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Stumpster
04-05-2008, 07:14 PM
I would highly recommend that all Tricaster ship with color clamping enabled.

I would also highly recommend that you inform your customers that there is a way to enable this feature that, as of now, is being kept secret. Do the right thing here.

We paid for it. We should have a choice in our preferences selection, not just NewTek.

This is a serious issue that will hurt your customers!:help:

It hurt me and NewTek could have helped. It chose not to. Bad choice.

Or, you can be stubborn and stupid and just ignore it and hope it goes away.

BTW.....it won't. I will personally let everyone know how to correct this issue if NewTek does not step up and deal with it.

Man up!

Enough said.:thumbsup:

SBowie
04-06-2008, 05:49 AM
Wow. I've read all these posts, and I am amazed. Here all this time NewTek has been engaged in an evil conspiracy to ensure their customers have to endure illegal colors. I've haven't got all the details clear, but it must be some scheme to blind the nation so they can take over. (Maybe they are in cahoots with the audio industry?) Thank heavens for the brave vigilantes who have exposed this vile plot, and NewTek's secret machinations.

Or maybe there's more to this than has been related. Maybe only some systems are affected (as very few seem to have stumbled across it.) Maybe it only occurs under certain very specific circumstances and testing hasn't been able to replicate it. Or maybe its a bug that has already been nailed but the update isn't released yet. And maybe NewTek doesn't want people screwing around blindly with TriCasters more arcane settings.

Nah, you're probably right - its either an evil plot, or NewTek is just being stubborn and stupid ... or both. I'm sure that continuing to complain repeatedly in very insulting terms will help - do so slowly, loud and often.

Stumpster
04-06-2008, 07:28 AM
I'm sure that NewTek can take a strong critic here. They are a grown up company that dropped the ball on service to a customer. All companies have to deal with these matters from time to time.

It's how they deal with those issues that defines true customer service excellence!

So far in my case, it's been a disapointment and, as a customer, I plan to be heard.

Feelings will be hurt, people will get mad. In the end the customer, company and the product should be better for it in the long run.

The fact is NewTek did not want to tell me about the adjustment that could have been made to correct my problem. They chose not to. I was on show site with a new product that was not recording color properly. They flat out left me hanging.

2 weeks later I finally get to the bottom of it.

I wouldn't call it a conspiracy. They were not being honest with me.

The color clamping was was turned off on my unit when it shipped from the factory.

I doubt that only some systems are affected.
If they clone the drives from the same image, then all of the Tricaster Studio models will have this issue at some point. It's just a matter of time before a user will get burned by it.

I wouldn't say it was a bug. The unit shipped with the incorrect setting.

I also wouldn't say that the ability to record legal colors would be an arcane matter either. That should be a standard setting and if it's not; tell me how to get around it.

I will be very upfront in admitting that I have an attitude about this issue and that I am not happy about what happened. I don't want to see this happen to other customers and that is my major motivating factor at this point.

For me, the problem is over because I know about the hidden preferences panel and have made the proper adjustment. It was very simple to do.

The rest of the Tricaster Studio community may have an issue if all the drives are cloned from the same image. Seems like a logical conclusion to me.

If I have to be the "bad guy" to get the ball moving then I am obviously more than willing.


It will be very interesting to see how this plays out now that the cat is out of the bag.:thumbsup:

SBowie
04-06-2008, 10:47 AM
They are a grown up company that dropped the ball on service to a customer. All companies have to deal with these matters from time to time.NewTek actually takes criticism pretty well, which is a mature attitude. But your first post on this subject - which btw is the first time I ever heard of this problem (and TC has been on the market for several years) - was one month ago.

The way this works is that 1) you notice a problem, 2) you inquire about a solution. Often for a known issue TS will have a solution. Otherwise, it can take a little time to identify an issue (they are often no where near as simple as it may seem.) Once identified, Engineering will generally 3) attempt to find a solution, assigning priority based on a number of factors. In due course, it may be that 4) a software revision ensues.

This all takes time. A month is nothing - and taking an insulting and suspicious tone and stance does nothing to advance the cause (it says a lot more about you than it does about NewTek.)


So far in my case, it's been a disapointment and, as a customer, I plan to be heard.

Feelings will be hurt, people will get mad. In the end the customer, company and the product should be better for it in the long run.Most of use have been here for many years, and know with certainty that NewTek TS is first class, far surpassing general experience in the market. Once an issue is identified and makes its way through the process, it will almost certainly be addressed. The outcome is a given - self-aggrandizing ranting accomplishes nothing (except alienating people.)


I wouldn't say it was a bug. The unit shipped with the incorrect setting.From Wikipedia: A software bug (or just "bug") is an error, flaw, mistake, "undocumented feature", failure, or fault in a computer program that prevents it from behaving as intended (e.g., producing an incorrect result).


I also wouldn't say that the ability to record legal colors would be an arcane matter either.No, it shouldn't be - it should be standard, and obviously NewTek (at least originally) felt that the stock TriCaster complied. If it doesn't, it's likewise obvious it will be corrected in reasonably timely fashion once that is clearly known.

Yet you have chosen to make a great deal about 'secret prefs', even threating to 'step up' and expose this information hidden by the dis-honest developer. It's in that context that I wrote "maybe NewTek doesn't want people screwing around blindly with TriCasters more arcane settings." NewTek's model for TriCaster, no doubt in line with its target customer profile, has deliberately removed access to a lot of sophisticated settings. This is thoughtful design, not a plot.

If you've genuinely managed to find that shipping systems have one ill-considered default, and found out how to circumvent it, good for you. None of this makes NewTek devious or dishonest, nor does it make you the caped-crusader.


If I have to be the "bad guy" to get the ball moving then I am obviously more than willing.A little too eager to accept the role for me I'm afraid. Personally, I've no doubt at all that a simple explicit and accurate bug-report would have accomplished the same thing in the same time, without all the hyperbole.

I don't lack sympathy for your problem, gratitude for your identifying it, nor respect for tenacity in overcoming it. Everything else is just way over the top, sorry.

Stumpster
04-06-2008, 11:58 AM
I have encountered this kind of product loyalty before from heavy forum users and can see that you have a big presence here but, your commentary on my problem is a waste of my time. I just don't have the appetite for a lecture right now friend so please, stop.:thumbsup:

SBowie
04-06-2008, 12:22 PM
And I don't have the time to waste (which is why I only didn't say anything the first 3 or 4 times you brought this up) ... so 'deal.'

Stumpster
04-06-2008, 04:50 PM
Thanks Dad.:thumbsup:

jcupp
04-06-2008, 05:19 PM
Let me jump in here since I may have caused this controversy. The chroma clamping feature of the VT is disabled in the TriCaster. I was digging around in the various script files in the TriCaster, as I am wont to do, and discovered a way to enable it. I sent this info to Stumpster because it looked like it would solve a problem he had.

I'd rather not post this publicly as it involves editing some scripts and it would be possible to hose your TriCaster by messing it up. It's also possible there is some side effect of turning the clamping on that we aren't aware of.

I don't know why NewTek engineering decided to disable this function but in Tech Supports defense they probably have no idea you can edit a script file, hit a secret keyboard combo and turn it on. I'm pretty sure they didn't willfully deceive anyone.

I'll let Stumpster try this for awhile and if there don't appear to be any adverse side effects I could be convinced to spill the beans.

So in the mean time hopefully we can all cool out and get along.

Stumpster
04-06-2008, 06:19 PM
Agreed. I wanted to keep you out of this Jeff but...welcome to the jungle!

This is the kind of discussion that will generate a positive result for all of us.

I have been pushing the Tricaster to the edge with everything I can throw at it for the last few days. So far...so good.

The aliasing is repeatable and I have used both settings to confirm that it is based upon the clamp setting in the secret panel.

I may have been mistaken in assuming that tech support knows what you know and for that I can make ammends. You have an inside track here.

I just want to protect other Tricaster owners from experiencing what I went through.

Thanks!

SBowie
04-06-2008, 06:23 PM
I'm pretty sure they didn't willfully deceive anyone.Me too, Jeff (what would be the point.)

Engineering has been in the annual unofficial but obvious 'pre-NAB lock-down' during this entire discussion too, or we'd likely have had some comment by now. You've been here long enough to see, as I have, that virtually every year right at this time someone just has to start a 'the sky is falling!' thread -- right at the time when there's no-one around to make an official response. (At least this year no-one has resorted to allcaps ... yet.)


I'll let Stumpster try this for awhile and if there don't appear to be any adverse side effects I could be convinced to spill the beans.I understand your reticence, and salute it. I expect that if it's really a bug, having had it pointed out we can hope to see it fixed in the next round of revisions.

Jim_C
04-06-2008, 06:40 PM
I just want to protect other Tricaster owners from experiencing what I went through.

Which came first? The statement mission or the avatar?

;)


heavy forum user
nnJim

Stumpster
04-10-2008, 07:18 PM
Thanks heavy forum user!

Keep surfing the threads for fresh meat.

BTW......:thumbsdow

Stumpster
04-10-2008, 07:30 PM
The "force legal color" feature is still bug free and tech support has no reports of issues with the clamping enabled.

Tech Support....replied....

"Dean,

Enabling legal color clamping before shipment may be a good idea. That's something I can pass on to the engineers.

We don't have any documented issues reported when working with that feature enabled. "

SBowie
04-10-2008, 07:41 PM
I'm inclined to agree with TS, although I think it could likely be said there had likewise been no documented issues with it disabled, either.


Thanks heavy forum user!I kind of like the avatar ... but hmm, let's see - someone has been here for a long time, and made countless contributions (and friends.) This is a bad thing in what way again? And, let me get this straight - appearing much more recently to the accompaniment of a great deal of completely over the top ranting is superior in some manner? :jam:

Stumpster
04-10-2008, 07:57 PM
Let's hope the "heavy forum users" will not chime in here. I'm sure they will make a positive contribution on their quest to play ' Forum Daddy" somewhere else.

I started this thread and would like to put it to bed.

Many of us here are searching for solutions to our problems.

I would recommend that this feature be enabled if your system is composite/S-video based.

When I upgrade to component I will test again and report back.

I do not see any difference in the image either way except for the artifacts. The nice thing now is that if there is an LED wall on the stage or some bright special moving light.......the footage that is recorded on the Tricaster looks great, instead of a wasted recording that has to be re-rendered on another NLE.

But, maybe I could just correct the lighting and tell the producer that the LED wall has to go because of a Tricaster issue. That should fly. LOL!

Have at it "Forum Daddys"!

Stump out! :beerchug:

CreatvGnius
04-10-2008, 08:06 PM
I'm inclined to agree with TS, although I think it could likely be said there had likewise been no documented issues with it disabled, either.

:jam: I would like to propose a slight change in tempo, relative to the issue of needed changes in TriCaster design.

That would be that NewTek programmers might provide an ADVANCED USER SETUP options panel, wherein one might select their choice of TriCaster behavior in several areas:

1. Chroma clamping at 100 IRE: [TRUE] or [FALSE]
2. TriCaster Recording Codec from Switcher:
SpeedHQ 4:2:2 (No Alpha) or Microsoft DV 4:2:1 (No Alpha) for ease of file export to Mac computer editing programs
3. EDIT MEDIA Panel: Expanded, Varied File Output Rendering Options: which include
Optimal MPEG2 compression settings for short-form editing projects, ranging from 1 Hr., 15 minutes down to approximately 7 minutes.

While I would not necessarily advocate a full-blown preferences panel similar to that of VT[5]'s fantastic options, I would like to see *some* modicum of user-preference selection options, under some form of GUI bearing some type of ADVANCED USER moniker.

This in my view at least, would surely be preferable, I think, to having to go into a script file to perform an edit, with the risk of doing some serious harm to the stability of the system.

Just my two cents, for whatever it's worth, gang. Peace on da' streets.
:beerchug:
-PeterG

Anybody got other suggestions?

they could effect several:thumbsup:

Stumpster
04-10-2008, 08:32 PM
Thanks Peter!

Yes, it would.

I appreciate the positive contribution. The Tricaster codec is not MAC friendly and that is an issue that could use improvement.

Stump:beerchug:

SBowie
04-11-2008, 05:18 AM
Andrew made an interesting point - clamping (naturally) imposes limits on the colorspace, and without it "you will have more colors available to you than you will see in any RGB based non linear system." Really, the best way to deal with situations where this may exceed the tolerances of target output devices is to use the included waveform/vectorscope and proc amp.

That said, I agree that the overall 'child-proof' design of TC argues for having clamping on by default. It seems unlikely that many in the TC target user group would find this restrictive.

I'd like more accessible prefs too, but (as Peter mentions) a VT style prefs panel is undesirable (in view of TC's simpler UI design goals,) and really wouldn't be necessary given TC's closed system design. Something much simpler would be useful, a compromise.

The only real problem with Mac compatibility in current release builds is time. That is, time to render a file that a Mac can cope with. I can think of several ways this could be avoided, and imagine NewTek can too. I expect this problem to just go away in due course.


Have at it "Forum Daddys"!NewTek is 'big daddy' here - the rest of us are just brothers-in-arms. Occasionally, one of the kids at the picnic grabs a bull-horn and goes nuts, and older kids may tell him to pipe down and show some manners. It's amazing what can be accomplished without strident shrieking.

ACross
04-11-2008, 10:30 AM
1. Chroma clamping at 100 IRE: [TRUE] or [FALSE]


I totally agree, this was honestly an oversight on our behalf and future versions of the TriCaster will default to this behavior. The second I saw the original thread on this subject I put a bug in the database to change this default. I also posted on the forums how users can make this change themselves in the mean time.



2. TriCaster Recording Codec from Switcher:
SpeedHQ 4:2:2 (No Alpha) or Microsoft DV 4:2:1 (No Alpha) for ease of file export to Mac computer editing programs


I actually agree with you here, although the implementation is not quite as simple as stated. Unfortunately MS DV capture is very CPU intensive (far more than SpeedHQ). Indeed, going back to the original TriCaster, this was the reason that we even wrote what was at that point the NT25 codec in the first place. That said, I think that what you are asking for is a way to ensure that files can be moved to other machines without requiring codecs or conversions. In an ideal world, it would be cool to have the speed and quality of SpeedHQ, but without any codec required ... hmmm ....

Also, a minor side-note. DV is 4:1:1 in NTSC and 4:2:0 in PAL. This is kindof crappy color resolution for NTSC users and significantly inferior to more modern formats.



3. EDIT MEDIA Panel: Expanded, Varied File Output Rendering Options: which include
Optimal MPEG2 compression settings for short-form editing projects, ranging from 1 Hr., 15 minutes down to approximately 7 minutes.


Actually, what we offer in the render panel of STUDIO, even though it lists times represent the highest bit rate that conform to the DVD standards. I do agree that it might be slightly misleading to put a time there since that does not represent the time of the file captured. Unfortunately the shortest preset we have corresponds to the maximum legal average bit-rate, so technically shorter presets would not be guaranteed to work on all players.

I hope that this helps. If there is anything else I can do, please do not hesitate to ask.

Best regards,

Andrew

CreatvGnius
04-11-2008, 06:40 PM
I actually agree with you here, although the implementation is not quite as simple as stated. Unfortunately MS DV capture is very CPU intensive (far more than SpeedHQ). Indeed, going back to the original TriCaster, this was the reason that we even wrote what was at that point the NT25 codec in the first place. That said, I think that what you are asking for is a way to ensure that files can be moved to other machines without requiring codecs or conversions. Fair enough, Doc. Can we then rephrase the request -- and make it one that might inspire NewTek programmers to come up with a workable solution to those desirous of bringing Mac solutions into the TriCaster and VT[x] workflow, while yet maintaining the 4:2:2 (without alpha) requirement?

It pains so many of us, to think that since Mac Editing has become an emerging, near-defacto standard in the creative community for many television and film projects, that it's such a hurdle to go from "here" to "there", after we've ingested video into our beloved NewTek tools -- or after we've massaged video in our cool SpeedEDIT, VT-EDIT or EDIT MEDIA interfaces.

Please -- while making "clamping ON" a default -- would you make it EASY for ADVANCED users to turn it off? I'd rather enjoy the expanded color gammut that's possible with the current arrangement -- with the understanding of the need to observe the scope more critically, but do know this: Many a TriCaster user would utterly
despise
:devil: -- having to edit a text file, indeed!




Also, a minor side-note. DV is 4:1:1 in NTSC and 4:2:0 in PAL. This is kind of crappy color resolution for NTSC users and significantly inferior to more modern formats.
How I keep fouling up those numbers, in attempts to articulate the various compression styles is beyond me. Thanks for the needed correction -- and above all, thanks for your interaction with the community in this thread.

-PeterG

ted
04-11-2008, 11:06 PM
Andrew, thanks for giving up the needed 20 minutes of sleep before NAB to respond. :thumbsup:
Color clamping, yeh, a pref that doesn't need text editing as Peter so clearly requested. :D
I can't say what codec is the perfect balance, but definitely not DV or the magnificence of TriCaster would be of limited value to those prejudiced to DV.
Thanks for being so open for discussion.
Maybe someone could start a Poll. Not that a poll is a perfect representation, but it would be a good start.

CreatvGnius
04-13-2008, 07:33 AM
I can't say what codec is the perfect balance, but definitely not DV or the magnificence of TriCaster would be of limited value to those prejudiced to DV....Hi, Ted! Trying hard to interpret properly, your intent here. Did you really mean: "Please don't use Microsoft DV as the codec for LIVE Production ingest, or else, those prejudiced against DV codecs would be P.O.'d"... ?

I have some further questions for Andrew (or any authorized NewTek representative with a few minutes on their hands): :D

1. "Could NewTek develop a User-Selectable alternative to the current SpeedHQ variant, for live switching ingest -- that is compatible with something that's available on iMacs, PowerBooks, PowerMacs, et al, yet, having a 4:2:2 colorspace characteristic, while yet being as efficient as the SpeedHQ codecs we currently enjoy?

(I'm glad Andrew raised the issue of the lackluster performance of the Microsoft DV codec (which s he stated, occupies a mere 4:1:1 colorspace. Therefore, I wish to amend my earlier request, so that we might be after an alternative that's both more processor-efficient and one which retains more color information (luxuries SpeedHQ affords us now).

2. What seem to be the more Mac-user accessible, better-performing codecs?
(Anyone please feel welcome to answer that one -- or give your opinion relative to the other questions posed here)

3. Personally, I'm insisting that the alternative, user-selectable codec for live ingest be 4:2:2 and "Mac compatible" and of high quality, and processor efficient -- but I fear there may be an issue of difficulty in meeting those criteria. Am I correct? If so, in what way?

4. Might NewTek's development team already be targeting ways to leverage the power of the graphics processor (GPU) so as to afford even faster real-time performance during encodes, which in turn, could make the above request all the more possible?

5. If there is a degree to which we NewTek users are already enjoying some form of GPU processor advantage in any of NewTek software, kindly elaborate on this? It would give us more to boast about amongst our peers, at least! :hey:

We all understand you folks at NewTek are particular busy, now that NAB is virtually here, so any answers forthcoming (regardless of timetable) is appreciated.

Best regards to NewTek, as they make a big splash this week at NAB.

-PeterG