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H.264 playback to external monitor issues

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Matt Larson
H.264 playback to external monitor issues
on Jul 30, 2013 at 3:43:42 pm

I've been using FCPX on an Early 2008 MacPro and when I try and push 1080p H.264 through my Kona 3 I'm getting dropped frames.

The A/V Output tab matches the Kona setting (1080i29.97 on both). Media is playing off a RAID with reads of over 200MB/s. 24GBs RAM, latest version of Mac OS, AJA driver, FCPX

If I TURN OFF A/V Output and playback full screen on the second computer monitor, I have no dropped frames (I can play back non-rendered dissolves). The whole interface seems more responsive.

I've contacted AJA and they could not find a solution.

Is this an example of the Kona 3 not being powerful enough to handle the H.264 playback? Would a new AJA product be able to make this possible (I don't have Thunderbolt though); how about Matrox or Black Magic?

I tend to work on projects with large amounts of footage, so if I could do a rough edit with the camera native clips before I transcode, and then just transcode what I need I would save a lot of time/ HD space.

2 x3Ghz Quad MacPro
9 GB RAM
Mac OS X 10.5.5
QT 7.5.5
FCP 6.0.5
AJA Kona 3 (6.0.1 drivers)
G-Speed XL 12 RAID


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: H.264 playback to external monitor issues
on Jul 30, 2013 at 5:09:56 pm

You shouldn't be working with the original H.264, you need to transcode your footage to Apple ProRes by letting FCPX optimize your media.

You can edit with the H.264 but since it is not an optimised editing format you will get dropped frames and regular crashes depending on what you are doing.

If you ned to save HD space you can consolidate your final project for archiving.

"Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python



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Matt Larson
Re: H.264 playback to external monitor issues
on Jul 30, 2013 at 6:21:45 pm

Thanks for the quick feedback. I'm glad to hear I can stop troubleshooting this performance issue as it's not recommended anyway.

2 x3Ghz Quad MacPro
9 GB RAM
Mac OS X 10.5.5
QT 7.5.5
FCP 6.0.5
AJA Kona 3 (6.0.1 drivers)
G-Speed XL 12 RAID


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