30 Replies Latest reply: Jan 6, 2012 10:11 AM by Darren Hall RSS

    3rd Party Hardware Monitoring

    AdamJRead Community Member

      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

        • 1. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
          SAFEHARBOR11 Community Member

          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

          • 2. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
            Jim Curtis Community Member

            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.

            • 3. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
              AdamJRead Community Member

              I'm fairly sure that my MX02 'saw' and output to an external monitor when using a Cineform sequence preset, but I could be mistaken.

               

              Adobe so seriously need to address a proper Hardware output solution, it's beyond a joke.

               

              I was getting around 3 crashes a day using MX02 and seemed to spend my life reinstalling/unistalling rather than being productive.  On switching to native PP settings all was well, and my system is very stable, but the absence of a proper video out is infuriating.

               

              I've heard of solutions that use a second video card so at least you can have 2 monitors dedicated to the GUI, but even then, that's not a proper video output.

               

              I have a suspicion that this issue is something that Adobe are blissfully ignornant of, or assume that 3rd party vendors are addressing.

               

              The reality is that these 3rd party hardware solutions should perform as advertised, and not require constant patching/updating, troubleshooting and work-arounds.

               

              If Adobe want PP to develop their user base amongst broadcast professionals they are going to have to wake up and sort this out.

               

              On speaking to a VAR, I got the impression that BMD's Intensity Pro did not 'mess around' or hog the system as much as the MX02 line up, but that could have been sales-spin.

               

              Again, if there are any users out there using BMD/PP, I'd love to hear their experiences.

               

               

              Thanks

               

              ADAM

              InterMedia

              • 4. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                Chad Kopec Community Member

                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.

                • 6. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                  Jim Curtis Community Member

                  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.

                  • 7. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                    J. Simon Community Member
                    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.

                    • 8. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                      joe bloe premiere Community Member
                      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.

                      • 9. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                        J. Simon Community Member

                        Nope.

                         

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

                         

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

                        • 10. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                          joe bloe premiere Community Member

                          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.

                          • 11. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                            Jim Curtis Community Member

                            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.

                            • 12. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                              AdamJRead Community Member

                              Well fingers crossed for my relatively low investment in BM Intensity Pro - It's only about £100UK, but it had BETTER be stable or it goes back.

                               

                              ADAM

                              • 13. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                Richard M Knight MVP

                                   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

                                • 14. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                  Ray Tragesser Community Member

                                  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.

                                  • 15. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                    shooternz Community Member

                                    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..." .

                                    • 16. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                      Ray Tragesser Community Member

                                      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

                                      • 17. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                        AdamJRead Community Member

                                        I do understand that there's probably a 'reason' why 3rd party cards don't perform as advertised with PP.  However, this does remain a serious limitation especially when considering how other NLE's manage the task without a grumble.

                                         

                                        I suspect the reality is that the 3rd party vendors and Adobe simply don't have the will, time nor resources to fully implement a stable and working solution.

                                         

                                        Even though one can function with just one monitor, it remains a work-around for many in the Professional world, and is far from ideal.

                                         

                                        I think I'm just going to have to resign myself to the situation, and not have any high expectations that it will ever be resolved.

                                         

                                        In the meantime, I'm going to have to fork out for a larger GUI monitor.  This in itself is frustrating, as all 30" monitors (what I'd like) seem disproportionately overpriced.- any recommendations?

                                         

                                        Never mind

                                         

                                        ADAM

                                        • 18. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                          AdamJRead Community Member

                                          For anyone who's interested, this is the reply I got from BMD regarding stability and performance of the Intensity products:

                                           

                                           

                                          Generally what you will find is a loss of some performance when using any external hardware device, including our own. This is due to extra strains put on the processors to render and push the video out to over the PCIe bus, or whichever connection is used.

                                          In Premiere, to output via an Intensity card, it must always render a full resolution preview to output, where in a native preset it can alter it’s render quality to suit how much processing power it has. So whilst our cards do work, and work nicely with Premiere Pro, you will see some loss in performance. But I’m afraid I don’t know how this compares to other manufacturers.

                                          • 19. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                            Darren Hall Community Member

                                            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

                                            • 20. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                              Jim Curtis Community Member

                                              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.

                                              • 21. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                Ray Tragesser Community Member

                                                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.

                                                • 22. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                  Jim Curtis Community Member

                                                  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?"

                                                  • 23. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                    AdamJRead Community Member

                                                    Also fair to point out my 'other' beef regarding the absence of a stable I/O solution.  That is the fact that I'm limited to one GUI monitor IF I want to view a full raster video output. Why I should be constrained to use just one monitor for PP and one for video monitoring is beyond me!  The benefit of 2 GUI monitors cannot be understated - other open apps, spreading out the pallets of PP etc.  The list goes on...

                                                     

                                                    I feel slightly reassured by Darren's comments regarding his stable BMD setup.  Perhaps I'll go for the cheapest option - the intensity pro, and see how that fares.

                                                     

                                                    ADAM

                                                    • 24. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                      AdamJRead Community Member

                                                      Darren - Pleased to hear your having success with BMD.  When you say that the Ultra Studio had a 'few issues' could you please elaborate - were these issues stability, speed?

                                                      Do you get any/many crashes using Ultra Studio versus PP 'desktop' mode?

                                                       

                                                      TIA

                                                       

                                                      ADAM

                                                      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                                                       

                                                      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

                                                      • 25. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                        Ray Tragesser Community Member

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

                                                        • 26. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                          AdamJRead Community Member

                                                          Hi Ray

                                                           

                                                          How would I set that up?

                                                           

                                                          i.e. Would I run the first or second GUI monitor off a 'low end' GPU card, and keep the video output on the 'cuda' card.  Or can I use any configuration I want?

                                                           

                                                          Are there any potential stability issues when introducing a second GPU card?

                                                           

                                                          TIA

                                                           

                                                          ADAM

                                                          InterMedia

                                                          • 27. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                            Darren Hall Community Member

                                                            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

                                                            • 28. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                              Darren Hall Community Member

                                                              Hi Adam,

                                                               

                                                              what is your set up at the moment?

                                                               

                                                              Darren

                                                              • 29. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                                AdamJRead Community Member

                                                                Well since I dropped the MXO it's very basic.  An i7 with 16gb ram. Raid0 (software raid) and CS 5.  All very stable with native PP in desktop mode, hence my fear of buying another hardware card, but the absence of a proper monitor output is killing me. 

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Regards

                                                                Adam

                                                                • 30. Re: 3rd Party Hardware Monitoring
                                                                  Darren Hall Community Member

                                                                  How many monitors do you have?

                                                                   

                                                                  Darren