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View Full Version : It just doesn't work



travisr
12-05-2003, 11:55 PM
After being an avid Toaster user since it was first available on the Amiga 2000, I was really looking forward to this new system. All I can say at this point, is that it has not come close to what it has claimed it could do. In the 8 months since I've owned it, it has caused me tremendous grief, and numerous delays in production. I was so excited about this sytem, and was really looking forward to working with it.

It crashes daily. After a few hours of use, the audio simply goes away. Many times I need to reboot because when I first run the toaster, no video signal comes through the switcher. The drives lock up, files are corrupted, and now the drives don't even mount.

I was told I could use the swicher and capture to the hard drive, while switching between two sources. That was certainly not accurate. I was told the Toaster could render my projects in MP2 format. If this is true, I have yet to see it.

Overall, I'm entirely frustrated with this. I wanted so much to embrace this, and work with it on a daily basis. Right now, it's not much more than an $8000 doorstop. After years of using the Toaster 4000, this is truly a step backwards for me. I wish I could say otherwise.

Jim_C
12-06-2003, 12:32 AM
Travis,
You are blaming a pci card for obviously other problems with your computer.
There are many people I being one, actually 2 since I use one at home and work, who work daily with the Toaster without a crash or a hiccup. If you are having system problems it's not the Toaster's fault.
As for switching and capturing to the hard drive. You can. I was just doing it 15 minutes ago. If you can't, again, it is a problem or a limitation with your system, not with the Toaster.
As for rendering an mp2 format, no where on the Newtek site or in any literature does it say or promote that. Whoever told you that is wrong.

If you bought this from a dealer, you need to contact him to correct your problems. If not, poke around here or ask for advice.
there is plenty of helpful folks ready to lend a hand.

What is your system? CPU? Drives? Motherboard? What other software do you have on it? etc. Have you contacted Newtek about your audio vanishiing, you can return the card and have another before the fan blades stop spinning usually.

Trust Me.
It does work.

good luck
jim

Jim Capillo
12-06-2003, 04:35 AM
I agree. You certainly have problems, but I doubt it is with the VT itself. Not to rub it in, but many thousands of folks are using it everyday with no problems whatsoever. I have not had a crash in many months..... and while I don't do much longform stuff, I do push the software with many layers and effects.

Jim is right - tell us about your system - everything. There are many tech heads here who can figure stuff out just by reading it. Dealer built? Have you contacted them?

This is a great community here and I'm sure you'll get plenty of help. It's just too bad you've using it for 8 months in that condition.

Dan Hong
12-06-2003, 10:01 AM
I've got to ditto that. Having 4 systems now in our office (running 10-12 hours a day), and producing nearly 30 live events and too many video productions to count, I've got to say I'm totally satisfied with the system. I'm also a system integrator for the local dealer. We're closing in on 40 machines out in the real world working everyday. The very few problems that we've had have been related to a) a windows or other program problem (antivirus software or cd writing software are the worst), b) bad drivers for video card or c) some hardware issue other than the VT card.
Let's us know your machine specs and I'll bet we can have you running like a champ in a day or two.

UnCommonGrafx
12-06-2003, 12:38 PM
Who is your dealer?? A dealer is not just a group trying to sell to you; they should be a group of avid supporters of your endeavor.

Even if you built it yourself, you should have a dealer.
It's pretty rock solid, in and of itself. Describe your box to us. These guys are pretty sharp in spotting problematic issues in setups.

Help is here. Ask for it.




Originally posted by travisr
After being an avid Toaster user since it was first available on the Amiga 2000, I was really looking forward to this new system. All I can say at this point, is that it has not come close to what it has claimed it could do. In the 8 months since I've owned it, it has caused me tremendous grief, and numerous delays in production. I was so excited about this sytem, and was really looking forward to working with it.

It crashes daily. After a few hours of use, the audio simply goes away. Many times I need to reboot because when I first run the toaster, no video signal comes through the switcher. The drives lock up, files are corrupted, and now the drives don't even mount.

I was told I could use the swicher and capture to the hard drive, while switching between two sources. That was certainly not accurate. I was told the Toaster could render my projects in MP2 format. If this is true, I have yet to see it.

Overall, I'm entirely frustrated with this. I wanted so much to embrace this, and work with it on a daily basis. Right now, it's not much more than an $8000 doorstop. After years of using the Toaster 4000, this is truly a step backwards for me. I wish I could say otherwise.

ted
12-06-2003, 04:15 PM
Robert, did you say "avid supporters"?:eek:

Seriously, as I've said countless times, have a dealer who's built dozes of systems build yours. While there are some issues, NOTHING has been a show stopper for us. Too many people are having excellent results.
Most people with problems like yours are due to some bad component in thier system, or a bad VT system builder.
Just so happens that Dan Hong has built 2 of our systems and like he's said, they rock.

I wish you luck. I'd never get rid of our VT3's.

bradl
12-06-2003, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by Jim Capillo
I have not had a crash in many months.....

Jim, come on. If so you are the only one I have ever heard of who do not have regular crashes. Crashes are down but they are still very much a part of the VT3 experience. For me, it seems to be certain modules, doing certain things and hard to reproduce. I also do short form work mostly but can have several hundred clips and things and it gets really really slow and crashes increase. The great thing about VT3, is it's undo/redo stack, especially the 'redo all'. That will get your right back where you were very quickly.

Travisr, I sympathize with you. I have been down that road but there is light at the end of the tunnel. You sound like you do have a hardware/driver problem outside of VT. I would suggest reading and posting all you can about your hardware, then correct or update the trouble parts, then do a clean install of XP Pro and give it another try.

I use VT3 very hard at times (post only). Yes there are some problems, but not too many. For better or worse, VT3 is a very hands on setup. You really need to dig in and manage your software, hardware, video raid, studio signals and learn what makes it tick. This approach will bring you to a whole new level and you will be doing amazing productions at amazing speeds. Learn the weaknesses and plan for them, or pre-empt them and you will be very productive.

This approach may not be for everybody so in the end you may find another system is better for you. However, you will find it is fun and rewarding working with VT3 and this great community of users. Hope you get things working smoothly.

ScorpioProd
12-06-2003, 11:23 PM
Crashes? Sorry, but honestly, no crashes here. I can't remember the last time I had a VT[3] crash.

I'm sure some modules may be more prone to it than others, but myself I'm only doing post work and it's rock solid for me.

It's very important to have a stable, streamlined host system that you run your VT[3] in. That's probably most of the battle.

Jim Capillo
12-07-2003, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by bradl
Jim, come on. If so you are the only one I have ever heard of who do not have regular crashes. Crashes are down but they are still very much a part of the VT3 experience.

I'm serious, Brad. I haven't had a "regular" (repeatable) crash in a long time. No butt-licking here.... I'd tell you if I had them. My problems come from installing updates and files getting left behind, but once I clear them out, everything runs smooth.

I use just the NLE 99% of the time. I don't do longform stuff, just :30's. Sometimes simple, sometimes many layers with CG. Everything gets archived to BetaSP when the ad is approved and mastered. Drives/caches are cleaned out and defragged regularly. I don't have ANYTHING else on the machine but the VT and Mirage. Built by a very reputable dealer. This routine has evolved from the early days of owning the VT.

Because of the nature of the beast, I believe that many users cause their own problems by having a ton of other crap on the machine, especially including internet access. Common sense - you have an application nearly totally dependant on software and you muck it up with cookies, dll's and a ton of other non-essential files, something bad is eventually gonna happen. My VT machine is networked, so if I need to burn something or send it elsewhere, it gets sent over the LAN to the machine that will do what needs to be done.

Anyone that knows me from the Trinity daze knows that I'm not shy about speaking up when something is amiss. My machine is very, very stable and I get a lot of work done with it.

I don't know what else to tell you.

bradl
12-07-2003, 12:35 PM
I believe you, Jim. Wish mine was as solid as your's. Mine was dealer built with dual 2.2 Xeon Supermicro setup. Got to admit I have Net access, and quite a few programs loaded (mostly graphics and video apps). Despite that when I get a crash, it just feels like it's a VT only problem.

I have many days where everything is fine, but I do seem to find the weird situations where I can lock it up. I tend to work quickly and hit lots of keys and module buttons rapidly, and I'm sure that has something to do with it too.

Maybe we should do a 'Crash' survey and see what the general experience is. However, someone who uses the system lightly or infrequently, wouldn't have the same results as someone working it hard for hours on end daily. I get several per week for sure...

Jim_C
12-07-2003, 01:31 PM
I was suddenly getting a crash every ten minutes last week.
Turns out the biggest fan in the back of the Supermicro case had quit working and it was getting real hot in there.
Replaced fan, crashes went away.


Crash frequency other than that is probably 2-4 times a week for me.
But I play kinda stupid with net access, quite a few programs loaded and usually more than one major program running at a time, antivirus and firewall in background.

With all this talk about crashing, I would like to point out that the T3 is the easiest app I have ever used for returning to a previous state or save before a crash. The undo/redo options and the save module configuration are lifesavers.

Jim Capillo
12-07-2003, 01:57 PM
I agree.... it's easy to recover ! That's part of the frustration in not getting the story out about this amazing box......

ted
12-07-2003, 03:00 PM
Jim, I've never heard you complain about the Trinity!;)

Jim Capillo
12-07-2003, 03:45 PM
:D :p

travisr
12-07-2003, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by UnCommonGrafx
Who is your dealer?? A dealer is not just a group trying to sell to you; they should be a group of avid supporters of your endeavor.

Even if you built it yourself, you should have a dealer.
It's pretty rock solid, in and of itself. Describe your box to us. These guys are pretty sharp in spotting problematic issues in setups.

Help is here. Ask for it.


Thanks for all the feedback. My dealer was SoftwareHut. I've used them for years for Amiga stuff. But this box has been horrific!

I don't have any other software on the system. I purposely have kept the system offline... I wanted it to only be an editor. So, it is isolated, and there is no junk on the system.

Basically, I have Windows, and the VT3 software. That's pretty much it.

Every few days, I need to re-enter my registration number. Then it says it's invalid. The next time I boot, it doesn't ask me for it. Then, apparently randomly, it pops up every few days and says I have not yet registered. What a pain.

Tonight it took me three times to reboot, and run the Toaster software before any video came through the switcher. The first two times just gave me a black screen with redish lines flickering through it. At least I didn't get the "No Video signal present!" message... I tend to see that a lot. Well, the third boot finally worked, and thankfully, the audio came through as well.

Now, I'm trying to edit as fast as I can before it crashes. Please note, I'm not even using TED... I'm just using the switcher, tape-to-tape. Besides, once I start using TED for a while, the switcher no longer sends video through the system... even if I want it to. I can select video 1 as my source, but it just won't work after TED has been running for a while.

It's been difficult. It's caused a tremendous amount of pain, and delays. My dealer is slow in repsonse, and I don't know anyone else in the area who can fix/replace it. And of course, if I do find someone to replace it, I'll be without the ability to edit while it's being repaired... which will further delay the projects sitting on the editing shelf.

I just don't have much recourse at this point. As I said earlier, I would LOVE to see this thing working correctly. I was EXCITED when I bought it. Now I wish I had stuck with my Toaster 4000. It NEVER crashed. I could leave it on for MONTHS.

Jim_C
12-07-2003, 10:02 PM
Travis,
Post as much of your system specs you know.
Motherboard, cpus, ram, audio cards, video card,hard drives, etc.
the more the better.
Maybe someone from Newtek can respond how to fix registration. That obviously should not be happening.

Have you completely uninstalled the Toaster and reinstalled.
Windows?

jim

Jim Capillo
12-08-2003, 02:47 AM
Also, what version of the VT are you using? The reg issue was fixed a while ago...... if you're using the latest patch, you may have some bugger files in there causing the trouble.

As Jim asked, please be VERY specific about your system specs, especially the video card and its drivers - it's at the root of more than a few problems. It might take a bit to find out all the info, but it is useful in tracking down problems.

UnCommonGrafx
12-08-2003, 05:58 AM
Also, have you patched the vt3 software lately?

Honestly, sounds like you have any of the following:
1) A bad card - this could be ruled out rather quickly
2) A bad installation - of the card, and maybe software
3) A bad power supply

Lastly, where are you located? There's a Help list with numbers circulating on this board where members of the community have shared their numbers for others to contact them in case of an emergency need. I think you should check out that thread to see if anyone is nearby that might be able to give you a hand (read: hang out with, per se).

Good luck.

StanStalter
12-08-2003, 07:57 AM
Travis,

I have purchased from Software Hut as a dealer when we carried Amiga Video Toaster stuff. It is probably a lack of experience and focus on their part that you are having problems.

If you need any assistance, we are located about an hour from Philadelphia (Reading, PA) and can troubleshoot & fix your problem. We also have a demo/loaner machine available for our customers that need to leave their system. Just give me a call or email if I can be of further assistance. Thanks.

DonN
12-11-2003, 10:45 AM
Please add me to the list of totally satisfied VT[3] users, as far as the system stability goes. Zero crashes in weeks, Honest. And I use two systems in my studio, relatively hard.

I must believe that those still suffering crashes during VT[3] use are victims of PC errors, not NewTek errors.
Sorting out PC errors that impact VT3 is an art and a science. God Bless the ones that understand how to plaquate these demons that live in and around our machines....

Don

SBowie
12-11-2003, 12:54 PM
It's not complicated, Don - it's just like any other platform ... you just need to do everything right, and nothing wrong. ;)