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Thread: Weekend Review - a little inconsistent

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    Weekend Review - a little inconsistent

    We had our first in-battle use of the Sparks this weekend. Overall, I like them, and it's nice to easily get more inputs into our Tricaster systems.

    Our show network is pretty well-built on Ubiquity gear; we see good throughput everywhere, and have been investing in switches with SFP ports on them so we can continue to expand the amount of data we're sending around our networks. We're interested in the future of NDI.

    That said, during one segment of the show, we noticed some definite weirdness from one of the two Sparks in use. The bottom quarter of the screen would often lag or show artifacts; this was a ProPresenter laptop connected via HDMI. When the customer advanced their lyrics, for 3 or 4 minutes, the bottom of the screen was garbled, or lagged behind.

    At another point in the show, we had some problems with discovery of the Sparks on the network. We were experimenting, and swtiched one of our inputs away to NDI Camera on an iPhone. Pretty neat, but when we went to switch back to the Spark, neither of them showed up as an available source. See the attached pic; what you're seeing is my attempt to reconnect on Input 5. Meanwhile, Input 6 is connected and working just fine. You're seeing a Spark connected and functional on Input 6, meanwhile neither spark shows up as an available source on Input 5. For the fun of it, I clicked the input list on 6, and they did not show up there, either... despite the video working just fine on the Input 6 preview.

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    The last thing I notice about NDI soucres is a distinct lag when switching to them. I undersand that NDI uses a preview stream until the full res version is requested by a device; I assume this request and spin-up of the full res is what's causing this delay, but it was definitely annoying me when trying to switch a tight show following the cadence of the speakers or the beat of the worship band. I can't see this being a true replacement for SDI until it's instant enough for me to not notice a difference when switching.

    Anyone else notice any of these things, or other weirdness, when using their Sparks in production?
    E. Lee Dickinson | President
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  2. #2
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee-AVP View Post
    The last thing I notice about NDI sources is a distinct lag when switching to them.
    On this point, I think you'll find a difference switching HX versus standard NDI (which should be as fast or even faster to switch than SDI, if Im remembering what I was told correctly). HX incurs a little more latency due to the added compression.
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    I noticed this lag when using LiveText (latest edition) on a laptop feeding a TC1 via NDI. When I clicked the button for it's input it would lag for what felt like up to a second before the control surface would light up telling me that I had a lock. That should be using native NDI vs HX to my knowledge. Of note I am not running the latest Tricaster Software due to software issues I am waiting to have resolved.

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    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stp_productions View Post
    I noticed this lag when using LiveText (latest edition) on a laptop feeding a TC1 via NDI. When I clicked the button for it's input it would lag for what felt like up to a second before the control surface would light up telling me that I had a lock.
    This is completely abnormal. Our local network infrastructure is pretty 'garden variety' ... nothing magical, complicated and sprawling. On a typical day there are scores of NDI and NDI|HX signals on tap. It's not that issues never occur (multicast in particular can cause problems if a network isn't well configured for it), but for the most part NDI sources just work, and do so with very low latency, day in, day out. It's been this way for more than a year, regardless of software versions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    This is completely abnormal. Our local network infrastructure is pretty 'garden variety' ... nothing magical, complicated and sprawling. On a typical day there are scores of NDI and NDI|HX signals on tap. It's not that issues never occur (multicast in particular can cause problems if a network isn't well configured for it), but for the most part NDI sources just work, and do so with very low latency, day in, day out. It's been this way for more than a year, regardless of software versions.
    Interesting. I am using a Asus router (gigbit) that only has the TC1 and the LiveText laptop on it both wired. I have also seen the lag when using SportZcast LiveCG software which is local on the TC1 using NDI to feed the scoreboard graphic. I will try and find some time during business hours to chat with support to see if we can figure out what it is. Only downside at the moment is they usually ask me to update to the latest software to troubleshoot issues (which I understand) but I cannot until open tickets are resolved. My understanding is the next release should have a lot of fixes in it that I need.

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    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    I just tried this on my desktop. Running a TC1 and LT on another system both connected to the same network switch on my desktop, at the same time as being connected something like 8 other NDI sources, updating an LT source in the TC1's DSK is so fast I really can't detect it without going to some lengths to shoot video while I do so (there are something like 60-70 NDI sources on tap on this network at the moment).

    I'll grant you 'm not running release version software, but I would expect nothing less if I was. I'm not trying to say you're not seeing what you're seeing, just that it is not what you should expect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    I just tried this on my desktop. Running a TC1 and LT on another system both connected to the same network switch on my desktop, at the same time as being connected something like 8 other NDI sources, updating an LT source in the TC1's DSK is so fast I really can't detect it without going to some lengths to shoot video while I do so (there are something like 60-70 NDI sources on tap on this network at the moment).

    I'll grant you 'm not running release version software, but I would expect nothing less if I was. I'm not trying to say you're not seeing what you're seeing, just that it is not what you should expect.
    I would say that sums up my experience perfectly so far. Trying to get it solved and fixed as in theory the setup is exactly what I want if it is working.

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    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    I understand. I'm sorry I'm probably not the best guy to offer specific network guidance, but Kane and Zane are both pretty handy and may chime in if CS doesn't get to the bottom of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    I understand. I'm sorry I'm probably not the best guy to offer specific network guidance, but Kane and Zane are both pretty handy and may chime in if CS doesn't get to the bottom of it.
    No worries, I confirmed I am able to do nearly line rate on between the two devices and we are good there. Ports are open as I just disabled all firewalls and it shows up in the drop down on the TC1 as expected etc. I record a short video of what I am seeing and submit it to support and see if they have any thoughts and start another thread here if needed Thanks for being around!

  10. #10
    NewTek System Integrator PIZAZZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stp_productions View Post
    Interesting. I am using a Asus router (gigbit) that only has the TC1 and the LiveText laptop on it both wired. I have also seen the lag when using SportZcast LiveCG software which is local on the TC1 using NDI to feed the scoreboard graphic. I will try and find some time during business hours to chat with support to see if we can figure out what it is. Only downside at the moment is they usually ask me to update to the latest software to troubleshoot issues (which I understand) but I cannot until open tickets are resolved. My understanding is the next release should have a lot of fixes in it that I need.
    Did I read this correctly that you are running the SportZCast LiveCG software "ON" the TC1? I hope I am just misreading that.
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    Nope, although I am not using it in that setup for day to day. Sportzcast used to be a supported add on but I'm guessing they didn't keep up to date. They did send me a version which installed and then showed up in the ad on section but it did trip the unknown software warning. It was removed by a factory restore I did shortly after.

    The fact is the lag when switching to the NDI input was roughly the same for me from Sportzcast or LiveText on another machine. It seems SportZcast really want you to just use new blue fx etc vs their own software now. The XML app got most of my needs to a live text machine but the override feature for.posestion caused me grief. We use wingdings3 for arrows and when I override to 3 the xml has a lot of data before the number 3 (looks like formatting data) so it doesn't type the expected arrow.

    Would be really nice to not need a extra laptop and run it all locally though.
    Last edited by stp_productions; 02-19-2018 at 11:01 PM.

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