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Multiple Display Servers out of sync


kmifflin
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I need some help in getting 2 Display servers to play constantly in sync.  My setup is 2 servers and 1 production Laptop running v6.6.2.  The servers are have w9100 GPUs and S400 Sync cards.  Content is rendered HAP

Some times the servers play in sync but then during rehearsals and testing I can see the outputs lose sync, Not just by a frame sometimes by a second.  I configured the S400 card according to https://knowledge.dataton.com/knowledge/watchout/how-do-i-set-up-sync-with-s400-without-house-reference

But when I reboot I lose the sync settings and I think I if take the servers out of fullscreen reset the S400 setting when I bring the server "online" I notice the sync lights on the s400 go out and when I check the S400 card I notice the sync setting are disabled again.  

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25 minutes ago, kmifflin said:

... I can see the outputs lose sync, Not just by a frame sometimes by a second.  ...

Assuming the large error is not occurring at start and does not correct shortly after a start, synch loss that significant is possibly a network issue where the UDP multicast packets that maintain synch are lost or delayed.

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I'm using a steam deck and companion to fire cue commands to different timelines on the production server.  Sometimes when I set the command a cue will play in sync, sometimes its out of sync and then I'll send the same command and they will be back in sync.  I'm use 10g cards in the servers but they are on a 1g basic switch.

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When triggering aux timelines from the Stop state, it is important to allow enough time at the head of the timeline for the video to cache. Starting video to soon could result in inconsistent playback. Alternately, send the aux timeline a pause to wake it up and cache prior to sending the run command.

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3 hours ago, kmifflin said:

...  Is single timeline safer to use.

For your described purpose, absolutely yes.

3 hours ago, kmifflin said:

Should I render the entire show as a single video and just have stop and start cues?

No. Do not do this. Video compression makes this a bad idea. By using a separate video on a single timeline for each cue, each cue will begin with an I-frame.

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Thanks for your help.  I’ll rebuild my show and test it Monday.  You said it was best have separate clips for each cue on the same timeline, but after splitting the clips into separate files and snapping them together the same layer I get a flash of black when the play head crosses clip one to clip two.  The content was exported from Final Cut Pro as ProRes 422 and the convert to Hap with AVF batch converter.  Hap set to 100%

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15 hours ago, kmifflin said:

Thanks for your help.  I’ll rebuild my show and test it Monday.  You said it was best have separate clips for each cue on the same timeline, but after splitting the clips into separate files and snapping them together the same layer I get a flash of black when the play head crosses clip one to clip two.  The content was exported from Final Cut Pro as ProRes 422 and the convert to Hap with AVF batch converter.  Hap set to 100%

Hi... I have not worked with HAP at all so far, because I find the filesizes ridiculous. 

So for troubleshooting I would recommend trying the original ProRes 422 (not HQ) files, they might play in watchout. Or MP4.

Make sure the computers and SSDs/drives can handle the files. We had some from a rental company, who insisted the machines were capable enough but it turned out and rental had to admit, they were not.

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that is a long gap. I just tried it myself on a tiny Surface Pro 3 with an i5. No displays attached, though.

Using a full HD Prores 422 clip, audio as wav.

It worked in the Main and in an Auxtimeline without any flashing. 

Maybe test it with a fresh project and only two clips, to check if is a computer, graphics card, quicktime installstion (none required) or somehing.

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Are you sure that there is no black frame in your content at the beginning or end of those clips. What is the filesize in regards to pixels (w x h)?

Have you tried extending the pre-roll manually in the second video clip? This used to help in the past when the perfomance of a computer system was not good enough.

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4 hours ago, RBeddig said:

Are you sure that there is no black frame in your content at the beginning or end of those clips. What is the filesize in regards to pixels (w x h)?

Have you tried extending the pre-roll manually in the second video clip? This used to help in the past when the perfomance of a computer system was not good enough.

Yes I’m positive there is no black on the clip.  I checked the clip in QuickTime and I combined the clips in final cut and there is no black when editing.  I’ll look into pre roll setting. Right now I’m using a decent laptop as the production computer, but I’m wonder if I should be using another display server as the production.

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1 hour ago, kmifflin said:

Yes I’m positive there is no black on the clip.  I checked the clip in QuickTime and I combined the clips in final cut and there is no black when editing.  ...

That does nor rule out an error in the meta data related to duration. As a simple test, try slightly reducing the duration of the first clip.

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Some success today.  I was able to get the S400 sync card to keep the output locked.  However the content is still drifting.  Here are the changes I made.

I noticed today that even though my WO preference was set to 60hz and I had manually set the displays to 60 hz (which I was able to verify on Decimator screen) when I took the servers online the decimators show that they are receiving 59.94 and if I go back to the AMD sync I see the output and no longer frame locked.  The fix for this was to set the WO preference to 59.94, manually set the display to 59.94 and then sync all the display together.  Now the sync still works when I take the systems online and they stay in sync on a reboot.

I also swapped put the production laptop for a server that is running the production laptop.  Now everything is much closer, but their still a lot of drift.  The majority of the time the servers are in sync but then it slips a few frames, catches up and then slip and catches up again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

for the dip to black issue, and if you are always playing back on more than 1 server , i always use manual preroll set it to 3 seconds , try connect the 2 videos together but in 2 different layers with manual preroll  , plus test the playback on the output screen not the production, sometimes the preview is not as smooth as the server main output. 

for the 60 hz issue , currently in the market everyone advertise they are 60 hz but in reality they are mostly 59.94 , so to get a solid 60 hz sync while you have so many components together is hard and troublesome what u did to fix it in-fact is what i always do :)

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