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Topic Title: Dropped frames & Black frame on transitions - Wirecast 5.0.4
Topic Summary: When using two cameras (with UltraStudio MiniRecorder), seeings dropped frames
Created On: 6/18/2015 1:14 PM
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 6/18/2015 1:14 PM
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kfreundlich

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Joined: 4/17/2013

OS = 10.9.5
Computer and CPU = MacBook Pro Retina Late 2013, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core i5
2 Sony HD cameras via 2 UltraStudio MiniRecorders + 1 Desktop Presenter shot
Complete hardware setup used for streaming = not streaming, just recording to disk MP4
All software versions including drivers = Wirecast 5.0.4; Blackmagic Desktop Video 10.4
Wirecast Canvas size = 720p
Encoding Setting = H.264 720p 16:9 (1280x720); Encoder=x264; 30fps; Average bit rate=2025; Quality = 3 (Very fast encoding) Default; Profile = Main; Key frame every 240 frames
We are not streaming -- only recording to disk.

Blackmagic Disk Speed Test - 309Mb/s write. HD 720p OK.

Hi. We're seeing two problems on our first attempt at recording to disk 2 HD cameras via UltraStudio MiniRecorders as well as a DesktopPresenter shot. (We've previously only used 1 HD cam + Desktop Presenter with no problems.)

1. The .mp4 that Wirecast records to disk has dropped frames that are noticeable to viewers. FPS ~ 29.5

2. There is one black frame any time there's a cut from UltraStudio 1 to or from UltraStudio 2, or to the Remote Desktop Presenter shot.

I've posted a 6.5 minute excerpt from this .mp4 on Dropbox at https://dl.dropboxusercontent....es%20black%20frame.mp4

Any suggestions on what's wrong? Thanks....k

 6/18/2015 1:33 PM
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kfreundlich

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Joined: 4/17/2013

One other note....Our Wirecast document originally had a lower third gradient on level 2, and a logo on level 1. At the last minute, we deleted the lower third gradient from level 2 right before we began recording, so that there was nothing on level 2 other than the blank shot.
 6/18/2015 5:35 PM
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CraigS

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The black frame may be due to a corrupted document. Please create a new document.
Wirecast will record a variable frame rate to avoid dropped frames so the FPS usually indicates a change in frame duration rather than dropped frames.
Dropping frames usually means the system is stressed beyond it's capacity.

What is your Wirecast CPU %
What is your Wirecast memory indicator?

If you are recording to the internal drive, I'd recommend recording to an external Thunderbolt or USB3 drive at 7200rpms or higher.
Update your BMD firmware to 10.4.1

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CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 6/25/2015 1:26 PM
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kfreundlich

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Joined: 4/17/2013

Making a new document with the two UltraStudio shots on level 2 and without the lower third gradient on level 2 fixed the black frame problem.

To help performance, I changed the Live Icon FPS in Preferences from 15 to 1. I updated the BMD firmware to 10.4.1 That helped a tiny bit, but...

We're still seeing around 29.7fps, though, and sometimes the sound is not exactly in sync.

Wirecast memory was only at 52%. Wirecast CPU % would occasionally climb over 90%. Strangely, though, Wirecast CPU % was sometimes over 90% even when the Desktop Presenter shot was live (the remote computer was showing a Flickr slideshow at ~ 5 secs/frame).

Shouldn't a MacBook Pro Retina Late 2013, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core i5 on Wirecast 5.x be able to handle this setup? Doesn't the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test of 309Mb/s mean that the MacBook's internal hard disk is fast enough?

I tried changing the Encoder Preset for H.264 [x.264] 720p, thinking I could lower the quality from 3 to 2 or 1, or could increase the average bit rate over 2025 kbits/sec, but it would only let me output as QT .mov, and it looked like there were too many settings where I'd have to guess.

Other suggestions? Thanks so much...k
 6/25/2015 3:46 PM
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CraigS

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There will be some slight variation in the frame rate to avoid dropped frames. Variation in the frame rate is not the same as dropped frames. It's usually changing the frame duration to avoid dropped frames. That's normal behavior.
If the CPU% goes over 80% you may have problems. 90% is a problem. Lower that must be a priority.
If your system is dual i5 you may be pushing it too hard.
I'd also don't recommend using the drive running the OS and the Apps to record. You may run into throughput issues. Use and external Thunderbolt or USB3 drive at 7200rpm or faster or SSD.

You may also get better performance from Wirecast 6 so I'd recommend you download the free trial and test. You can keep both versions on your system.


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CraigS
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 7/2/2015 5:09 PM
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kfreundlich

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I tried Wirecast 6, but it made no difference. I tried an external hard disk, and it also made no difference.

In all cases, the video doesn't look smooth, the audio and video are slightly out of sync, and QuickTime tells me the fps is 29.5, not 30fps. Moreover, the CPU % in Wirecast frequently shot up to 90-95% -- in both Wirecast 6, Wirecast 5, internal HD and external HD.

There must be a way to record to disk when we switch between two HDMI cameras using the BMD UltraStudio MiniRecorders on this MacBook Pro Retina Late 2013. We're only recording -- there's no live stream.

Are there additional preferences I could change (besides the Live Icon FPS) that would significantly lower CPU %? Thanks....k
 7/2/2015 6:27 PM
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CraigS

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If you can't get CPU below 80% you will have problems.
Set Encode Quality to 1.
In Layout menu turn off Preview.
In Wirecast Preferences Performance Disable (uncheck) Live Icons On.
If the cameras have a 720p mode use that.

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CraigS
Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
 7/3/2015 11:59 AM
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VovaVidilin

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1) you are demanding too much from your current laptop, it is entry level 2-core thing with integrated graphics. For three video sources in 720p canvas it's not powerful enough, but for two and some overlay graphics should be really okay;
2) make sure you use Video Display Rate preference at 30;
3) reboot your macbook;
4) don't launch anything like browsers, torrents. Quit any unnecessary apps lauched on startup. Check in system monitoring if anything causes unwanted CPU usage;
5) don't load your old wirecast document, make new one for diagnostic purpose;
6) it is great you need only to record locally. Do record in ProRes. There is 422 LT quality setting to help you control file sizes if needed. ProRes codec will require less CPU usage but the files will be real big;

7) if nothing helps try 480p 16:9 canvas?

But first follow CraigS suggestions.
Setting cameras to 720p resolution and input the same resolution as canvas is - that should skip internal transcoding process. And probably help to some degree.

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