Since Pro Tools 11.1 was released just before the Christmas break users are reporting that the performance of video playback with Pro Tools 11.1 is still not completely fixed. It seems to be better but there are still problems. On the DUC Michael Goorevich says….
I have the pre “trash can” Mac Pro and for me Pro Tools HD 11.1 is still not ready for post. Still not every DNxHD 36 which was / is playing fine in PT10.3.8 could be outputted via BM IntensityPro card in 11.1. I have just a black screen. Yes, with the latest BM Desktop driver. I still have this annoying delay 0.5 second between hitting playback and actual playback in PT. It stops me from using PT 11.1 for even dialog editing. Well my hope is for 11.2 now.
However Brandon Howlett is a little more optmisitic…
The delay is much better in 11.1. Still not as good as pt 10 but better. I get no delay with no video. I might just slave a pt 10 rig for video playback.
So an improvement, but with the new Avid Video Engine being one of the key parts of Pro Tools 11, it isn’t a huge success when users report that Pro Tools 11 is still not as good a Pro Tools 10. Michael Goorevich responded to Brandon Howlett…
True. Also was a true in 11.0.2 .No video - no delay. No Video Hardware Enabled - no delay either. Also the video playback is not as smooth as in PT10 via BM card or on the computer screen. Its visibly stuttering especially when objects move (off course). So “better” is still not usable in my book. It must be 100% identical as in PT10. While taking into account that this delay is needed in order for the newer Avid Video Engine to sync to sound, we must have an option for immediate playback start even at a price of not that perfect sync o.k.a Pro Tools 10 and prior. A better sync, which according to Avid Support quote (I received) is very nice for the mixing or screening for a client, but is the show stopper for the dialogs, FX, FOL editing. Any editing in fact.
How long of a delay are you getting? From the time you hit play to the time PT starts rolling? I am used to maxing out my machine, dating back to PT 8, so I keep my buffer on the higher side. I am now almost maxing out my HDX1 but I am not seeing that much of a delay from the play command to the actual PT roll, or at least not enough to radically and negatively affect my work-flow for DX editing. What video codec are you using? I use the Avid codec at 1920X1080 resolution (I convert the films I get from Pro-res to Avid codec). I just tried it in a session that has 240 voices (extensive plugs almost maxing out my CPU), HDX 75% use, and Avid codec video 1920X1080. On my desktop monitor (I have a dual desktop, one for video and one for Pro-Tools) There is NO playback delay, I mean it is MINIMAL if any! The overall tightness of the video to audio sync is way better than what I was getting on PT 10 with Pro-Res. I am not saying that you are not experiencing the delay, but I think may be there is a setting or something wrong with your system. I use my system 10 hours a day every single day (except Sunday mornings) and I have never seen the dealy you are experiencing. I am sure you are aware but there is a ‘configurable’ video delay preference (may be that is not set correctly?) I also use the Black Magic card. I have the 3D extreme PCI-e card (not the cheap $200 Intensity but the $1000 card). I am on a Mac, 2.25 Ghx, 8 core, 12 Ram, Mountain Lion. PT 11 HDX.
So it would seem that with no video hardware and using the right codecs Pro Tools 11 video is usable, but the whole point of having the Avid Video Engine was so we didn’t have to spend ages transcoding video so it would play nice in Pro Tools, but that clearly is still not the case with Pro Tools 11.1, we need to trancode to the Avid Codecs to stand a chance of PT11 playing nice with videos and even then the performace isn’t stunning. Also add video hardware like the supported Blackmagic cards and there are even more problems like the delay in Pro Tools responding that Michael is experiencing.
Please share your experiences of using video with Pro Tools and lets see if we can get some consistent answers of what works and what doesn’t work.