate previews of 15-16fps and frankly, that's too choppy for me to use effectively.

If what I'm reading with the Cineform codec is true, then this video type (despite still being 1080i - HD) requires less processing on the host system for processing. Even if it's only 15-20% less, that would probably be enough of a performance benefit to make it worth my time.

So while using Cineform do we all agree that editing this video type on the timeline does in fact process quicker?
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Old May 20th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #9
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Try the preview half mode and report back.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #10
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Good stuff so far. I did switch the preview settings and playback appears to be just fine. Because I've only captured/encoded one file, I'm going to go ahead and process a few more files and see how this holds up.

A couple of suggestions to Cineform...

#1) Feel free to state in the readme & user guides to make this switch in the preview settings for optimum performance playback (Did I miss this? Read everything and didn't see this).

I honestly thought I had switched through all the preview modes a couple of times previously to see if this would hurt/help and they didn't appear to make a differnce, but I can confirm that right now, everything is running smoothly on playback.

Will report more this afternoon. If this does in fact process more easily under the 3 camera load, I'll activate and purchase today!

Thanks SO much to all of you for the feedback provided in this forum!

Jon
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Old May 20th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #11
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Well, I've now converted 3 of my m2t files to the Cineform Codec via HDLink to do side by side comparisons of performance on the timeline and the results aren't boding well for Cineform.

With three HDV .m2t files loaded onto the timeline with InfiniCam loaded up and running I am getting about 20fps on all three tracks using the "Preview (Half)" and "Preview (Auto)" settings.

Loading the same three .AVI Cineform files I'm seeing between 16-19fps in the same exact mode.

As previously suggested, during playback of a single file, I was able to acheive perfect 29.97fps playback in preview by selecting the "Preview" modes.

All my tests suggest that performance using the Cineform Codec is actually slower than that of editing raw .m2t files on the timeline.

Is this in fact expected results? As far as system configuration, etc, the have no doubt my system is primed and tuned for performance and it's not a factor of system configuration. Frankly, if it were, wouldn't I see equal performance problems with HDV playback as well?

I have $250 burning in my pocket ready to spend for a product that is supposed to speed up processing but I have no evidence to suggest this is true as of yet.

David, can you shed some light as to why this is the case? Are you able to reproduce similiar results?

Jon
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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:06 AM   #12
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Another thing:

When previewing Cineform in Vegas on a slower machine:

Use half size preview at preview resolution (which will still look wonderful).

If you are still having problems, do the following:

Turn off the function which scales the preview size to your window.

Turn off the function which scales the preview size so that it looks 16:9 rather than 4:3.

These settings are important on a slower machine because it is a lot harder for your CPU to scale video than it is to preview it. A smaller scaled preview window won't play back as smoothly as a larger unscaled one.

With those settings, I can preview a Cineform project without dropped frames (except on the transitions and filters) at 30 to 40% CPU usage on both my P4 3.06 desktop and my P4 2.8 laptop. Because of the Vegas/Cineform smart-render, my render times are typically quite short as well. It really is a good way to work.

The only thing it needs to be perfect is for Sony to fix Vegas so that the "selective prerender video" function works in HDV projects. If that was fixed, working with Cineform and Vegas would be just peachy, even on a P4.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:35 PM   #13
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Honestly, I can't say enough good things about these guys with Cineform.

The support David has provided here in this forum and the speed at which he has replied is truly fantastic. Also, I submitted a support ticket and got a response from Tim that was very personal, straight-foward, and honest.

I'm already a Cineform fan and am certainly leaning on going ahead and purchasing Neo HDV. I think while the speed increases in my particular circumstance aren't fully realized, there are other benefits to be had with this software as pointed about by these two guys.

I highly recommend anybody getting into HD production to seriously consider Cineform products.

Thanks everybody!

Jon
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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:52 PM   #14
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Yes, I'm sold on their products. I use Aspect with PPRo2 for editing my JVC HD100 footage. Cineform goes the distance with support. Great outfit.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 11:14 PM   #15
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Okay, I've been trying the NeoHDV with Vegas 7, I put a time line together, and wanted to render the time line to an HDV intermediate file so I could use it in a subsequent edit. But it says I am not authorized to render to Cineform HD file. Is that because this is a trial program, or will the purchased version be the same.
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