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dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing

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Matt Riley
dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 28, 2007 at 8:35:20 pm

All of a sudden, my system is dropping frames on playback.

I've ran all the diagnostics on my RAID (XRAID), have plenty of free space, etc. but I still get dropped frames. The material I'm working with is 1080/24p 10 bit uncompressed HD. I've been using this kind of material for months without any issue like this until now.

Here's the strange part: If I change my video playback in FCP to use digital cinema desktop, I can play the media back without dropping frames, just like it should be. But, if I select any flavor of playback using the Kona card, I get dropped frames right away. This also happened with DVCPROHD material over the weekend, which has much lower bandwidth (we were using the kona to do an sd downconvert to digibeta and it kept puking).

Any ideas? We've reseated the boards in the machine, dusted it out (it was really clean, though) disconnected/reconnected everything. Ugh. Even different user account with clean preferences, clean sequences, etc.

Again, I can play material fine when NOT using the Kona card. Yesterday I was able to get the Kona to layoff some uncompressed SD to tape and that worked okay. It seemed to have a pretty good delay when first initializing the edit to tape window but other than that it worked. Strangeness.

-Matt

PS--What's the little button on the top of the Kona card for? It looks like a reset switch (similar to the CUDA or PMU reset switch on the old PowerMacs) but I didn't want to mess with it. :-)


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JeremyG
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 28, 2007 at 9:09:22 pm

Sounds to me like you might have a bit depth problem (as in your footage is 8 bit and you have 10bit selected or vice versa). usually when you can track down the dropped frames because of the KOna, you have something setup improperly. When does you video output menu say in the View > Video Playback menu? What does you KOna CP say when FCP is selected?

Jeremy


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Matt Riley
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 28, 2007 at 9:27:44 pm

I thought so too, but everything matches like I've been doing for months.

My footage is 1080/24p 10 bit uncompressed. I use the Kona preset in FCP that says 1080psf 23.98 10 bit and this gives me real-time (no render) when I drop a clip into the timeline. For my playback settings under the view menu, I choose the matching Kona output 1080psf 23.98 10 bit. This is what I've been doing for a while now without issue.

I get nothing but green and blue lines in the Kona control panel, so everything seems to match up there as well. It doesn't seem to matter if I have downconverting enabled or not.

It just feels like something is clogged between the Kona and the rest of the system. I think the big red flag here is that I can play the material fine using digital cinema desktop, so that would seem to indicate that my storage is performing adequately.

-Matt


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JeremyG
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 28, 2007 at 9:38:28 pm

What version of FCP and what version of the Kona drivers do you have?

Have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling the KOna drivers?

What does the read/write speed test say on your RAID?


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Matt Riley
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 28, 2007 at 9:46:12 pm

Kona 3, version 4 drivers (Intel Mac Pro) FCP 6.0.1

RAID averages around 200 MB or so read/write, which is fast enough for my media.

I haven't done anything with the drivers yet. This machine is rather stable, so it just makes zero sense that anything like that would've gone wrong. I haven't upgraded any software on it in a while - certainly not since this problem showed up.

I guess that's my next course of action, though. Ugh. I hate mucking with drivers. :)

-Matt


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JeremyG
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 28, 2007 at 10:44:30 pm

It's the easiest thing to do, much easier than opening up the machine and dusting it out.

AJA provides an uninstaller, then simply reinstall.

This will trash your FCP prefs in the process.

Jeremy




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JeremyG
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 28, 2007 at 10:44:59 pm

Also, is your PCIe config setup properly?


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gary adcock
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 29, 2007 at 2:22:48 pm

[Matt Riley] "If I change my video playback in FCP to use digital cinema desktop, I can play the media back without dropping frames, just like it should be. But, if I select any flavor of playback using the Kona card, I get dropped frames right away"

OK
you have run into one of the unlisted features of using a 3rd party card for playback.

Your Kona Card FORCES FCP to play out all frames at the frame rate you are working at, something that FCP (and especially QT) do not have to do when they are operating by themselves.

ALl of the Storage Mfg's have known about this "feature" since FCP 3, and include the AJA ( or BMD) tools in their testing.

My guess is that your Storage is a little full and it cannot keep up ( 10bit UC 1080 is very very Storage intensive)

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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matt Riley
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 30, 2007 at 4:13:34 am

Hmmm...

I guess that would make sense, although it sure doesn't appear to be dropping frames in digital cinema desktop mode. Audio stays in sync and things look normal as far as the motion goes.

I uninstalled/reinstalled the drivers and it didn't help. I then purchased a defrag program and set it to run overnight tonight. Hopefully it'll finish before tomorrow morning. Otherwise, the last thing left to test would be a fresh format of the RAID, which means wiping over 2 TB of data and restoring from backup after that. Ugh.

I'll let you guys know how it goes. For now I'm limping along with dcd and at least the ability to output uncompressed SD via the Kona for DigiBeta dubs.

Matt


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gary adcock
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 30, 2007 at 8:27:11 pm

[matt Riley] "although it sure doesn't appear to be dropping frames in digital cinema desktop mode. Audio stays in sync and things look normal as far as the motion goes."

QT is notorious for faking sync, it was originally designed to auto compensate, hence unless you have a very very trained eye you may not see the issue. Are all your FCP setting correct to force full image processing and frame rate and set to Safe? ( yes I know you are working in 10bit 1080, but the computer will try to compensate by lowering the Video quality on output)


Also please confirm that you have set the Expansion Slot Utility to #2

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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Kevin Watkins
Re: dropping frames ONLY when Kona is used for viewing
on Nov 30, 2007 at 2:35:41 am

This is a long shot, especially as you have not changed anything in your set-up, but I had a similar problem and eventually discovered that there is a known issue with playback. If you check in the Release Notes PDF with the V4.0 driver you'll see this: "There is a known issue with video output and Dual Link HD log RGB and RGB 4:4:4 1080PsF 23.98/24 for driver version4.0. If you are working in either of these formats AJA recommends that you continue using Final Cut Pro V5.1X with the version 3.4 driver..."

This doesn't explain the HD DVCPro issue, however. Not sure if this'll help. If you do think this is your problem, please email them an urge them to fix this - I encountered this over the summer and am still waiting for an answer...


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