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DIY7 setup performing poorly

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simon ellis
DIY7 setup performing poorly
on Jan 26, 2010 at 5:03:06 pm

Hello everyone and anyone,

I am hoping that someone out there somewhere can help with my current hardware (software?) issues. What I need is a fast, stable HD editing system which offers realtime preview on an external LCD monitor (basically, everything that I had when the standard was DV).

my newly built system is as follows:

Asus P6T deluxe Motherboard
Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz (Not overclocked until I get things running smoothly)
12GB Corsair XMS3 PC12800 DDR3 RAM
1 x 1TB Western Digital (System Disk)
2 x 1TB Hitachi Deskstar (Media Disks, not RAID as yet)
Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W Power Supply
Windows Vista Business 64bit (Will upgrade to Windows 7 when I can afford it)


A couple of years ago I won an Intensity Pro card as part of a film festival prize. When I recently built the above PC for video editing I was delighted at the prospect of using the Intesity card to preview my edits direct from the Premiere Pro (4.2.1) timeline in HD. So, I bought the most recommended LCD screen for video editing in my price range (LG 22" M227WD Component and HDMI 1080P) and set it all up.

On the first editing job I did, using P2 footage (720p), there was quite a bit of visible noise/compression in some of the shots. The images were shot by an experienced cameraman on his own camera, and I'm not talking about particularly low-light shots either, so there shouldn't have been a problem. After the completed EDL was delivered to a professional online facility and the film was mastered, the noise was no longer apparent. I started to wonder if something was wrong with my set-up and haven't undertaken another edit job until now.

My two main problems:

1) Lots of shots in the film I am now editing, also from P2 in 720p, contain visible noise/compression. It is all shot outdoors in natural daylight so there is definitely no issue with the footage itself. Why does it look this way? My DV footage on my old system, played out to a TV, looked much better.

2) The timeline doesn't play back smoothly and keeps stopping, even when the clips are rendered. Surely a system of this spec can play back 720p without a problem? Even if the internal hitachi drives it is reading from are not RAIDed yet?

3) While both the audio and picture are coming out of the PC via the Intensity Pro card (HDMI), I cannot get the audio into my desktop speakers. My current workaround, which results in horrible audio distortion and general bad quality, is to run a cheap 3.5mm jack cable from the headphones socket in the LCD screen to the PC. This is obviously no kind of solution. There must be a way to take the audio direct from the PC to the speakers without the Intensity preventing this, but I cannot find it.

I have plans to RAID the two hitachi drives but cannot do it until I reinstall the OS, so I shall wait until I can afford windows 7. If I ever get things running smoothly I will also overclock the processor. In the meantime though, I am on a deadline to finish a job and editing is far from pleasureable while experiencing these problems.

Thanking you in advance,

Simon


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Evan Newsome
Re: DIY7 setup performing poorly
on Jan 27, 2010 at 1:40:18 am

Killayuz: ...I have plans to RAID the two hitachi drives but cannot do it until I reinstall the OS, so I shall wait until I can afford windows 7. If I ever get things running smoothly I will also overclock the processor. In the meantime though, I am on a deadline to finish a job and editing is far from pleasureable while experiencing these problems.

Thanking you in advance,

Simon


Sounds like a catch 22. I would RAID my drives to troubleshoot the problem and since you have no plans of getting Win7, I guess you'll have to deal with it. I would spend the ~100 bucks on Win7, do a fresh install and RAID the drives. I think it should resolve your problem of playing smoothly.
Graininess is another thing. I blame monitor or video card if footage looks fine on other people's system.


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simon ellis
Re: DIY7 setup performing poorly
on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:05:32 pm

hi lee,

i do intend to buy windows 7 but i can't afford it just yet. it's frustrating having just bought vista, to hear how useless it is compared to windows7, and was therefore a complete waste of money Sad having said that, my system is the same recipe as the original diy7 and the previous film i edited, which was a twenty-minute piece, edited and played back from the timeline without a glitch. this new edit is only a four-minute music video, using the same p2 media and shot at the same resolution, but it won't play without stuttering or stopping altogether.

the only things that have changed between the two projects are that i've installed two internal hitachi drives which i intend to RAID on re-install, whereas the last edit (the one that played back smoothly) was done using a five-year old 500gb maxtor external. if i could edit 720p footage acquired on p2 with that old drive then i can see no reason why the same won't play back smoothly on the internal hitachis, RAIDed or otherwise.

as for the other problems, i suspect the blackmagic card is the heart of the problems but i want to wait to hear from others before i take it out and pay for an alternative method of connecting the monitor to the PC. with the huge graphics card and an abundance of coiled-up (unused) cables coming out of the power supply, there is no room left in the antec case for anything else!

thanks for your quick answer. anyone else have any ideas?

simon


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Alex Cantu
Re: DIY7 setup performing poorly
on Jan 28, 2010 at 5:58:51 pm

With system like that you should not have problem handling P2 files, so here are some ideas:

- Sata disk have a jumper to limit data tranfer to 150 Mbs (for backwards compatibility), if they have it remove it to eneable 300 Mbs.

- You may noy be working with the latest drivers.

BTW, waht display card are you using?


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simon ellis
Re: DIY7 setup performing poorly
on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:57:21 pm

hi chipocludo,

i can't see any jumpers on the drives, at least not without dismantling the machine again and removing them (no mean feat given the tight space!). there aren't any on the end where the cables connect anyway.

when you talk of drivers, which drivers do you mean?

sorry for forgetting to list my display card - it's a gtx285.

also, do you know if there is any way of dealing with unused cables coming from the power supply? i'm dreadfully short of space in my case and have to actually push and hold the drive bay in place while i screw it in, lest all the coiled cables push it back out. it doesn't seem right to me, although i'm using the DIY7-recommended antec case.

thanks!

simon


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Jcschild
Re: DIY7 setup performing poorly
on Jan 29, 2010 at 4:16:17 pm

things to check as this is not right.
i doubt its your drive set up.

Decklink settings, Adobe settings, which driver for decklink.
it easy to change a setting and not realize.

Scott
ADK


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simon ellis
Re: DIY7 setup performing poorly
on Feb 1, 2010 at 1:02:36 pm

hey guys,

okay, so far i have made a little bit of progress, though my issues are still far from resolved. blackmagic got in touch and sorted out my audio problem by suggesting i use the breakout cable for audio, in addition to the HDMI that feeds the external monitor. while the audio is unbalanced and creates a slight pulsing 'buzz' through the speakers, i can live with it for now.

i went on the hunt for new p2 drivers and found some specifically for 64bit systems, and i can now play the project without stuttering ONLY IF it is rendered. it still won't play back at all without rendering, which is a big step back from how it ran for my last job.

i still cannot get my head around why there is visible compression on the external monitor image though. scott, i am unsure which settings you refer to when you say i should check adobe settings. as for decklink, i am using the intensity pro, not decklink. i did install the latest drivers very recently. someone has suggested to me that the compression may be because i am editing p2 natively from the timeline, and that it may be worth exporting a section in a different format to see how that looks on the monitor. this is my next step.

thanks!

simon


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