This issues has come up all of a sudden, and I can't place it. I've been speaking to customer support for my card for months now, but it's going nowhere, so I'm running out of ideas. At some point in January, my capture card started to introduce stutter into recordings. It's not huge. Usually it's just a dropped frame or two every couple of minutes. Nonetheless, it's enough to bother me quite a bit. I've uploaded a 20 second sample to Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwcmLwA0J0b2RC1xaUxNc3JGWHM/view
You can see it especially at the beginning and near the end, with the camera angle from the side. I'll list the troubleshooting steps I've been through from memory, in no particular order.
1. I have the capture card installed in my desktop computer. Usually, I grabbed the screen of a Surface Pro 3. When issues started occurring, I tried capturing directly from the same desktop that has the capture card installed. Same exact issues.
2. I tried re-installing Windows, all fresh. Neither Windows 8.1 nor Windows 10 helped.
3. I tried switching from my Nvidia GPU (Gigabyte GTX 1060 6 GB) to my Intel internal graphics. I also tried an older AMD card (HD 6950), to no effect.
4. I tried changing capture settings. I usually capture at 1080p29.97. The card allows going down to 720p50 at the lowest, which showed the same problems.
5. I tried different codecs and formats. None helped.
6. I tried both Blackmagic's Media Express software as well as OBS Studio for capturing. On Media Express, I tried 8-bit YUV, 10-bit YUV, Motion JPEG. On OBS I tried both using x264 as well as hardware encoding with my CPU and GPU, lossless and lossy.
7. I tried different storage mediums. Even my SSD can't keep up, Samsung 850 Pro, 512 GB. RMAed the hard drive I usually take (WD Black 6 TB), but that wasn't the faulty part either. Shows write speed of at least 200 MB/s, lossless 8-bit, 1080p29.97 capture with Media Express requires 140 MB/s maximum, which Windows Task Manager seems to confirm. Hard drive is completely empty, thus not fragmented.
8. I actually changed large parts of my system in early February, about two to three weeks after issues started occurring. Old system (that I'd used almost a year for capturing without issues):
Processor: Intel i5-3570k
RAM: 16 GB DDR3 (4x4)
MoBo: ASUS P8Z77-V LE Plus
GPU: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1060 6 GB (had an AMD R9 380 for a while before the issues occurred)
Same SATA devices, same case, same PSU
Processor: Intel i7-6700k
RAM: 32 GB DDR4 (2x16)
MoBo: ASUS Z270F Gaming
GPU: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1060 6 GB
Nothing changed with the new hardware.
9. Tried playing with process priorities, and shutting down everything in the background.
10. Disabling PCIe power saving options in the BIOS.
11. Switching PCIe slots. (MoBo has one x4, one x8 open, capture card requires x4)
12. Different video players. Thought maybe capturing was fine, and it's only the playback that doesn't work. MPC-HC, mpv on two different systems and my PS4 show the exact same frame drops.
13. Different capture card. I bought a Magewell USB capture device (intentionally didn't go for PCIe, in case that's completely busted), had the exact same stuttering issues.
14. Running capture software in compatibility mode, as administrator (got desperate at some point).
15. Using older capture card drivers that had worked previously for almost a year. Blackmagic fortunately offers older versions for download.
16. Checked heat, too. Nothing is running too hot.
17. Sent in the capture card to the manufacturer for testing. They didn't report any issues and sent it back to me.
18. Tried different HDMI cables. No changes.
I think that's all I did so far. Since I've been through quite a few steps, over quite some time, I apologise if I've forgotten something. What really messes with me is how pretty much none of the old hardware is left, and what little is left (the HDD) was RMAed and shows great speeds, so shouldn't be faulty. Software seems fine, since old versions of the Blackmagic driver have worked for months, so they can't be broken. GPU drivers may be broken, since I do have some issues with my current graphics card, but I tried three different GPUs, I don't think all of them are busted. Windows installation has been re-installed multiple times.
I've also gone through the sticky here. Some of it is outdated on a post from 2003 of course, but I've still checked.
What I'm left with is maybe BIOS settings? I'm not very knowledgeable about it, but I don't understand how the problem could've appeared so spontaneously if I didn't change anything there previously. I only started changing some things when the issues already occurred. The sudden nature of the problem had me thinking some hardware failure must be the culprit, but as I said, I'm running out of ideas which part that could be at this point. I'd be very grateful for any hints and ideas at what I should be looking. If you need any information I forgot to give, feel free to ask.
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Your sample appears to be a capture of a media player playing a video file. Yes, there are missing and duplicate frames. But there's no way of knowing which problems are in the video file being played, problems of the media player displaying the file, or the capture.
Sorry for my late reply and thanks for your quick one.
Yes, it's using the same capture, but the point that capturing is stuttery stands. As I pointed out, I tried different video players and different systems to go as far as I can to eliminate the possibility of playback being affected. I also made another video (this time recorded with my phone, showing two different video players + comparison to original video) for customer support showing the stuttering. If you want to see that other video, here's the link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwcmLwA0J0b2a3dUeWZOTDRyXzQ/view
The first video is my bad recording played back in Blackmagic Media Express, the second video is that same bad recording played back in MPC-HC (larger screen, better visibility), the third video is the original file I've been recording from, which is by no means perfectly smooth, but looks much better than the recording.
$200 for the card and $10,000 for the time and effort trying to make it work. That's why I stay away from Blackmagic products.
I've only skimmed the OP so I can't tell whether you covered this.
What resolution are you capturing, and did you try dropping the source to lower res and capturing at that res?
Would there be an alternative you'd recommend though, in case I have to switch in the future? My only requirements are support of lossless capture and 1080p29.97 as a supported resolution/framerate.
720p50 is only about 10 percent less bandwidth than 1080p29.97, not a significant difference. And just because your drive shows 200 MB/s with some test program doesn't mean it can sustain 140 MB/s while capturing, especially once it has become fragmented. Try using a fast lossless intra codec like UT Video Codec while capturing. That will get the bandwidth low enough for even the slowest areas of the drive.
And try shutting down any antivirus software that may be scanning the data as it's being written.
Also, don't compress the audio while capturing. It's very common for audio codecs (which are often usually threaded) to fall behind.
I think I tried without antivirus before, but I'll give it another shot. I'll also have a look at the codec you mentioned. I assume I'll have to use OBS with ffmpeg to use it for capturing? I've used different codecs for encoding files, but not for recording something before.
EDIT: I just did a recording with UT and my antivirus turned off (went as far as cutting internet and killing all processes related to my AV). If anything, the stuttering is worse than it usually is. Nothing was running except OBS and MPC-HC, which I was recording from. The 90 minute recording turned out 165 GB large.
Last edited by bschneider; 23rd Apr 2017 at 07:27.
Also disable audio capture while testing.
$70 used, without cables ($50+$20 ship). You do have to be wary of what connectivity you get when you buy a card without the included breakout cables. Often, it will be useless and tracking down a seller of replacement cables ends up costing much more than the card itself.
But that specific card that JVRaines mentioned is HD-SDI, not HDMI.
Last edited by vaporeon800; 23rd Apr 2017 at 09:40.
Hi bschneider, look for Avermedia GC570 aka Live Gamer HD 2 (1080p@60 uncompressed/compressed output)
Link review: https://nerdtechy.com/avermedia-live-gamer-hd2-review
I bought this, some weeks to get on my hands.
Last edited by bschneider; 23rd Apr 2017 at 14:04.
Okay, so I've tested last night again. I tried making a recording in NTSC/PAL, but OBS crashed every time when I chose a resolution below 720p. So instead I did a 720p59.94 recording with utvideo and no audio, no AV program. Looked the same as always, I don't think disabling the audio did anything.
utvideo then, as jagabo suggested. In VirtualDub, I never got a picture, which usually indicates that some image setting (resolution, framerate, colour spectrum) was wrong, but I couldn't find anything wrong.
Yes, the Preview pane shows the exact same stuttering patterns with and without recording/capturing. This was the same on the Magewell USB device I tried a while ago (and since returned).
EDIT: What I mean is, the source is either my desktop, my laptop or my PS4. The first two are definitely "clean"; they produce a steady picture easily.
So you re-installed Windows 8.1 and 10; were you able to install those without any updates taking place? Since you said the problem started at some point in January.
Maybe try a Linux install...? But first you still need to try SD.
From the Similar Threads box at the bottom: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/345865-Blackmagic-Intensity-Pro-Flicker-Problem
Wonder what he meant by flicker.
Running capture software/hardware on the same computer running the video/game/whatever you're capturing is just asking for trouble. Run the capture software/hardware on one computer (with nothing else running) and what you want to capture on another computer/device.
I ordered the Startech capturing device that JVRaines suggested. It was available on Amazon, which means I can easily return it if it shows the same symptoms and troubleshooting doesn't get me any further on that either. Should arrive tomorrow and just maybe provide relief. It's worth a try, I think, even if my hopes aren't particularly high.
I own the StarTech and it's a fine device for HDMI capture, if you're okay with its manipulations to the image with certain resolutions/pixel formats. It's superior to the IP4K when fed YCbCr 4:4:4, but I assume you're sending RGB from your PC & Surface Pro.
There are good news though; I lowered the resolution to 720p29.97. While that's a weird configuration that doesn't look very nice, it revealed that the Surface is able to handle that, at least for a few minutes. I don't get the same frame drops. Since the Surface's SSD is not faster than my desktop's, which shows the same stuttering as my HDD, I think write speed is not the culprit, if that makes sense. And since I pretty much have the same software installed on my Surface and my desktop (including the same Windows 8.1 installation), I think a software issue is also becoming less likely.
My first thought is now that my motherboard may be the culprit. I've had a few weird issues (DVD drive spinning up every few seconds, front audio not working, video driver crashing despite normal GPU performance and no reported driver issues online), but some of them were solved after I re-installed Windows in January, so I figured that may have been it. Now I'm inclined to think that the mobo might still have issues. What do you think?
And thanks for that link where you tested the different cards. Will definitely keep that tab open to have a closer look at it sometime (saw it late last night)
Last edited by bschneider; 27th Apr 2017 at 08:36.