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Aanarav Sareen May 20th, 2005 09:59 PM

DV Rack trial and record issues
I recently downloaded SM's DV Rack (the trial version) and whenever I attempt to record via the recorder, the image just freezes on the screen. Is there a fix to this particular issue or am I doing something wrong? My system specs are listed in my signature.

DV Rack also records only for 5 seconds for some reason and after that it says 'Recording Stopped'

Aanarav Sareen May 20th, 2005 10:12 PM

Looks like it was a corrupt install. I just reinstalled it and all is well :D

Steven Davis May 23rd, 2005 08:24 AM

Hey Pat
Where did you get that laptop from?

Bennis Hahn August 9th, 2005 08:30 AM

Enough Juice For DV Rack?
I have an older laptop that is in great shape all things considered, and I have wondered about running DV Rack on it. I was looking at the requirements on the Serious Magic web site, and I meet and exceed all except for processor speed. This thing has a PIII 796 MHz and I am thinking that this will be the end of my hopes. I really just want the ability to monitor video, and could care a little less about capturing strait to the HD.

Will this thing even run DV Rack? And if so, would I see video at the full frame rate?

Mark Mapes August 12th, 2005 12:40 PM

You should get acceptable results for monitoring with that CPU. I'm pretty sure we tested with an 800 MHz processor back way back when and it ran okay for monitoring. Recording was another matter. I suggest that you download the free, full-function trial to see for yourself: http://www.seriousmagic.com/dvrackdemo.cfm. Monitor your CPU usage while running DV Rack--if it approaches 100%, then turn off some of the other components. The Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope will buy you the most headroom.

Incidentally, a new trial version should be available within the next week. It'll have HDV support and an option for showing both frames, which allows 1:1 pixel display in the Field Monitor. Your laptop will certainly not work with HDV, and it may choke on displaying both frames.

Gerald Ingram August 22nd, 2005 01:43 PM

Hi Rez Monitor in DV Rack
Does this mean hi-res monitor upgrade is close behing?

Mark Mapes August 22nd, 2005 02:47 PM

Yep. At least that's the plan. It took some pleading to get a DV Rack update wedged into our R&D schedule, and if I find any major new bugs then we will probably defer the update because the lead developer on DV Rack has higher priorities right now. So keep your fingers crossed and send some good vibes our way and we may have the update released in the next week or two.

Bennis Hahn August 22nd, 2005 10:37 PM

Awsome, Thanks!

Seth Bloombaum November 24th, 2005 01:37 AM

Getting camera TC onto HDVRack clips
Per the DV rack documentation, I should be able to get camera (Z1) TC onto the M2T that racks DVR records - but no dice. DVR seems to indicate shot duration only.

Pulling clips into Vegas and dropping timecode media fx on the clip also indicates that the clip starts at 0 tc instead of my camera preset TC that concurrently recorded tape shows...

Can't think of what I'm missing - bug? Anyone gotten this to work?

Working fine with DV, non-functional with HDV. Anyone got camera TC on their HDV recordings on DVRack?

Ben Winter November 24th, 2005 01:39 PM

I've been wanting to do that for a while--and I know this isn't your direction--but this is what I did:

I own a GL2, so I set the camera to record the display overlap onto the actual tape. Then, instead of using native 16:9 recording mode, I used the title mix function to overlay the 16:9 bars--however, I shifted it downward so the two bars were together at the top. That way, the timecode, plus whatever information I desire (project title, scene title, all can be changed within Photoshop and reuploaded into the camera via laptop) can be put in the unused area. Then once I've finished editing, I simply export the film to avi, open a widescreen project, and scale it to fit the widescreen frame with the info bars cropped. Deelicious.

Seth Bloombaum November 24th, 2005 04:16 PM

Ben - very inventive workaround! I appreciate the way you think.

Unfortunately it doesn't help me much, as I'm not in a position to devote any real estate to a burned-in display. However... there is a software product that burns in date code from captured DV/DVCAM.avi (not HDV, unfortunately) available at http://dts8888.com/

Guest November 25th, 2005 07:11 PM

Serious Magic - DV Rack
Guy Cochran at http://www.DVestore.com told me about DV Rack a few months ago and I just got around to having some time to purchase it on Wednesday. It arrived this morning and I just finished installing it a little while ago.

Now, after I used it for the first time, I wish I would have bought it the same day my XL2 arrived!

I hooked up the XL2 to my Sony Vaio (that DV Rack is running on) and used DV Rack for the first time. I recorded a dark shot of a close up of some blinds with the light coming through the edges. I then unplugged my firewire from my Vaio and plugged a different firewire (the pins are different for the two) into my Mac and captured the footage in FCP and the two are almost identical. And the only reason I think I have to use the word "almost" is because of the difference between PC and Mac screens. (In my opinion and with using both for the last 10 years, Mac screens tend to be a little brighter).

DV Rack is going to really allow me to tweak the XL2 settings on people for the look that I want to establish and it will be nice to know that I'm recording it right, so there will not be any surprises on my computer when I capture the footage later after shooting.

I can see why Mac users would buy a PC just for the sole purpose of using this software. I'm looking forward to learning all the stuff it can do and think that this software will really allow me to progress along much quicker.

I should say that I am a little biased because everything I do is for the web, so I'm cool with my footage as long as it looks good on a PC and Mac. So I can't rate this product based on preparing footage for TV.

Why did I post this? Well, for the last few months, I've learned a great deal from the people in this forum. Now, I may be getting to a point where I can start contributing back as well.

Here's a link to the EXCITING "blinds" footage that I took (ha ha). It's just about 20 seconds or so from my XL2 taping the blinds while going through three different presets that I had stored. That's why you will see the shifting in video of various levels. Like I said, the footage is boring - the cool thing is what I talked about above.


If any of you are using DV Rack, I'd like to hear about your experiences. If any of you have any questions about it, feel free to ask me.


Dan Euritt November 26th, 2005 03:14 PM

like that flash player!

pc vs mac vs lcd vs crt vs nearly everyone has their computer monitor setup incorrectly(typically way too bright)... there is no standard for setting up video for the web, so dvrack can't help you with that.

right now my biggest website has ~19k unique url's so far this month, and less than 2% of those people are using macs... so i don't care how my internet video footage looks on a mac, because there aren't enuf of 'em on the 'net to matter.

of course, you should always go by what your particular web logs say for platform useage... one of my small sites is nearly 10% mac users(!) this month, but even that isn't enuf to worry about.

i'd say to use dv rack for setting up your video to ntsc specs on a crt monitor, because lcd's do not go black enuf to be legal for critical video and photo work... and you need to pre-set the black level and contrast of the monitor ahead of time, in a pitch-black room, with a gray scale gradient on the screen... i ended up having to dig up the technician password to access the manufacturers setup dialog on my nokia monitor, because the consumer setup screens wouldn't allow it to go black enuf.

Travis Maynard November 26th, 2005 10:02 PM

Oh please PLEASE say this rebate will last a while...

I'm a college student and I'm picking up a laptop for Christmas, so DVrack for 206$ would be a godsend.

So many expenses, such little money.

Mark Mapes November 26th, 2005 11:31 PM

Sorry, Travis, but that rebate ended about 11 months ago, if memory serves--you must've misread the year in this thread's date. However, when we released the HDV PowerPak last Spring, we dropped the normal retail price of DV Rack to $295.

Travis Maynard November 27th, 2005 12:30 AM

...Completely mis-read the year. I found the topic from a google search I did on some DVrack info, instead of coming straight through the website like usual. I looked, but I must've been too anxious and saw 2005.

What's even more confusing, is that everything in the posts kinda matched the situation now (today is November 27th, the same day as the post before mine just a different year AND last year a 200$ rebate would make the price tag 295$ same as the current price, correct me if I am wrong) besides the dates. So, just very confusing.

So, in this case I would get it for 206$ if you count the student academic discount!

Can't beat that.

Thanks for correcting my silly mistake.

Sorry for the mixup.

Seth Bloombaum November 28th, 2005 08:26 PM

The long (for me) 4 day weekend finally ended and I got through to Serious Magic tech support.

Apparently this is not regular performance, not a known issue, but a bug particular to my setup - they are reviewing. Per S.M. HDV TC should be coming through and captured on the DVR just as DV TC is.

Seth Bloombaum November 30th, 2005 07:05 PM

Au contraire!

A different Serious Magic rep has advised "Timecode is not currently supported in HDV PowerPak. I have added you to the growing list of customers requesting this feature."

Oh well, I guess tape has become the primary and DVRack/HDV has become the backup for my next shoot...


P.S. add your voice to this feature request by sending email to dvracksupport@seriousmagic.com

Chris Hurd December 16th, 2005 11:09 AM

Direct link to Serious Magic's own forum
Can't find your answers here? Try the official Serious Magic user comunity:


Marc Colemont December 19th, 2005 09:42 AM

I use the 20m firewire cables from Unibrain. they work perfect.

Kim Kinser December 23rd, 2005 02:16 PM

Which video card should I get?
If I want a multi monitor system and I want to support ultra properly ... which of the nvidia or ATI cards should I buy?

John Hartney December 24th, 2005 05:02 PM

I use Matrox Parhelia... here's a recent review. find out more at www.matrox.com..


Karl Soule December 28th, 2005 01:14 PM

Not the Parhelia
Hi John,

To use the DV Rack and ULTRA programs from Serious Magic, you need good Direct3D performance. While the Parhelia is a great card for multiple monitor support, it lags far behind the ATI and nVidia cards in Direct3D performance, and will not provide good support for Serious Magic products.

To support ULTRA 2 the best, and take advantage of the super-fast GPU boost function, you need a video card that supports a standard called Pixel Shader 2.0. This has been in the ATI cards since the Radeon 9600, and all newer Radeons (like the Xxxx cards) will support it. For nVidia, the GeForce 5900 ULTRA was the first, and all GeForce 6xxx and 7xxx models support it.

In my personal opinion, the 6600 GeForce card is the best "bang for the buck," so to speak. It typically sells for around $100, comes in both PCI Express and AGP forms (so you should be able to find one for your existing motherboard,) and it typically supports 2 monitors out-of-the-box very well. Plus, it'll give you great performance in ULTRA. I have one in my home system (Pentium 4 820 2.8GHz) and a 1 minute DV file takes about 30 seconds to render.

John Hartney December 28th, 2005 03:45 PM

Sorry for the misinformation.

I use it with DVrack. The Matrox card is among the best with color accuracy on mulitmonitor displays.

Dave Campbell January 3rd, 2006 02:22 PM

I use the Matrox APve and love it. It will work in a 8x PCIe slot also. :o)


John Hewat January 4th, 2006 06:48 AM


Originally Posted by Dave Campbell
I use the Matrox APve and love it. It will work in a 8x PCIe slot also.

Glad you mentioned this - I've been wondering if I'd need a motherboard with dual 16x PCI Express ports (like the ASUS A8N 32 SLI Deluxe) because I plan to run it at the same time as a 7800GTX.

But knowing this, I can use a regular A8N Premium and fit the APVe in the 8x port.

Dave Campbell January 4th, 2006 08:03 AM

Of course, I had to cut the connector.
Now, not all MB's bios may work so its not the right way to do it, but, for me, it was that or nothing. I was lucky it worked.


Marco Leavitt January 16th, 2006 09:54 AM

Bypass camera preamps with DV Rack?
Is this possible? In other words, I want to record the video via firewire, but the audio through a separate AD converter direct to disc. If so, what sort of equipment will I need?

Seth Bloombaum January 16th, 2006 12:43 PM


Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt
...record the video via firewire, but the audio through a separate AD converter direct to disc.

Marco, you're wanting double-system sound. There are lots of good approaches to this, and good reasons to do it, especially with music.

First though, Rack will record whatever audio your camera is encoding into the firewire DV stream - that's the only way it works. And yes, it's compressed.

And you'll want that audio in the rack file, for sync reference if nothing else, because you're going to have to sync double-system audio in your NLE. It could be your camera mic, or a send from a sound operator with a boom, whatever makes it to the camera. Best is the sound op sends signal to your camera.

Second issue - getting the other, better audio recorded. This could be on any system from a mini disk to DAT to Marantz compact flash to Edirol R1 or R4 to Sound Devices 742 or 744 (or your PC, see below). Some have reported minor sync issues, but I've had VERY good experience with double system audio syncing correctly. Seems to me there was a long thread over in the "now hear this" forum a month or two ago on synching.

Third issue - what about recording separate audio on the same system as Rack is running on? Maybe, you'd have to test it. Depending on the system that may be too much processor load or disk access or maybe not. Rack keeps my laptop pretty busy by itself, but that's just a caution, I've not tested what you'd like to do, and your PC is different than mine. Lots of good AD converters / sound cards out there...

Marco Leavitt January 16th, 2006 12:57 PM

Actually, we're already recording double system sound. I was hoping to get back to single system. :)

Too bad. I guess the technology isn't there yet, at least not at a price I can afford.

Seth Bloombaum January 16th, 2006 03:46 PM

Yah, it's all about (H)DV right now - what will it do and what won't it do.

Now, you could bypass the camera preamps with an external DV25 encoder, but that's going to mean analog video to the encoder as well.

You're probably already getting the benefits of external mic preamps in your mixer and sending line level to the camera.

I've only shot one HDV project and it's nowhere near done, but I'm told that the mpeg compressed audio in HDV is better than what we get with DV25. Certainly the tapes I've sampled and logged sound great (my sound guy had something to do with that). The general plan is to use tape audio for voice and to sync the 2nd audio for music. All the audio was sourced from his mixer and outstanding M-S mic, going to a Z1 and his hd recorder.

I'm getting the idea that you're looking for a better workflow, which is always good, IMHO. Are you concerned with any particular obstacles with double system?

Marco Leavitt January 16th, 2006 04:09 PM

We have sort of a rotating group of people of varying degrees of ability doing audio for us now. I was hoping to simplify the process to make it easier. For the last couple of dates we've actually had to record direct to camera just because we didn't have enough crew.

I think that a mixer does help when recording direct to camera, but still, you're never going to get that 20 dB of headroom no matter what prosumer cam you use.

Christopher C. Murphy January 17th, 2006 11:58 AM

Macbook Pro and HDV Rack?
Hi, I was wondering if the new "Intel" Macbook Pro coming out will have what's needed to run HDV Rack?

Apparently, it's almost definate that the Macbook Pro will run Windows natively. That's the buzz I've heard..


Boyd Ostroff January 17th, 2006 01:54 PM

Well it has an Intel CPU (and evidently motherboard too), but it's a Mac. Apple has said they aren't going to support Windows on their hardware, but they won't do anything to stop third parties from doing so. Microsoft has not made any promise to make Virtual PC available on the Intel Macs. It seems natural that someone will do this, but I haven't read about any commercial product that allows Windows to run.

So unless DV Rack wants to port their software to the Intel Macs (and in the past they said it was not practical to port to OSX) then you'd probably have to depend on some hack to get it working.

Ben Freedman January 20th, 2006 08:25 PM

HDVRack and 2.0GHz laptop, Intel graphics - Surprised!

I've used DV Rack for a while, and today downloaded the HDV trial to use with my Dell 700m 2.0GHz laptop. I was expecting a difficult time, as the requirments suggest 2.0 as the minimum, an 3D graphics card. the Dell has merely the built-in intel graphics, which suck....

So, I was quite surprised to find that the default settings were quite usable with HDV rack, with not-too-much lag on the screen, and when I checked with the taskmanager during recorded, I was hovering around 50-60% CPU usage, which seems reasonable to me.

Am I doing something wrong? Or are the minimum specs just a little too conservative? Or, am I not capturing the right way, and really my computer is too slow? Basically, I just want to know that with the default settings, I'm capturing good m2ts without dropouts, etc...

Thanks for the info...


Keith Wakeham January 20th, 2006 09:26 PM

They say pentium 4 2.0 Ghz, your 700m is not a pentium 4 at all - it is a pentium-m based on centrino mobile architecture.

I have a inspiron 9200 with only a 1.6 Ghz pentium-m and it plays back HDV fine and even 720p h.264 smoothly in quicktime format which the minimum windows based requirements are as follows for 720p copy and pasted.

QuickTime 7 for Windows:

* 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor
* At least 512MB of RAM
* 64MB or greater video card
* Windows 2000 or XP

Suffice to say Pentium-M architecture is way more powerful per clock and insanely more powerful per watt than P4.

If you check some cpu charts your 2.0 Pent-m will likely rate around a 2.6 - 2.8 Ghz P-4 in most benchmarks if memory serves correctly.

Ben Freedman January 20th, 2006 09:40 PM

That's good to hear, as I've loved my 700m for SD recording with DVRack. Happy to make the transition to HDV...

I think my real query was regarding the lack of a video card. The 700m just has the on board intel video, which is far from wonderful in the 3d area. The serious magic site seems to suggest that a powerful GPU is a necessity...


- Ben

Travis Maynard January 27th, 2006 10:04 PM

Setups/Desktop PC's?! Wha!?
I noticed that the main advantage of using DVrack is having all these great production tools in a very compact package, which would be a laptop. You can easily tote around you laptop to shoots and everything.

What has me confused is the site says that "DV Rack software is designed for maximum compatibility with standard PC's, laptops and cameras.

I took it that standard PC's meant desktops, so I guess that people have actually managed to use the software with a desktop pc? It seems that would be very hard, so I was interested in how people would setup their equipment to move with them while they are shooting? Or if it would just be used for still setups like in a room green screening without a whole bunch of movement?

Also, I would love to hear other people's setups with their laptops. I plan on using it with a dolly, but I'd say there are other setups. I just purchased one of the new Sony Vaio Intel Core Duo laptops and I'm going to order DVrack with my next paycheck.

I wanna get my mouth watering early. ;)

Chris Davis January 28th, 2006 07:41 AM

Probably just the marketing department running on at the mouth! :)

Sure, DV Rack will work fine on a regular PC (that's where I tried the first demo), and I supposed you could set it up like that in a studio environment.

Karl Soule January 30th, 2006 12:01 PM

I think the reason that is in there is because we frequently get calls from customers asking if it'll run on a desktop PC. Our older literature used to say it's "designed to run on a laptop" and I guess that confused some people.

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