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Thread: Optimizing the Stream

  1. #1
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    Default Optimizing the Stream

    Greetings. Would love to have Jon and others chime in here…

    We've been building up various pixel systems and we are currently preparing to put together our thoughts on our newest project. It'll be a year-round outdoor show that will span our campus. The lighting portions will be pixels and DMX, controlled by various Falcon boards. The show will be designed and played from a central Vixen computer and broadcast to the controller via a dedicated network on our Cisco 10G switches.

    We are always looking for ways to optimize our shows -- to remove any lag and to make the shows resemble the timeline as best as possible. We'd love to hear the best practices to get there. This is most important on our new show because it will be synchronized with music and video. Our favorite effect is an egg strobe effect (using the Spin effect in Vixen). So responsiveness is key. When we adjusted the "Update Interval" from 50ms to 25ms it helped sell this effect. This effect was also greatly improved in previous installations when we switched to Unicast and moved the show from the main network to a network dedicated to the show data.

    We'd love any tips or suggestions of best practices, methods, and even products to optimize overall system performance.

    We are also looking at SK9822 pixels which add the clock pin. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these and if they improve real-world performance.

    Also wondering if anyone has suggestions on the two parameters on the advanced tab for Streaming ACN controllers (Repeat count and Suppress count)

    Thanks,
    Steve

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    GET RID OF THE CENTRALIZED PLAYER. The best thing you can do is move to many localized data groups that are kept in sync on an empty network. fpp player with many remote fpp playerss and only a sync pdu every 25ms. an fpp on a switch with its local controllers or if you have the f16v3 or 48 then have them play from the local sd card. the less long haul traffic on the network, the better.


    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    Interesting.
    I understand the concept of keeping the lighting groups local using FPP, but I'm not aware how to keep these groups (which are all part of a larger show) in sync in the way you mention. What mechanism do I use to keep the players in sync?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    Quote Originally Posted by spaulgal View Post
    Interesting.
    I understand the concept of keeping the lighting groups local using FPP, but I'm not aware how to keep these groups (which are all part of a larger show) in sync in the way you mention. What mechanism do I use to keep the players in sync?
    FPP has multiple modes of operation.

    FPP Standalone - FPP is a show player and is the only player in the show.
    FPP Master - FPP is a show player, plays the sequence from its local SD card and sends out a tiny "Sync" message for almost every frame.
    FPP Remote - FPP is a show player and plays the sequence from its local SD card. When it sees a sync message it aligns the current file and frame with that identified in the sync message


    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    Genius. I'll take a deeper dive, thanks.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    Agree with Martin. I run my show here on my street with 3 separate FPP instances on RPi at 3 houses on the street. One is the master and the other two are remotes. They sync via a wifi backbone and run wired locally. Each remote has the sequence data for its location. All are on individual dedicated vlans to manage the traffic. Only the tiny sync packets cross the wifi backbone and the rest of the heavy traffic to controllers stays local to the site. I have no issues keeping everything in sync to one broadcast audio source run from the master.

    Edit:

    Vixen is only used for sequencing. All the sequences are exported to FPP and it manages the scheduling and output.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    Thanks Jeff! This is all very appreciated, many thanks. I am going to spent a solid amount of time this evening to begin learning about FPP.

    It sounds like localizing the systems will make the greatest impact on reducing latency, but would using pixels other than the WS2811 offer any real-world improvement on responsiveness? Pixels with the clock pin sound interesting on paper.

    I'm also wondering if anyone has specific recommendations for MicroSD cards.
    Last edited by spaulgal; 05-09-2021 at 06:00 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    there are pixels that have a higher data transfer rate and that allows more pixels in a string for a given refresh rate but has no impact on reducing lag. lag is delay in delivering data from the player to the pixel controller. that makes lag a networking issue.

    i use 48Mb cards.


    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    Can FPP and vixen sequences be run directly from an F48 / F16v3 or do I still need a Pi setup?

    Martin eludes to being able to in his post, but every use case I can find on youtube and elsewhere FPP seems to be running from a Pi or other single board computer.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Optimizing the Stream

    FPP runs on a PI or BBB (maybe a few other platforms). HOWEVER, there are a set of pixel controllers that have FPP "like" functionality built in to them. This means the controller has the ability to accept a downlead of an FSEQ file and then play the file. These controllers are NOT an FPP. They happen to have the ability to play an FSEQ file. This class of controller includes the F16V3, F48, ESPixelStick V4 and other devices (not an exhaustive list). I had heard of a plan to add FPP Master and FPP Standalone (both with audio) functionality to the F16 and F48 products. The falcon site would be a good place to get details on the current and planned capabilities for the F16 and F48 series controllers.

    So you are correct: FPP only runs on a PI or BBB. The ability to interact with an FPP and play FSEQ files is migrating to other devices that are FPP "compliant" and work well with an FPP.


    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyX...ttrsZNARkUce0Q

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