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  1. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2006
    Location: Halifax, NS Canada
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    Rendering a TV series I've produced for a local broadcaster...final render of final episode...rendering from Vegas, and it was into the home stretch. Just a few hours to go after this episode was rendering for a day and a half.

    I go to bed expecting to wake up in the morning with the last file done, allowing me to submit the series to the broadcaster.

    I get up and find Windows had installed updates and rebooted in the middle of the night. You're welcome!

    I try playing the file that was rendering...it opens in VLC and, as I'd feared, ends before the end of the episode. It reports that the whole file is there, but only plays to a certain point. Same in MPC-HC.

    I figure, CRAP, I can at least smart-render up to a point and slow-render from after that, so I load the presumably unfinished file onto the timeline, and -- WTF? It's ALL there. All of it, right up to the credits and final fade.

    I check in MediaInfo, and MediaInfo reports the whole file is there, complete. Video is 53 minutes 0 seconds. Both audio streams are 53 minutes 0 seconds.

    The file in question is a Sony MXF file. I didn't have time this morning to go through the Windows logs and file timestamps to see whether the file finished rendering before Windows asserted its authority and rebooted....or if the reboot interrupted the render and left a mess.

    So, my question -- for my peace of mind, can I trust MediaInfo when it tells me the file is complete and intact?
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
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    No you can't necessarily trust mediainfo - many of the details are just reported from header information (it doesn't scan the entire file)

    Can you play and seek the final file in VLC / some media player ?
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  3. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    pdr: VLC wouldn't play to the end -- that is, I played to the end of what VLC would play, but it wasn't the real end. Same with MPC-HC. When I brought the MXF onto the Vegas timeline, though, all the video was there.
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  4. Originally Posted by bigass View Post
    I get up and find Windows had installed updates and rebooted in the middle of the night. You're welcome!
    I was screwed by this too. The computer rebooted a few minutes before the end of a six hour render.

    And... you can't really trust MediaInfo.
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  5. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by bigass View Post
    I get up and find Windows had installed updates and rebooted in the middle of the night. You're welcome!
    I was screwed by this too. The computer rebooted a few minutes before the end of a six hour render.
    I really, really, really should know better. I should have had the settings at "Bother me all you want, Windows, but do NOT install anything without me saying to, and for heaven's sake, DO NOT REBOOT without my authority."

    Anyway, I'm submitting the files to the broadcaster anyway. I have another render of the episode in progress right now. It's episode 3 of 6, so if there's an issue with it, I have time to get them a replacement file. I'd run more tests here at the office, but IT has all the machines so locked down that I can't even access a USB drive.
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    How much is "cut off" by VLC ? Sometimes some players might cut off about 1/2 second at the end, but I would be unconfortable submitting that unless they use vegas as well
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  7. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    How much is "cut off" by VLC ? Sometimes some players might cut off about 1/2 second at the end, but I would be unconfortable submitting that unless they use vegas as well
    I'd estimate at least three minutes were missing at the end. I'm not sure what to make of that -- a quick read around the net suggests most players don't play .MXF files especially well, so I can't be certain whether it's a playback issue or a problem of munged data.

    I'm going to talk to the Master Control guy who vets the submissions...and give him a heads-up... if the file's a dud, I'll do a make-good on it. I just can't sit on five good episodes any more for the sake of one that might be botched. I've been working on this show for months and want to get it over and done with!
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  8. I'd try remuxing to another container (MKV?), then remuxing back to MXF.
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  9. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    Just back from delivering the drive to master control, where they're copying the files over now. Looks like the episode I was worried about wouldn't play, so I'll have to deliver them a working one when it's done the (&!$!# render again. Lesson learned.

    Thanks to everyone who's stepped up with insight as I've popped into the forums in recent months during the build of the show. I love doing this kind of work, because I learn new things every time, even up to the last minute.

    Two big things I've learned in just the past few days:
    - apparently it's common practice to lay down a generated media item of black, or more specifically RGB 16, on the bottom track of the project....because fades to "black" are actually fades to "infinite nothingness with alpha 0" ... so if you're rendering to studio RGB 16-245, a fade to black actually ends up as a fade to infinite nothingness unless there's a track of black as the background. I don't know how I could've been working with Sony Vegas for so many years, read so many articles, books, watched webinars, read forums, and so on ...and NEVER heard of this before. (FWIW, I didn't do it this time, and don't anticipate problems, but will do so going forward. It's irrelevant in the web world, but for broadcast material, it could matter.)

    - although the majority of tutorials I've watched suggested making the scopes, waveforms and preview monitor 0-255, adjusting video and elements to 0-255, then applying a 16-245 filter at render time, NEVER AGAIN will I do that. Instead, will work in 16-245 and trust the monitors. Virtually everything that matters wants studio RGB, and now I don't understand why the tutorials would've led me down any other path.
    Last edited by bigass; 12th Mar 2014 at 10:18.
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  10. Member
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    In windows you should turn off all updates except manual ... if you set it to user confirm mode it will still update by itself sometimes. They just don't trust users.
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  11. Member
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    Some nun should come over and whack the knuckles of everyone who leaves auto-updates running AND WHO THEN COMPLAIN about them! "Hold out your hand - WHACK!"

    -From the "Getting What You Asked For" Department...

    But as others said, MediaInfo's reporting is often based on the Header Info supplied as the file upload is started.
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  12. Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post
    In windows you should turn off all updates except manual ...
    I usually have it set to "notify when updates are available" but It somehow got set back to automatic. Maybe I did that myself to have it automatically update one time when I wasn't using the computer, and forgot to change it back.

    Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post
    if you set it to user confirm mode it will still update by itself sometimes.
    I've seen that happen too.
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  13. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    I have every other machine set to "annoy me when updates are available, but don't you dare install them without me" ... I can't imagine why I didn't do this on my studio machine, since I'd set every other self-updating thing to "shut up and don't bother me" mode.

    And yes, OllieTSB, I had a hunch MediaInfo was telling tales from the header, not the content. That was my fear, anyway. Confirmed.
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  14. yeap, colors not in specs (16,235), NTSC broadcast colors, some need 1kHz audio at the beginning, black at the beginning, end, heck they even might send you back good up to specs burned DVD for no particular reason, maybe older machines they have there, there is always need to be some time between first delivery and broadcast so there is time to straighten things out
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  15. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    True true, _Al_. Other than the fade-to-infinity, I'm sure I gave them everything in the specs they defined.... I just took too roundabout a way in getting there. I could've saved myself a few steps by working in 16-235 the whole way through instead of going to 0-255 and back again at render time. Live and learn. I hope to hell I never think I know all there is to know. Screwing up and learning is frustrating but so much more rewarding.
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  16. Member
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    I don't trust Microsoft to put anything in my computer. If I really need to have something then I'll go searching for it. I've had everything turned off for years and have found that XP will run just fine without all those critical updates that MS says you need.
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    BigA, I 'get' to load Win on many PCs in a month, and I can turn Auto-Updates off - early in this process - but somewhere, there's a WinUpdate that says, "Please screw this up and revert back to Steve Ballmer telling me that I have to stop MY processes so HIS processes continue..."

    I know there's a WinUpdate that does this - "return to default settings" - for some reason. I'd REALLY to have my Nun-App reach out and bash HIS knuckles.

    Occasionally, I'll find my personal computer getting Flash or JavaRE updates, too, and I certainly know I've turned those off before. But apparently, I'll hit some website that says, "It's OK to screw up the machine's settings and reconfigure them for Larry Ellison's preferences..." I have never EVER changed THEIR computers. If only - !
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  18. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    Ollie, one of my machines seems hypnotized by Java... It keeps telling me there's a new Java update to be installed. I say, go ahead, install it. It goes through the motions and says....hey, stupid, you're already running the latest Java update.
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  19. Member solarfox's Avatar
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    The surest solution to the auto-update "feature" kicking in right in the middle of a crucial overnight operation?

    Yank the Ethernet cable out of the back of the PC. If it can't connect to the network, it can't see that there are updates available, and won't try to install them.
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  20. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    Honestly, when I was futtering about trying to speed up the render, I considered turning off the antivirus and unplugging the ethernet. Desperate times, desperate measures. Now that the rest of the shows are with the broadcaster, I feel better taking time to let it bake. I'm sure I'll get right back into things, making blu-rays or DVDs of the shows, re-rendering for the web, finally doing family videos I've been putting off, etc. Glad to have reached the finish line on this one.
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  21. Member
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    Originally Posted by bigass View Post

    - although the majority of tutorials I've watched suggested making the scopes, waveforms and preview monitor 0-255, adjusting video and elements to 0-255, then applying a 16-245 filter at render time, NEVER AGAIN will I do that. Instead, will work in 16-245 and trust the monitors. Virtually everything that matters wants studio RGB, and now I don't understand why the tutorials would've led me down any other path.


    Not true - NOBODY wants studio RGB. Studio RGB is just for an intermediate workflow. Bottom line is all Studios/Broadcasters want legal range YCbCr (Y' 16-235, CbCr 16-240 in 8bit values; 64-940 in 10bit values) - That's the final deliverable. Notice that isn't "RGB" or "studio RGB." Studio RGB is workflow unique to vegas. The rest of the world, NLE's, AVID, FCP/X, Premiere, Edius don't use "studio RGB" . It doesn't matter how you get there, but deliver them legal range YCbCr. There are pros/cons to using studio RGB workflow, but for the Vegas user, you have to be aware of what assets are treated with "computer RGB" by default, and which use "studio RGB" by default.

    It's a little more tricky than that for vegas - it depends on what project setttings you're using, what kinds of assets you're using, and what types of files you are exporting. Vegas has many quirks for studio RGB vs. computer RGB . It treats some assets to be a certain range, but others it treats differently. Moreover, different export formats can get different treatment (some get the "reverse" studio treatment, but others get the "reverse" computer RGB treatment back to YCbCr) - this is one of the biggest quirks of vegas. Test your workflow end to end with test patterns , different formats and colorspaces. Whether or not your preview monitor or scopes are calibrated to use studio RGB or computer RGB is less relevant, because unless it's CGI, the final delivery format is most often YCbCr.

    All it really boils down to YUV<=>RGB conversions. That's where all the potential sources of confusions occur . "Studio RGB" essentially means YUV sources are "mapped" from Y' 0-255, CbCr 0-255 to RGB 0,0,0-255,255,255. "Computer RGB" essentially means YUV sources are "mapped" from Y' 16-235 , CbCr 16-240 to RGB 0,0,0-255,255,255 . Another common source of confusion is vegas treats some sources differently in 8bit mode vs. 32bit mode. If you haven't already, you should read the Glenn Chan articles on vegas and colorspaces. It's required reading for any non casual vegas user.
    Last edited by poisondeathray; 12th Mar 2014 at 15:24.
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  22. Broadcaster bigass's Avatar
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    pdr: it's largely been the Glenn Chan stuff that's made me determined to rethink my workflow going forward. I thought I was doing a good thing by being super-careful with my levels for a change. In hindsight, I was doing one thing right -- adjusting everything carefully -- but to the wrong scale, and in a way that forced me to back-track when it came time for the deliverables.

    In other words, I'll be aiming to keep everything broadcast-legal along the way. Well, duh. Should've done that from the beginning.
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