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Kona 3 Various Problems

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Oliver Gwyther
Kona 3 Various Problems
on Aug 10, 2010 at 10:04:55 am

Hi all,


I am hoping that someone could perhaps shed some light on a variety of problems we've been having with a Kona 3 card for the last 2 years. I've attempted to contact AJA support, but it seems they aren't even courteous enough to respond at all.

The card was originally in a Mac Pro and used through FCP, but as it had problems on the Mac based system, we decided to switch it to a PC. It seems to be suffering from the same problems as before when it was in the Mac, despite my best efforts to resolve said issues.

It is worth noting that the system is ONLY used for Standard PAL footage at 8bit colour (NO HD).

The PC Specs are as follows:

  • Supermicro X7DWA-N Motherboard (The slot positioning is correct according to the diagram on your site).
  • Dual XEON E5520 2.5ghz (8 cores)
  • 8GB of DDR2 667 RAM
  • AJA Kona 3 with breakout box.
  • nVidia Quadro FX580
  • Highpoint RocketRAID card with 3x1tb Seagate 528AS SATA II drives configured in RAID 5.
  • Windows 7 64bit


The other equipment we are using:

  • Sony DVW-A500P Digibeta Deck
  • Sony BVM-20F1E Broadcast Video Monitor with Sony BKM-10R Monitor Control Unit


The read and write speeds of the hard drives after using the AJA disk speed utility:


2GB File
Read:
89.3 mb/s
Write:
93.4 mb/s

1GB File
Read:
90.9 mb/s
Write:
96.2 mb/s

512MB File
Read:
61.3 mb/s
Write:
101.9 mb/s

Baring in mind that that rate calculator utility suggests that our required write speed only needs to be 20.74 mb/s, Iā€™m sure you'll agree the disks can't be the problem.

A brief description of our problems:

Exporting to tape ā€“ Since we've had the card, it seems incapable of laying off to tape with the correct time codes. There is always a delay from when the Digibeta deck starts playing out the tape and when Premiere/FCP/Machina starts actually outputting the frames. This means that the footage is never where you expect it to be on the tape. The actual footage outputs absolutely fine though. I have tried every combination of settings available in the output options, but to no avail. Interestingly, this has started working properly since CS5 (despite no change in settings), but now it doesn't actually record to tape. It is definitely playing out to the Digibeta correctly, because it appears on the reference monitor.

Monitor output in After Effects ā€“ Since AECS3 on the Mac, we have been unable to get it to output correctly in AE, despite having all the correct settings. The image appearance and colours are fine, but TGA's appear with no aliasing whatsoever and the quality is pretty dire in general. We have tried swapping cables, changing output settings, changed monitors etc, but we always have the same problem.

Capturing ā€“ In general, capturing footage from tape appears to work fine, but on occasion it will say 'capture successful', but the footage will never appear. This only a minor problem as it happens very rarely.

Any help or suggestions you could provide on the aforementioned problems would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,


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Tim Kolb
Re: Kona 3 Various Problems
on Aug 12, 2010 at 3:21:36 am

If you see it playing through to the deck, but the deck isn't recording...that sounds like the deck to me.

How close to the leader are you starting on these tapes when you record...do you master an entire show, or are you insert editing or...

The deck has to get up to speed to begin recording, so if the timeline wants to start and the deck isn't rolling yet, there could be a lag.

I typically put some black in front on the timeline and make sure my timeline is set at whatever TC I'm supposed to have at program start.

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Oliver Gwyther
Re: Kona 3 Various Problems
on Aug 12, 2010 at 4:04:36 pm

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your reply.

I suspected the same thing with regards to the deck getting up to speed, but that does not seem to be the case. It doesn't matter if i put a 10second or 10 minute delay on it, it will always start late.

I have had the deck checked and there are no problems at all apparently. The engineer even succeeded in recording to tape with a Blackmagic system.

On a more positive note, AJA have now responded to my query and i am dealing with them directly - hopefully they can provide some more insight into the problem.

Regards,


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Oliver Gwyther
Re: Kona 3 Various Problems
on Aug 13, 2010 at 10:40:09 am

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your reply.

I suspected the same thing with regards to the deck getting up to speed, but that does not seem to be the case. It doesn't matter if i put a 10second or 10 minute delay on it, it will always start late.

I have had the deck checked and there are no problems at all apparently. The engineer even succeeded in recording to tape with a Blackmagic system.

UPDATE: After speaking with AJA, they can't advise me any further on the problem with the deck not recording. However, they have informed that the bug with AE is a known one and will be fixed in the next release.


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Tim Kolb
Re: Kona 3 Various Problems
on Aug 13, 2010 at 8:37:09 pm

The BM system was accurate with it's starting point then?

Is the amount of delay always the same?

TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Oliver Gwyther
Re: Kona 3 Various Problems
on Aug 16, 2010 at 9:49:37 am

Hi Tim,

I'm not sure what settings he used. I'm going to collect the Digi later and i'm going to check out his setup in detail.

I'll keep you updated.

Regards,


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