Technical

Tips, Tricks and Technical Information

4KScope - Training Mode

4k 1004KScope version 6 and greater includes a training mode for use at educational institutions that purchase 4KScope. It is also available free for personal use. In this mode, the various scopes can be accessed using internal multi pattern video to practice or learn how to use waveform monitors/vectorscopes.  All of the video scopes are enabled in this mode, and it does not require any hardware.

Manual removal of Drastic software

dt logo 1.5inchThis article lists the locations where Drastic software components may be installed, in case the software needs to be removed manually.

Native Premiere Edit While Ingest

Adobe Premiere ProVersion 6 of MediaNXS, Net-X-Code and MediaReactor all support native editing while ingesting for MXF files in Adobe Premiere.  

Preparing Ubuntu 14.04 for Drastic Software

linuxlogosmallDrastic software has a few requirements that are not included in the standard install of Ubuntu 14.04.  This article describes how to add them

 

Linux Requirements for Drastic software

linuxlogosmallMost Drastic software is available on Linux x86_64 as well as Windows (32/64) and OS-X (32/64).  Linux testing is done on RedHat, Centos and Ubuntu (Debian base), but due to the variety of flavors of these base distributions, it is important to check that all the required support libraries are included in your distribution.  This article outlines the absolute minimum packages required to run any Drastic software.

WMVCore.DLL not found error

dt logo 1.5inchOne of the file format plugins (dtx_aWMFDirect.d1x) for Windows 32 and 64 relies on Microsoft Windows' media components.  With some versions of Windows, like Vista Business or 7/8/8.1/10 KN, Microsoft does not include these components by default.  To fix this error, you can either delete the dtx_aWMFDirect.d1x and dt_WinMedia.d1x from the installation folder, which will disable WMV/ASF read/write, or install the missing components from Microsoft.  

Controlling 4KScope

4k 1004KScope supports both command line parameters and keyboard control.  This command line parameters can be used to allow 4KScope to open automatically on startup in the mode and size required. The keyboard commands can be used to capture compressed and uncompressed frames directly from the incoming signal.

Optimizing Windows for Drastic Software

dt logo 1.5inchWhen using Drastic software on Windows, for some operations system settings must be altered to allow for the performance necessary for the workflow. This includes Net-X-Code  videoQC, 4KScope, HDRScope, FlowCaster and the Network Video Analyzer.  By default, Windows is designed for multiple, low performance loads and UI experience.  These changes allow Drastic software to get the required resources and performance required for consistent operation.

MediaComposer AMA Link Sony XAVC-S

Avid Media Composer 6Avid tools support MPEG-4 using QuickTime as well as using MediaReactor Workstation. QuickTime cannot handle newer MP4 formats like XAVC-S and MPEG-2 from Sony and other manufacturers' cameras. MediaReactor can, but when adding them to Media Composer/Newscutter/etc, you must specify which reader you want to use.  

Using FlowCaster with Avid Media Composer

FlowCaster SwirlFlowCaster creates an Open I/O board in Avid creative software like Media Composer.  As a virtual video board, it can send the same high quality audio, video and captions from a real or virtual machine to wherever you are doing your creative work for output on a 'third monitor'.  This signal can be received by free software, like VLC and the Haivision Pro Player, or by dedicated Drastic receivers for more features, like FlowCaster for IOS and Android, videoQC for Windows, macOS and Linux, or a variety of hardware decoders from AJA, Haivision and others.  This article demonstrates configuring FlowCaster in Avid Media Composer.

Controlling DrasticPreview

dp logoDrasticPreview and DrasticPreview Pro can be called by external applications with command line parameters.  If there is already an instance of the application running, the parameters will be transferred to the running instance, and the called one will exit.  This is especially useful where the workflow requires the system to display particular aspects of a clip in an automated fashion.

Using FlowCaster with Adobe (Premiere, After Effects)

FlowCaster SwirlFlowCaster creates a virtual I/O board as a transmitter for Adobe creative software like Premiere and After Effects.  As a virtual video board, it can send the same high quality audio, video and captions from a real or virtual machine to wherever you are doing your creative work for output on a 'third monitor'.  This signal can be received by free software, like VLC and the Haivision Pro Player, or by dedicated Drastic receivers for more features, like FlowCaster for IOS and Android, videoQC for Windows, macOS and Linux or even a variety of hardware decoders from AJA, Haivision and others.  This article demonstrates configuring FlowCaster in Adobe creative software.

Net-X-Code Quick Start

netxcode logosmallIf you have followed the quick start setup in the manual, your server is now ready to demonstrate all the major features of the Net-X-Code tool set. The easiest way to to do this is to install the demo media zip, and follow the steps below.

Controlling FlowCaster

FlowCaster SwirlFlowCaster creates a virtual I/O board for your creative software, desktop, real I/O board, or NDI source that sends a high quality video signal through the network for display on a local monitor.  This article covers controlling and configuring FlowCaster through command line, its settings and via remote control.

DTMediaRead Pipe Utility

dt logo 1.5inchThe DTMediaRead SDK now includes a utility called dtmrpipe. This utility allows the user to 'pipe' out uncompressed YUV2 or BGRA video data to another application. It can also be used to pipe an uncompressed stereo audio stream in 16 or 32 bit little endian. This is useful for feeding other applications, such as ffmpeg, with the output of file formats, types or codecs it doesn't support.

FlowCaster RTMP Quick Start

FlowCaster SwirlFlowCaster Quick Start for RTMP.  This article explains how to set up and test the FlowCaster output with streaming services like flowcaster.live, youtube.com and twitch.tv.

videoQC Viewing Modes

videoqc logo 3smallVisual viewing and comparison modes in videoQC.  Seamless split, dissolve, 3D modes and more.  These viewing modes are also available in MediaNXS, DrasticDDR and DrasticPreview Pro.

 

FlowCaster SRT Quick Start

FlowCaster SwirlFlowCaster Quick Start for SRT.  This article explains how to set up and test the FlowCaster output with freely available player tools.

Simple Quality Measurement (MRAnalyze)

mr wks logoMediaReactor includes tools it uses to automatically check QA translations using industry standard metrics.  This tool, called MRAnalyze, can be used in conjunction with DrasticPreview Pro to provide both objective and subjective analysis of converted or recaptured video material.  This article provides an overview on how these tools work and can be applied to various video workflows.

videoQC Network Stream Playback

dt logo 1.5inchDrastic's videoQC supports playing back a variety of network audio/video ip protocols including:  UDP, RTP, RTSP, SRT, NDI and SMPTE 2110/2022.  This document describes how to access network streams with videoQC.

Supported Raw Camera Formats

dt logo 1.5inchDrastic software and hardware products support a wide variety of camera raw devices, from standard files like DNG/cDNG, through esoteric files like fhgDI, to new and emerging formats like MLV.  This article lists the supported raw files type, and which Drastic software they work best in.

SMPTE2NET SDI2NET Command Line

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SMPTE2NET/SDI2NET is part of the Net-X-Code server software. These tools convert from SDI, SMPTE2110 or NDI to NDI, UDP, RTP, or SRT.  The include command line parameters that can do basic configuration for automated or remote operation.

ProRes Color Shifts In Post Production

prores chipProRes itself is very well defined, and should be completely shift free in the YCbCr domain at 10 bits per component.  The transform to YCbCr from RGB can be specified within the compressed frame, and this same specification can be used to properly convert YCbCr to RGB.  With both 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 variants and the metadata/compatibility of the MOV container, ProRes should be an ideal format for post production.  This article explores why it often isn't.

4KScope/HDRScope Multiple Inputs

4k 1004KScope and HDRScope have the ability to use multiple inputs as individual inputs for some video capture boards (like AJA, Bluefish444 and some Blackmagic boards).  When setting it up this way, you will lose the ability to do multi cable input for dual link, QHD/4K and other modes.  Each input will be limited to one BNC.  This setup can be easily reverted when not needed.

Blackmagic DeckLink And Intensity Cards

vidhw chipSome Drastic software now supports the Blackmagic series of DeckLink and Intensity cards. Blackmagic has a wide range of current and legacy cards. This article lists the in house and third party tested Blackmagic cards and provides some useful operational tips.

DDRSetup - Net-X-Code Setup and Licensing

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ddrSetup is part of the ccConvert and Net-X-Code Server software. ddrSetup is a command line tool that can do basic configurations for various Drastic software as well as command line licensing for headless servers via terminal/telnet/ssh/etc.

How To Report Issues To Drastic

dt logo 1.5inchWe are always happy to receive product ideas, new file/codec format information and bug/issue reports.  To make these reports as effective as possible, please read the following article on what we need to know to solve the issue in the quickest possible way.

Setting Up Watch Folder Actions

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Many of the tools in ccConvert, videoQC and Net-X-Code can be run as command line tools, as well as via REST API.  With command line tools, there are ways to set up automated processes, from interpreted languages (such as PHP and PERL), from full programming environments, and from batch files and watch folder utilities. This article describes setting up one such watch folder utility as a template for setting up your own workflows.

IndieCam MOV File Reader Configuration

dt logo 1.5inchThe IndieCam cameras are small, light, HD and 2K recording RAW bayer pattern cameras.  They provide the raw data via HD-SDI by embedding it into a SMPTE standard signal that can be recorded by most uncompressed recorders.  Because the type marked by the recorder is SMPTE YCbCr 10 (v210 in general), the RAW data cannot be automatically detected.  To use these files in Assimilate SCRATCH and MediaReactor, the system must be set up to re-label these files.

Exporting from videoQC

videoqc logo 3smallSome versions of videoQC include the ability to re-wrap, convert and export all or parts of files they are playing.  This article explains how to set up profiles, set start and end points, and export to new files, using videoQC

Supported Audio/Video Hardware

vidhw chipDrastic supports a wide variety of audio and video hardware for products such as MediaNXS, videoQC and DrasticDDR. The current product families Drastic supports are AJA, Bluefish444 and Blackmagic adapters for audio/video I/O, and AMD or NVidia for video processing. For a more detailed list of hardware and versions, please continue reading.

 

Multiple MP4 Output

mediareactor logo smallMany modern productions require sending out multiple versions of shows to multiple groups.  A single in-process show will require versions to be sent for captioning, audio composition/mixing, ratings, producer proof, edit check and QA.  To facilitate this, without using creative workstations, Net-X-Code allows you to set up to 10 targets and produce 10 watermarked/time coded/named versions of a show at one time.

Reading MXF Files

mxf chipThere are a huge variety of MXF types and directory styles.  This article goes through some of the most common types, and describes how they are used in Net-X-Code (Multi Software Server System), MediaNXS (HD-SDI I/O software), videoQC (HD-SDI/VGA media player, with analysis, reports, scopes and more), and MediaReactor Workstation (Adobe/Apple/Avid/SCRATCH plugins) software.

Optimizing Windows Networking

dt logo 1.5inchWhen using Drastic software on Windows, for some operations the network settings must be altered to allow for the performance necessary for the workflow. This includes Net-X-Code for UDP/RTP/RTSP streams, SMPTE 2022-6, and SMPTE 2110 streams, and any other workflow that requires high throughput from the Windows network stack.

How to License Drastic Products

lic chipDrastic's software products install and will run in demo mode, with a number of restrictions (10 second media duration, watermarks, length of run limitations, may not see the hardware, nag screens, auto-shutoff etc.). To remove these restrictions and access the full functionality of the software you will need to get at least a temporary license. 

Color Space and HDR/HLG in 4KScope

4k 1004KScope supports 8, 10, and 12 bit color in both YCbCr 4:2:2 and RGB 4:4:4 modes.  Correct measurement of signals require the correct setup of the bit depth, color format, primaries and transfer mode of the signal you are measuring within 4KScope.  This article covers the most common configurations.

Closed Caption Format Support

verifycc iconDrastic professional level products support closed captions.  Video I/O products can capture and play back closed caption information.  MediaReactor can convert closed caption formats along with the video and audio files.  videoQC products can decode and display both 608 and 708 captions for preview and confidence monitoring.  For some captions, default language/fonts can be set up, which are described here.

Automatic Proxy Setup

dt logo 1.5inchVersion 7 or greater Drastic software supports writing a proxy file at the same time as it writes the main file when transcoding files, capturing from IP compressed sources (NDI, RTP, UDP, RTSP, TR-01, TR-03), capturing from uncompressed IP streams (SMPTE 2022, 2110) and from SDI (12G/6G/3G/1.5G) or HDMI.  The proxy creation is available on a per channel basis, and is automatic once set up. The proxy can also use the Net-X-Player HTML5 player to play back the file while it is still recording, allowing for time code accurate clipping of the proxy or main file.

 

Advanced Time Code Setup

tc chipDrastic products like DrasticDDR and MediaNXS support a wide variety of time code sources. The default selectable configurations will usually be the correct ones for most standard workflows.  For other workflows, the time code sources can be more finely controlled. 

Running Net-X-Code In The Cloud (AWS/GCS/VM)

dt logo 1.5inchNet-X-Code can be run on local servers, local VMs or cloud based VMs.  The VMs can be using RedHat/Centos, Windows, Windows Server, or even Docker.  File access methods include local file systems, network shares (smb, nfs, etc.), or cloud storage (aws s3, google cloud, https, ftp),  Any mix is allowed for both conversion, capture and scanning/proxy generation.

 

GPI Configuration

gpi chipMost Drastic DDR and video I/O products (like MediaNXS, DTReplay, SyncControl Pro) support a variety of GPI interfaces. Because of the variety of hardware and usage types, the GPI configuration is an advanced configuration. This document describes the setup and use of GPI devices with Drastic DDR, MediaNXS and other Drastic software.

Net-X-Code and Avid Interplay/MediaCentral Setup

Avid Media Composer 6Avid Interplay/MediaCentral provides a convenient method to share media and projects among a group of Media Composer stations or other Avid products.  Drastic's Net-X-Code Server supports direct communication with Avid Interplay/MediaCentral servers, include checkin, direct write and edit while capture (EWC) when using the Net-X-Convert module (file to file) or Net-X-SDI (SDI/IP to file).

MediaReactor Usage Tips

mediareactor logo smallMediaReactor and MediaReactor Workstation integrate tightly with installed operating systems and applications.  This section has tips and tricks on getting the most out of MediaReactor and/or MediaReactor Workstation.

HDR 10 Bit / 12 Bit Support For HDRScope

4k 100HDRScope supports 8, 10, and 12 bit SDI inputs.  This article maintains a list of compatible hardware for 10 and 12 bit 4:4:4 RGB signals.  Please note, if the board is not on this list, it is likely limited to 8 or 10 bit YCbCr inputs. 10 and 12 bit 4:4:4 require direct SDK access to the board, and are therefore only available on AJA, Bluefish444, Blackmagic and Matrox boards.

Advanced Hardware Keyer Usage

vidhw chipAJA video boards generally include a Mixer Keyer element.  DrasticDDR, MediaNXS, and QuickClipXO do not directly control the Mixer Keyer, but they are designed to allow the user to use the Mixer Keyer alongside the main software.

Avid AMA Linking and Audio

Avid Media Composer 6MediaReactor Workstation and MediaReactor Lite add support for a huge number of file formats to Avid Media Composer, including HEVC, AS-02, IMF, DNG, VRAW, CDX, YUV, and many more.  These files can include a mix of audio rates (normally 44.1, 48 or 96 kHz) and Media Composer requires some setup to allow them to be used in a standard project.  

Single/Dual Link Input Problems

io chipConnecting single and dual link inputs incorrectly can cause odd looking signals.  Here are each of the incorrect paths shown as they would be with a standard SMPTE bars input.

Setting up debug logging

dt logo 1.5inchDrastic software outputs a lot of information when running.  Working with our APIs and command line tools, having the debug logging can help sort out interface and programming issues.  Storing these logs locally, off via a syslog server, can also help sort out issues by comparing the unexpected behavior to the corresponding time in the logs.

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For more than two decades, Drasticâ„¢ has been developing cutting edge software solutions for television, post production and sports broadcasters, from real time web delivery to 4k broadcast.

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