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Old June 14th, 2012, 12:58 PM   #1
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Possible rendering issue - what am I missing?

Does anyone like a challenge?
20 - 30hrs of investigation haven't yielded a solution for me. Any ideas?
Two systems. Both running XP SP3
a) Vegas 9.0 build 563, DVDA 5.0a
b) Vegas 9.0e Build 1147, DVDA 5.0b

Problem symptoms.
Obscure and apparently limited in impact.
Only shows up (for me) when playing disc (DVD-R SL built on system "b" above) in a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player. (It's connected via a Pioneer receiver to a Samsung TV (HDMI both connections).)
• Start the disc.
• Navigate to a start point selection menu and select any chapter point.
• Allow the material to start playing, then press “Disc Menu” on the remote.
• The screen will go blank, then the “Searching for signal” message displays, followed a short while by “No signal”.

It seems that the BD player drops its connection with the rest of the system. I can restore the connection by switching input sources on the receiver's remote control and then switching back to the BD player.

I believe (but cannot prove) that the problem started showing up after applying latest firmware to the BD player (so I could watch "Planet Earth"!). I believe this because I've checked projects I created a year ago and the symptoms are present on them but didn't show up during QA testing at the time... I applied the firmware upgrade in Feb this year.

Discs created on system "a" above do not exhibit this behaviour, so although the firmware upgrade appears to be a factor in the equation, it's the combination of it and whatever difference exists between the two systems that's the cause.

Direct connection from BD to TV doesn't fix.
Problem does NOT show up when playing disc on the following combinations:
> A borrowed Samsung BD-P1600 (firmware level unknown, but is original firmware), plus my receiver and TV.
> A completely different home theatre with BD player (Sony).
> Panasonic DVD player plus my receiver and TV (s-video connection - yeuch!)

After many tests, I discovered that
> By copying the files rendered by Vegas (ac3, mpg, + sfk/sfl files) plus the DAR file from one computer to another, the behaviour transfers. (I tried this both ways - from "a" to "b" and from "b" to "a")
*Conclusion* - the problem lies in the files used by DVD Architect, and not in the computer or OS.
> By using the transferred files from Vegas, and creating a new DAR, the behaviour still doesn't change - i.e., the behaviour that was transferred still occurs.
*Conclusion* - the problem must be in the files rendered by Vegas.
I uninstalled the newer versions and reinstalled the older versions on system "b" so that it should match system "a", then re-created my project (older version won't read .VEG created by newer version), re-rendered, re-authored, re-burned... the problem persists. (Perhaps remnants of 9.0e build 1147 persisted beyond the uninstall/reinstall?)

Based on my testing, the problem is limited in scope, but I don't have access to unlimited BD player brands, models and firwware levels, and obviously don't have any control over what my customers play their DVDs on, so I need to solve this. Except for the possibility that the newer version of Vegas has newer codecs that were not replaced when I reinstalled the older version, I'm out of ideas. And from my limited knowledge of the codecs, it looks like they're stored in a version-specific folder, so they should have been replaced successfully. (BTW I use Main Concept MPEG-2)

In the absence of concrete solutions, I will have to completely re-build the computer's OS and Program Files from scratch, just to make sure I eradicate all trace of 9.0e. However, I'd really like to learn why the newer version is causing this behaviour, so that I (or someone knowledgeable!) can estimate how many playback devices it might affect, and so that I can more confidently consider upgrading to Vegas 11 etc.

If you like a challenge, and are intrigued by this problem, I'd really appreciate your suggestions!
Thanks in advance.
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Old June 15th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: Possible rendering issue - what am I missing?

On your "b" machine, I would try uninstalling DVD Architect 5.0b and then install DVD Architect 5.0a and see if that resolves the situation. If it does, I'd leave it that way. It certainly does seem odd, though.

If you REALLY want to test the theory, install 5.0b on the "a" machine and see if it then fails. However, I probably would not do that and instead revert the other machine back to 5.0a.
Edward Troxel [SCVU]
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Old June 25th, 2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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Re: Possible rendering issue - what am I missing?

Thanks for your suggestion Edward. I'm very sorry I haven't thanked you sooner - I thought I'd set the email notification option - obviously I hadn't!

I have in fact already uninstalled DVDA 5.0b and re-installed DVDA 5.0 on system "b", but it didn't fix the problem.

I had considered the other suggestion you made, but I didn't want to run the risk of having the problem on both my editing computers, so right now I'm limping through my insanely busy period with one computer, and will rebuild system "b" when the backlog's cleared (some time in August). If that doesn't fix it, then I'll probably have to consider getting my head around a different DVD authoring package, such as DVD-Lab Pro (which seems to have its fans, but also seems to be a lot more complex than DVDA).

Once again Edward, thanks for taking the time to read my long post and offer your thoughts.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 11:11 AM   #4
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Re: Possible rendering issue - what am I missing?

Also do look at firmware and drivers for your "B" blu-ray drive, make sure you have the latest applicable versions. If I'm understanding your setup correctly (???), this is another potential point of failure, and a fairly common problem.
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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Re: Possible rendering issue - what am I missing?

I hadn't even thought of firmware - thanks for the suggestion Seth.
Due to workload, it'll be a few days before I can check levels, flash firmware if necessary (after reminding myself how to do it!), then render, burn and test. But I WILL do it!
Will report back when that's all done.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #6
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Re: Possible rendering issue - what am I missing?

My personal advice would be to look at Adobe Encore. You don't get a better DVD/BD authoring solution than that. I edit in Vegas & author in Encore, DVDA really doesn't hold a candle in comparison. Encore seems complicated at first but if you follow the tutorials over at www.precomposed.com you learn the entire program inside/out, it's very powerful & allows for amazing creativity.
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