Decklink 8k Pro - general and PCIe info

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  • Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:28 pm
  • Location: Slovenia
  • Real Name: Marko W. Juncaj

Decklink 8k Pro - general and PCIe info

PostTue Nov 19, 2019 4:18 pm

Hi there

As a disclaimer upfront reading the follow up text, I gotta tell that I am no professional VJ, video technician or any sort alike, but am dealing with this out of pure joy, interest, hobby and as a side-work when needed/have a change along my profession, which is working as a Lighting designer / operator and Software developer in between, for the past 8 years now.
The reason I'm making this post is not because something is not working, as I've had it all up and running, but certain things are unclear for me and I can't find any good info, and at the same time I'll use this as a "rant against really not-funny way of advertising Blackmagic products", making it hard for an individual non-professional to understand clearly what's what and which product suits best for certain case, coming from my own experience when buying a new card a week ago.. :)

After years of using Intensity Shuttle USB card, which served pretty well for most of the times (gotta be honest, hey, I've had some dark alone sessions with it... ), and failure to adjust the Atem Television Studio mixer for live event usage (due strict format configuration), I've come to the point where I had to get a multiport input card.

I've been deciding back and forth between the decklink models, and I must say it wasn't easy, with many misleading information, misleading titles and texts, incomplete details and every web page claiming different story... The main mislead comes from titles about Decklink 8k Pro card, such as that it's "Featuring four quad link multi rate 12G‑SDI connections", whereas people knowing something about SDI then tell that it's actually "four links supporting quad link connection". Most of this was cleared and official page does not state that (anymore?), but you can still find web pages saying it...

Anyway, after reading that with firmware and software upgrade, the 8k Pro supports four individual inputs, and given the really small (and suspicious) price difference compared to Duo 2 model, which only has 3G SDI support, I've decided to go with the 8k Pro model, which I received couple days ago. So far so good, except the latency is a bit higher than expected.

I've been testing it using both, MA VPU and Resolume Arena software, feeding 4 1080i50/1080p60 streams in the card.
I tested on 2 different motherboards, but both suffer the same issue, which I suspect is the culprit behind the latency: I have GPUs GTX1070 on one and GTX1080 TI on the other PC, both on PCIeX16_1, and I plugged in the 8k pro into the second PCIeX16_2. both motherboards only support "x4" mode on slot 2, when slot 1 is in use. As far as I understand, the 8k Pro should have 8 lanes available for work.
Does that mean it works throttled down and suffers latency because of that, or would that only be noticeable when using 4k inputs or dual-link / quad-link configuration?

The reason I'm asking is to be sure whether I'll need to change the motherboard, or is it good enough as is for FullHD inputs, and the latency is "normal" as is?

Note that Im using it for live camera feeds on events. (The PC only handles Resolume software, mapping and animations, any slideshow or similar stuff they think of in the last minute is feed in via NDI link from a laptop (or 2)).

The PCs:
- Gigabyte Z370P D3 with Intel i5-8600K, 4x4GB DDR4@3200MHz, GTX 1070, Samsung 970 Pro nvme
- MSI Meg Z390 Godlike with Intel-i5-8600K, 4x4GB DDR4@3200MHz, GTX 1080 Ti, Samsung 970 Pro nvme

Also, Im still trying to figure out if Duo 2 has something that 8k Pro doesn't, that the cost is so close? And why the 4k extreme is almost double the price?

Now as a cherry on top, (this also has to do with the dark times with Shuttle mentioned above)...
Blackmagic Media Express has this nice little feature, notifying and offering to adjust input settings based on the input signal that's being feed in.
I WISH, oh I wish, that you'd make it more commercial-user friendly (I'm totally aware that in professional, especially broadcast situations this is not desirable) and put an option in the card's control panel, to "Always automatically adjust settings based on input signal", making it soooo much easier when used with software such as MA VPU, Resolume Arena etc, where sometimes one just doesn't really care exactly what kind of input it is, and simply wants to "get that feed in!".
Maybe this is already possible and I don't know about it.. or maybe this belongs to feature request topic? Or maybe there's a really good reason not to have that option (although, since this is available as a "one click away" feature in Blackmagic Media Express itself, I don't see the issue....

I wonder if this can be done with the SDK, I could make a service for that, but I'd assume it could be a really small task for your developers to add that :P

Thank you for all/any answers upfront. And sorry, if the post is too long. If someone feels I should shorten it, I'm happy to do so... :)
Marko Wyatt J.

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