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Jeff Mack
Crash
on Apr 24, 2010 at 3:25:49 pm

I have been using Wirecast on my MBP for about a year. My last three broadcasts are having problems. I have my MBPro connected to my SOny Z-1 via firewire (only connection) and during broadcast I hit record so I can go to tape for later use. Now when I hit record, it crashes wirecast. Not only do I have to restart wirecast but I have to totally reboot my computer because when I try to restart wirecast, it won't give me an image from my camera. My camera is listed but when I click on it, I get the blue screen. I have to reboot my MBP and restart Wirecast then UStream then all is good. PITA! Any help would be appreciated. I am up to date on my version and have repaired permissions and trashed all preferences and it still happens religiously.

Jeff


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Craig Seeman
Re: Crash
on Apr 24, 2010 at 3:35:17 pm

I need information regarding what changed between "now" and "before."
Please post your full system specs. Issue could be anything from Wirecast to Quicktime to OS to 3rd party software conflicting. There's no way to know from your description.

Given you say it's when you hit record that would imply some bit of data is being sent down the firewire port. Alternately that's just coincidental which would mean some process of elimination to see if it occurs under another circumstance.



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Jeff Mack
Re: Crash
on Apr 24, 2010 at 4:04:45 pm

Man Craig, There is no way to know what could have changed. I am a video producer and use my MBP with 10.6.3. I realize there is some sort of incompatibility but I just can't find it. I may try a new cable.

By the way, I have found that my max encode size is 320 x 180 when using true HDV source. Using output statistics, if I go higher than 320 x 180, I get stuttering to occur. Any settings tips you might have would be appreciated. Here's my normal setup.

Plug in camera via firewire. Preferences are set with HDV source aspect ratio. Performance settings have drop shadow and high quality icons unchecked, display rate set at 30 and desktop presenter options set to auto. Advanced preferences are set to reduced and blend with high quality and GPU compression checked.

Then I go to show asset manager. I pick my camera and select the HDV setting. Then I go to broadcast setting and shoose flash medium bandwidth 16 x 9. The I open those prefs and select 320 x 180, 29.97, 800 Kbs for video and 128K for audio. Limit peak bit rate is unchecked, profile is Main and keyframe every 150. I hit save. Then I enter my Ustream credentials and save. Then I click the broadcast logo (there is only one stream set) then log into Ustream and hit start.

When I watch the output statistics, it is consistently between 55 and 80%. Usually I rock along ok but last night, I was having issues where Wirecast preview and live looked perfect but my Ustream monitor screen would "strobe" for like a second or two then good for like 20 secs. This kept happening and I had to reboot. It finally stopped. My bit rate avg'd 8-900kbps and my upload speed was 1.4Mbps.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Jeff


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Craig Seeman
Re: Crash
on Apr 24, 2010 at 5:06:08 pm

[Jeff Mack] "Man Craig, There is no way to know what could have changed. I am a video producer and use my MBP with 10.6.3. I realize there is some sort of incompatibility but I just can't find it. I may try a new cable. "

I'd doubt it's the cable. If one has a good memory one might know, "It worked last week and doesn't this week" so one can narrow the changes. Software update keeps a log of when updates were installed for example. For example, if it worked fine in Wirecast 3.5.6 and not 3.5.7 it's very easy to go back to 3.5.6 and see if the problem goes away. I trouble shoot this way all the time. I'm not likely to go back to an older OS though.

Another simple method is to create a new user with admin status, delete all login items for that account, use that account to test. That will immediately tell you whether it's a user or system issue.

If it's user it can be a preference corruption or preference or other config change specific to the use.

If it's system then it's likely a system wide update or change.

[Jeff Mack] "By the way, I have found that my max encode size is 320 x 180 when using true HDV source. Using output statistics, if I go higher than 320 x 180, I get stuttering to occur. Any settings tips you might have would be appreciated. Here's my normal setup. "

HDV demands significant resources to decode because of the GOP. If you're not streaming HD there's no reason to use HD as a source. Switch camera to DV mode. If you're streaming HD then you have to look at your system. CPU% reported by Wirecast Statistics. CPU% reported by Activity Monitor (tells what else may be using system resources. If Wirecast stats show over 80%, the system can't handle it. If Activity Monitor shows a high percentage than you need to kill other programs and background tasks.

If recording to hard drive (stream is good but hard drive stutters) than the drive or the write to the drive may be at issue. It may not be fast enough. Then you need to make a determination (and there are many) about what to do.


[Jeff Mack] "When I watch the output statistics, it is consistently between 55 and 80%. Usually I rock along ok but last night, I was having issues where Wirecast preview and live looked perfect but my Ustream monitor screen would "strobe" for like a second or two then good for like 20 secs. This kept happening and I had to reboot. It finally stopped. My bit rate avg'd 8-900kbps and my upload speed was 1.4Mbps. "

80% is high. Such peaks can result in issues.

Ustream may have had issues. I've had this happen before. I then test on Livestream and will often find there's no issue at all from Wirecast.

Your bit rate is way too high for 320x180. It's wasted data. Unless you think the typical Ustream viewer is going to watch your stream full screen, just measure Ustream's player window when set to 16:9 and match that frame size in your settings.

How did you confirm your upload speed or the stability of your connection?
Your provider's claim is just that. It's not a technical evaluation
http://www.speedtest.net/
and stability
http://www.pingtest.net/

When trouble shooting you MUST run test at the time of the stream or the issue.




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Jeff Mack
Re: Crash
on Apr 24, 2010 at 5:21:43 pm

Yeah, I know how to troubleshoot. I guess I was hoping to hear "check this" I only have Wirecast and Safari open during my stream. I use the HDV stream because I want to record to tape in HDV during the broadcast. When I set my camera to downconvert only (giving me the ability to stay with HDV on tape) wirecast won't recognize my camera. I have to fully downconvert to DV and then it works. I love my HDV to tape though. My thought on uploading bit rate was that you should use a bit rate as high as possible as to not have stuttering occur. For the most part, I get that with my settings described. I'll try some tests today and see if I cant get the DV downconvert to occor with still getting HDV to tape. I have another conert this evening. It's hard to practice while the show is going on.

Jeff


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Craig Seeman
Re: Crash
on Apr 24, 2010 at 5:54:43 pm

[Jeff Mack] "Yeah, I know how to troubleshoot."
But without posting the step by step and the results and does give anyone any avenue to help you. There's no indication what you've done.

[Jeff Mack] "I guess I was hoping to hear "check this" "
And that's why I listed the information I did. That's the "check this."
I can only respond based on the information you provide.

[Jeff Mack] "When I set my camera to downconvert only (giving me the ability to stay with HDV on tape) wirecast won't recognize my camera. "
Again not enough info to mean anything. Downconvert must be to DV and out of firewire. You'd have to do that before hooking the firewire cable to the computer otherwise you're changing the data during communication with the computer and that's not going to be good.

[Jeff Mack] " have to fully downconvert to DV and then it works."
Sounds like an issue with the camera. DV out of firewire is all Wirecast cares about. It has no clue that a downconversion has taken place. If the data over firewire is good, Wirecast is happy. It doesn't detect what's happening inside the camera.

[Jeff Mack] "My thought on uploading bit rate was that you should use a bit rate as high as possible as to not have stuttering occur."
I'm not sure what that means. Stuttering is either a decode, encode, record issue. If the issue is in the stream but not in Wirecast Preview then the issue is either server side or you don't have the bandwidth.

[Jeff Mack] "For the most part, I get that with my settings described."
ISP and servers are not constant conditions. They can change moment to moment. I always test just before starting a stream. If a problem happens during the stream I'll run another test. Bandwidth can fluctuate as can latency and jitter.

[Jeff Mack] "It's hard to practice while the show is going on. "
Test before. Always give yourself an hour or whatever significant time to run tests and change the configuration as needed.




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Marie-Louise Gariepy
Re: Crash
on Sep 8, 2010 at 1:47:02 pm

So did you figure out what was the problem exactly and do you have a solution? I am having the exact same issue.

Thanks. Marie-Louise


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Jeff Mack
Re: Crash
on Sep 8, 2010 at 2:37:38 pm

Marie Louise,

I found the quickest way to fix this is to trash the wirecast preferences and reboot. I don't know why it happens, it just hangs up. Now, everytime I get ready to do a broadcast, I wipe preferences. and I have been pretty good. Jeff


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