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Miro

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  1. Hi, WATCHOUT doesn't really add any latency. However, latency might come from the interface between WATCHOUT and the hardware. An application can either use BlackMagic's proprietary framework/API Decklink or DirectShow. WATCHOUT only supports DirectShow so when you are comparing software then make sure that you are comparing using the same framework. WATCHOUT is pulling the frames from the DirectShow capture filter as fast as possible. The BlackMagic DirectShow capture filter is installed when installing the software package from BlackMagic so it might be good to test different versions of their software. Another good test is to install the 32-bit version of Media Player Classic Home Cinema because it uses pretty much the identical DirectShow filter graph as WATCHOUT. What normally adds latency is re-sampling of any kind like color format re-sampling, color space re-sampling, framerate re-sampling or resolution re-sampling. Especially if the hardware doesn't have these capabilities then the conversion takes place in software. WATCHOUT is capturing using the YUV 4:2:2 8-bit (YUV2) format in the resolution and refresh rate that is specified in WATCHOUT for the live video media. Getting the frame from DirectShow and showing it on the screen takes usually two display frames due to double buffering. So if you are running the displays at 60 Hz then WATCHOUT will add around 33 ms. All other latency comes from the DirectShow capture filter and capture hardware. Most hi-end hardware adds around one frame when not re-sampling etc.. So in most cases it should take 3-4 frames from capture to display. Some hardware have low latency modes which makes it possible to capture in less than one frame time (example: Datapath livestream) which results in a 2-3 frames capture to display latency. Blackmagic's DirectShow implementation isn't the greatest and you need to make sure that no re sampling is taking place for best results. Test Media Player Classic with the same settings as in WATCHOUT and see if you get the same results there. Make sure to select the YUV2 color format when comparing. Best Regards, Miro
  2. Miro

    Windows 10 Tweaking Guide

    It depends on your version of windows. In most cases 64-bit windows is used.
  3. Miro

    Windows 10 Tweaking Guide

    Yes, but some steps can be skipped and the cumulative update is different (kb4057142). There are no windows components to remove so all powershell Remove-AppxPackage commands can by skipped.
  4. Miro

    DeckLink Mini Recorder 4K Issues

    What type of signal are you trying to capture? BlackMagic software is using the DeckLink interface while WATCHOUT is using DirectShow filters. I haven't tested this particular card but BlackMagic cards doesn't seem to be able to scale so the capture settings in WATCHOUT must match the signal format exactly.
  5. Miro

    Windows 10 Tweaking Guide

    About windows editions. You can probably use which edition you want. Windows professional editions usually comes with more bloatware and requires more effort when tweaking. Later versions contains more features and has a larger footprint. It's probably easier to obtain a specific version like 1709 for enterprise than pro. At Dataton we are using Enterprise 1607 LTSB and Enterprise 1709 and will not spend much time to configure and tweak other editions. Also note you will need a volume licensing agreement if you are deploying a clone image to multiple devices.
  6. Miro

    Watchout 6.2 - LTC - SMPTE audio timecode

    Hi Scott, I'm not sure about your particular hardware but I have an Echo Audiofire 12. This device can be configured as a 8-output WASAPI device and since WASAPI is half duplex you can also use the inputs for timecode. For info ASIO input for TC will be a part of WATCHOUT 6.3 which will be released this summer. In the meanwhile... In some cases we use mono mic to USB devices which uses Microsoft's USB class driver (plug & play) like this one: http://www.musictri.be/Categories/Behringer/Computer-Audio/Interfaces/MIC-2-USB/p/P0BBQ //Miro
  7. DVS, some DirectX issues comes from Microsoft where some versions of Windows have issues to initiate multiple DirectX fullscreen windows. However this problem is solved by using an appropriate windows update. Installing the latest updates it's not always a good idea because sometimes new DirectX bugs are introduced. We verify a base configuration that works and are keeping that constant until we discover issues that needs to be addressed. There are other fixes that can be applied to make the system more stable and reliable. For example some motherboards like variants of X99 are causing interference in audio when the GPU changes it's link speed. This is most noticeable for AMD cards since they constantly changes their link speed and frequency. It's possible to force the link speed to maximum by using the following registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318\0000 There you can create a DWORD key named ForcePcieLinkSpeed and set it to 3. If your system had a different GPU previously then you will have several sub-trees like 0001, 0002 etc.. Then you can create and set the ForcePcieLinkSpeed in all those sub-trees. I had issues with early 2018 drivers from AMD where the driver would cause a blue screen when starting windows. The driver from late 2017 mentioned above works fine. You can get it here: https://support.amd.com/en-us/download/workstation/previous/detail?os=Windows 10 - 64&rev=17.Q4.1#pro-driver If using the synchronization provided by a S400 card (or using a nvidia card in combinations with a sync card) you might run into issues where windows will kill the GPU driver when all displays are initialized and synchronized. Especially if you have many displays. This is not really related to windows 10 but is good to know about. By default if a driver doesn't respond within 2 seconds windows will interfere and in this case it will end up with a bluescreen. This behavior can be changed in the registry and you can set a different timeout. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers TdrDelay should be increased to 15 seconds (default is 2 seconds, decimal value DWORD) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers TdrDdiDelay should be increased to 60 seconds (default is 5 seconds, decimal value DWORD) Setting up hi-end systems usually requires hi-end skills and isn't really related to WATCHOUT but any other visualization software. Other issues that may occur in Windows is that if an application steels focus from WATCHOUT it might interfere with the fullscreen state. Make sure to disable all notifications and any conflicting applications. Best advice is to kill explorer.exe which is handling the desktop, taskbar and a lot of other things that you don't need when running a Media Server. //Miro
  8. Hi, we have been running Windows 10 servers with WX 9100 for a long time and I haven't experienced this kind of issues. There are known issues with AMD's 2018 drivers and we are running the 2017 Q4.1 drivers. I wouldn't recommend using Windows 10 Pro. It's also important to setup and configure the server in a offline mode in order to get control over which updates and drivers that will get installed. Use Microsoft Update Catalog to download necessary updates prior to installation. Here are the combinations of OS + updates that we use. Windows x64 Enterprise 1607 LTSB + update KB4057142 Windows x64 Enterprise 1709 + update KB4090913 Microsoft has both solved and introduced DirectX bugs and these updates are important to get correct functionality. //Miro
  9. Miro

    Experience with WX 9100 and S400

    Hi, we are running multiple servers with AMD WX 9100 driving 6x 4K monitors/projectors at 60 Hz. In our lab we are using the locking AMD miniDP to DP converters with 3 meter hi-quality DP cables connected to each monitor. In real life the distance between server and projectors or monitors is a bit longer and in this case optical DP extenders are used. The main difference between displayport and HDMI is that displayport performs continuous link training to evaluate the cable in order to determine how many lanes should be used and at which clock rate. The problem with 4k60 is that all lanes must be used at maximum clock speed and this is only possible in short cable routes. Running normal cables longer than 3 meters is problematic in this case. HDMI 2.0 and 2.1 is an option but adapters shorten the theoretical cable length. Also cables are not marked with HDMI 2.0 which makes it a bit confusing. HDMI 4k cables are version 1.4 supporting only 4k30. Look for cables labeled as HDMI 4k HDR (usually 18 Gb/s) which are HDMI 2.0. When using DP to HDMI 2.0 adapters the cables shouldn't be longer than 3 meters. 5 meter cables are rated for connecting directly between source and display and an adapter introduces too much signal loss. I never had any good experience using boosters or amplifiers. Fiberoptics or quad link 3G SDI the way to go if you need longer cable routes. Additionally I always force emulate EDID especially when using sync cards. It takes a while for the driver to synchronize when entering fullscreen mode and with that many outputs Windows might kill the display driver because it doesn't respond fast enough resulting in blue screens. It's recommended to extend this time limit using the registry. . Docs: Microsoft TDR Registry Keys HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers TdrDelay should be increased to 15 seconds (default is 2 seconds, decimal value DWORD) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers TdrDdiDelay should be increased to 60 seconds (default is 5 seconds, decimal value DWORD) //Miro
  10. Miro

    Watchout 6.2 Mask/Edge Blend Issues

    Hi, this issue is related to a bug in some rare cases when using multi-sampling anti-aliasing. This is solved in 6.2.1 which will be out soon. A workaround is to turn on and off the AA-settings in WATCHOUT 6.2. Sorry for any inconvenience.
  11. Miro

    HDMI 2.0 HDCP 2.2

    Hi, HDCP in any version will not work with WATCHOUT or similar applications. Datapath can only support HDCP using their software with their graphics cards to ensure an encrypted path from source to display. The idea with copy protection is to prevent recording or processing of a captured signal which is a bit contradictory of what WATCHOUT does.
  12. Miro

    NDI latency vs SDI

    For the SDI to NDI conversion took place in a different computer. This computer transmitted over standard gigabit network to the WATCHMAX that received and displayed the captured stream. I created a custom software (based on libAV/FFmpeg) for the capture to NDI where I could optimize the flow as much as possible. Datapath can convert RGB to UYVY directly in the capture card and since NDI uses the UYVY-format no conversion needed to takes place which reduces latency slightly. Also a less powerful computer can do the job so I actually used an Intel NUC or my laptop as NDI server (with a thunderbolt3 PCIe expansion box for the capture card). I just noticed that FFmpeg 3.4 added native support for NDI so I will test that one too.. We briefly tested the BirdDog and first noticed that it's only using TCP (NDI v2 or older) so we could only stream 1080p60 to 5-6 computers before frames started to drop. Probably hitting the bandwidth limit of the 1 gigabit network. After 8 streams it gave up. So don't expect it work with larger clusters and it's probably intended as a peer-to-peer device. Didn't measure any latency this time.
  13. Miro

    NDI latency vs SDI

    I did quite a lot of testing before the summer and it's the same delay using DataPath SC SDI card as using the DataPath LC SDI card. I had the following setup: Where I connected a SDI source (with frame numbers) to a splitter. One of the outputs of the splitter was connected to a computer equipped with a capture card. The signal was captured and transmitted using NDI to a WATCHMAX server that displayed the image on a low latency monitor. The other output from the splitter was connected directly to another identical monitor. The both screens were filmed with a 240 Hz camera so I could measure the frame offset. For 720p60 and 720p59.94 I got 4 frames offset which is roughly 67 milliseconds. The type of content didn't really matter. At this time I used NDI v2 and the current version 3 is probably slightly more efficient. I will try to find some time and test this with the updated SDK version and also 1080p60 and 2160p60 resolutions. We also got the BirdDog NDI converter today so we will test that one as well. Just running the capture card locally in the WATCHMAX results in 2-2.5 frames latency between capture and display. So if 4 frames are acceptable then NDI is much more cost efficient since most of your servers doesn't need capture cards. Great when using WATCHPAX units. //Miro
  14. Miro

    WATCHOUT 6.2 - Available NOW!

    Hi Dorian, Constant systems either using file based write filter (FBWF, windows 7 embedded), enhanced write filter (EWF, windows 8.1 embedded) or unified write filter (UWF, windows 10 "embedded" aka Enterprise LTSB) is great for long term stability. Our WATCHPAX hardware is using FBWF by the way just for this purpose. For your off topic question. WATCHOUT 6.2 is using NDI v3. Multicasting is taking place in the NDI transmitter and for the receiver it make no difference if multicasted or not. The dynamic image server software can be configured to use multicasting though WATCHOUT. Previous versions used RTSP and since 6.2 the image server is using NDI with alpha channel.
  15. Miro

    WATCHOUT 6.2 - Available NOW!

    Nice and very well written post Jochri! =) When putting together system critical hardware it doesn't make any sense to use the current branch (CB) or current branch for business (CBB) of Windows. Long term servicing branch (LTSB) is the way to go. If you want to take it to the next level and maximize robustness then make the OS partition constant (read-only) using the unified write filter that is provided by the enterprise versions. Never start windows explorer/desktop because it spawns tons of unnecessary disturbing processes (that can cause frame drops) and use the shell launcher to boot directly into WATCHOUT. Sure professional processors will provide you with ECC memory (increasing stability) and more cache memory making video decoding more efficient but Xeon W, Xeon Scalable or AMD Epyc might be overkill and too expensive for some setups. But if you want to go hi-end then these are the best options designed for heavy 24-7 usage. Dual CPUs might make things worse due to a lot of added overhead in memory sharing between the CPUs. You won't get 2x gain with dual processors and in some cases this might be counterproductive (like intense HAP playback). This is the reason behind Xeon Scalable and AMD Epyc which are basically multiple processors packaged as one sharing the same silicon in order to minimize overhead. //Miro
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