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Only me with Decklink install misery?

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ninetto makavejev
Only me with Decklink install misery?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 7:18:54 pm

Okay, firstly it is clear to me that many people love and recommend the BMD-cards, and the BMD-support has been relatively responsive, BUT I am still stuck in a dead-end and I am curious if others have had these symptoms, and (here I look towards the heavens) maybe even a solution.

I have tried the Decklink HD extreme pci-e card in two different XP-32bit systems with same problem. The systems are realtively new with Intel q6600 cpus and current motherboards. (Gigabyte p35-ds3p)

These are the symptoms:
after installing the card in the second pci-e slot and booting up, I install the 6.8 drivers. Afterwards the XP "found hardware" windows pops up a second time, and 3 or 4 addtional device drivers are installed. (audio, display, remote...)
I am prompted to re-boot.
Two variations now occur:
1. the primary display (graphic card) is screwed up to minimum resolution and bit depth (480x640 4 bit). The Decklink is shown in the display settings as the 3rd screen, but no change is possible with the "native" graphic card.
2nd variation: the computer boots normally and the primary display is OK but as soon as I click on "display settings" an error message occurs that the display drivers are incorrect, default VGA has been loaded. The decklink card is not visible. Then at re-boot I get variation #1.

I have checked all bios settings and tried playing with them, making sure the decklink is getting x4 priority. I have also checked power - more than sufficient.
The only thing I haven't tried is switching pci-e slots... but this seems illogical and contrary to the manual.

Basically it seems to me that Blackmagic cards work well in Apple systems... but my hellish experience makes me wonder if murky pci-e standards have dealt BMD some bugs for windows systems? Anybody out there with a suggestion... (other than buying a Mac)
regards,
ninetto


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Chris Blair
Re: Only me with Decklink install misery?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:47:57 am

We had some display weirdness (is that a word?) with our install on an HP xw8200 with ATI 1600 graphic card. I beleive we had to go into the Blackmagic control panel and turn off the 3rd monitor thing.

I don't remember where it was or what it was called, but we had to disable the Decklink's ability to use the NTSC monitor for extending the desktop. Having it enabled caused all kinds of oddities and lockups with our regular desktop output to two LCD monitors. After disabling, it worked fine.

I will say our experience with the Decklink drivers has been frustrating. I'd say they're a little flaky...especially compared to other hardware we've worked with, like Canopus/Grass Valley, Matrox, and Harris/Leitch. I don't ever recall installing one of their drivers and having to go through any troubleshooting or tweaking. With Blackmagic, with each driver install and setup with software (Premiere & Sony Vegas), we've spent hours goofing around with settings, driver versions etc. trying to get them to work as advertised.

Naturally, there could be many causes, from the OS to the computer's configuration and other hardware, but it seems BM's drivers just don't work as universally as their competitors. Of course, their prices are half their competitors, so I guess I shouldn't complain! And I will say their video quality is very very good, with lots of options available.

For what you pay, their cards do amazing stuff, they're just not as easy to setup as the competitors.



Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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ninetto makavejev
Re: Only me with Decklink install misery?
on Oct 8, 2008 at 10:21:56 pm

Dear Chris,
thanks for your report: it is strangely comforting to hear that others find it difficult to install the decklink card. I was seriously starting to doubt my own computer skills or rather sanitiy-in-general!

I will check and delete any registry entries relating to BMD as suggested in your other post.

Nevertheless I am still faced with the daunting task of getting the decklink installed, SOMEHOW.

Thus the question remains: anyone with a PC system on which the decklink hd-extreme pci-e card installed satisfactory, and runs well? Could you please specify your motherboard and any tweaks used to get the drivers installed?

regards,
Ninetto M.


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Chris Blair
Re: Only me with Decklink install misery?
on Oct 9, 2008 at 2:55:18 am

One other thing I've read is that on systems that have multiple
PCI-E slots, the decklink cards might need to be in a certain slot. Something about some PCI express slots only working at 1x speeds (or something like that). I believe on a Mac you can change which slots work at top speeds in the bios, but not sure about PC motherboards, especially when there are so darn many of them out there.

We put ours in one of the handful of systems that Blackmagic recommends on their website (HP xw8200 series). It's an older PC with a motherboard and technology that's a couple years old, but often those are the boards that work best since their drivers and hardware is more stable.

That said...we still found it difficult to install and get working correctly...and on our system it doesn't work very well with Premiere CS3...and that's after a complete reformat and reinstall of the OS (by HP service techs), and clean installs of Premiere CS3 and the Blackmagic drivers. We thought that perhaps there was something on the original installations that was causing our sluggish performance. But even after getting a new motherboard, new RAM (all under warranty from HP), and a professional install of the OS (with all updates on drivers etc.), we got the same poor performance in Premiere.

We gave up with using it with Premiere and are now testing Sony Vegas with it. Although our editors are not enthusiastic about testing it after their initial frustration. Naturally, a lot of this could be Adobe's fault and not Blackmagic's...so I'm not dogging their card or drivers here...just reporting that we were very disappointed in Premiere CS3 coupled with the Decklink HD Extreme.

Vegas seems a lot more responsive (in limited tests) with the Blackmagic card, although getting it to work correctly also took us numerous tries.

Hope that helps some.





Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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ninetto makavejev
Re: Only me with Decklink install misery?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 12:36:41 pm

Hi Chris,

well, based on your comments, I will try drastic measures as a last attempt to get the BMD Decklink HD installed: I will do an entire clean-install of XP and see if the drivers then install properly.
I wish it didn't have to be this way.

Still I would love to hear from a PC-user who is happy with his/her Decklink PCIe, to give me some motivation that all this pain in the end is worth it! No PC-users here with successful Decklink installs???!

regards,
Ninetto M.


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ninetto makavejev
Re: bruised but now it (mostly) works
on Oct 12, 2008 at 12:32:36 pm

OKAY, here's the fix for the symptoms I mentioned in post 1.

Chris Blairs's comment about "turning off the extend-desktop and monitoring settings" in the Decklink control panel were crucial in finally getting the decklink to work with my system.

At first I thought turning these settings "off" would cancel all monitoring possibilities: that is not so. Somwhow they are there to "talk to windows" but the default settings were certainly NOT talking the right language to my system. ANYWAY following Chris Blair's advice, AND re-installing the original graphic drivers for the default-card that the Decklink drivers had screwed up (4-bit, minimal resuolution) FINALLY brought results. Even though the monitoring is turned off, I am getting video output from the card, without the drivers ruining my desktop resolution.

Initial tests seem to indicate the Decklink card is "playing ball" with both Premiere CS3 and my system, hallelujahhh!

This was certainly one of the most difficult pieces of hardware I have ever had to install.

regards,
Ninetto


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Chris Blair
Re: bruised but now it (mostly) works
on Oct 16, 2008 at 1:49:51 am

ninetto makavejev: This was certainly one of the most difficult pieces of hardware I have ever had to install.

Glad to hear it worked and that my suggestions helped. I agree with you that the Decklink HD Extreme is a very finicky piece of hardware....or at the very least, the drivers are quirky.

The card has some amazing capabilities, but getting it configured properly with various NLE software is a chore. The manuals devote more time to cabling than anything else, which is certainly important and very well done, but it doesn't do much good to cable it right if a user can't get it to "talk" to their NLE software.

But as I've said a few times on here, their cards, bridges and hubs are nearly half their competitors, so guess that's the price we pay after the sale for saving some money up front.

If they could find a way to simplify driver installation and improve the stability and performance of those drivers, they'd blow away the competition.





Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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ninetto makavejev
update: more tweaks necessary
on Nov 4, 2008 at 4:36:23 pm

In what is becoming a never-ending saga of getting the Decklink HD extreme to work on a Asus 5B deluxe motherboard here is a further list of tweaks that were necessary, this might be of help to other Asus Board owners:

IN Bios:
turn off VGA palette snooping
set PEG to "SLOW" (basically turns PEG off)
disable memory re-mapping above physical
DISABLE on-board audio (use decklink for all audio in/output)

I cannot say this system is convicingly stable, there are other quirks with the firmware updater (see other post) as well as some issues with PremPro CS3.
regards,
n.m.



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