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View Full Version : 3Play 440 & 425 freezing on playback of recorded sources (replays)



John Phillips
10-27-2014, 12:16 AM
I'm at wits-end with this thing so I'm reaching out to anyone else who might have had these issues (and from reading the forums a lot of you have).

We're now on our fourth 3Play in the past year and a half. 3x 425s and now a 440 and we've had similar problems with all of them. Currently our main (and only remaining) issue is brief freezes of video during replays coupled with extremely slow responsiveness of the control surface. We are also getting an "Extreme disk usage causing dropped frames on recording" error.

Our unit is inside a multi-camera mobile truck. Our cameras are Sony BVP-900/950 16x9 SD cameras - everything else in the truck is HD. The video path from them to the 3play is as follows:
Component out of the CCU > AJA component to SDI converter > Patch bay > Ross Carbonite Switcher (where they're upconverted to 1080i HD) > Ross/NK Systems 3G HD routing switcher > 3Play.

I've reworked the entire sync path, tried Tri-Level and Bi-Level sync, reworked the USB cable path from having everything on a powered USB hub to now having the control surface on a dedicated USB line to take the load off of a single USB port shared with the keyboard and mouse, I've reformatted drives and talked to customer service until the cows come home yet nothing seems to make any difference.

On the surface it would appear to be a problem with throughput on the hard drive yet we're using that supplied drives from the factory. I'm not sure what the internal drive is but the removable bay containes a 2TB Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 drive. 64mb cache.

Currently my next course of action (and I'm not totally sure I can do this yet) is to hang an external eSATA drive on the back and send the recordings to the eSATA and the removable drive as I'm thinking that putting the recordings and the OS demands on a single drive is not a great idea. Certainly a lot of load for one drive.

Has anyone out there found a solution to this issue yet? With the new software and hardware this will be a fantastic box if I can get it to work properly.

John Phillips
iLink Media Group
www.ilinkmediagroup.com
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

John Phillips
11-09-2014, 01:02 AM
So here's the latest. I tried separating out the recordings from the system drive but that made absolutely no difference. Currently we're on a live sports project and are having huge issues with a rented 4800 doing the same thing as our 440. I am very rapidly losing faith in this unit to do anything it was advertised to be able to do.

What I have found is that when the stuttering happens on either playout channel A or B, if you switch the control surface over to the other playback channel (ie: if it's stuttering on A, switch to B or vice versa), the stuttering on the channel playing immediately stops. If you switch control back to that channel the stuttering immediately starts again.

Today we discovered that all of these problems happen while in record. As stunning as it may be, it would appear that these units are simply not capable of playing back while recording as all of our issues only happen when the unit is in record. Stuff that stutters on playback when the box is in record play back fine when the box is out of record.

So this leaves me with two remaining questions. 1. I noticed that NewTek only ships the boxes with a measly 8gb of RAM installed. Does it need more RAM to function properly. When the recording/playback problems happen, task manager shows that 100% of the RAM and CPU are being used. And my second question, is this hardware simply not capable of carrying out the tasks for which NewTek says it's capable of.

The fact that I'm seeing multiple postings for the same problem on this forum leads me to believe the latter.

Right now NewTek is not returning any of my calls to customer service. This is simply not acceptable. I need some answers, NewTek.

PIZAZZ
11-09-2014, 11:02 AM
Sorry John, you are experiencing some issues. Our 3Play experiences have been completely different than yours. We use a mixture of 3Play 820, 425, and 440 versions. We are up and recording events that are 10-12 hours of broadcasting for 6 to 7 days a week. We start recording at the beginning of the day and stop at the end. Sometimes we stop and restart recordings between matches but we rarely have time. We run the 3Plays in a 2 to 4 inputs to 2 outputs into the TriCaster.

The 3Plays work as designed and advertised.

So let's get to the bottom of your situation and see what we can do to help.

1. Are you the operator of the 3Play?
2. Has that operator done any formal training on proper operation of the 3Play?
3. Are you importing external files from an editor?
4. Is the 3Play on the network ? if so why?
5. Are you pushing files from external editors to the 3Play over the network like we do?
6. Are the 3Plays on the latest version of software for each? there have been numerous enhancements and bug squashing over the past year.
7. I noticed you were using a USB hub? which manufacturer? how long of cable from the Control Surface to the 3Play?
8. Have you moved the surface closer and tried the 6' USB cable that came from NewTek?
9. Have you changed out the Media storage hard drive in the 440 to a new one?


I will reach out to a couple contacts I have at NewTek and see if we can get some assistance to you stat. In the meantime, I will be glad to give you some support. I hate to see a fellow user in dire straits.

kanep
11-09-2014, 07:23 PM
There was an update released for 440 and 4800 system just a few days ago, might be worth a try to see if it helps. http://new.tk/dl

The systems are capable of doing what they say they can do, adding extra RAM isn't going to help. I'm not sure what the cause of the issues are, I was just on a 4800 system a few weeks ago for horse-racing, capturing 8 cameras and had no issues with capture or playback for the multiple hours that the event was running.

John Phillips
12-22-2014, 09:33 AM
Hi Jef,

I haven't been on here in a few weeks as I've been swamped so I just caught your message. Thanks for getting back to me with your offer of help. To answer your questions:

1. I'm not the operator but I'm very fluent with it and spent time last summer with one of the 3Play trainer/engineers from NewTek. While we resolved some issues we had with the codecs being used for creating clips to be brought into the 3Play, he and I are still stumped with the problems with playback of any material recorded in the 3Play during live production.
2. The operators have not but I have and nothing they're doing would be causing this. It's a recording issue.
3. We have resolved any issues with imported files.
4. It is on the network for the purpose of file sharing between two units but we have experienced the same problems after removing the units from the network.
5. Not that we can't do that but we aren't currently as the need hasn't arisen.
6. Yes. Just did the latest update before our last production in November and still no change in the operational status.
7. dLink. USB run is about 15 feet.
8. I haven't but that's not a practical solution in our configuration. I'm assured by NewTek that the runs we have aren't likely to create an issue.
9. I have swapped out drives multiple times. No change. I've also set the system to record two of the inputs to an eSata drive instead of the internal drive that's shared with the OS in order to take the load off of that drive. No change in the issue.

The issue primarily seems to be centered around the recording which for some reason is dropping frames in the recording and I think the "stuttering" and freezing on playback is caused by the unit trying to process around those dropped frames. It keeps giving us the error message that the dropped frames are causing extreme hard disk usage.

Why it's dropping frames seems to be a mystery.

I've tried reworking the sync into the unit and that doesn't seem to be it. I've thought it's maybe a problem with the fact that we're using SD cameras in conjunction with other external HD cameras (from another mobile) in an HD production but we're upconverting and frame synching our cameras to 1080i prior to the 3Play and I've tried it both with our cameras and the other truck's cameras into our 3Play but that did not solve the problem. I'm totally at a loss as to what may be causing this.

John Phillips
iLink Media Group
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
www.ilinkmediagroup.com

PIZAZZ
12-23-2014, 09:56 AM
John I would suggest you at least try swapping out and testing the system with only a 6' USB cable to the 3Play. No hub, no USB extension. I have seen those things do really weird stuff before when we providing trade show support for NewTek. One manufacturer works but another doesn't kind of thing.

One other thing I would suggest trying is to set all your audio inputs on the 3Play to Analog and see if that makes any difference in the recording and playback functionality. If you have to use embedded SDI audio for your workflow, at least test it with just analog to see if possibly a sync issue is coming through the SDI embedded audio. Worth a shot.

Since you mentioned a mixture of SD and HD along with Frame Sync's, I would suggest also to minimize the signal paths to the bare minimum and test the operation... For Instance, Camera -> SDI -> 3Play input. 3Play Output -> PGM Monitor display.
I really suspect it is a combination of your signal flow and equipment that is effecting your setup and operations.

Hope this helps. Just remember to do one change at a time so you know which change is a solution.

Fran59
03-19-2015, 02:33 PM
Hi Jef,

I haven't been on here in a few weeks as I've been swamped so I just caught your message. Thanks for getting back to me with your offer of help. To answer your questions:

1. I'm not the operator but I'm very fluent with it and spent time last summer with one of the 3Play trainer/engineers from NewTek. While we resolved some issues we had with the codecs being used for creating clips to be brought into the 3Play, he and I are still stumped with the problems with playback of any material recorded in the 3Play during live production.
2. The operators have not but I have and nothing they're doing would be causing this. It's a recording issue.
3. We have resolved any issues with imported files.
4. It is on the network for the purpose of file sharing between two units but we have experienced the same problems after removing the units from the network.
5. Not that we can't do that but we aren't currently as the need hasn't arisen.
6. Yes. Just did the latest update before our last production in November and still no change in the operational status.
7. dLink. USB run is about 15 feet.
8. I haven't but that's not a practical solution in our configuration. I'm assured by NewTek that the runs we have aren't likely to create an issue.
9. I have swapped out drives multiple times. No change. I've also set the system to record two of the inputs to an eSata drive instead of the internal drive that's shared with the OS in order to take the load off of that drive. No change in the issue.

The issue primarily seems to be centered around the recording which for some reason is dropping frames in the recording and I think the "stuttering" and freezing on playback is caused by the unit trying to process around those dropped frames. It keeps giving us the error message that the dropped frames are causing extreme hard disk usage.

Why it's dropping frames seems to be a mystery.

I've tried reworking the sync into the unit and that doesn't seem to be it. I've thought it's maybe a problem with the fact that we're using SD cameras in conjunction with other external HD cameras (from another mobile) in an HD production but we're upconverting and frame synching our cameras to 1080i prior to the 3Play and I've tried it both with our cameras and the other truck's cameras into our 3Play but that did not solve the problem. I'm totally at a loss as to what may be causing this.

John Phillips
iLink Media Group
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
www.ilinkmediagroup.com

Did you solve the problem? I have the same problem, to parcialy solve it I pass the signal from camera 1 through a HDCAM sony (over kill)

- - - Updated - - -

Did you solve the problem? I have the same problem, to parcialy solve it I pass the signal from camera 1 through a HDCAM sony (over kill)

François Jean
Coordonnateur Technique Mobile Télévision, Production et Entretien Technique
MATV.ca
Vidéotron

SBowie
03-19-2015, 05:11 PM
8. I haven't but that's not a practical solution in our configuration. I'm assured by NewTek that the runs we have aren't likely to create an issue. Well, not to quibble with whoever may have told you that, but I disagree. At the very least, it would be worth testing the theory that this is at least related to the problem of an unresponsive CS, and honestly, we've seen CS connection issues cause cascading problems of other types as well.

It's not always an issue merely of length, except as 'length = resistance' .. but it never seems to take very much on any platofrm to overwhelm the power available to the USB bus. In systems unrelated to TriCaster or 3Play, I've run into this many times - hence the recommendation for a powered hub when extending the run.

Otherwise, related to the record issue, there may be some sort of problem with your recording media. Something as simple as turning indexing on has been known to cause problems, though I'm not suggesting there aren't many other possibilities.

Fran59
04-17-2015, 07:48 AM
Noting change since I put a powered hub still freezing maybe we have reach the limit of the 3play. We had returned the 3play to the dealer with a example and they found noting.

Desappointed of 3Play
François

Fran59
04-21-2015, 06:41 AM
Well, not to quibble with whoever may have told you that, but I disagree. At the very least, it would be worth testing the theory that this is at least related to the problem of an unresponsive CS, and honestly, we've seen CS connection issues cause cascading problems of other types as well.

It's not always an issue merely of length, except as 'length = resistance' .. but it never seems to take very much on any platofrm to overwhelm the power available to the USB bus. In systems unrelated to TriCaster or 3Play, I've run into this many times - hence the recommendation for a powered hub when extending the run.

Otherwise, related to the record issue, there may be some sort of problem with your recording media. Something as simple as turning indexing on has been known to cause problems, though I'm not suggesting there aren't many other possibilities.

Indexing where I find that?

SBowie
04-21-2015, 07:14 AM
Indexing where I find that?It's at the bottom of the General tab in the (Windows) drive Properties dialog.

kanep
04-21-2015, 03:38 PM
Indexing should defitinally be disabled on all of your drives.

Also make sure you are running the latest version (for 425/820 or 440/4800), just download and install if your aren't sure. http://new.tk/dl

fox56wolf
10-13-2015, 09:15 AM
We have been experiencing similar issues. After doing some extensive in-house testing, we have found that trying to play back angles off the same drive while cueing different angles, and recording, and trying to mark in/out points and tag clips, does bog down the system quite heavily, and causes some major stutter issues. Our solution is to separate camera angles that will be used back-to-back (instead of switching between 1 & 2, we'll adjust our inputs to go between 2 & 3 so as to come off different drives), and be sure that players are stopped when not live to reduce excessive processor and HD use.

kanep
10-13-2015, 10:26 AM
The other thing to check out is your hard drive performance. If you contact support they can help you with this. If your hard drives aren't performing as they should, you can have issues like this with 3PLAY.