SGI: Hardware

Odyssey/Vpro and Octane Compression - slight update

I've gotten a number of questions about using VPro graphics and Octane compression together, since my original post claiming I was doing just that.

After all, SGI says you can't do it.

Well, after getting the software installed, my only issue with using the Octane compression and my V6 graphics together was that, when I would record video to a file, the video would have this annoying green-noise flicker every so many frames. Not so bad you can't see the video, but certainly annoying.

I was lazy for a long time, and partially just unmotivated to switch out my V6 for my ESI card to try a proper Octane Compression setup. My post 'Vpro to SE' gives some good reasons supporting my hesitancy to fool with my setup. (I thought my ESI was an SE...).

Anyway, the point was: does the green-noise flicker happen with the ESI card. If it does not, then that would lend creedance to the theory that, while mostly compatible, there was a small issue with using VPro graphics and Octane Compression together. If the green flicker did occur with my ESI board, however, then my only noticeable complaint in using the the compression with V6 would be found to not be tied to the V6 board, since it would not be in the system.

And, the verdict is....

(drum roll please)

I still get the green flicker with my ESI board.

*SO* from what I can tell, my Octane Compression board is f*cked up, but otherwise, Vpro graphics and Octane Compression work fine together.

I admit that I have done no in depth study here - with my V6 graphics board in, I just tried capturing compressed video using dmrecord, playing it back via dmplay, capturing using mediarecorder, viewing live video through videoin, and maybe a few other small things. But, all of that worked fine when using V6 graphics - excluding the green flicker.

So, this is somewhat mixed, but mostly good news, I suppose. I'm annoyed that my rare and hard to find board is messed up - its not like I can just go grab a replacement. But, at least for all the other folks out there wondering about this setup, it finally looks like confirmation that it works right.

I hope someone finds this helpful.

Too bad there is no system diagnostic utility for the impact compression board. That would be helpful right about now.
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What about the video source, you're recording from? I ask this because many analog tape based systems have screwy timing and sync circuitry (in fact is more to do with stretched videotape and/or filthy or magnezited heads or even a worn out motor).

So if you tested with some consumer tapedeck, try recording again with a stable videosignal, for example a DVD player (just the menu-screen because the MacroVision copy protection scheme fucks up timing a little to make analog copies difficult).
Further tests last night showed a couple of things worth noting mostly only for me, with my green flicker issue.

1) The green noise shows up when recording live video, even when there is no video input (i.e. just black, or no-signal). So, if I don't plug a camera in to the card, and just record, I get a video that is mostly just black, with a few flashes of green.

2) It seems I can record without the green noise if I use media recorder and capture uncompressed video (i.e. do not use any video compression, such as MJPEG).

3) If I open a video that normally plays back with the green flashes in 'moviemaker', and hit play, it does not seem to show the green noise. Its strange.

Other notes:

I always thought that mediarecorder did not use the hardware compression in Octane compression, but the man page says it does, if you have the right settings in your video recording 'task'. I'm not totally convinced, but if this is true, and a setting of MJPEG compression for an SGI movie automatically uses the hardware codec, then that would be useful, since using dmrecord to record all video is sort of annoying.

You can not output video directly from screen, according to the release notes of the compression software, unless you have impact video or digital video cards. Reading the release notes for the compression software is quite useful.

If anyone ever needs a copy of the Octane Compression software CD, I'll be happy to provide, just ask.
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ZoontF wrote: Well, after getting the software installed....

Can I assume that 'Rules Override' was needed to force the software to install? I just got a Cosmo board and I'm getting ready to try it with a V8.

I now know the sound of 'Fast Fans' on my Octane :shock:
Yes, RulesOverride is required to install.

I dont know if you saw in the FastFans thread, but if you only have a V8 and Compress board, you mmight get fastfans to turn off if you move the compress board to the other XIO slot.
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ZoontF wrote: I dont know if you saw in the FastFans thread, but if you only have a V8 and Compress board, you might get fastfans to turn off if you move the compress board to the other XIO slot.

Yeah. Unfortunately, I'm fully loaded. I have a XIO FC card in the other slot. I may try dual QLA-2200's instead of the XIO FC to see if that kills the fastfan.
nice one dave! and if you ever have enough of the noise, sell me the cosmo board for cheap and enjoy the silence ;)
GIJoe wrote: sell me the cosmo board for cheap and enjoy the silence ;)

Hah! Get in line. Recondas has already laid claim to it if I decide to unload it :lol:
i take that as a sign that you have been playing with the idea already, then :P
so, did you test the board yet? green flicker or not?

i myself have laid eyes on a DM6/DVS SD card, by the way. that one fit's into the PCI slot and does uncompressed. if only the price was right, but i'm getting there ;)