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Old May 31st, 2006, 04:49 PM   #1
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Video editing network setup

What is the best way to setup a network for video editing? I have tried using Gigabit in the past but I got a lot of dropped frames when two systems would use the same footage.

In theory gigabit should be fast enough for DV and HDV and even DVCPRO HD.

I guess my aim is to have a huge raid setup in one system and allow it to store all the media that is shared between all my editing systems.

What are some things I can do to make sure I can read and write multiple streams across the network?

1. Should I use two gigabit ports on each system and bridge them to share the load?

2. Can a single drive even allow the same file to be used by many systems at the same time or is a big raid the only way?

3. I know jumbo frames helps but should I still be able to do this without jumbo frames?

4. In the past I tried connecting two systems directly to each other with a crossover cable. Would using a gigabit network switch help spread out the load?

5. any other tips on how to do this better?
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Old May 31st, 2006, 05:07 PM   #2
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a proper switch will memorize the paths from one network device to another, but in the case of just a couple of devices, there shouldn't be enuf traffic to make a difference.

have you looked into raid-based network attached storage devices, instead of basing the storage off of a full-on computer?
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 02:55 PM   #3
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I have gigabit network. Just does DV editing - no probs at all. I use the net for other stuff at the same time I edit.

I have DLINK 530 gb NIC:s and a cheap DLINK gigabit switch.

I will get a jumboframes enabled switch later - to increase the "transfer big files" performance.

If your having problems I'd guess that:

1. You've changed MTU or enabled jumboframes on the NIC:s - that will get you packet-cutting (ie the switch will split the ethernet frames)

2. Problems with duplex negotiation. Choose full-duplex manually if possible

Good luck!

// Lazze
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Old June 6th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #4
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Video over Ethernet

Your dropped frames with systems using the same footage at the same time is something even the big boys (AVID, Lightworks, etc...) have not solved yet. The usual solution is to have the material local on the required systems and share the project files.
Some comments to Thomas' questions.
1. Most PC's cannot load down a gigabit network connection normally so two ports will not help things much. Also without network balancing software this is of little use.
2. A big Raid doesn't really allow sharing of the same file at the same time either, but usually your systems aren't at exactly the same point in the file so it appears that this can happen. Also depends on the raid connection to the host system (SCSI, eSATA, FW, etc...)
3. Jumbo Frames will help but not much, you are not actually transfering large files just one continous file at about 25Mb/sec. This shouldn't tax the network too much but it also means that even 100BaseT should handle three DV streams OK (not usually but in theory)
4. Gigabit cards are usually MDI-X so a crossover cable is not required. Also gigabit crossover cables are different from 10/100 crossover cables so unless you were using a gigabit crossover the cards would have defaulted to 100 Mb.
5. I don't mean to discourage the attempt but in my experience editing video over a network is a exercise in fustration. Having local drives is fairly cheap now and using the gigabit network to move large files around from system to system is easy. My plan is to have a large file server where I can put video I need and retrieve it when needed, but not to try and edit off of it.

Lastly, in theory a gigabit network should be able to handle 30 streams of DV25 but the reality is far different. Ethernet was never designed to function this way and getting it to do so is difficult. You might be able to use two systems but three might cause problems. Also if a system or the network behaves badly then everything is down until you troubleshoot it. Leave video on the local machines and save yourself some headaches.

Regards,
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Old June 8th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devlyn Hukowich
5. I don't mean to discourage the attempt but in my experience editing video over a network is a exercise in fustration. Having local drives is fairly cheap now and using the gigabit network to move large files around from system to system is easy. My plan is to have a large file server where I can put video I need and retrieve it when needed, but not to try and edit off of it.

Lastly, in theory a gigabit network should be able to handle 30 streams of DV25 but the reality is far different. Ethernet was never designed to function this way and getting it to do so is difficult. You might be able to use two systems but three might cause problems. Also if a system or the network behaves badly then everything is down until you troubleshoot it. Leave video on the local machines and save yourself some headaches.

Regards,

I suspect Devlyn hit on the problem.

Without a dedicated file server, and the server software to manage file distribution, sharing one file among 2 or more computers can, I suspect, very easily lead to problems. You need the "traffic management" provided by the server. Think of your one large file being sent until a buffer is full, then stopping, while the buffer empties. Then, once the buffer is empty, having to pick up where it left off. I believe a dedicated server would keep track of that for you, while a simple sharing network could stutter, particularly if the file was accessed by the second computer while the first was still receiving data.

I suspect that's the situation you've run into. Hope it helps.

Denis
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