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Peter pan
02-27-2006, 11:06 AM
hi!

we use vt4 for live switching in a church with volounteers. we advised them to do the following after a crash: reset winrtme - restart vt - "recall 1". Our problem: after the restart the ddr we're using (3 of them) are sometimes labeld ddr7, ddr8 and ddr9 (or ddr"whatever") instead of ddr1, ddr2 and ddr3 and are thus not corresponding to our switcher-preconfigured inputs (which are labeld ddr1,2 and 3).

is there a solution (maybe in toasterscript) to force vt to label the first ddr opened with "ddr1" etc or to force the switcher-module to use the ddr that are available? of course we could change the inputs manually, but there must be a better solution ...

thank you very much for your help

pascal

John Perkins
02-27-2006, 01:39 PM
Are you on the newest VT4.6c, build 6016? That sounds like something we fixed a long time ago.

If not, get the newest version. We made quite a few stability improvements.

Peter pan
02-27-2006, 02:59 PM
I'm right here at home, so I don't know the exact build, but it's a 4.6 version (downloaded from the european site).

Peter pan
02-28-2006, 09:54 AM
yep, it's the newest 6016 build ...

Cineman
02-28-2006, 01:05 PM
Hi Pascal,

I have had almost identical problems over the years in a church environment, sometimes. In all cases the only solution to cure it was to reset configs, which always works until next time. In our case, we reserve switcher positions one through four for our four cameras. That is so the shot director can call by number for the VT operator and camera operators.

We do use VT[3] with the Update 3 patch because it is by far the best version of VT, ever, for live switch. Each release since then has included bugs that negate any improvements in the build for the switcher. Only one fix in [4], one more in [4.5], and three in [4.6], simply bringing back some of what was in VT[3] plus Update 3.

I have always assumed that the wrong DDR numbers came from someone opening and then closing additional DDRs which increment the DDR numbers. I really don't know that as a fact since it is impossible to know what someone has tried at some point in a church environment. I have confirmed that VT seems to sometimes stubbornly hold on to higher numbers for DDRs that have been added and then deleted.

Obviously, your idea for a toasterscript would be hurtful for my situation as a default, since I need to use numbers higher than our camera numbers. (I assume that a user toasterscript might work.) We really need to be careful what we wish for as I have seen NewTek implement one's wish to the detriment of most other users. It can be a slippery slope.

You might try just clicking "no" in the dialog box when you restart after a crash. That is supposed to bring you back to the last saved (shutting down VT saves) configuration. This will at least delete one step in your recovery process, ("recall 1"). Never hurts, after your configuration is just as you want it, to shutdown and restart VT, so that you can always have this option.

Nes Gurley

Randy Rouse
02-28-2006, 04:01 PM
I've had the same issue with both our VT systems. It seems that a reboot of the computer and then opening VT works better for us that just closing and opening the software even if we kill wintme.

John Perkins
02-28-2006, 05:02 PM
Fairly technical explanation here...

There is the RTME running in the background and there is the user interface that you see. These talk to each other, but are very separate. That's how multiple programs such as media player, iVGA capture, After Effects, etc can all use the VT hardware at the same time and be available for switching.

If you crash "VT", you are probably crashing the user interface portion. RTME is still running in the background at all times unless it crashes also. This would explain it not going to black too, RTME doesn't know the UI has crashed. It's waiting for the UI to tell it something.

When we open a DDR, we open starting from the lowest number and count up. Normally all is good because both the UI and the RTME exited cleanly.

Abnormally, as in a crash, the RTME may still have DDR's open because the crash prevented them being closed properly, you just don't see the user interface to these DDRs. When the UI then starts opening DDR's, it counts starting at the next available DDR, skipping over these abandoned DDR's. We can never know when an abnormal situation occurs, because obviously, unknown things have happened. To the user interface, it now looks like some app is running those other DDRs so it can't reuse the names.

If you are seeing this without a crash, then somehow VT isn't exiting correctly and we need to find out why. You should contact your dealer or NewTek tech support so that we can track it down.


My suggestion for use after a crash, is to make a shortcut to /VT4/Drivers/newtekrtme.exe and place it on your desktop.

If you have a crash do this:
Double-click the shortcut to launch newtekrtme.exe
If it runs and imediately exits, great, if not, close the DOS box that pops up.
Run it again (always twice), close the DOS box that pops up.

This should completely restart everything RTME, leaving it in a known safe state. Launch VT and you should be normal again. All the names should be correct. Never do this while VT is running, you would effectively pull the rug out from under VT. It won't change any settings, it just tells RTME to unload and restart itself.

You might think, "So what is Reset WinRTME for?" Reset can be ignored, this can't and forces a complete reload of RTME. It just isn't very user friendly.


Don't forget to send me ([email protected]) bug reports so that we can fix this stuff. I hardly get any crashing reports any more, just strange functionality.

I know we've fixed a LOT of things Nes has sent in, so those will be in the next release. Sometimes I can even send out a small script to work around bugs if we're lucky.

John

jsanfilippo
02-28-2006, 05:16 PM
Don't forget to send me ([email protected]) bug reports so that we can fix this stuff. I hardly get any crashing reports any more, just strange functionality.
John


John,

Can you please advise what you are looking for in terms of crash reports? I have had a few lately (on a new system), and my dealer is very new to Newtek (ie I'm their guinea pig customer!)... so I need all the help I can get from an expert like yourself!

John Perkins
02-28-2006, 05:59 PM
The absolute best thing is for you to figure out the smallest number of steps to cause the crash and email it to me at [email protected] If you can explain to me how to crash it, I can absolutely have it fixed.

If you can only make it happen sometimes, that's ok too, because it only takes once on my system to get the debugging info I need.

Along with the steps to reproduce the problem I need the build number of your VT software which can be found in the about box. If one certain file causes the problem, send that to me as well. In the case of an audio or video clip, please trim it down to an emailable size if at all possible. I may contact you for more details in certain cases, but I will reply either way.


Especially with new dealers or end user built systems, calling tech support can often explain a system problem that you aren't accustomed to looking for. Building an editing system is as much an art as a science and newer/faster isn't always better. Luckily we have a great tech support team and not just phone jockeys like most other companies ;)

Keith Gandy
02-28-2006, 09:17 PM
John,

Thanks for the straightforward explanation. When our church environment system goes down during the setup process before services, we have found that the multiple DDR numbers has been a distraction. Your solution should take care of that distraction. Mucho appreciated.

Peter pan
02-28-2006, 11:05 PM
Thank you very much, John and all the Rest of you. I'll try your solution.

@Nes:
I was thinking about a Usertoasterscript, maybe in the intialization-script of the switcher to automatically change e.g. input number 3 and 4 to the ddrs that are open whatever number they might have (so our volounteers knows for sure swichter-input number 3 is always the first ddr from the left, switcher-input number 4 the second ...)

John Perkins
02-28-2006, 11:51 PM
Trying to "script" around that situation would be a bad idea.

If you think about it, RTME is confused about one thing, so what else is it confused about? Just one bit out of place can cause a problem later.

Better to restart RTME with that shortcut (until we figure out your real problem) than to make it easier to use in an already unstable condition.

Peter pan
03-01-2006, 10:09 AM
/VT4/Drivers/newtekrtme.exe didn't work in my setting. I started it 2 times (or more) but this didn't solve the ddr-issue. vt kept on augmenting the ddr-numbers..

so I did this: ctrl-alt-del and stopped the winrtme.exe process.

after that I could start vt and recall my configuration - and it worked!

seems to be the easiest solution ...

John Perkins
03-01-2006, 10:22 AM
That should be a 100% kill.

Did you get one box with lines of text that you had to close?

If this works, you should have to close the last box.

Peter pan
03-01-2006, 03:30 PM
after trying to kill the winrtme.exe via ctrl-alt-del, yes, there was box I had do close.

John Perkins
03-01-2006, 04:33 PM
Actually I meant the newtekrtme.exe thing.

The last DOS box should stay open until you close it.

Cineman
03-01-2006, 09:02 PM
Fairly technical explanation here...

There is the RTME running in the background and there is the user interface that you see. These talk to each other, but are very separate. That's how multiple programs such as media player, iVGA capture, After Effects, etc can all use the VT hardware at the same time and be available for switching.

If you crash "VT", you are probably crashing the user interface portion. RTME is still running in the background at all times unless it crashes also. This would explain it not going to black too, RTME doesn't know the UI has crashed. It's waiting for the UI to tell it something.

When we open a DDR, we open starting from the lowest number and count up. Normally all is good because both the UI and the RTME exited cleanly.

Abnormally, as in a crash, the RTME may still have DDR's open because the crash prevented them being closed properly, you just don't see the user interface to these DDRs. When the UI then starts opening DDR's, it counts starting at the next available DDR, skipping over these abandoned DDR's. We can never know when an abnormal situation occurs, because obviously, unknown things have happened. To the user interface, it now looks like some app is running those other DDRs so it can't reuse the names.
What a fantastic explanation John. I understood it all, perfectly, at first read. If you can get me to understand it well, you have to have explained it well.

But at this you start to lose me, and I disagree with some of what I understand you to be saying.

My suggestion for use after a crash, is to make a shortcut to /VT4/Drivers/newtekrtme.exe and place it on your desktop.
Why this? I have always found winrtme to be the culprit, and ending that process to be the fix. So, I do the same as you except for it being the winrtme.exe shortcut.

If you have a crash do this:
Double-click the shortcut to launch newtekrtme.exe
So far, so good, if this were winrtme.exe That is exactly right, if it were winrtme.

From this point on I am going to make the assumption that John said newtekrtme.exe when he meant to say winrtme.exe. If I am wrong in my assumption, then my belief is that John is wrong in what he proposes, and that I'm right in what I propose here.

If it runs and immediately exits, great,
What? No. It will run, and inform you so with a dialog box, because you just started it with the shortcut. It won't exit unless you close it or click yes in the dialog box that appears. "RTME Dameon already running. Request shutdown? Yes / No"

if not, close the DOS box that pops up.
No, you should click the "Yes" button in the dialog box.

Run it again (always twice), close the DOS box that pops up.
Never a reason to run it twice, because selecting the Shortcut (double clicking) will always start winrtme. You've just started a loop that you can repeat to infinity. There is no reason to make sure it is on, or to have it on, as starting VT will always turn it on, if it is off.

How can we be so different on this? Keep wondering if you are not somehow confused from the fact that if you select the Shortcut when winrtme is off, it will simply turn it on without showing any dialog box? In that case you might as well just start up the VT right then since winrtme has just been reset. Speed of recovery is the essence of live switch. Don't do anything more than necessary to get back on-air.

This should completely restart everything RTME, leaving it in a known safe state. Launch VT and you should be normal again. All the names should be correct. Never do this while VT is running, you would effectively pull the rug out from under VT. It won't change any settings, it just tells RTME to unload and restart itself.
Still scratching my head John. All we need to do is to reset winrtme for the next start of VT. We can do that by knowing that it has been turned off, or by turning it off ourselves. Starting VT will always turn it on, if it is off.

You might think, "So what is Reset WinRTME for?" Reset can be ignored, this can't and forces a complete reload of RTME. It just isn't very user friendly.
I just want folks to understand that I am not talking about the above either. I am talking about winrtme.exe and a shortcut to that. /VT4/Drivers/winrtme.exe

John, I never bugged the DDR numbering problem with a crash result because that is not what causes a crash. It is something that happens after a crash.

Nes Gurley

Cineman
03-01-2006, 09:09 PM
pascal,

I sure didn't mean to post and run but John Perkins from NewTek posted about how to fix the DDR numbering problem which was wrong. Before I took a stand in opposition to as great a guy as John and a NewTek Rep, I wanted to be sure that I was right. Though I have been fixing the problem for years, on different VTs, and in a church environment; I sure wanted to make sure that things were still the same in VT4.6, which I had never tested, before I spoke out. John spoke of the fix getting skipped, and since I have always just fixed and moved on, I was left testing over and over until I was convinced that it never failed.

I am glad that you found the correct fix as below and that it worked for you.


/VT4/Drivers/newtekrtme.exe didn't work in my setting. I started it 2 times (or more) but this didn't solve the ddr-issue. vt kept on augmenting the ddr-numbers..

so I did this: ctrl-alt-del and stopped the winrtme.exe process.

after that I could start vt and recall my configuration - and it worked!

seems to be the easiest solution ...
Well, not really, if the fastest way is important to you, as it is in most church venues where the service just keeps going whether or not you are providing your support.

To get ready, open the Drivers directory in VT[4] and drag the winrtme.exe file to your desktop to create a shortcut to it. Place it right next to your VT[4] icon so they are always handy together. You are ready.

Now if you have crashed, just select, double click on winrtme.exe. If nothing happens, and you have previously saved the good configuration by having shutdown the VT, just start VT by double clicking that desktop icon. When you get the dialog box asking if you wish to reset your configurations, select no, and your VT will open at normal pace to the previous version.

If you haven't previously saved by shutting down, but have saved on the tab; then say yes and when open, select the tab preset.

If you haven't crashed, but the DDR numbering is off from what you have set and saved, it is even quicker and easier. Just click Ctrl+v+t. That will cause the VT to shutdown immediately and kill winrtme.exe at the same time. You can then start VT back up immediately. When you get the dialog box, select just as you would in the above examples.

Nes Gurley

Jim_C
03-01-2006, 09:25 PM
Newtekrtme.exe has cleared up quite a few crashes for me, but I was always running it from a cmd box.

Cineman
03-01-2006, 09:41 PM
Thank you very much, John and all the Rest of you. I'll try your solution.

@Nes:
I was thinking about a Usertoasterscript, maybe in the intialization-script of the switcher to automatically change e.g. input number 3 and 4 to the ddrs that are open whatever number they might have (so our volounteers knows for sure swichter-input number 3 is always the first ddr from the left, switcher-input number 4 the second ...)
Yes, just as I suggested in my reply. I think this would be the thing to do for your use, so as not to mess it up for others like me who want the DDRs numbered for different switcher buttons.

After the just above I was about to suggest that you do just that, if you had the confidence to write a user toaster script. Then I read the following post from John Perkins, who was adamant that you not try to fix it that way. I am aware from bugs reporting of how getting some innocuous little bug fixed, result in a release where about five more things are broken, that I am told by NewTek were broken from fixing the first.

I suppose that you could continue to use the default in services and the user version at rehearsals until you were comfortable that nothing else had been broken by your script. On the other hand, it is not all that difficult to just re-number your DDRs, or fix the problem through restarts as covered in other posts. Or best of all, find and fix whatever is causing your crashes, that leaves you with the problem in the first place. :)

By the way, I reported to NewTek, a long time ago about the DDR numbers changing, and was told that it would not be fixed, and worst, not to even use numbers in their aliases. :(

Sorry pascal but it seemed that my every other reply to you needed to wait for the long one that required a lot of thought, testing, and careful wording.

Nes Gurley

John Perkins
03-02-2006, 12:47 AM
I did mean newtekrtme.exe

It is a totally different thing than winrtme.exe and reacts differently.

winrtme.exe can only reset the RTME service.

Running newtekrtme.exe multiple times will actually cause RTME to exit, clearing itself from memory and reloading from disk. This is a much more complete start than simply telling it to forget everything and try again as winrtme.exe can do. Winrtme.exe can leave corrupted memory or simply ignore you.

When we are developing the software, we can actually change versions without a restart using newtekrtme.exe without a system restart. It's all gone and restarted fresh.

Now after a crash it is possible you might need to run it 3 times, I'm not 100% certain about that, but it will listen to your exit command if you run it a few times. When it does, it should be almost as good as a reboot. Windows wouild be the only thing that might cause a problem, but shouldn't apply to this DDR issue at all.

Peter pan
03-02-2006, 02:58 AM
So, John, do I have to run newtekrtme again and again till I can actually close the dos-box by myself? After the last crash I ran it 2 or 3 times but didn't have to close the box. (and as I said earlier it didn't work this time).

thanx again. you all are a great help!

Cineman
03-02-2006, 08:40 AM
Yea John, thanx echo.

Learn something new every day.

Mulling now. Also mulling over something that might stop the DDRs from changing numbers. Let me get my head on first.

Just read so like (parallel) the steps in winrtme.exe run....

Nes

John Perkins
03-02-2006, 10:30 AM
Ok, I'm learning something here too ;)

If you can't restart RTME this way, then Windows has control of the audio when it shouldn't. The VT is probably set as your default sound device and then Windows is somehow forcing our driver to load incorrectly. It isn't wrong to have VT as the default audio device, but for some reason Windows has taken control away from us. This is just a workaround to help diagnose and minimize the problem.

I'd love to work with you guys by email to track this down. Your original crashes may be linked to this issue, not just the inability to get DDR names back.

If you don't use Windows Media Encoder for web streaming and do have a sound card in your system (other than the VT card), try this:

1. Go to the Windows Control Panel and open Sounds and Audio Devices.
2. On the Audio tab, change the Default device for Sound playback to your other soundcard instead of Video Toaster Audio Out.
3. Click OK.
4. Now reboot the computer.

At this point, only the VT software will be using the VT card as an audio output. Any other sounds will go through your other soundcard. (beeps, audio editors, etc.)

Let me know ([email protected]) how this effects your crashing and the ability to use my steps above in the event you do crash.

We might be a lot closer to squashing a bug because of this thread :D

joshn
03-09-2006, 03:25 AM
I've noticed that the DDRs renumber themselves to higher numbers when you load you a Module Configuration on top of current open modules (DDRs, CG Designers, CG Players, and VT-Edit sessions).

This will cause new instances of modules to appear. It also causes broken links to inputs on your switcher (ex. DDR1 (with a '!' on the label)).

The easiest way I've found around this is to clear the desktop (right clicking on one of the 6 page layouts), and then loading your module configuration.

Also, after a crash, if you click 'yes' to reset module configuration, then load your configuration, this will keep the DDRs from renumbering themselves.

Let me know if this is what your experiencing or not.:thumbsup:

Peter pan
03-09-2006, 05:36 AM
no, unfortunately, it's not that easy (see the "technical explanations" in this thread).

loading a configuration from a clear desktop (even after a crash and the reset you mention) doesn't solve the problem - the ddrs just keep on counting up.

killing the winrtme.exe-process (or one of the other ways suggested in this thread) does work for us.