ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

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stlplayersclub

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ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

PostFri Jun 26, 2020 5:07 pm

Hi all, I just picked up a used ATEM Mini (as we can't really wait the 4 months or whatever the timeframe is for the next production batch to hit the market). The unit came with everything and appears flawless in condition, not a single scratch, not even around the power jack.

When I plugged it in via USB, the PC saw it and when I connected to it in the ATEM Setup software it updated the firmware without issue. I did this yesterday, so it's the 8.2.3 version of the software. (Although it did remove/corrupt my install of BMD Media Express - that's another battle)

I am having an issue with the USB video feed - it's flickering some sort of scramble every couple of seconds. I've tried 3 different cameras/cables coming into the ATEM, and I've tried setting the source signal of the camera to several different qualities - although I'm not sure the ATEM is actually registering those changes as I'm not power-cycling the ATEM after switching.

Camera 1: Canon G10 HDMI Cable (25') -> ATEM
Camera 2: Canon G10 HDMI Cable (35') -> ATEM
Camera 3: Sony CX240 HDMI Cable (10') -> ATEM

Previously the cameras were plugged into the now-ancient BMD Decklink Mini Recorder 3G for a couple years now with these same cables. (I have 3 cards in my pc) I unplugged one of the G10s from the PCI card and plugged that camera into the ATEM. The G10 was previously outputting a 1080i @59.94 signal (as that's the highest the Decklink 3G will take). I did not set it manually. The ATEM saw the signal and I can ingest it in OBS, but immediately noticed there's a scrambled flicker that's happening every second or so. I thought maybe it was because it an interlaced signal and not progressive, so I grabbed a CX240 (where I can set the output signal manually and easily). I tried setting the signal from 1080i to 1080p, but the flicker remained. I swapped to a 720p signal, same thing, still with the flicker. I tried moving the cable to Input 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the ATEM (powercycling each time) - no change.

I tried setting the ATEM's output to a variety of framerates, though none of the changes made any difference to the video being capture.

Flicker example and some troubleshooting using the CX240: My account is too new to post urls, I'm assuming, but you append /watch?v=C-iqQRHT0Do to youtube's homepage url you will get the video

I tried swapping to a different USB port on the PC, but no change. I used USB 3.0 ports on the PC even though the cable is a 2.0 version. I did not try connecting to a 2.0 port (yet).

So here are my questions:

Is it possible the 2.0 USB cable isn't fast enough for the video? (I've ordered a 3.0 version to test)
Is it possible the ATEM really just doesn't play well with interlaced signals?
Is it possible I bought a defective unit?
Is it possible the ATEM really doesn't respond well to longer HDMI cables, even though 10' should be well within reason?

It took some convincing to get approval to buy this and you can imagine my heartbreak to see such a poor first impression.

As my 3G decklinks won't read the 1080p output from the HDMI Preview out, I was unable to test that method - but I ordered a Deckink 4k last night (and a cheap HDMI -> USB capture device which will arrive much sooner) to test that output to help narrow down the issue.

If anyone has any thoughts or similar experience, please share them.

Thanks,

John
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Dave Del Vecchio

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

PostFri Jun 26, 2020 8:44 pm

stlplayersclub wrote:Is it possible the ATEM really doesn't respond well to longer HDMI cables, even though 10' should be well within reason?
Yes, long HDMI cables are a huge source of problems. And depending on the output resolution and frame rate of the cameras, this can also cause HDMI signal problems (often due to EDID negotiation issues).

A mix of cameras outputting different signal formats can exacerbate this issue, especially if you have the ATEM set to auto-detect the video standard (which it does based on the HDMI signal plugged in to the first HDMI input). You might try explicitly setting the ATEM video standard (via the gear icon in the ATEM software), and then setting the cameras HDMI output settings to match this resolution and frame rate. You may also be able to set the ATEM video standard to a resolution compatible with the DeckLink Mini Recorder you are using.

In terms of troubleshooting this problem, I would also suggest simplifying the setup. Use a single camera at first and a single HDMI cable (preferably the shortest you have), and then connect the ATEM Mini's HDMI output to a monitor (rather than using the USB output). See if there is any flicker. If there is flicker, start changing settings one at a time to see if you can resolve it (this includes camera output settings, ATEM video settings, and HDMI cable).

If there is no flicker with a single camera, then add cameras one at a time (using the same HDMI output settings) until you identify what is causing the problem.
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stlplayersclub

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

PostMon Jun 29, 2020 5:20 pm

Update: I was able to get a clean video signal from my Canon MkIII with a short cable. So I'm no longer worried the device is faulty (although it does get really hot and I don't hear any fans running in it).

I took the rig back to the streaming location and plugged the HDMI out into a USB capture device and whenever the ATEM was set to Output -> Program I only ever got the color bars. However, if I set it to Camera 1 Direct, I was able to see the video without issue. It gave me some hope at first because the camera in the slot 1 was giving me the flashing problem when viewing over USB, but when viewing it "direct" it was clean.

I was not able to view any other output from the hdmi-out, not program, not preview, when the signal was being captured. Is this some sort of weird limitation on the device? Shouldn't I be able to ingest that signal into anything - a monitor, an hdmi recorder, another capture device?

I also just received my hdmi-cat6 extender kit so I'll play with that as well and my BMD Mini Recorder 4k (assuming I can ingest that hdmi-out without issue).

I'll be doing more testing tonight, but if anyone has any other thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
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stlplayersclub

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

PostTue Jun 30, 2020 3:34 pm

My luck has to be terrible, or I'm not doing enough research. The HDMI-Cat kit I bought is giving me problems, not even integrated with the ATEM. I can't get a clean signal from it. Now, the device says it's a CAT5e/6 device, but I accidentally bought CAT7 cable. So I can maybe blame the odd video signal I got with that cable on that (it was blinking, no scrambled frames, just blinking every 2 seconds or so). I did swap that out with a network patch cable I had laying around, which I don't think was a CAT5e (pretty sure as it came from a cheap 5-pack of cables); which gave me a different problematic video signal (video was constant, but had red snow littering the image). LOL

Has anyone here used Bullet Train cables? They are ridiculously expensive, but maybe they'll solve the distance issue? Not ready to pull the trigger on $300 cables, but just curious.
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stlplayersclub

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

PostTue Jun 30, 2020 6:03 pm

If anyone is still curious, it appears that the cables are not the issue at all. I brought the entire setup home and tested on my home PC (with a newer mobo/cpu than the streaming rig), the ATEM works with all the cables I have. 25' hdmi, no problem, 10', super cheap 6' same thing. The HDMI-CAT5/6 extender works with with the CAT7 cable. This leads me to believe it's a USB issue in the streaming PC. Perhaps a driver version, or maybe there's a conflict with the PCI lanes/traffic on the MOBO causing some sort of collision.
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redrob

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker -- ME TOO

PostSun Jul 05, 2020 5:32 am

My ATEM Mini Pro came in about a week ago, just tested this evening.

Very similar experience to yours.

My computer sees the unit fine

When viewing the USB "Blackmagic Design" camera via ANYTHING on the computer, it's mostly a dark green output with flickering lines throughout. I've tried viewing via Windows Camera, VLC and OBS -- identical results. I've tried different resolution/framerate settings without any noteable difference. I've tried different USB ports, and different USB 3 cables.

HDMI Output via HDMI port (program out, multi-view, etc) is perfect to a NINJA monitor I used to test.. looks great.

Streaming output via Ethernet to Facebook Live as well as custom RTMP port also look great.


I just can't get the USB Webcam to look proper, and this is a big deal for me so I can use it with OBS if I want (vs built-in streaming features).

Here's what it looks like:
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redrob

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker.. How To Fix?

PostSun Jul 05, 2020 3:22 pm

Has this happened to anyone else here (see picture/video)? If so, how did you fix/

FYI -- tested on a different computer (laptop) and the USB output as Web Cam looked proper! So something about the USB ports/drivers in my editing computer? I tried the hub, front-side USB3 port, front-side USB2 port and rear USB 3 port.

Here's what it looks like today:

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redrob

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

PostTue Jul 07, 2020 8:33 pm

Am I the only one having a USB "webcam" issue with the Mini Pro?

I can swap/exchange units if I have to, but don't want to do so if the problem is not the unit's fault.
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big-foot

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

PostWed Jul 08, 2020 8:14 am

Good day,

unfortunately i also have a problem with the output on usb-s. This is how it is cut in cooperation with vmix. Unfortunately I can't add a sample, because I don't have permission to enter the URL :-( If I'm streaming directly from the atem, everything is OK
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gardnerc

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Re: ATEM Mini USB Video Flicker

PostWed Jul 08, 2020 6:19 pm

I'm also having this webcam flickering problem. I have a Windows 10/1904 PC (Intel i7-6700K, 32gb DDR4, 1tb SSD, nVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080. I have a USB webcam (Logitech C920) connected to the computer which works exactly as designed.

I just received my new BMD ATEM Mini Pro, installed the setup app and updated the software (ver. 8.2.3), installed the ATEM Software control, it all works great (sans one dealkiller). HDMI Out from the ATEM shows rock-solid video. For testing I'm using HDMI 1 connected (2m cable) to Canon XF100, HDMI 2 connected (3m cable) to Sony HDR-XR100.

The ATEM is showing correctly in my device manager (Sound, video & game controllers > "ATEM Mini Pro" & a separate entry "Blackmagic Design") and there are no unrecognized devices.

The dealkiller is flickering video when viewed as a webcam (using Win10's Camera app, Zoom, etc.). Same as the vid posted by redrob (thanks!).

I have tried different USB ports and cables (2.0, 3.0, 3.1, USB-C), depower/repower the ATEM, reset camera outputs, use just 1 camera, reset the ATEM video standard to various settings (1080p30, 29.97, 60.59.94). I even propped up the ATEM for better ventilation and stuck a fan right beside to blow cool air both under the unit and into the side vent. All to no change in the bad video.

I'm at a standstill, I can't put this unit into production. I've only had it a day, so I want to give a chance that there's some mystery setting that will resolve this. It's an awesome value piece of tech if it will work. Does anyone have any answers?

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