Spark HDMI sending unusable footage

SchafferAndrew

New member

Footage from 2 of my 3 my Sparks looks like this. When I access the config page, the stills that it pulls look normal. But pulling the footage up on the Tricaster or NDI Studio Monitor, and it looks like this. Lots of colored artifacting. We can see movement of the camera, it just delivers this.

The spark that does work also does this for a few seconds at a time every few minutes. It happens both on Wifi and when plugged in directly.

The sparks have Static IPs/dedicated APs on a dedicated VLAN. The Tricaster and the Sparks' firmware are up to date.
 

SchafferAndrew

New member
I am still getting this issue, even when the Spark is set to "Low" bandwidth mode and a low bitrate (14Mbps 720p). For this screenshot I was using WiFi (it's necessary) but using a dedicated AP with no other devices connected, sitting less than a foot away from the Spark.
 

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kanep

NewTek SE
When you see an image like this, it means you are dropping to many packets or the packets aren't arriving in time. Sounds like you are using WiFi, does it work if connected via wired?
 

SchafferAndrew

New member
It works a bit better when wired, but I still run into this issue. Every ten minutes or so the pink full-screen error issue happens for ~10 seconds, and the more minor artifacting issue happens for a few seconds at a time throughout the broadcast.

We're on a dedicated VLAN but unfortunately WiFi is unavoidable sometimes, as we've only got a small number of ethernet connections available at each location.

The devices are all on the same subnet on the VLAN, but the distance is probably overall about 800-900 feet and makes its way through 2-3 managed switches. Could that be an issue?
 

kanep

NewTek SE
It could be an issue. I'd stat with the Spark connected to the same switch then go from there to see if there is a point where the issues start, then you have a better idea of where on the network to focus.

I'd also make sure the firmware of the Spark and the NDI Tools software (with the NDI HX Driver) are updated as. NDI Tools get small updates quite often, so if you haven't updated in the last month or two, I'm sure there is a newer version.
 

SchafferAndrew

New member
Actually, the second image I sent is in the control room itself, the AP that the Spark is connected to is plugged into an ethernet port directly next to the TriCaster. The network switch is in the next room, probably 50 feet away.

Firmware/software on both has been fully updated.
 

SBowie

'the write stuff'
Staff member
Is there any chance the Spark itself is in a location where it could get overly hot? (Probably a dumb question, but you never know until you ask. I remember a customer back in the day who reported constant issues with his system until he happened to mention that he live near the sea and had to frequently replace electrical fixtures due to corrosion.)
 

kanep

NewTek SE
Is everything okay when the Spark is wired? Only on WiFi with issues?

There are so many aspects with WiFi that might have to be taken into account.
How many other devices on the WiFi Access Point?
What band are you using 2.4G or 5G?
Other access points in the area using the same channel?
What kind of antennas on the access point?
 

SchafferAndrew

New member
This happens when the Sparks are wired as well. It's not as bad, but it does happen. Unfortunately, due to our existing infrastructure we really need at least two stable WiFi Spark connections.

Each Spark unit has a dedicated AP (3 sparks, 3 APs) on a dedicated VLAN. The APs have directional antennas and were placed less than 5 feet from the Spark for these tests. We have tried both 2.4G and 5G. No APs nearby using the same channel. The AP is not public and can't be accessed by any device except for the Spark units, which have unique static IPs. I use other NDI sources (iPad TC Camera, NewBlue Titler Live, screenshare) via WiFi on the network over long distances with no issue.

(The reason we are using wireless APs is so that we can also send scoreboard data via a ScoreBot with just one ethernet connection available at center field, but this error is happening before connecting any other devices to the AP.)

I will say that one of our three Spark units works decently well with this setup, with only the occasional error. The other two are basically unusable.

We just ordered a Panasonic camera with built-in NDI, hopefully testing that camera will tell us if it's the network or if the problem lies with the Sparks.
 
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