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[ANSWERED] Progress breakdown using syphon and/or NDI


  • Beta Platinum

    Hi,

    I am using Isadora three times each week to stream video from  a Sony A7rII via a BlackMagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder through Isadora and out to Blackboard Collaborate. This has become progressively more dysfunctional to the point where it is no longer reliable and I am searching for an alternative setup.

    I can’t put my finger on the point in the chain Where the problem/issue resides.

    Initially, there were issues with audio quality - I started by routing audio through the camera audio input and out via the hdmi feed to the mini recorder. My mic is a senheiser lapel transmitter/receiver system. After getting really bad audio using that method, I then brought in a mini mixer with USB audio interface a Beringer 802USB. This improved the sound quality but introduced out of sync audio in the stream through Blackboard. Anyway still better than bad audio.

    The real problems began when I intermittently had a black video stream when activating the stream in Blackboard Collaborate. It was impossible to trouble shoot because the video set up preview in the Blackboard Collaborate interface showed the stream as functioning. But when I activated it for live viewing it appeared black!!!??? Wtf.

    At that point I started searching for a stream setup that was more reliable. I tried switching to syphon instead of using NDI. But as I implemented each new test stream the issue became progressively worse to the point where Isadora 3.07 will not even launch without instantly crashing.

    I guess there is a lot more I need to do to resolve the setup. Perhaps reinstalling the NDI and OBS utilities-I have tried deleting Isadora preferences and a fresh install a couple of times but still I have no joy in launching Isadora 3.07.

    I am half way through a 14 week semester where I am delivering subjects in digital imaging and creative practice to students who are locked out of face to face teaching due COVID-19.

    The sessions toggle between the video stream from the Sony A7rII and the screen cast of software (Adobe) and the live view of a second A7rII used for photography and digitisation demonstrations.

    I am feeling a bit stuck as I need this system up and running by first thing Monday morning.

    Any advice welcome

    Best wishes

    Russell



  • @bonemap

    How are you getting Isadora to Blackboard in the first place? Syphon Virtual Camera? Or?

    First, the only way to guarantee audio sync is to plug the mic into the camera. If you take the audio into a different input, they will likely be out of sync as you discovered. But I don't understand why you'd get such bad audio by going into the camera. That's what the mic input on the camera is for! 

    In any case, does the input chain look like this:

    Video Camera (Sony α7R II) -> HDMI Cable -> BlackMagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder -> USB -> Computer with Isadora, using BlackMagic driver in the Live Capture settings

    I'm assuming here that the Isadora patch has a Video In Watcher that is putting the video on Isadora's stage.

    • Are you experiencing blackouts on Isadora's video input?
    • Are you experiencing blackouts on Isadora's stage or stage preview?

    What's missing here is how you are getting Isadora's stage output to Blackboard. Please fill us in on that.

    Best Wishes,
    Mark


  • Beta Platinum

    @mark said:

    What's missing here is how you are getting Isadora's stage output to Blackboard. Please fill us in on that.

     Hi @Mark and @Woland 

    The setup is using a MacBook Pro (Retina, mid 2015). This has two Thunderbolt 2 ports. One of these has a two metre thunderbolt 2 cable linked to the BlackMagic then a 1.5 metre hdmi cable to the camera ( this cable is full size hdmi to micro hdmi at the camera).

    OBS NDI resources installed. NDI resources installed. BlackMagic Desktop Video resources installed.

    Using Isadora live capture set to BlackMagic input. Video in watcher to projector. Stage setup with NDI checked.

    Blackboard offers audio and video setup as separate dialogs. In video input settings NDI video is available for selection.

     I was unable to resolve clean audio through the camera/hdmi and switched to the USB audio interface a couple of weeks ago.

    I started to have connection issues after many weeks of successful NDI streaming. I then thought to attempt a Syphon stream into Blackboard. I switched the Stage Setup option to Syphon. There appeared to be a Syphon stream available in the Blackboard video dialog by selecting the OBS video device option. I only  had the opportunity to try this once as Isadora began to fail on launch.

    There may have been some other attempts at workarounds in this journey, but that is basically the path.

    I am unable to answer any additional questions because I now have to resolve Isadora to launch without immediately crashing.

    Best wishes

    Russell



  • @bonemap 

    As mentioned in your support ticket, there is a known bug when checking for updates automatically with Isadora 3.0.7 and when you have certain of our additional, official TroikaTronix plugins installed.

    To work around this:

    1. Disconnect any Internet connection.
    2. Start Isadora
    3. Go to the Isadora Preferences > Warnings > Automatic Updates > Automatically Check for New Updates and set the popup to Never.
    4. Quit Isadora
    5. Restore Internet
    6. Start Isadora

    By disabling automatically checks for updates, the crash should be prevented.

    Best Wishes,
    Mark


  • Beta Platinum

    @mark

    Thanks, your assistance is greatly appreciated—and it appears to have done the trick—it is the first time I have ever had to change that preference that I can recall! I will move on to build a new streaming configuration with hopefully some success.

    Best Wishes

    Russell


  • Beta Platinum

    Recovering Isadora 3.07 has been a big help in trouble shooting the stream setup to Blackboard Collaborate. I am still getting intermittent black video where it appears the stream is previewing in the Live Capture Settings but not then displaying through the Video In Watcher. After trying to pin this down, I think it requires a specific sequence of activation steps to maintain the through put of the video. I tried a bit harder with direct audio through the camera and can only conclude that Blackboard Collaborate is noisy and without a convenient way to monitor the audio stream before going live. I did manage some improvement by recording the stream and playing it back-that appeared to be the only way to know what the stream sounds like. Anyway after setting the sensitivity of the Senhieser radio transmitter to -24db I was able to reduce some of the noise. Monitoring audio through the camera sounds fine and through Isadora sounds fine, so my conclusion is that Blackboard Collaborate does not handle audio that well. But I will keep trying to get clean audio.

    I am hoping to get the video and audio stream to run through Isadora, and I will keep trying to get a stable patch configuration.

    Best wishes

    Russell