I am trying to fix an annoying FCPX issue since a long time without luck.
I am experiencing intermittent playback stutter when I output the image from FCPX via A/V output via HDMI to a TV. It does not happen all the time, but often enough to drive me crazy. When I quickly press pause and play again it goes away. Until it comes back. I tried to find some information online but no luck really.
My current configuration:
MBP late 2016, 16 GB RAM, 460, OWC TB3 Hub, Blackmagic eGPU -> HDMI output connected to Philips OLED 55” POS9002. Mojave 10.14.1, fcpx 10.4.4 (but I am having this issue since a long time and previous software versions). Monitor for FCPX is a LG 34” 21:9 Monitor connected to the OWC Hub which is connected to the eGpu.
Media is on an external RAID 0 SSD in Apple ProRes LT, so that can’t be the issue.
Audio is connected via USB to an ADAM A5 Soundsystem with Sub, Lip-sync achieved with a little Lindy Audio Delay Box.
I suspected the Audio output from OSX longtime to be responsible for the intermittent stutter, as if they were some sort of problems from osx to sync image and audio, so I selected different Audio outputs, as well directly to and from the TV and take the audio through the digital output from the TV, but no luck. Changed audio configurations in the Audio-Midi setup to different kHz settings, no luck.
I changed all the cables, especially the HDMI cables, did not change anything. Changed TB3 ports. Took the eGPU out. Put it back. Connected the OWC directly to the computer. Did not change anything. Output the HDMI through an adapter directly from the TB3 mac port. Same issues. Created a new user, no luck.
I have to say that I had these issues on a nMP D700’s 32gb Ram and its HDMI output as well 3 years ago already. The MPB 2016 was a clean install, did not import the old user.
I have of course a Blackmagic Mini Monitor output (Thunderbolt) which has not these intermittent stutter issues, but it is pretty slow in responsiveness, when you edit in JKL mode. I just takes too long to react when I press play or when I skim through images. I want to edit faster than this feedback I am getting. Besides that the Blackmagic drivers are a mess, the latest are crashing all the time. I found a legacy version which was more stable.
I lately purchased an AJA T-Tap which does not crash at least, hoping that the responsiveness would be better but speed is still not the same than the direct HDMI connection from the computer.
For producers screenings and when I work with the director next to me I always use the AJA T-Tap to avoid these stutters. But I am not happy with its speed. And even there, but only sometimes, after pressing play a few frames are stuttering but then it catches up and does not stutter anymore no matter how long I let it play. I am editing long format feature films and love FCPX, but this is annoying me a lot.
I am even thinking to switch to the Blackmagic eGPU Pro because maybe the Graphic cards are underpowered. But the 580 from the BM eGPU should be able to handle a decent playback me thinks. A bit frustrated here.
Any thoughts? Many thanks!
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I read your post a few times and you clearly did quite a bit of useful testing. I didn't notice, however that you ever tried a different monitor or TV for the AV output. Your Philips TV is a smart TV with a lot of picture settings and configurations. I would suggest you make sure it is not connected to the internet as that could possibly be running some background apps that maybe interfere. Maybe a picture, or motion setting in that TV is causing an issue.
We are using a LG 43 inch HD TV and also occasionally switch over to a Asus 27" IPS monitor for FCPX AV output and have near perfect playback and sync performance. These are fed either from a BMD Intensity Pro 4K Pcie card or direct from HDMI out of a Mac Pro Tower. Great results either way with either display. We've had this setup since El Capitan and thru the current Mojave, so it appears FCPX AV output is working as intended.
I would suggest attaching a completely different display (either monitor or TV) for the AV output and see if the stuttering disappears. If so, you can play with the Philips settings to see if you can find something that solves the issue. Maybe try something with a 60 Hz refresh instead of the 120 Hz that your Philips provides (although I don't think that would be a problem), but worth checking.
And yes, I forgot to mention, but I switched TVs as well. Before I had a Full HD 46" Samsung TV, and played with all possible menu settings, HDMI inputs and so on in order to make it disappear. I always get rid of most (if not all) of the image enhancing features of the TVs in order to get a most realistic preview of the image quality. In the end I thought it could be the TV by itself, that the motion engine had issues or whatever and bought a new one, but the problems persisted. Here as well I played with all the settings. Yesterday I had a full day of editing with a 25p project, needless to say that the monitor is configured correctly in 25 Hz in Apple Display settings, and I had almost no stutter compared to the 24p project (and TV then configured to 24 Hz in image settings) I am currently editing, too.
I just turned off the internet connection of the TV and will see how it goes today, full day of 25p editing.
Tomorrow I will go back to the 24p project. Will report back.
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