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Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5

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Chris Blair
Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5
on Mar 6, 2012 at 11:40:58 pm

Posted a few days ago but didn't get any responses so thought I'd try again. We're struggling with 1080i and 720p video playback out to our HD monitor using Premiere CS 5.5, latest Decklink drivers with a Decklink HD Extreme 3 card.

It's a Windows 7 System that meets all the specs from Adobe and Blackmagic in terms of CPU (i7 980 six cores), RAM 12GB, Display (Nvidia, Adobe approved CUDA card), and hard drive setups (system drive is dual SATA striped RAID 0, video drives test at over 200MB/sec read & write sustained).

We cannot get more than 20 seconds of continuous playback on any timeline (without it stopping or hiccupping) no matter what format/codec combo we use. The timelines show no color bar at top indicating real-time playback for the clips. We've tried DSLR native files from Canon cameras (H.264 @ 44Mb/sec), we've tried transcoding to Blackmagic's HD motion jpg as well as to Cineform at low, medium and high quality settings, we've tried our native Panasonic AF100 files (AVCHD at avg. 21Mb/sec data rate).

None will playback with zero effects applied, no transitions etc. Surely this isn't normal is it?

Clip sequences are correct as we typically drag a clip to the "new item" icon to make sure Premiere sets the sequence to match the video file. Problem with that method is it often results in sequences that don't make use of the Blackmagic codecs for rendering (or it's NTSC output). But either way, the timelines still won't play consistently. Cineform files perform the best but we haven't found a way to get a Cineform timeline to output to monitor via the Decklink.

Alternatively, I can place dozens of clips sequentially on a Vegas Pro 10 timeline and they'll playback (with no trouble) and output to monitor through the Blackmagic card. You might ask, "then why aren't you editing in Vegas?" Well...I might have to, but we like the After Effects integration in Premiere and our freelance editors are all more familiar with Premiere than they are Vegas.

Any help or suggestions appreciated as this is driving me nuts. For background, I've built dozens of editing systems over the years as well as scores of computer systems, networks etc. So I'm experienced in setting up these systems and making sure that no extraneous applications or processes are running, including virus programs and all that stuff. I've also gone through the rather long (and quite silly) list from Adobe for optimizing a Premiere based system and there is nothing on this computer that should cause the problems we're seeing. The fact that Vegas has no trouble with the same clips pretty much confirms that.

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


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Mike Squires
Re: Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5
on Mar 6, 2012 at 11:55:52 pm

I'm sorry I'm not able to really help, but I agree with you, something is definitely wrong.

Are you able to capture in PP5.5 with a codec like DVCProHD? That captures at around 100Mbps, so if you can do that, than something is definitely amiss.

Just for the heck of it, connect an external hard drive to your editing PC, and try to capture and play back to that. USB2.0 can handle DVCProHD bitrates just fine, so this will narrow down what the problem exactly is.


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Chris Blair
Re: Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:33:15 am

I can capture uncompressed 8bit 720p without issue...which I believe clocks in at about 105MB/sec according to Blackmagic Design's website.

So drive speeds are definitely not the problem. As noted, I can playback long sequences of compressed HD files (1080i and 720p) in a variety of format/codec combinations in Sony Vegas and get real-time previews out of the Decklink to an HD monitor via HDMI.

So that seems to rule out read and write drive speeds as the problem. I've also run a third-party Premiere CS 5.5 benchmarking test that is recommended through Adobe's website and the system gets high marks...although the benchmarking does little to point out any potential bottlenecks or tweaks to improve performance.

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


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Mike Squires
Re: Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:21:24 am

Yeah, that's what I thought.

It sounds like PP5.5 is having issues with other codecs upon playback. Unfortunately, there usually is only one cure, although it's a major PITA.

I'd suggest a nuke and pave of the hard drive, re-install Windows 7, and then install PP5.5 again.

I know that is a major pain, but honestly, I've used FCP, Vegas, and PP for a long time, and PP is the way to go. Once you get it working, you won't be disappointed.


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Juan Salvo
Re: Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:24:08 am

On the Mac I've had an issue where BMD drivers wouldn't work well until used by a user with admin privlideges. Doubt the same thing would work here. But the symptoms were the same.



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Chris Blair
Re: Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:13:18 pm

I'm the only user on the system and have admin privileges so unfortunately that's not the problem.

On a total reinstall....been there, done that. No change...same performance.

On codecs, that's a possibility since Adobe (and Panasonic) forums recommended installing some various codecs for the AF100, but again, no change either way...with the codecs or without.

I've read a lot of posts on other forums of others have similar issues...especially Adobe's forums (even with Matrox and AJA hardware), so I'm not convinced that there aren't some underlying application and/or hardware driver issues at play here.

It drives me crazy how software and hardware companies keep quiet when there are obviously some compatibility issues with their products.

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


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ninetto makavejev
Re: Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5
on Mar 11, 2012 at 4:26:17 pm

I also had a very "un-smooth" start with BM-HD Extreme and Premiere 5.5
Same problem you describe with playback.

It seems to me, that often Adobe and BM drivers want to interpret the material differently. E.G. I could never get 1080p material from my DSLR to play with BM. UNTIL rather than using the sequence pre-set that Adobe would "automatically" select (you describe this procedure of dropping the material on the "new sequence" icon), ich set up a 50i sequence manually (new item>sequence>50i) and dropped the DSLR material in the sequence. Violá. End of problem. Adobe had somehow been setting up some sort of 25p sequence that BM did not like.

Have you tried setting up a different sequnce/project that what Adobe "expects"?

best regards, ninetto


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Franck Zheist
Re: Decklink HD Extreme and Premiere CS 5.5
on Mar 18, 2012 at 2:22:28 am

Hi

I have the same problem here in PAL land.

Any BM dslr set up is just not usable. It just stutters.

Premiere presets are fine though, but I need the external monitor ...

Has anyone found a solution ?


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