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Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ

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piper
Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 3:47:10 am

Well, fellow bovines, I've installed FCS2, and tried out ProRez 422 HQ 1080i; stunning picture quality.

However, I've got a problem, and I'm not sure if it is a Kona problem, or a QT/FCP/computer horsepower problem, but I'll start here.

First, my system: G5 dual 2.7, 4.5 GB ram, Kona 2, 4.0 driver, OS-X 10.4.9, QT 7.6, scratch disk is an 8 bay hardware raid 3, tests 54-57 MB/s write, read 68-72 with AJA system test. More than the minimum specs listed in system requirements.

I am capturing HCCAM 1080i 29.97 material through HD-SDI; I'm using the AJA Kona 2 1080i 29.92 ProRez 422 (HQ) easy set-up. Seq, capt, playback etc all match.

Two things are happening:

1. I am dropping frames on capture, about every 2 sec or so.

2. The video plays back in FCP at roughly twice the normal speed: that is, the video portion of a 46 sec clip plays in about 23-24 secs, while the play head continues with the audio in real time to the end of the 46 sec clip.

Yet, if I exit FCP, and play the clip in QT, the video plays for the full 46 sec, although with occasional jumpiness caused by the dropped frames.

I've tried all the "safe" and dynamic playback settings as well as unlimited RT, to no avail. Video frame rate set at "full".

My raid should be fast enough to handle at least one stream of this new codec, so I wouldn't think it is my scratch disk.

I'm stumped. Any pearls of wisdom from you Memorial Day weekend grazers out there?

Thanks,

Gary



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JeremyG
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 5:31:29 am

You have an 8 bay raid hardware raid3 and you are getting 60 MB/sec? Sounds like you have bigger issues.


Jeremy


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piper
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 6:14:03 am

Not sure what you mean. I know it's not like the newer units; It's an older Jems unit with ATA drives, had it since 2002, that's as fast as it's ever been. Driven by an ATTO UL4D SCSI card, latest drivers. About the same speed as a G-Raid with two SATA drives.

But that should be fast enough for one, maybe two streams of ProRez HQ right? Around 27-30MB/s max?

I've read every manual, tried everything I can think of for two days.

Thanks,

Gary


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 6:26:36 am

q[piper] "scratch disk is an 8 bay hardware raid 3, tests 54-57 MB/s write, read 68-72"

Gary,

First, your throughput is awfully low for an 8-drive raid array. You're getting only slightly higher read/write than what I get on a single drive. My 4-drive SATA array averages 191.0 for both read and write. Something seems wrong with your numbers or with your raid subsystem.

More importantly, these read/write speeds are too low for capturing HDCAM and are more than likely not capable of maintaining the throughput necessary for conversion to ProRes422 during capture.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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piper
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 6:45:33 am

I was afraid of that. When I look at the graph on the AJA system test, there are little short duration spikes that go way down. I've been looking at the average write speed.

As I indicated, this is an older unit, albiet with new drives and new UL4D SCSI card, worked great for SD and works great for AJA DVCProHD; I had hoped it would be good for at least one stream of ProRez. Guess not.

Just an additional note: my year & a half old G-Raid FW800 320GB raid0 tests at the same speed as the larger unit with AJA's system test.

So, what might the reason for the double speed/half duration video play back, while the audio goes the full duration of the clip? Remember, I tested the clips in QT and it plays at normal speed and duration, just with the occasional jumpiness from the dropped frames.

Boy, you folks are as bad as me, working all night. I guess we love our work.

Thanks for all your interest.

Gary


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Bob Zelin
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 12:28:25 pm

Hi Piper -
as everyone else has already stated, your issue is with your drive array. Right now, if you use AJA Kona System test on your internal boot drive on your MAC, you will get about 60mb/sec. I don't know the older SCSI to ATA JEMS unit, but older 8 bay SCSI arrays (8 Seagate SCSI drives with an even older ATTO UL3D) were over 200mb/sec, and were the original type of arrays that were recommended for uncompressed HD. So old does not mean that it does not work.

It always frustrates me when one drive in a JBOD that is dying boggs the system down, instead of simply just not working. This is how you need to find this issue (and I know this will be painful). You need to DELETE the RAID, and test EACH DRIVE ONE AT A TIME with AJA Kona System test. You will find that only one drive is much slower than the rest. For a quick fix, you will find that simply disconnecting this one drive, will allow your RAID to run at correct speeds for what you are doing (220mb/sec with ProRez 422HQ). Once you find the slow drive, just stripe the remaining 7 RAID 0, and away you go. You will be back in business.

Bob Zelin


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piper
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 2:52:48 pm

Bob,

That makes sense; I'll give it a try. Since it is a hardware controlled raid, not striped by software in the computer, the computer sees it as one drive. But I think I can test each drive by removing the others (they are on sleds), or test them two at at time and by a process of elimination find the offender.

I have a sense, though, that it may be time for a new one. This unit wasn't very fast from day one; oringinally had 125 GB drives, then I replaced them with 250's with 8mb cache. Same speed. And these new drives only have a 150 hrs or so on them. It has dual power supplies, dual fans, and dual controllers. I once tried restriping it as RAID 0, only got a 12% increase in speed. The company that made it started out as Infotrend, later became Jems, then was bought out by RAID Inc. They no longer support this unit.

Thanks Bob, I appreciate the info. I'll get back on this.

Gary
SaltAire Cinema Productions


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Bob Zelin
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 5:09:58 pm

WOW, I know this drive array - Infortrend is STILL IN BUSINESS, and you can send it directly to them for support.

Your unit will attempt to create a RAID, when you turn it back on, so at 2 drives at a time, this will be a VERY time consuming process.


bob Zelin

Infortrend Corporation
2200 Zanker Road, Unit D,
San Jose, CA. 95131, USA
Tel: +1-408-988-5088


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piper
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 8:17:05 pm

Hi Bob,

Yes, I just went through the raid, pulling one of the drives at a time, trying groups of 2 and 4 drives at a time, as well as all 8 drives, all configured as RAID 0; Ran the AJA system test in each configuration.

Results: all showed an average of around 82 MB/s write/75-80 read; about a 12% increase from the RAID 3 config. Didn't matter if it was two disks or 8: same nominal results.

With the slight increase from the RAID 0, I again captured a couple HDCAM clips: still dropped frames, and plays back the video portion at 2x speed, while the audio plays normally for the clip duration.

I'll contact Infotrend on Tuesday, but their website says support for resellers only, no end user support. But I'll try anyway.

I heard somewhere that the Kona2 does not do any hardware acceleration for ProRez like it does for DVCProHD. I'm thinking that might be a factor here as well.

Thanks to all of you for your help.

Gary
SaltAire Cinema Productions


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Bob Zelin
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 10:14:07 pm

82mb/sec won't help you - 2 internal SATA drives in your G5 will do 128mb/sec, which is certainly enough for uncompressed 10 bit SDI and DVCProHD. I can't answer on this about Pro Res 422 HQ. Many products, including the Cal Digit, and many others, will EASILY handle
ProRes 422 HQ, as well as DNxHD for AVID , and so much more. If you don't want to spend any money, I urge you to directly contact Infortrend.

Bob Zelin


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piper
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 10:49:42 pm

I'll give them a call Tuesday; But I'll probably spend the $ for a new raid, however. Then the older unit will be a nice, big, parity protected backup drive.

Thanks again for all your help.

Gary


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Michael Dreesman
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 27, 2007 at 11:14:53 pm

Hi Gary,

Except for the raid configuration, I have the same setup as you and the same problem. I can capture uncompressed 10bit 1080i footage all day without issue but cannot capture or playback ProRes 422 through the Kona 2 card without dropping frames.

I did a test and transcoded 1080i footage to ProRes 422 (HQ) and found it would not play back smoothly out the Kona 2 until I changed the Video Playback setting (under Audio/Video Settings in FCP) to "AJA Kona 1080i29.97 8bit (1920x1080)", a workaround to be sure as picture quality appears to be somewhat compromised. Interestingly enough, playback of the same clip using the "AJA TV" app. looks every bit as good as 10bit uncompressed (to my eyes anyway), and without any discernible dropped frames. Go figure.

AJA support suggested that the problem may be with the speed of the Dual G5 and it's inability to convert from uncompressed to ProRes and vice versa on the fly. Looks like it's time for me to upgrade to a new mac (and a Kona3), or the IoHD, or both!

Good luck,
Mike


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piper
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 28, 2007 at 12:55:24 am

Hi Michael,

l also tried the 8 bit playback, and found the same: reduced image quality, but smoother playback.

I was going to call AJA Tuesday, but they will probably tell me the same.

Apple's recomended system is the dual 2.5; I purchased FCS2 based on those recomendations, my system being in excess of that.

Frustrating.

Thanks,
Gary


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msacci
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 28, 2007 at 2:41:05 am

the reason that hardware accelaration in not needed with ProRes is that it is a full raster codec, meaning on a 1920x1080 timeline it is 1920x1080 vs DVCProHD which is 1280x1080 so the rescaling requires a lot of processor power which the Kona cards pitch in on.

But you need to note that ProRes HQ needs more than twice the hard drive bandwidth as DVCProHD.



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gary adcock
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 28, 2007 at 11:41:56 am

[piper] "First, my system: G5 dual 2.7, 4.5 GB ram, Kona 2, 4.0 driver, OS-X 10.4.9, QT 7.6, scratch disk is an 8 bay hardware raid 3, tests 54-57 MB/s write, read 68-72 with AJA system test. More than the minimum specs listed in system requirements. "

It is my understanding that the HQ version of ProRes needs an intel machine when compressing 1080 content.

Have you tried using the standard version of ProRes? if so what was re result?


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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piper
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 28, 2007 at 4:03:23 pm

Gary,

No, I have not tried the ProRez 8 bit; I can do that in the next day or so. That would help isolate the problem.

However, it is the 10 bit HQ codec I'm interested in for the work I do.

Quite busy today, on a shoot tomorrow and Wednesday. But I'll try to squeeze it in, and I'll report back with results.

Thanks,

Gary
SaltAire Cinema Productions


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Oliver Peters
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 28, 2007 at 8:47:03 pm

piper,

I believe they are both 10-bit codecs if the material is 10-bit.

[piper] "it is the 10 bit HQ codec I'm interested in for the work I d"

The difference is 145 Mb/s versus 220 Mb/s, not 8-bit versus 10-bit.

Sincerely,
Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Michael Palmer
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 29, 2007 at 3:49:33 am

I have tried every format of PR with my 2.3 dualcore g5 with esata raid that can capture 10 bit uncompressed HD and it does not keep up with the transcode. I've tried 1080i, 720p and SD. Drops 30-50% of the frames. I do know AJA has said the Intel Mac Pro does work, so I guess we need to ungrade our hardware. Does Apple's new software codec lead to hidden agenda?
Michael Palmer


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uncompressed
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ-hidden agenda?
on May 29, 2007 at 12:56:38 pm

hidden agenda? heck ask avid--apple wants to sell you the hardware!

seriously-the pro res 422 is computationally expensive. a lot has gone on in computing and an 8 core on FCP 6 really illustrates that. i had a 2.0 G5 pci-x, i had been holding on to the quad G5, but now the 8 core has much more value to me with this suite. my quad G5 works, but doesnt have the "PING". my friends with 8 cores are reporting increased RT around all facets of the application.



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Jeff Bernstein
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ-hidden agenda?
on May 30, 2007 at 4:28:06 am

Repost from FCP Forum...

Woe Nelly! Let's keep everything in perspective here. If we look at raw performance numbers, take a look at barefeats, the computational power between a PowerPC Quad and an Intel Quad is VERY close. Moreover, the Intel chips lack the killer Altivec processor of the G5. While the Intel chips have SSE2, it pales in comparison.

Thus, one would have to presume that Apple has NOT bothered to optimize the codec for the PowerPC. A codec is usually a perfect candidate to have its math vectorized. This is what Altivec does.

I would recommend sending "feedback" to Apple to get the codec optimized for PowerPC. Otherwise, one could call this "forced obsolescence".

Jeff Bernstein
Digital Desktop Consulting


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JeremyG
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ-hidden agenda?
on May 30, 2007 at 4:36:34 am

What's your point if it can't compress on a dual G5, but it can on a Quad G5?

You really think Apple is going to go back and optimize the codec for PowerPC? And why does my intel macbook Pro run faster than my dual 2.0 G5? How does that pale in comparison? Does bare feats measure how fast Prores compresses/decompresses on a G5 compared to the latest macpro?




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Jeff Bernstein
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ-hidden agenda?
on May 30, 2007 at 4:48:13 pm

Easy sailor. My point in checking out Barefeats is comparing raw performance between the processors. Again, without optimization for a processor, you need to throw more processors at the problem. Considering the installed base of perfectly fine G5's, YES, Apple should optimize the codec.


Jeff Bernstein

Digital Desktop Consulting
Apple Pro Video VAR
XSAN Certified

323-653-7611


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JeremyG
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ-hidden agenda?
on May 30, 2007 at 6:19:21 pm

[Jeff Bernstein] "Easy sailor."

Oh boy, look out, now you really got me going :-D You know, it's really awesome when Barefeats does their tests and I appreciate them doing it, but they do it with some arbitrary things that I don't even use (besides Photoshop). When they post a test that has something to do with this forum, such as how fast ProRes encodes on a G5 dual 2.0 vs a dual/quad/oct intel then we can compare. what I am getting at here is that you are saying that the G5s can capture ProRes, well, it seems that they can't unless you have a Quad (and perhaps that will change with the ioHD). All the Altivec praising in the world is not going to make Apple go back in time and reoptimize. Final Cut is here to sell computers, and making your older machine faster doesn't help Apple's agenda. I don't really think Apple's agenda of selling computers is really 'hidden' either.

I hope you understand this banter is all in good fun.





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David Roth Weiss
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ-hidden agenda?
on May 30, 2007 at 6:38:03 pm

[JeremyG] "you are saying that the G5s can capture ProRes, well, it seems that they can't unless you have a Quad (and perhaps that will change with the ioHD)."

Jeremy,

For the record, you can capture SD ProRes422 using a G5. I've tested it myself and I am able to sucessfully capture BetaSP to SD ProRes42 (HQ) via my Kona LH. Unfortunately I don't have either an HD deck or Kona 3 (for uprez) to test those.

David


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Post-production Supervisor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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walter biscardi
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 30, 2007 at 6:26:46 pm

[Michael Palmer] "Does Apple's new software codec lead to hidden agenda?"

Of selling new machines? I don't think that is a hidden agenda. Apple is a hardware company first. Why do you think you can't run Final Cut Studio on a PC? If you could, the price could easily be $15,000 for what we only pay $1,400 for right now. BUT you have to purchase Apple hardware to run the latest and greatest version of Final Cut Studio.

Nothing hidden about that, just the way it is if you want to be absolutely current. Final Cut Studio 2 works just fine with any Mac listed as qualified. This is ONE feature that does not work in real-time on the older Macs. One feature vs. probably a couple hundred that do work. Not bad for 2 to 4 year old machines.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Saddler
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 30, 2007 at 8:29:24 pm

Aargh, well I'm seriously disappointed. I posted a thread about this problem in the Final Cut forum. I'm running FCS 2 on a dual 2.7 w/ a 6800 Ultra, a Kona 2, and an XServe RAID. This computer was top of the line when purchased less than 2 years ago. It can handle multiple tracks of DVCPRO HD and uncompressed w/ multiple effects applied. And now ... well I'm finding out that it can't capture more than 1/3 to 1/2 of a single 720p stream w/ ProRes.


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Michael Palmer
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 31, 2007 at 2:35:01 am

It is so easy to stir the pot here. You are right Apple is a hardware company who doesn't currently make their own piece of hardware to transcode their new Pro Rez codec for my old 2.3 PPC Dual Core. So I need to run out (after forking out for the new FCS2 software) and buy new hardware to take full advantage of a real time software transcode. Did you get all that?
You are right Apple is a hardware company. I knew this would happen when they dumped the IBM chips but now I know the party is soon over.
Michael Palmer


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JeremyG
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ
on May 31, 2007 at 3:04:35 am

I am still capturing and editing uncompressed Hd with dual 2.0 G5. No one tells me I have to, just like no one is telling anyone to use ProRes. There are other options. In order for me to use pro res and the latest/greatest software/storage options, I have to upgrade. It's a really simple equation.

You can avoid buying a new computer and buy the ioHD which will do the codec functions for you in hardware (among many other things) in July.





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Jeff Bernstein
Re: Capture Problems with ProRez 422 HQ - It's Official
on Jun 1, 2007 at 6:02:46 pm

Buy your Apple stock now. It doesn't look like Apple will bother optimizing the codec for PowerPC...

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305582

Jeff


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