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Ultrascope buggy

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Michael Belanger
Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 13, 2010 at 1:20:01 am

Wondering if any folks here have had any issues with ultrascope.
The specs provided indicate a pretty wide range of computers although no mention of windows 7. Virtually impossible to find the older processors or for that matter the windows xp or vista OS.
My current config works fairly well although my ultrascope is pretty twiggy. I get alot of flickering of the full frame and sometimes, very rarely, it locks up solid.
ANy ideas

Mike Belanger
Dandelion Picture&Sound
http://www.dandelionediting.com


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Margus Voll
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 13, 2010 at 6:39:29 am

Hi.

It also may be that your gpu and win 7 does not play well.

Mostly it is gpu problem.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu


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Bob Zelin
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 13, 2010 at 12:43:27 pm

Michael,
I am going to write a very aggresive email to you, based on my original experience with the early Ultrascope. The istall was with the worlds largest video gaming company. When I said "I need this specific graphics card" their response was "we have MUCH better graphics card, that can dramatically outperform the one you have specified". And because they REFUSED to get the $90 correct ATI card, it never worked, and they said forget it. But because I live in a small town, and got this to work (at a one man editorial shop, who when to CompUSA to buy the correct card for 90 bucks), it worked beautifully. After installing several Ultrascopes - all successful, I went back to this big company and said "well, X Y and Z are all using the Ultrascope now without issue because they bought the CORRECT SPECIFIED GRAPHICS CARD".

You either play by the rules, or you fail. Buy the correct hardware (which is very inexpensive) and you will have a wonderful, stable, HD waveform display. And you can always buy a $1500 turnkey solution from B&H Photo, so you don't have to configure anything yourself.

It kills you, me and everyone else to have all kinds of computers lying around your place, doing nothing, and you just want to reuse them, instead of throwing them out, and buying another cheap computer for what seems like the same application. Nothing defines this more than the MAC G5, which is now useless, other than as an email computer, or label maker. If you don't like this fact, well TOUGH NOOGIES BUDDY, that is our wonderful industry.

The Ultrascope is not buggy.

Bob Zelin



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Michael Belanger
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 13, 2010 at 12:55:07 pm

Thanks BOB

As usual you dive right off the deep end. Truth is ... I passed ALL the specs onto BM way before I bought a single piece of PC equipment. As I am not a pc guy I thought they would know best . Got a specific suggestion and approval from Kris at BM regarding the motherboard, processor and he had emailed me the graphics card that I purchased from a local retailer. Truth is, this is a pretty low tech engineering feat from my perspective having build quite a few suites over the past 25 years.
Bottom line... I ran all this by BM before hand and got the thumbs up HOWEVER it still is acting up.
Didn't know about the B&H full kit.. That would have been much simpler as I don't really have the time to post and email , install and uninstall just to get a scope to work
SO thanks for your input.. I guess


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Joshua Helling
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 16, 2010 at 10:38:29 pm

Hey there,

Typically speaking if you go over the minimums on the graphics cards you will be alright. As for the OS, Vista and Win7 are so close (win 7 is more like Vista SP3) it shouldn't a difference and as state before i've been using it just fine for a while.

But I will say this. Having the right components is only part of the recipe. It's like having the right ingredients to make cookies but not having the oven set right to cook them. The results will vary.

Integration is just as important. I've played with several motherboard some didn't work, most did, but a lot of them had to have the UltraScope board installed in a specific slot in order to work right. Some of these motherboards have shared resources and don't play so nice (this is especially important on smaller form factor motherboards).

BIOS, Chipset, and Peripheral updates are all critical. If they are not done, you can expect that you might have problems. I'm not saying this is what's happening in your case, but it does happen often enough. As Bob said, B&H makes one that is priced quite nicely and they've gone through the work of making sure it works already. But if you're like me you wanna build it yourself. So just be prepared to tweak it a little bit.

But more specifics as to what your issue in particular is would be a bit more helpful in getting to the bottom of what's going on in your rig.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 17, 2010 at 12:02:38 am

Hey Josh,
not to attack Blackmagic, but this really is B.S. Now, I know that Blackmagic has recommended specifications for the Ultrascope (which I follow to the letter), but as new products develop, it really is the responsibility for Blackmagic to say "THIS PRODUCT WORKS WITH THE FOLLOWING HARDWARE". This certainly applies to Windows 7 (of which is not stated on the Blackmagic website, but you stated in this user forum) - but this applies to everything that you make.

Blackmagic opens the doors to failure if they say "use this motherboard". In my stupid opinion, Blackmagic should state "this product works with THIS COMPUTER (Z200, Z400, xw8400, etc.), and not "this motherboard", because you know very well that these homebrew computers are prone to countless variables, and dont' work half the time. So between Dell, HP, IBM, Boxx, and other companies (that would pay you to certify their computers), you can easily state "these computers, and these operating systems work". And as the world evolves, it is Blackmagic's responsibility to state "we have not certified OS-X 10.6.5", etc. just like Cal Digit, or AVID does, if new operating systems, or computers come out.

Is this a pain for a manufacturer - SURE IT IS - but hey, I dont' own Apple, I don't own ATI, I don't own HP, I don't own Nvidia. In the same way countless manufacturers can't wait to send ME hardware - who the hell am I compared to Blackmagic - you guys can get anything for free in advance, and it is your responsibilty to tell us what works, and what doesn't work. No one expects you to qualify
every graphics card on the market - (and I think you are nuts for qualifying motherboards), but if there are xxx number of HP, IBM, Dell, Asus computers on the market, and even less operating systems (like Windows 7), it is my opinion that it is your job to instantly post on your website "Blackmagic has certified Windows 7 for this product" - no differently than when Cal Digit says "DO NOT INSTALL OS-X 10.6.4 until further notice".

Bob Zelin



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Joshua Helling
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 18, 2010 at 5:31:27 pm

I agree with what you are saying to a point. Obviously we want to test what works. But contrary to your belief that we get systems early and for free, that is simply not the case. Nor is it feasible for us at this time to test in the scenario that you'd like. So we offer what we can. No excuses, just an explanation.

Obviously we want to give people as many options as possible. Be it preconfigured systems or a list of motherboards and Graphics cards for people to use, bottom line we want the customers to have options. And it's also worth mentioning that our list is by no means an exhaustive list.

As for the Windows 7 thing. I think I was very clear when I said, I had run them in my labs without issue. I am not sure why they have not yet be certified for Windows 7 and added to the list of supported OS's, but it is something you can be sure I'll ask about.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Michael Belanger
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 18, 2010 at 7:45:48 pm

To follow up.... You must realize that the system I used was approved by BM long long long before I purchased it. The card and motherboard and chipset and OS were all given the OK by your guys.
Yet I still seem to be stumbling around. From what I can tell, my system allows the application to launch and put video through but it is buggy. My guess is that the card is wiggy . I can only check it on my mac pros first to see if it works on those at all.

ALl in all a less than pleasant experience with such a simple little card. The list of cards you suggest that work with ultrascope go from the bottom of the barrel to the ultra expensive so one would naturally assume that pretty much anything should work. Unfortunately not the case. I think the BM needs to update its driver for this product just to keep folks happy.

mike b
Dandelion Picture and Sound
http://www.dandelionediting.com


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Margus Voll
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 18, 2010 at 9:02:34 pm

HI.

I think it is not as simple.

There is things on windows that may go wrong.

Wrong slot, wrong driver, wrong installing order, bad system update etc.

I have not too good memories from windows like i have on mac.

It is like with servers. You install in certain steps, always record them
and if something goes wrong you go back and see where it went wrong.

It can be that the unit that you have is bad in some way but hey stuff does break and it is normal.

If configuration is bad then one should use integrators help here.

If units are not tested then it is not conclusive if the unit does something or is the configuration part bad.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu


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Michael Belanger
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 18, 2010 at 9:10:06 pm

This is a very very simple setup... Install card into ANY slot that it will fit in, large or small, according to BM website. Install the latest drivers and then run video into it. Prior to any card installation you need to upgrade the MB bios and if necessary the driver for the video card. Update the OS , in this case windows 7 Pro. Then install the BM card and driver. Pretty basic... The fact that it launches and draws video through but is flickery is likely a BM card issue. How to check you ask????? Ohhh buy another computer and put the BM card in and see if it works and if it doesn't well then it is the ultrascope card. Or possibly BM missed something ..... like a proper driver

mike b


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Joshua Helling
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 18, 2010 at 9:49:26 pm

Well, it's not so simple as that. Not all slots will work unilaterally. On my luggable systems that I build I had to play with the slot configuration quite a bit. The bottom line is some slots are sharing resources and some may not be. Some may be expecting a graphics card (like an SLI or Crossfire motherboard) and not like the Ultrascope card in there. It's all part of the integration aspect. Just because we say a motherboard works doesn't mean that the card will work in every slot.

This really illustrates Bob's points.

If you test on another machine and the same issue happens you may have a bad card. If you test on another machine and it works properly then there is most likely a problem with the setup, it's either incompatible or needs tweaking.

I'm not making excuses. But the Ultrascope in my lab runs 24/7, it always works. Now there is always a potential for a problem with a driver/hardware combo, but I don't have too many reports of it. So we'd need to see specifics and we'd need to see it in several cases and be able to reproduce it before I could log it as a bug.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Margus Voll
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 18, 2010 at 9:57:45 pm

Like i mentioned. Systematical behavior when installing and when debuging it.

Sometimes on windows you have bad irq setup which makes all go haywire.

A lot of possibilities. As i see if BM have tested one working configuration and then it will probably work exactly the same way. If you make version 2001 from the same configuration then it probably will not work.

But lets be honest. It still is pretty cheap so you can test it and configure it and play around a bit.
If it will not work buy ready made combo or send it to some integrator who will test it out and tune.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu


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Michael Belanger
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 18, 2010 at 10:00:03 pm

Keep in mind... it is working... it is not working perfectly ... it is flickering like interlace flicker.
According to your specs the card will work with
"PCI Express 1 lane, compatible with 1, 4, 8 and 16 PCIe slots." Can't read much into that spec.
ALL slots.
I am aware that YOUR card is working but we are trying to get MY card to work and your tech team have done little. The fact it works on your system does not prove it is a flawless card but that you had the time to come up with the right formula. Trouble is, I don't have the time and that is why I bought the system that was approved by BM.

Mike B


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Joshua Helling
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 19, 2010 at 12:51:52 am

I think you are missing the point of my posts. I'll try to be more clear. It can in fact be used on a 1x, 4x, 8x and 16x slot. But that doesn't mean it will work in EVERY PCI-express slot on every motherboard.

I'm just saying it is an avenue you should investigate, at the very least. Changing the slot order could be just the thing.

I've run them on z400's (not my ideal setup due to the power issue), z600 and z800s. I've also built several custom built rigs. And like I mentioned in this thread (maybe it was another), on the micro ATX system that I build I had to play with the slot order to get it to work right. In that case it wasn't the card causing the issue, but was the motherboard. What it comes down to is that every motherboard is slightly different.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Michael Belanger
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 19, 2010 at 1:16:47 am

Surely you missed a career in politics and somantics. If it can be used in any slot there is the implied understanding that it will therefore WORK in every slot especially in such simple MB as the one I used.


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Joshua Helling
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 19, 2010 at 12:55:22 am

I am not sure why they have not yet be certified for Windows 7 and added to the list of supported OS's, but it is something you can be sure I'll ask about.


To elaborate on this. I confirmed with the PM's today. This IS an approved OS and is in the release notes in the driver download. It has not yet been updated on the technotes page (which is something i'm actually working on now).

But I hope that helps clarify.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Hersh Burston
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 25, 2010 at 1:44:22 am

Hi Mike,

I am the the Product Manager (new) for UltraScope and have only just found out about your issue and would like to get this resolved. Can you please let me have a full description of your system so we can provide our recommendations.


Regards,

Hersh Burston


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Bob Zelin
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 25, 2010 at 4:24:11 am

Hi Hersh,

Let me describe Joshua Helling's problem, since he did not make it clear. The HP Z400 is a wonderful computer, and it is approved by Blackmagic. Blackmagic also specifies multiple graphics cards. Josh is using a HP Z400 in the Blackmagic US labs. But based on his description
"I've run them on z400's (not my ideal setup due to the power issue), z600 and z800s."

This is what Josh's statement means. There is no power supply issue with the Z400. If you use the cheap recommended graphics cards that Blackmagic specifies (like the ATI 4670), then everything just works, and there is no "power supply issue". But if you are Mr. Fancy Pants (like Josh, and my client Disney Broadcast, who wanted to get the best graphics card they could, even though it does not improve the performance of the Ultrascope) - if you get the specified NVidia Quadro FX4800, it requires a SPECIAL additional power supply adaptor for the NVidia card, which does not come with either the HP Z400, or the NVidia card, so you have to go to google, and search for a company to sell you this three dollar adaptor cable.

What does this all mean ? It means that when you read the Blackmagic Videohub installation manual, it tells you EXACTLY what computers work, and exactly what to do. But when you look at the Blackmagic specification specs for the Ultrascope, you have to guess as to what to do, and even if you "follow the rules" and pick a specified computer (like the HP Z400) but pick a specified graphics card that is on the supported list, you STILL can get screwed, because you don't have all the right parts to do the installation. All I am saying is that Blackmagic should simply specify EXACTLY what to purchase (no guessing), and if the clients want to cheap out, and save money - well, they are on their own, and they have to deal with their own problems, for not listening to Blackmagic.

Sincerely,
Blackmagic Ultrascope fan # 1 (Bob Zelin )



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Michael Belanger
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Aug 25, 2010 at 4:55:45 am

Hi Hirsch

I have been in contact with Marcelino Medina
Support Engineer
Blackmagic Design Inc. USA
He has all the specs of my system. Perhaps you can follow up with him or email me direct if you like

Mike Belanger
http://www.dandelionediting.com


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Michael Belanger
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Sep 7, 2010 at 9:07:20 pm

Hi Hirsch


I have not heard back from you folks and as I mentioned I did forward all the specifics to another person from BM as posted earlier.

Can you help resolve this issue?

mike belanger


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Hersh Burston
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Sep 20, 2010 at 2:32:34 am

Hi Mike,

I have just returned from IBC and will get back to you shortly.


Regards,

Hersh Burston
Senior Product Manager
Blackmagic Design


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Joshua Helling
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Sep 20, 2010 at 5:30:35 pm

Just to recap here. Because it seems like this thread is really getting off track.

Mike, I've asked Hersh to email you directly for your system specs. Though I must say again, that I think you need to try to change you slot configuration.

You used semantics yourself when you took what I said about Ultrascope working in any TYPE of slot and turned it into it will work in ANT slot. As I've been trying to explain, this is simply not true.

To add to what Bob said about the rigs I used in the office here in the US let me clarify. I've personally tested the z400, 600 and 800, but it is not what I use. I have 3 custom built rigs (2 of which are based off a micro ATX form factor and are luggable). I use these in my office and send them all over the world to be used in tradeshows. In all of these rigs I had to play around with slot configuration to get it to work properly.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Jay Moffat
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:30:38 pm

Ho Joshua, would you mind posting the exact spec of your Micro Atx machine, I'm really keen to get a micro-atx setup of the scope and slot it into my edit desk, instead of yet another massive computer case.

Many thanks!

Jason


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Margus Voll
Re: Ultrascope buggy
on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:32:49 pm

Yes please do.

I have the same problem. No need for big box.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu


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