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AdamJRead
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3rd Party Hardware Monitoring

Jan 2, 2012 10:21 AM

Happy New Year to all...

 

Quick question:

 

I ditched my MX02 about 6 months ago due to stability problems.

 

However, I'm seriously missing proper monitoring, and 2 screens for editing, so am back in the market for some kind of hardware solution.

 

There's no way I'm going back to Matrox, and having done some research, the BM Intensity Pro seems to fit the bill (just a simple card for monitoring).

 

However, having been once bitten, can anyone advise if this is a wise choice (user experiences?)

 

Do I have to use BM presets to monitor out of this card, or can I use standard PP ones?

 

I'm still on CS5.

 

Thanks

 

ADAM READ

InterMedia

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2012 10:53 AM   in reply to AdamJRead

    Hi Adam,

     

    Are you on Mac or PC? Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with MXO2 Mini, I use it myself and have used Matrox hardware for years with very good results (on the PC).

     

    Regardless of who's hardware you use, you will need to use Sequence Settings for that hardware, or it will be invisible to Premiere when using native Adobe presets. If you use an Adobe preset, how is Premiere going to know what 3rd-party hardware is connected? It doesn't.

     

    Thanks

     

    Jeff Pulera

    Safe Harbor Computers

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2012 11:49 AM   in reply to SAFEHARBOR11

    I've got an AJA Kona LHi, and I'm not 100% happy with the way it works with Pr either.  So, I'm also interested in hearing if BMD products work any better.

     

    The hardware is only as good as the drivers supplied to use it.  Whereas I get fantastic results with my Kona in FCP, I don't in Pr, which requires different driver software.  That could be why your MXO2 isn't giving you the satisfaction you desire.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2012 12:44 PM   in reply to AdamJRead

    Like so many others, I've been frustrated with the lack of good external monitoring.  For the most part, I've relied on a BM Multibridge that I purchased several years ago.  It's never functioned 100%, and is very picky about what kinds of media it will play with.  If you stick to a narrow range of source material (primarily uncompressed or DVCPro HD) it works fine, but these days most of my footage is XDCAM or CineForm.  I think some of the newer BM products are working better (like the Intensity Pro and the Decklink Extreme), but there are still issues.

     

    I tried an Kona LHi a while back, and it was even worse.  Granted, it had just been released and the drivers were in a pretty young state, but I've heard that many of the troubles still exist for Premiere users.

     

    I'm taking delivery on a new MOTU HDX-SDI this week and have high hopes.  Of course, given my history I should learn to be less optimistic.  I've been scouring the web to find some impressions of the hardware, but they're pretty much non-existent.  I'll post back once I've had time to evaluate.

     

    As far as who's to blame, I'm not sure where to point the finger.  Adobe may have plenty to improve, but I get the feeling that most of the 3rd party folks have neglected to develop good drivers.  Jim Simon (and others, including myself) have been pushing for a proper solution that takes advantage of a typical video card and bypasses the need for 3rd party hardware entirely.You'd still need it for ingest of course, but most people's trouble seems to stem from timeline monitoring.

     
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  • joe bloe premiere
    4,391 posts
    Dec 6, 2009
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    Jan 2, 2012 1:02 PM   in reply to AdamJRead
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2012 12:53 PM   in reply to AdamJRead

    Agreed on all your points, Adam.  Adobe does need a full-time, no-lag, stable external monitoring if they want to make their way in to edit suites with finicky clients looking over the editor's shoulder.  This is a real weak link.

     

    And they've possibly painted themselves into a corner with their commitment to all formats native editing, which conflicts with hardware monitoring.

     

    To be sure, the way Avid and FCP handle full-screen monitoring is to have the hardware perform some (if not all) of the encoding and decoding, along with a proprietary codec.  When Avid and FCP use native formats, performance suffers.

     

    This is why Adobe could benefit from developing their own cross-platform codec and committed hardware partners.  It could be that having to transcode to a hardware assisted codec is going to be necessary for stable and fast performance for some time to come.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2012 1:31 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis
    And they've possibly painted themselves into a corner with their commitment to all formats native editing, which conflicts with hardware monitoring.

     

    I disagree.  Premiere Pro has no problems tapping into the graphics card to display video within the program.  All it needs to do is tap into the graphics card's video port and send the same signal.

     
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  • joe bloe premiere
    4,391 posts
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    Jan 2, 2012 1:33 PM   in reply to Jim Simon
    All it needs to do is tap into the graphics card's video port and send the same signal.

    That sounds like an nVidiAdobe solution.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2012 1:34 PM   in reply to joe bloe premiere

    Nope.

     

    It's an Adobe, nVidia, ATI, Intel issue.

     

    The point is that ANY capable graphics hardware with a video port needs to work.

     
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  • joe bloe premiere
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    Jan 2, 2012 2:47 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Jim, I think this is the single point on the issue on which our opinions differ.

    With Adobe and nVidia already partnering on GPU Cuda access, it would

    make practical sense for those two companies to take the next step together.

     

    But... if the required tech development were made available for other vendors to

    incorporate (ATI, Intel, etc.) that would be great, but not likely (at least in the short term).

     

    Most of us already bought MPE supported nVidia cards, and I am willing to make another

    proprietary hardware purchase if it were natively supported NOW... but with the ultimate goal

    of global implementation to all capable systems in the future as you suggest.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2012 1:54 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Jim Simon wrote:

     

    And they've possibly painted themselves into a corner with their commitment to all formats native editing, which conflicts with hardware monitoring.

     

    I disagree.  Premiere Pro has no problems tapping into the graphics card to display video within the program.  All it needs to do is tap into the graphics card's video port and send the same signal.

     

    You're disagreeing with a sentiment I didn't express.  Pr most certainly does have problems tapping into my Kona LHi, while GPU performance with CUDA on the Quadro is sweet.

     

    Full Time Full Screen Full Performance video playback at this point is only being achieved with hardware and codec dependencies - by other companies.  Avid and FCP all need to render to or edit with a hardware-compatible codec in order for the corresponding hardware to play and scan it effortlessly.  I still haven't heard or seen anybody claim that the FTFSFP performance with Pr and any third party card is on par with either Avid or FCP.

     

    CPUs and GPUs haven't been able to take up the slack thus far.  Maybe some day, and I agree with joe bloe that NVIDIA seems to be the heir apparent, given the existing cooperation with Adobe viz CUDA.

     

    But, it appears at this point you have to choose your priority.  Either it's CUDA accelleration with Pr, or it's FTFSFP monitoring with FCP or Avid.  I want it all.  And apparently, I'm not alone.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2012 9:41 AM   in reply to AdamJRead

       I use the BM Decklink Studio, HDMI to the main monitor, SD SDI to the interlaced Sony PVM and SD component to the Tektronix WFM. There are a few problems with this set up. As mentioned before you can only use a BM preset, also you can't use 'match sequence to source' as this only finds Adobe sequence settings.

       I find the system is more stable with the media player set to 'Adobe player', you don't get the source monitor on the main screen but I can live with that.

       When using the BM cards audio has to come from their hardware outputs, This is a pain if you are working in surround as there is only a maximum of 4 analogue outputs, the multi channel is only available embedded in the SDI and HDMI video or as AES outputs, I had to buy 3 stereo D to As to make my audio monitoring work. The automation on the audio mixer has a delay of about 2 seconds between when you move the fader and when you hear the change, using this for your final mix is almost impossible. 

       The frame hold function only works if you force render the clip.

     

    RMK

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2012 7:26 PM   in reply to Richard M Knight

    I agree completely that the current situation with monitoring via a proper signal path is far less than stellar. About 6 months ago I posted this thread which was moved by the moderators:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/3806587#3806587

     

    I have used all three products Matrox, Aja, and Blackmagic and they all have their unique issues. I also believed in the beginning that the individual drivers for the cards were the culprit. But after trying all the different cards on the highest end MAC and a 8GB Fibre San, I concluded that there must be something more to the story. In my opinion, Adobe CS-5 series has built in limitations which make it impossible for the card manufacturers to improve the situation. By leveraging the GPU with the MPE the amount of CPU cycles it takes to reprocess that signal back from the GPU through the system and through the I/O card....it really is not optimal and performance takes a huge hit.

     

    The other big problem is the actual userbase that currently has any I/O card. I cannot imagine the total number of CS-5 / 5.5 seats that have a I/O card installed, but I speculate it would be far less than 10%. Taking a cue from Apple, it appears that Adobe has no interest in the hardware game and the niche market of Premiere users that need I/O or machine control. So development resources are going to be scarce for a feature that the majority of users are not interested in. Hopefully I am wrong and CS-6 will be a drastic improvement.

     

    Currently I have settled on the Blackmagic Extreme HD card because of DaVinci Resolve. The majority of my footage is Quicktime ProRes from either a Arri Alexa or Red Transcodes to ProRes. Typically working in 23.98 projects the card functions fairly well but not perfect. Performance is no where close to an Adobe native project, but in order to get the HD-SDI signal I require I have no choice.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2012 8:00 PM   in reply to Ray Tragesser

    Currently I have settled on the Blackmagic Extreme HD card because of DaVinci Resolve.

    Out of curiosity...How does that work in regard to Da Vinci Resolve in your case?

     

    The Da Vinci Resolve stations I have experience at (including mine) uses a single screen GUI ...and BM says there is no need or advantage to having a second GUI monitor. In fact you cant have 2 GUIs off Da Vinci Resolve. ( I believe I am correct in saying that -  and will come back to this end of post *)

     

    I assume you are maybe talking about 'client monitoring' or maybe you have a reference monitor that can take an HD-SDI signal.

     

    If you simplify to a single or a pair of quality reference monitors ( for Premiere) you have no need for the third monitor and the interface card and the issues they bring with them. (eg their own limiting presets amd codecs)

     

     

    * regarding 2 GUIs and Da Vinci Resolve.  I Use my  2 monitors with Da Vinci Resolve by having all the scopes up on the second monitor.

     

    FWIW : I use only 2 monitors for Premiere.  One is GUI for the application.  The second is the full frame HD monitor. ( Client monitors are looped off this one)

     

    People have to get over 2 GUIs and a 3rd external monitor.

     

    BTW: Clients that need to be involved in CC / Grade can and should look at the same reference monitor as the operator unless you want a circular discussion about "color/ hue/ contrast/grandmas monitor at home etc..." .

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 3, 2012 8:35 PM   in reply to shooternz

    In regards to DaVinci, I have two 24" GUI monitors. You are correct that only one is used. I place all my scopes on the second monitor. Stacked vertically taking up about 1/3 of the screen. I use the rest for project documents/finder.

     

    I use a Flanders Scientific 24" as my third monitor hooked up to the HD-SDI of the Blackmagic Extreme HD. This is the only option for Resolve. I also use this for Premiere.

     

    If I was a stand alone island, I would set my system up with both scenarios. Client monitors connected via gpu/dvi and also hd-SDI. But because we have a central machine room and everything is HD-SDI routed through a HD-SDI router, it isn't practical. Using the GPU connected  via DVI to a Dell is totally different than looking at a Flanders via HD-SDI. Unfortunately you pay twice. Performance and Cost to see it via HD-SDI. But it looks killer on the fully calibrated Flanders in the correct color space.

     

    Come on CS-6!

     

    Thanks

    Ray

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 9:38 PM   in reply to AdamJRead

    Hi Adam,

     

    I use the Blackmagic Studio Pro usb3 and it works well. Sure when Adobe do updates you must wait for new drivers but in general it works. I have used CS4 with Matrox RTX2 (I was happy and it worked) then I upgraded to CS5 and it was rubbish so I got a Matrox Mini with max and that was rubbish then I upgraded to CS5.5 and a BM Ultra studio usb3 had a few issues but it works and with this unit connected my machine was 7th now 15th I think on the PPBM5 results. I had help from some of the Forum members (Eric ADK, Harm and others) and if you take the advise they give like I did the machine will work. I have been there done that got the T shirt spent lots of money have a few "door stops" as Harm would say. I hope Adobe does come up with a proper monitoring solution with CS6 + (speed grade) it would make things alot better. One thing I might add (If you are in PAL land you will have lots of issues with Matrox when using DVPAL settings upper fields and lower fields, from my experience this was one of the biggest problems and they don't care) It took me months and months update after update and they never changed or coorrected it.

     

     

    Darren

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2012 7:00 AM   in reply to Darren Hall

    The silver lining in all this is that with Adobe's acquisition of SpeedGrade, they'll pretty much have to come up with a "proper monitoring solution," because you can't really consider yourself a player in critical color correction without one.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2012 7:31 AM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    Depends on how you see the market. If you see a non-broadcast market with

    no broadcast standards then maybe an I/O card with HD-SDI is not relevant

    anymore. It will be very interesting to see what CS-6 brings in terms of

    the "Pro" "Broadcast" "Film" "Web" markets. Apple wrote a new book with

    Final Cut X, its likely that Adobe will also write a few new chapters.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2012 7:41 AM   in reply to Ray Tragesser

    Yes, but what would be the point of adding a broadcast / feature film tier color-grading product to the line, if their intended market was mostly non-broadcast?  At this point, for Adobe to mimic Apple would likely drive away all the new customers they just got after the release of X.

     

    Long term, there's going to be a declining need for broadcast cards and analog / tape io.  But, not for a while.  Apple seems to be taking the tack that it's going away, to ignore the rapidly dwindling market, and to groom the new increasing market.  But, there are still profits to be made until the day the last CRT is hauled off to the recycler.  I guess the question is, "Who wants them?"

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2012 8:33 AM   in reply to AdamJRead

    You can always put in two gpu cards and get three monitors.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2012 10:10 AM   in reply to AdamJRead

    Hi Adam,

     

    I hardly have any crashes the machine is very strong. One of the big issues I have is if I import a still photo into Pr and then double click on it (expecting it to show on the sauce monitor and on the external) and the machine Blue screens with some  message about Blackmagic. Then if I use a PAL DV preset and add a video effect it show small black dots in a grid pattern on the external monitor.If I use PAL 8 bit YUV preset it is fine.

     

    This is the best I have found. I would be willing to pay Adobe good money for a decent IO system. The nice thing about my sytem now is the following:

     

     

    IMG_1964.JPG

    If I work with a HD project it outputs to my 32" full HD Sony and downscales to my SD 4x3 TV and if I work with a SD project it outputs to both aswell so you can see what it will look like on a LCD panel.

     

    Darren

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2012 9:44 AM   in reply to AdamJRead

    Hi Adam,

     

    what is your set up at the moment?

     

    Darren

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2012 10:11 AM   in reply to AdamJRead

    How many monitors do you have?

     

    Darren

     
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