Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

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Piotr Wozniacki

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Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 6:13 am

I'm having real problems with my Decklink 4K Extreme 12G card with HDMI mezzanine. Out of 5-6 cables I've used so far (all of them sold to me as "fully HDMI 2.0 compliant"), only one is able to synchronize with my Samsung SUHD monitor when playing back an UHD@50p project (all of them are fine with 25p). But, while playing back such an UHD@50p project, I'm getting white sparks all over the screen; sometimes none, then just a few here and there - but sometimes they come up and stay permanently in a pattern like this:

interference.JPG
interference.JPG (211.82 KiB) Viewed 1885 times


I've recently bought a Shogun Inferno with what Atomos calls "absolutely the best quality" HDMI cable, which is HDMI 2.0a complaint. Unfortunately, Resolve behaves exactly like with one of those older cables: UHD@50p projects do synchronize the Decklink-monitor connection and play back full speed, but the white sparks are still there with the Atomos cable!

So I run an experiment, connecting the Shogun (instead of the Samsung monitor) with Decklink output - and the results are beyond my comprehension:

1. The old cable that synchronizes well with my Samsung (with white sparks all over the screen) will not connect with the Shogun at all!

2. One of my other cables (which doesn't even synchronize with the Samsung) does connect and plays back perfectly with the Shogun - as does the Atomos HDMI 2.0a cable. NONE of them show any hot pixels or any other artifacts on the Shogun!

So basically, I have:

3. Two cables that will synchronize with the Shogun, but only one of them will with the Samsung

4. None of them show the white sparks on the Shogun, but one of my older cables and the Atomos HDMI 2.0a cable that synchronize with the Samsung give the white artifacts...

I wrote to the BMD Support, describing the problem and asking for some suggestions as to possible reasons of the misbehavior, stressing that it might be some electrical interference with e.g. my PC's power supply (operating on the 50 Hz mains current). Here is what they answered:

"Another test you may wish to conduct is to take the HDMI output from the DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G and loop that to the HDMI input to see if this function as expected? This will help to isolate the behaviour and see if it is affected by the television/monitor, if the behaviour persists you may still want to test with another HDMI cable. This will help to further isolate this behaviour. In order to playback and capture at the same time, if you are using Media Express you may need to open two instances of the software"

As I understand it, the suggestion is to play back and capture an UHD50p clip with my Decklink, effectively excluding any monitor from the equation; I tried to do it but with an UHD50p clip loaded, Media Express just freezes!!!

I really have no idea what else I could check before sending my card in for a service, which of course I'd rather avoid... Any suggestions?

Piotr

PS. Oh, I forgot to add that - even though the above would indicate my Samsung SUHD as the source of artifacts - I did call Samsung servicemen and they replaced the "one-connect" box (basically, the entire HDMI interface) TWICE....
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 1:44 pm

What about Shogun to Samsung?
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 2:41 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:What about Shogun to Samsung?


Absolutely, perfectly clean...

What do you make of it, Andrew?

Piotr

PS. To be 100% honest: although there indeed is no sparking on my Samsung with playback from the Shogun, not all is perfect: the two devices do have problems synchronizing, so - at least in UHD@50p and 4K@50p modes that I checked with 2 "good" cables (i.e. those who synchronize OK between Decklink and Samsung, though with the sparking problem) - the picture comes and goes... It only stays on the Samsung all the time when I hit "pause" on the Shogun - when I play back a clip, I see black screen more often than not on the Samsung... And this is including the "absolutely guaranteed" HDMI cable from Atomos!

So really - it still looks like cables are at fault here, however incredible it sounds.
Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki on Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 6:34 pm

That out of these 3 BM is least reliable :)
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Jeff Brass

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 9:11 pm

I'd be suspect of the monitor, but would be good to test another monitor or decklink to confirm obviously.

I had different probs with my decklink setup, going straight to my monitor ( a horz sync issue). Tried lots of cables, settings etc. some would change it but none would fix it. Tried looping HDMI through my Atomos Ninja all was good, only thing I could come up with was the monitor struggled with the HDMI signal direct from the decklink (despite the specs being all good) - figured if it was a cable or decklink prob then putting the Atomos in the chain wouldn't fix it.

in the end I've ended up going to a SDI - DVI converter . Mine is only 30p , and don't think BMD do a 50/60p 4k converter but AJA do , Hi5-4k-plus.
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 5:48 am

Jeff Brass wrote:I'd be suspect of the monitor, but would be good to test another monitor or decklink to confirm obviously.

But I already did just that, and everything is OK on the Shogun monitor... One could argue that it might be too small to notice the "sparks" (only 7" vs. 49" of my Samsung), but those white pixels are so hot and busy that I'm sure they would be clearly visible.

Piotr
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 8:33 am

My reasoning for saying check on another monitor is to insure that with the Atomos is isn't just a case of not seeing it on a smaller screen...plus the shogun monitor isn't 4k, so is only showing 1/4 of the actual pixels

my point being if it all works ok on another monitor then that would indicate the Decklink and cables are working fine.
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 9:07 am

Yeah, this is why I was checking in 2:1 mode:
Shogun 2-1 zoom.JPG
Shogun 2-1 zoom.JPG (13.37 KiB) Viewed 1717 times

But your're right, it was not a conclusive test with the physical resolution of the Shogun only being 1920x1080...

Piotr
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 6:42 pm

Piotr Wozniacki wrote:I wrote to the BMD Support, describing the problem and asking for some suggestions as to possible reasons of the misbehavior, stressing that it might be some electrical interference with e.g. my PC's power supply (operating on the 50 Hz mains current). Here is what they answered:

"Another test you may wish to conduct is to take the HDMI output from the DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G and loop that to the HDMI input to see if this function as expected? This will help to isolate the behaviour and see if it is affected by the television/monitor, if the behaviour persists you may still want to test with another HDMI cable. This will help to further isolate this behaviour. In order to playback and capture at the same time, if you are using Media Express you may need to open two instances of the software"

As I understand it, the suggestion is to play back and capture an UHD50p clip with my Decklink, effectively excluding any monitor from the equation; I tried to do it but with an UHD50p clip loaded, Media Express just freezes!!!


OK, so I'd like to export a representative clip from one of my UHD@50p projects and actually run the loop-through-Decklink test - but for the life of me, Media Express doesn't accept any high bitrate codec/wrapper ("unsupported media format" error). I obviously cannot export in Prores under Windows, and an uncompressed AVI has frozen Media Express and entire Windows twice...

Can any good soul tell me how to export a high bitrate UHD@50p clip that bloody Media Express will accept under Windows?!!

Piotr
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 9:09 pm

Media Express can read DPX image sequences exported from Resolve.
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 9:11 pm

But wouldn't it be easier to playback in Resolve and record in Media Express?
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Re: Is my TVDecklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 10:54 pm

10bit YUV 422 uncompressed AVI or MOV.
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Re: Is my TVDecklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 5:37 am

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:10bit YUV 422 uncompressed AVI or MOV.


That's what I exported, any compressed codecs like DNxHR I use most often) failing to even load into Media Express. Unfortunately - even though the uncompressed AVI does load into ME - after playing back a couple of frame it freezes my whole PC (restart requires). Media Express is really a s$%^t piece of crap :( It does play back various other codecs (XAVC-S, Prores) but only clips with very low bitrate (<100 Mbps); would it be limited to low bitrate only?

Resolve plays back this uncompressed AVI w/o a glitch (apart from the sparks)!

Piotr
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 6:12 am

roger.magnusson wrote:But wouldn't it be easier to playback in Resolve and record in Media Express?

I thought this might be a good idea, but with Resolve open Media Express is nonfunctional due to Decklink being busy.

Piotr
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Re: Is my TVDecklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 7:41 am

Piotr Wozniacki wrote:
Andrew Kolakowski wrote:10bit YUV 422 uncompressed AVI or MOV.


That's what I exported, any compressed codecs like DNxHR I use most often) failing to even load into Media Express. Unfortunately - even though the uncompressed AVI does load into ME - after playing back a couple of frame it freezes my whole PC (restart requires). Media Express is really a s$%^t piece of crap :( It does play back various other codecs (XAVC-S, Prores) but only clips with very low bitrate (<100 Mbps); would it be limited to low bitrate only?

Resolve plays back this uncompressed AVI w/o a glitch (apart from the sparks)!

Piotr


10bit uncompressed has to work in MediaExpress, if not MOV then AVI. It always did and it's the most compatible format. If it doesn't then there is something not right with your system.
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 9:12 am

Hmm... The clip does play in Resolve (where I exported it from), but freezes ME. One thing I find suspicious; Mediainfo says:

Code: Select all
Codec ID/Hint                            : AJA Video Systems Xena


- perhaps this codec is not what Media Express likes and expects?

Piotr
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 3:19 pm

No, v210 is universal, just mediainfo is coded to show it as AJA. It's the same (or almost the same) data as travels over SDI.
It's just 3x10bit packed into 32bit word with 2 empty bits. It's not really a codec, but method of packing 3x 10bit YUV data. It's very generic format. All what MediaExpress does is just unwrap from the container and push to card buffers. They accept it natively, so there is no conversion at all. That's why it's good format for testing.
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 4:10 pm

Thanks Andrew.

In the meantime, trying to play back the clip from Resolve and capture with Media Express with Decklink HDMI I/O looped, I guess I find the reason why it's not working. BTW, it's a good question the BMD Support, but I guess Andrew will be the first to know what can be going on, so here it is:

I’ve read the ME manual and it says that I should make sure that in Desktop Video, the “video output” is reflecting the format of my video source. With Resolve opened and test clip loaded, it should definitely be 2160p for HDMI. And yet – even if I set it manually and save – it will always revert to some basic default settings (NTSC).

Further, I realized that long time ago, this setting in Desktop Video indeed used to automatically reflect that of the loaded project settings in Resolve – but then it stopped doing that, and always shows NTSC. I even reinstalled the newest Desktop Video utility, but it didn't help – so this would explain why - when I launch Media Express and open the Capture tab, nothing is displayed in its preview window even though Resolve is up and showing the video in its preview…

What can be the reason and work-around?

Piotr
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 6:19 pm

Playback format is set automatically based on file parameters (if file does not load it has unsupported format or fps/frame size combinations).
Capture at some point was detecting input format, not sure if it's still the case. If not you have to start MediaExpress, go to settings, choose required format and then go to capture tab. Not sure if settings are reset after software restart. I think on Mac they are remembered.
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 7:13 pm

Andrew,

What I mean is that - even though the first window that opens when I launch Video Desktop is (and always was) correct, recognizing my HDMI out as 2160p:

desktop video 1.JPG
desktop video 1.JPG (60.37 KiB) Viewed 1611 times

- when I go inside, the Output Format used to reflect it:

desktop video 2.JPG
desktop video 2.JPG (70.03 KiB) Viewed 1611 times


- but it does no more; i.e. even if I choose 2160p from the drop-down list and click Save, the setting always reverts to:

desktop video 3.JPG
desktop video 3.JPG (70.66 KiB) Viewed 1611 times


Why this could have changed by itself, and what are practical consequences - I have no idea. The fact is though that Media Express doesn't recognize the input, being a 2160p clip displayed by Resolve...

Piotr

PS. Actually, some videos of Northern Lights / Aurora by Alister Chapman are splendid, too....
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 10:36 pm

I don't have the 12g decklink but a mini monitor - in Desktop Video Setup the Output Format box only relates to FCPX so my understanding is it shouldn't have any affect on your output. (click on the "i"symbol beside it, and also page15 of the desktop video manual)

something else I have found with my system is to make sure PsF is off.

re media express - can't offer anything sorry, mine (on windows) basically sh#ts itself regardless of what I try and play in it.
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 6:29 am

Yes Jeff - I noticed the internal Output settings relate to FCPX, this is why I didn't see it as a problem when it first stopped reflecting the real HDMI out configuration. Only now that I cannot run a simple test BMD Support wanted me to do I started thinking twice about it...

But you're right probably: under Windows, ME is not a software one could trust.

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 6:52 am

3rd image- have you noticed that you are in the component tab?
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 6:55 am

This behavior is the same in all tabs...

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 6:58 am

Jeff Brass wrote:
something else I have found with my system is to make sure PsF is off.



PsF should have 0 effect on HDMI output. It's only related to SDI where you may want to have it ON as some (specially bit older monitors) don't support real p signals.
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 7:01 am

Piotr Wozniacki wrote:This behavior is the same in all tabs...

Piotr

Hmmm...
Try finding MediaExpress config file and deleteing it. I think it's somewhere in User/ApplicationData folder (folder is hidden).
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 8:13 am

There is the prefs.dat file under C:/users/my_account/AppData/.Blackmagic/MediaExpress:

Code: Select all
22 serialization::archive 11 0 4 0 7 17 3840 2160 0 0 14 2 48000 101 1000 50000 15 D:\My Documents 15 D:\My Documents 0 8 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0  0  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 38 E:/videos/sources Shogun/bar tones.xml 38 E:/videos/sources Shogun/bar tones.xml 0 0 1507 1000 680 70 23 DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G


- but the above is nothing more than what is set in ME Preferences, plus some info on the last loaded clips and saved "projects". Under C:/ProgramData, there is no entry for ME at all (just Resolve and Fusion)...

Piotr
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 8:32 am

thanks Andrew - didn't realize it affected only HDMI. Learning something every day :D
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 10:00 am

Hi Piotr,

For testing :
Did you try to start Desktop Video Setup in Administrator mode? (Right click on the icon => run as administrator) and modify parameters and save.

For Media Express : did you try : menu Edit => Preference ?
For 2160p50, the listbox for Capture File Format is locked to "Playback Only". Maximum reached?
**For <2160p50, the list for the capture file format offers several capture formats.


I remember that Davinci Resolve overwrites certain parameters of Desktop Video Setup especially the video output but it still retains what you select manually for the input (see for you HDMI video IN.)

Hope this help.

Edit : ** FOR 4K extrem 6G. For your 12G must be active
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 12:20 pm

Reinstalled Desktop Video several times (various versions, including the 10.7.1 that my Decklink came with, and it certainly did keep the settings) – now the output settings always revert to NTSC…

Piotr

PS. BTW, as the pop-up info by the Output Format drop-down list says, this setting is not just for FCPX but also "Startup Video Output"; does anyone know what the latter is? Intuition tells me it's exactly what ME sees at HDMI out when fed video from other source through HDMI in... If I'm right, this would be the answer why I cannot capture my 2160/50p clip from Resolve (or another ME instance)...
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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 7:20 pm

Yet another "discovery": not being able to get video captured by ME, instead of connecting HDMI input and output together I left my Decklink connected to the monitor, and hooked up my camera's HDMI signal to Decklink's input port. I was hoping to see a live picture from the camera (just like I can see it on my Shogun - BTW I used the very same cable); however all I got was blue screen and my Samsung monitor switched to HD, even though the camera's output was 2160p25...

Now - is this a normal behavior, and if so what I was doing wrong? Isn't a Decklink card able to take in a video signal directly from a camera? Please advise...

Piotr
AMD TR 2990WX CPU | MSI X399 CARBON AC | 64GB RAM@XMP2933 | 2x RTX 2080Ti GPU | 4x 3TB WD Black RAID0 media drive | 3x 1TB NVMe RAID0 cache drive | SSD SATA system drive | AX1600i PSU | Decklink 12G Extreme | Samsung UHD reference monitor (calibrated)
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Sarah Jones

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 01, 2017 10:47 pm

Hi Piotr,

I'm not sure if you covered this when you spoke to your regional Blackmagic support office or when you spoke to Samsung, but one thing that comes to mind is that you might try a different HDMI port on your Samsung monitor. I've seen a few instances with Samsung TVs (and other brands on occasion) where the first HDMI input won't take some signals, but the same signal to the other ports is fine. For example, while setting up at a tradeshow once, two Samsung TVs of the same model wouldn't take a signal. Both were connected via HDMI 1. After everyone pulling their hair out, one TV was moved to HDMI 3 and it all worked great. We followed suit on the other TV and all was well.

I'm not sure if the little connect box Samsung includes with their current TVs has multiple HDMI options on it, but if it does it would be work checking them all with the DeckLink output.
Sarah Jones

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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 6:10 am

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your advise, but since 2016 the current Samsung SUHD models have the interface box ("one-connect") revamped in that all 4 HDMI inputs are identical and with the same functionality. Nevertheless, I did try 2 ports - with the same results....

So you're saying my Decklink should display the picture from camera, right? If so, what does the blue screen mean?

Piotr

PS. I forgot to mention that the "Startup Video Output" again remembers the format I choose and Save. Have no idea when and why this behavior changed again to what it was at the beginning. And yet, Media Express still doesn't see a video on HDMI input of my Decklink - be it live from camera, or played back from Resolve or another ME instance (after looping HDMI in/out)...
AMD TR 2990WX CPU | MSI X399 CARBON AC | 64GB RAM@XMP2933 | 2x RTX 2080Ti GPU | 4x 3TB WD Black RAID0 media drive | 3x 1TB NVMe RAID0 cache drive | SSD SATA system drive | AX1600i PSU | Decklink 12G Extreme | Samsung UHD reference monitor (calibrated)
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 6:10 pm

Just wanted to update this thread: even though my Decklink was just one of 3 suspect components (the HDMI cable and Samsung HDMI interface being the other 2) - BMD Support (or more precisely Josh Kilby of EMEA Support at BMD) let me RMA my card - and after just 4 days, they sent a brand new one back to me.

I'm very pleased to say that all my problems (described here as well as a couple of other threads of mine) are now GONE COMPLETELY. I must have been unlucky half a year ago when I first bought my Decklink - it was definitely a lemon...

Thank you, BMD!

Piotr
AMD TR 2990WX CPU | MSI X399 CARBON AC | 64GB RAM@XMP2933 | 2x RTX 2080Ti GPU | 4x 3TB WD Black RAID0 media drive | 3x 1TB NVMe RAID0 cache drive | SSD SATA system drive | AX1600i PSU | Decklink 12G Extreme | Samsung UHD reference monitor (calibrated)
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 6:15 pm

Not sure if I would be, so happy about it.
Happy that it's working now, but not happy for all the past experience.
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Jean Claude

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 6:56 pm

Hi Piotr,

(Humor): not like the last time: no need to bathe the card in the champagne ... ... :D
"Saying it is good, but doing it is better! "
Win10-1809 | Resolve Studio V16.1 | Fusion Studio V16.1 | Decklink 4K Extreme 6G | RTX 2080Ti 431.86 NSD driver! |
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Piotr Wozniacki

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 7:01 pm

You're right, Andrew - lots of hair pulling throughout more than half a year :( The quality control should definitely rise their standards at BMD. But as we say:

- Wszystko dobre, co się dobrze konczy" !

So if I'm still a little worried is not about this past several months, but about how long I will enjoy the new card working as perfectly as it does now, straight of the box.

Piotr

PS. Jean-Claude, good French champain never hurts, though :)
AMD TR 2990WX CPU | MSI X399 CARBON AC | 64GB RAM@XMP2933 | 2x RTX 2080Ti GPU | 4x 3TB WD Black RAID0 media drive | 3x 1TB NVMe RAID0 cache drive | SSD SATA system drive | AX1600i PSU | Decklink 12G Extreme | Samsung UHD reference monitor (calibrated)
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Is my Decklink 12G bad? Or do I need yet another cable

PostWed Feb 15, 2017 8:35 pm

Piotr Wozniacki wrote:
- Wszystko dobre, co się dobrze konczy !



Wasn't aware that there is an English version also:

All's well that ends well!

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