December 12, 1996
These Release Notes include important information about your new video hardware, software (Software Essentials and Video Development Environment), and documentation from Parallax Graphics. This information supercedes the README file on your CD. The Release Notes include:
NOTE: This version of Parallax Graphics Software Essentials or Video Development Environment for Solaris 1.x/OpenWindows 3.0 is the same as the previous (CD-ROM Release 1.0). If you already have that version installed on your system, there is no need to re-install it from this CD-ROM. This CD-ROM gives you the option to upgrade to another Parallax Graphics-supported operating system/windowing system whenever you want to. If you have any questions, please contact Parallax Graphics technical support.
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Bugs, Anomalies or Restrictions
We have identified the following bugs, anomalies, or restrictions:
1. Pre-Installation: Only 1 Video Card per SPARCstation
Multiple video cards in one SPARCstation are not supported under Solaris 1.x/OpenWindows 3.0. If you want to run multi-headed, you need to use Solaris 2.5.
2. Pre-Installation: Installation in Expansion Chassis If using the Parallax Video hardware in an Integrix expansion chassis, be sure to set the following environment variables in your .cshrc file: setenv BIT_TRANSFER_SIZE 8 setenv BIT_TRANSFER_DELAY 6
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3. SPARCstation 1: Black Screen Some older SPARCstation 1's are equipped with boot EPROMs that are not compatible with Parallax video cards. If you get no display (black screen) after installing a Parallax video card in your SPARCstation 1 (and after double checking all your installation connections to ensure that your video card is properly seated in its SBus slot/s), please contact Sun (USA phone 800-USA-4SUN) for a free SPARC1 boot EPROM upgrade.
4. Do Not Try Compressing with Non-Compression Video Cards If you have XVideo without compression or MultiVideo and try to use JPEG compression (MovieTool movies and VideoTool JPEG or JFIF stills), your system may crash. Do not try using compression unless you have compression.
5. SunOS 4.1.2 (Solaris 1.1.0): JPEG Compression and SunOS Options If you have XVideo with compression or PowerVideo and plan to use compression and are using SunOS 4.1.2 or earlier, you need to make sure that the SunOS kernel contains the following options and that these options are not commented out: IPC SHMEM, LWP, and ASYNCIO.
6. Writes to Console and Accelerated Graphics Writes to the console can crash the system if OpenWindows is in the middle of an accelerated graphics operation. To minimize this problem, be sure to open a console window when you start OpenWindows.
7. HyperSPARC Problems On workstations with XVideo and the HyperSPARC module upgrade, during a power cycle and reboot the NVRAM data on the Parallax card is lost, which results in unusable graphics display. The temporary work-around is to reprogram the video card's NVRAM. Contact technical support for a software patch to prevent this problem (see contacts, page 10). PowerVideo and MultiVideo do not currently support HyperSPARC with SunOS 4.1.x.
8. SunOS 4.1.4 (Solaris 1.1.2): Redirect Output of OpenWindows If you are using SunOS 4.1.4 (Solaris 1.1.2), you must redirect the output of your Parallax OpenWindows session to /dev/null. If not, the system may sometimes reboot when exiting the window system. To redirect output, start your Parallax OpenWindows like this: $PARALLAX_HOME/openwin/bin/openwin >& /dev/null
9. Audio on SPARC 5 Support for SPARC-5 audio is included, but only for SunOS 4.1.4 (Solaris 1.1.2). If you have a SPARC-5 and are running SunOS 4.1.3 or earlier, you must upgrade your operating system release to take advantage of Sun patches to its audio device driver.
10. Removing the Parallax Graphics Logo The Parallax Graphics logo is an example of graphics over video capabilities. To disable or modify the appearance of the logo, see instructions under Documentation Changes.
11. Multithreading Not Supported Multithreading (the distribution of tasks to multiple processors on a single workstation) is not supported in this Parallax release.
12. Boot Messages Obscured after Rebooting SPARCstation 1, 1+, and IPC systems do not send a hardware reset signal when the computer system is rebooted with either "reboot" or "fastboot" commands. The lack of reset does not clear the memory buffer of our board and boot messages may be obscured. Always do a hardware reset from "new command mode" to reboot SPARCstation 1, 1+, and IPC systems.
13. Starting PAL and SECAM Formats Automatic detection of PAL vs. SECAM color formats does not work correctly. In this release, the server assumes 625 line video signals are in PAL format unless the server was started with the environment variable TV2_SECAM set. If you wish to use SECAM input signals, set the environment variable TV2_SECAM to TRUE before starting the server.
14. Video Off Top of Screen Video that should be running off the top of the screen may appear at a random location on the screen (but is still constrained to appear within the correct window).
15. Adjusting Video Color: Light or Dark Flash When adjusting the video color, the brightness is temporarily set to an intermediate value while the new values are being loaded. This process causes a noticeable bright or dark flash while tweaking the video color. This is a result of the process used to load the brightness and contrast color values, and is unavoidable with the current hardware.
16. Changing Framebuffers: Colormap Flash Entering the tv2 frame buffer from an adjacent frame buffer causes the tv2's colormaps to be loaded twice, resulting in a brief flash.
17. Clock Programs Stop Both the X and NeWS clock programs occasionally stop when covered and uncovered.
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18. Recording MovieTool Movies on SPARCserver 600 The SPARCserver 600MP sometimes crashes when recording MovieTool (JPEG) movies.
19. Compressing Motion Video: Frame/Second Limitations It is not possible to capture JPEG movies from a live source at the full frame rate of 30 frames per second for NTSC (or 25 frames/second for PAL or SECAM). For this release, JPEG capture rates are about 16-20 frames/second for NTSC, 13 frames/second for PAL. For this reason, we recommend capturing 1 of every 2 frames at a Q-factor of 150 to achieve reasonable playback results. Note that audio/video synchronization may be sacrificed when you try higher capture rates.
20. Compressing Motion Video on SPARC 5: Quarter-Size Recommended Compressing full-size motion video on the SPARC 5 is not recommended for this release and may fail. Due to an image delay in Sun OS memory mapping on the SPARC-5, sufficient throughput is not available for full sized motion video compression. We recommend using 1/4 size JPEG movies for best throughput and quality. Modifications made to the Parallax device driver work around some delays in SunOS memory mapping, but an occasional compression operation fails. When the Parallax device driver loads, it prints the following message if it detects the slow SunOS memory mapping (on SPARC 5's): XVideo slow mapping work around enabled If it does not detect any memory mapping delay problems, the Parallax device driver prints the following message: XVideo slow mapping work around disabled.
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MovieTool and VideoTool
21. JPEG Compression Shift JPEG-compressed images (MovieTool movies and JPEG or JFIF still images) are shifted by a small random number of pixels (the edge of the image may look wrong).
22. JPEG Image Compatibility JPEG images (including JFIF still images) which are not a multiple of 8 pixels in width are not dealt with in the same manner as the software from the Independent JPEG Group. Such JFIF still images may not be compatible with third party software at the moment.
23. MovieTool Movies and VideoTool JPEG Still Images Look Bad If you open a Parallax JPEG format still image or MovieTool movie that was captured under Solaris 2.5, HP-UX, or IBM AIX and it looks bad (low contrast, color too dim, and blocky), then you need to get the images converted with fixMovieQ. Solaris 2.4 and earlier releases of our Sun software use an incorrect JPEG compression Q table, which is fixed in Solaris 2.5, HP-UX, and IBM AIX. To display the images at high quality, you need to get new-Q-table-movies/images converted into old-Q-table-movies/images with fixMovieQ. (fixMovieQ also converts old-Q-table-movies/images to new-Q-table-movies/images for display under Solaris 2.5, HP-UX, or IBM AIX.) For information on how to use fixMovieQ, see your Multimedia User's Guide (Solaris 2.x) Appendix C. On your CD-ROM, fixMovieQ is available under Solaris 2.5. If you or a friend have a Solaris 2.5 (or 2.4) system, you can use fixMovieQ to convert the images. If not, contact Parallax Graphics technical support for a version of fixMovieQ for your operating system.
24. Output Colors Look Wrong XVideo-VIO and RGB Users: If you are sending output from your workstation to an external video device through XVideo, colors sometimes become incorrect when sent to the external device. We have created a software patch to fix this problem. To get the patch, contact Parallax technical support.
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25. Noise in Video Output with Colormap Use XVideo-VIO and RGB Users: When you are using the low-resolution output option (output to VCR, TV monitor, etc.), noise may appear on the low-res output momentarily when a colormap is loaded.
26. Video Output Tears if Changed While Active XVideo-VIO and RGB Users: The low-resolution video output (output to VCR, TV monitor, etc.) tears when the region of screen to be output is changed while output is active.
27. Missing Pixels in Graphical Interface Pixels are missing from the sliders in our VideoTool application and, occasionally, from the hands of the standard OpenWindows clock program.
28. Drag and Drop Does Not Work with JPEG Movies in VideoTool The Drag and Drop interface to VideoTool now works with JPEG stills, but does not work with movie files.
29. VideoTool Configuration Control Panel: Still VideoTool can fail if the following procedure is followed: 1. Run VideoTool. 2. Open Input1. 3. Open Video Configuration Control Panel. 4. Click on the title bar to move the Input1. 5. Select Still on the Video Configuration Control Panel. You will receive the following error message: xError of Failed request: BadMatch
30. VideoTool Config Deinterlace Not Working The deinterlace button on the VideoTool Config panel does not work.
31. SPARCserver 600MF: VideoTool Still is Slower On a SPARCserver 600MP the VideoTool "Still" operation works but runs slowly compared to other platforms. Video Development Environment
32. Using Xt Example, Xlib Example, tNt, and VidWin with PAL Since our demos are "hard-coded" for use with NTSC, the following demo/client programs do not work with PAL: Xt Example, Xlib Example, tNt, and VidWin. Symptoms can include no color in window or lack of sync errors on the console. The user can make simple modifications to these examples to add PAL capability.
33. xvtest Only Supports 1152 Displays The xvtest program only supports the 1152 display modes.
34. Xt Graphics Overlay Demo When using the Xt Graphics Overlay demo: This demo generates numerous warning messages on startup, but runs fine.
35. XPlxGetCImage Sometimes Truncates JPEG Images The final portion of a JPEG compressed image is sometimes truncated by XPlxGetCImage.
36. XPlxScaleCopyArea Function Not Working The XPlxScaleCopyArea function (Xlib extension) does not copy data correctly.
37. Corrections to Video Development Environment Reference Guide See Documentation Changes below .
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The following information is not covered in other documentation:
Graphics over Video: Parallax Graphics Logo The Parallax Graphics logo displays on the video windows in XView-based applications. This is an example of graphics-over-video capabilities available through the Video Development Environment. This can be modified through X resources. The default behavior shows the logo for five seconds, after which the logo disappears. You can alter or disable the logo display by following the instructions listed below.
There are two new X resources, "logoTime" and "logoFile". The "logoFile" resource is the name of a file to be displayed as a logo (Note: this file must be an X Pixmap Format (XPM) file). The "logoTime" resource specifies the duration in seconds of the logo on-screen.
By default, the "logoFile" resource is set to:
To completely disable the appearance of the logo, set the "logoTime" resource as follows: *logoTime: 0
To show the logo for 10 seconds before disappearing, set "logoTime" as follows: *logoTime: 10
To show the logo until the application itself quits, set "logoTime" as follows: *logoTime: -1
Device Control API
To provide more universal controls over RS-232 video devices, the XVideo device-control API has been modified to support a more generic set of video device-control protocols. This enhancement of our device-control API effectively changes the following:
List of supported devices. We now support the following protocols: SONY_IP Sony LaserDisc Players (Models 1500, 1550, 2000) use Sony_IP, Sony Institutional Protocol, an older device-control protocol that allows a single device to be attached to the computer serial port and controlled as an RS-232 device.
SONY_VISCA SONY_VISCA, Sony Video System Control Architecture, is a newer protocol that allows up to 8 devices to be connected and RS-232 controlled (even over network). This protocol was developed for use with Sony VBOX, a "black box" that allows Sony cameras (which use Control-L protocol) to be connected/viewed as VISCA devices and RS-232 controlled. Sony_VISCA devices are generally 9600 baud
PIONEER NEC PANASONIC LIVE_VIDEO JPEG_FILE
Device control API, SW Dev. Guide pp. 43, 44; Player Initialize function pp. 196, 19. Note that player.h has been changed to replace defines of *_MODEL ($PARALLAX_HOME/openwin/include/player.h):
/* Known video player types */ #define PIONEER_MODEL 0 #define SONY_MODEL 1 #define NEC_MODEL 2 #define POD_MODEL 3 #define LIVE_MODEL 4 #define FILE_MODEL 5
/* Known video player types */ #define PIONEER 0 #define SONY_IP 1 #define NEC 2 #define PANASONIC 3 #define LIVE_VIDEO 4 #define JPEG_FILE 5 #define SONY_VISCA 6
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The following information replaces the corresponding information in the Video Development Environment Reference Guide for X11R5 and OW 3.07:
XShmDestroyImage -> XShmDetach (VDE, p 30) XShmDestroyImage( ) should be XShmDetach( ).
VIDEO_IN Object's New Attributes (VDE, pp 49-62) These attributes have been added to the VIDEO_IN object:
VIDEO_COLOR Returns a flag set TRUE when video input is in color, or FALSE when video input is in grayscale.
VIDEO_GRAPHICS Tags the drawable for a specified drawing operation such as graphics overlay on video.
VIDEO_INTERVAL Returns the number of lines in the video input signal blanking interval. These lines are used to carry special signal encoding information such as information used for closed captions for the hearing impaired.
VIDEO_NORMAL_ASPECT Default (VDE, p 57) The default setting for VIDEO_NORMAL_ASPECT is False.
XtInputFormat and XtInputType (VDE, p 73) The Xt Example demo program does not implement the XtInputFormat and XtInputType statements as documented in the XVideo Software Developer's Guide; the examples in the document are correct.
Pointer to Parallax Inputs and Outputs (VDE, p 87) The pointer to parallax inputs and outputs is *inputs, *outputs, not *plx_inputs, *plx_outputs.
XPlxVideoScaleCopyArea -> XPlxScaleCopyArea (VDE, p 104) XPlxVideoScaleCopyArea should be XPlxScaleCopyArea.
jpeg_load_jfif function (VDE, p 187) The jpeg_load_jfif function: This function is used to retrieve a single JPEG compressed image from a JFIF file.
jpeg_save_jfif Function (VDE, p 192) The jpeg_save_jfif function: The synopsis for this function is incorrect. It should be: int jpeg_save_jfif (dpy, image, filename, qtable); Display *dpy; JPEGIMAGE *image; char *filename; u_char *table;
qtable is a pointer to an array of unsigned chars which contains the luminance and chrominance quantization tables in the format defined in qtab.h.
ShowPlayerFrame -> ShowDiscFrame (VDE, p 213) "ShowPlayerFrame" should be "ShowDiscFrame"
ShowPlayerSegment -> ShowDiscSegment (VDE, p 214) "ShowPlayerSegment" should be "ShowDiscSegment"
PlayIndex 2nd Argument (VDE, p 203) "PlayerIndex" takes a 2nd argument 'status'
To Load a JFIF File We support only a subset of the JPEG Baselin