Sync w/ multi units

RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
edited June 2007 in DL.3/DL.2
Was wondering if anyone has had trouble with running multiple units staying in sync with each other? :confused: 1.3.2 software, running NOT collage. but trying to fire same content via console. Have had no problem in the past, but now since this lastest software upgrade - very much repeatable problems with this issue. causing client to rethink the usage of DL2 units for shows:mad:.

after a year of usage, now having this issue. not good. just trying to find out with anyone else has had this issue or if is it more a local issue within the upgrade of the OS or else?:dunno:

Comments

  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited April 2007
    We haven't had anyone else reporting this issue. What kind of sync issues are you seeing? Is it the media file or something like rotation or effects?

    Are you actually using the sync functions?

    I actually would advise to not use the sync functions and to instead use a setup cue that puts all the units into "Media Mode Rewind" so that the content is loaded and ready to play when you go to the next "Go" cue to play the file.

    Also another thing to look at is turning off Preview mode for the displays if it is on and how many layers of content you're running and the encoding of the content and resolution when you're playing it.
  • FxDrewFxDrew Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Are you running them on a gigabit or 100base network?
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    i have never had these unit linked via a hub. we hang them just as an independant fixture, all loaded with the same files, firing at the same time. no additional info as far as within the cue structure other than picking the same file, being told to play when we fire the cue.

    if now, there has been changes within the software to make a change within the fixtures from doing the same thing (ie: any DMX type of moving light) then not sure if this is the right unit for us now.
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    no issues until we got these units with the last software upgrade added to them. prior to then, not issues with sync when run this way.
  • FxDrewFxDrew Registered User
    edited April 2007
    The Sync function only works when they are all on a network, otherwise they have to all be started at the same time in the fashion Scott stated. If you do it that way, they can get out of sync over a long period of time.
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited April 2007
    There shouldn't be any changes in the software that would affect this and we have lots of people running Collage everyday where this WOULD be an issue for them if it did change.

    How the media is encoded can have a HUGE effect on the playback and performance.

    Have you tried using the setup cue that selects the media file and object but puts the Play Mode to "Media Mode Rewind" and then playing the cue by changing it in the next cue to "Play Once" or "Loop Forward"
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    i can try that tonight when we go back in to the showroom. thing is, i should never have to re-record my cues that i have been using for the last year, and NOW i have to. seems fishy to me. and to an issue with encoding. does not sound right to me. would a corrupt OS file make something like this go bad?

    someone else had uploaded the OS prior to us getting the fixtures. i am trying to see if this may be a cause.

    to have the files now after a year of using them and NOT having an issue, now become an issue. i do not think any encoding would be an issue. It is either a new OS issue or a corrupt OS issue. either way it is sounding more like an issue within the run of OS for these specific units and/or around the upload of the OS.

    no time to re-load OS and then the custom video files. BUT, client will rethink about using them for new show going out in June. Hopefully in May, I will have time to prep the next outing with DL2 units and possibly go back to the old OS if i have to make the show work like of old.

    i am not on a witch hunt with the DL2 units, but i am trying to figure out if i have been sent units with a corrput or bad OS.
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited April 2007
    Well I didn't realize you were using the exact same media files as you have used in the past for the same show.

    How many units are you having the problem with? It is very unlikely to be an O/S corruption. We haven't seen an O/S get corrupt in that manner and things just wouldn't work at all, it wouldn't cause them to play slower.

    Have you checked to make sure that "Preview Mode" on the display is turned off? That can impact playback performance.

    It's possible there is hardware issue that is affecting you.

    How many units do you have and are having trouble with?
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    i have four active units, two of the four are now acting up. after 3 songs into the show, they seemed to line up. BUT, it was not a good start of the show.

    It almost seems as if these fixtures need to wake up and it takes about 15 minutes of hard usage for them to do that. When you have an hour walk-in, the fixtures sit with a jpeg on the screens. then they are off and running from the first cue. BUT, the bad thing is the second song has a chase of jpegs that are in line with the lyrics being sung. never had an issue in the past of these lining up, but now two out of the four units hangup and one unit even played back the wrong file.

    really strange and having management come and ask me about what is the deal with my DL2s.

    since we are in the active mode of picking a new setup for a new show in June, having issues with a DL2 unit now. does not want the artist or management to see a DL2 unit on the show again.

    after the show, i re-ran the cues and they fired fine within the sequence. so i am at a loss of what is going on now.
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    thing only difference in these fixtures from the past is that they were uploaded with the lastest software prior to us getting them. they also had all the user media cleared out. have uploaded these same files as well as through a gigabit switch. in fact these is the same switch and cabling that we have always used for the last year.
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited April 2007
    Hmm. I thought it was an Mpeg file you were having issue with, but are they Jpegs that you are running at a fast rate that is giving you issues?
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    mpeg files and hanging upand not timed together as well as our jpeg links. the third song both units are playing out of sync with the others as well.

    the first song, seems to run fine. it is just the second and third songs. then it seems as if the units decide to wake up and work together. the second song has jpeg files that are in a link then jump to a mpeg file. which seem to be running ok. since they are an abstract file so not a real issue they are out of sync. BUT, the third song it is a BIG distraction when not in sync.

    so it is both mpeg files & jpegs not syncing
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited April 2007
    We've got new software we are about to release that I believe may speed up Jpeg performance as a benefit from fixing some other issues.

    On the songs that are having issues, how many layers do you have running? Is there any chance there is something playing on the other layer(s) you're not using? I know it is easy to have something hidden that you didn't realize was running.

    I would try the setup cue for the Mpeg as I mentioned and then see where we are.

    How long are the clips? Are they off from the start or drifting off after a while?
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    the clips are off from the start, mpeg.

    as for the other layers. i have been careful and not having any other files running. but, i will double check that.

    i will try and re-do the cue and set it up as you have suggested. it just seems not good for this to happen at this time, since after 100 shows, we now have this kind of issues.

    will keep you informed as i try this tonight and what happens.
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited April 2007
    If they are all off from the start then the setup cue should solve the issue.

    By chance are some of these brand new units where they might have newer hardware that has better performance? Another reason the setup cue is a good way to go to eliminate that going forward.
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    yes, several of these units are new units.
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    better performance for whom? at this point, this would not be a good thing to hear.
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited April 2007
    Computing hardware changes at least every 12-18 months. This is true for most all media servers. There is no way around it as they stop making old hardware when they release new hardware.

    The good thing is that the performance always improves. We work very hard to make sure that there aren't any issues that negatively affect performance and to minimize the observability.

    However, we aren't going to artificially try and hold the performance back either as most people want and need the better performance that the new hardware brings. This makes it easier to do the larger Collages without the resolution and encoding being as big of an issue, or using all 3 layers at once in a Collage as well.

    As long as you trigger things in the way we recommend then it doesn't really matter what mixture of different hardware generations you have.
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    so what you are saying as product changes, then the way we have recorded older shows, now we have to go back and re-record our shows to fit the upgraded hardware. I think that is not good and sad. i understand and gladly take new and better products, but if it is now a cause of mixing older units with old hardware mixed with new hardware and either unit takes it own way of setting up files, something should be rethought out as far as adding upgrades.

    if this is the path that is to be taken, then it calls for vendors to make sure all proucts are the same version of hardware on each and every gig. that is will be a nightmare for small companies paying $30k plus for each fixture that can only run with matching fixtures of the same birth.

    it will for sure mean rethinking what type of server we think about using in the future. i have enjoyed and liked all the DL2s up until last weeks & this weeks performances. with the notice of this issue last week. making sure that i could recreate it this week. now, knowing it is an issue within fixture to fixture.

    I will look at the how you are asking the cue to be setup and then look at each song. but, if this is the case. then every time i rent DL2 units, i will have to first check birth of fixture - being of the same date, then go back and look at how each fixture reads files. to much to do with in such little times, better use a external server and get video companies to supply projectors.

    guess, this is making our decision for our new show in June very easy now.
  • SBlairSBlair Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited April 2007
    We have recommended since the introduction of Collage Generator, a year ago, that to ensure proper sync that a setup cue should be used. This isn't something we have just changed.

    As I said, if you can follow the couple guidelines we suggest then it doesn't matter what mixture of computer hardware you have!

    This issue doesn't have anything to do with the integration, it has to do with the ever evolving nature of computer hardware. You're going to have the same issue with just about media server you choose to replace it. When computer manufacturers obsolete hardware then no one really has options about continuing to build with the identical hardware indefinitely.

    At this point I think it would probably be easier to discuss over the phone.

    I'm out of the country right now, but if you want to Private Message me a contact number I'll be happy to give you a call from here.
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited April 2007
    let me see what i find out tonight when the venue allows us back into the theater and i can see what i find out with this fixtures. if i still have issues, i will PM you and we can talk about what to do in the future. Since after tonight we will return these fixtures and are planning for our last few shows next month with this current show. I then can talk with you on what move we make as far as how we can use the DL2 units for these shows to make the last of this current show stable or not.

    thanks for the info. i will talk to you later tonight or atleast leave you a message of what i find out. i am current in the northern commonwealth of the very southern sister commonwealth that you I believe are in currently.

    thanks for your assistants scott, talk to you soon
  • chrismegginsonchrismegginson Registered User
    edited June 2007
    I generally have better results (in terms of things happening at the correct time) by switching media by changing between layers rather than changing files on the same layer, this also enables you to pre load your rewound & paused media onto a layer whilst its intensity is at zero, then your GO cue is actually a GO and a fade/snap between layers. This technique seems to be reliable.
  • RKHCKPRKHCKP Registered User
    edited June 2007
    chris

    thanks for your input - as far as programming my media - pre-loading my files within other layers that are not used is a standard usage of my servers. The result of change within the units when video cards were changed out. Thus being two older units with three newer units gave me a problem on that show that had been programmed over a year ago with using the same five units for all year. then when you go do a one off and re-build that show having different build of units cause slight playback problems in the way I had recorded the cues over a year ago. Going back and re-recording the problem-matic cues and selecting functions that Scott had recommended to make sure was selected with the new video cards that are in place now - helped solve the problem and got me thru that performance. Since then, the client has now moved on to other media servers with the current outing of shows for 2007.

    the problem with the DL2 was not a bad issue - just caught me by surprise since the show had been written so long ago and now issue prior to the gear change, now that is known as well as watching how you program cues. all issues are cleaned up and working well.

    thanks for your info
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