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/X11R5 is similar to the previous (X11R5 1.1) except that it supports libraries, graphical interface, widgets and other developer tools like those provided in Parallax Graphics Solaris 2.4/OpenWindows 3.4 release, instead of the Parallax SunOS 4.1.x/OpenWindows 3.07/X11R5 1.1 libraries, etc. If you have any questions, please contact Parallax Graphics technical support.
Return to Top Bugs, Anomalies or Restrictions We have identified the following bugs, anomalies, or restrictions: Pre-Installation 1. Pre-Installation: Only 1 Video Card per SPARCstation Multiple video cards in one SPARCstation are not supported under Solaris 1.x/X11R5 1.2. If you want to run multi-headed, you need to use Solaris 2.5. 2. Pre-Installation: PowerVideo and MultiVideo 1152x900 Display Only For PowerVideo and MultiVideo, this release supports the 1152 x 900 display resolution only.
Return to Top General 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. How to Avoid Crashes When Exiting the X11R5 Server You need to modify your .xinitrc file to prevent system crashes when you exit the X11R5 server while a window manager is running. For instructions, see page 21 (step 2.6) in your Software Installation Guide. 5. 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. 6. 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. 7. Writes to Console and Accelerated Graphics Writes to the console can crash the system if X11R5 is in the middle of an accelerated graphics operation. To minimize this problem, be sure to open a console window when you start X11R5. 8. Using Tab Window Manager (twm) and 8-bit Mode If you plan to use twm with the Parallax server in 8-bit mode, you must patch twm. See page 17 (step 2.2) in your Software Installation Guide. 9. 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. 10. Exiting Server after Using xsetroot -solid If you use xsetroot -solid, the system will crash when you exit the server. 11. 8-Bit Displays on Dual-Headed System in 32-Bit Mode When running your server "multi-headed" (with a Parallax Graphics video card and another display "controller") in 32-bit mode, any operations to 8-bit displays will crash the server. 12. 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. 13. Multithreading Not Supported Multithreading (the distribution of tasks to multiple processors on a single workstation) is not supported in this Parallax release. 14. 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. 15. Visual Depth 24-Bits or 32-Bits The X11R5 server has 24 and 32-bit TrueColor visuals available. In general use the 24-bit visual. Some older software will require the 32-bit TrueColor visual. To launch the Xserver with a 24 or 32-bit TruColor root window, use: xinit -- $PARALLAX_HOME/X11/bin/Xplxv -dev /dev/tvtwo0 \ -I <-24 or -32> (For 24-bit visuals, use -24. For 32-bit visuals use -32. For more information see page 16 of your Software Installation Guide.) 16. 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. 17. 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). 18. 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.
Return to Top MovieTool 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.
Return to Top MovieTool and VideoTool 20. 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). 21. 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. 22. 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.
Return to Top VideoTool 23. 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. 24. Using VideoTool Still with Partial Video Window Using the VIDEO_SAVE_STILL function (by selecting the "Still" button in VideoTool) with the video window partially off screen causes a BadMatch error, which causes VideoTool to exit.
Return to Top Video Development Environment 25. 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. 26. PAL with Xt widget The Xt widget will not display a correctly-sized PAL window. 27. XPlxGetCImage Sometimes Truncates JPEG Images The final portion of a JPEG compressed image is sometimes truncated by XPlxGetCImage. 28. XPlxScaleCopyArea Function Not Working The XPlxScaleCopyArea function (Xlib extension) does not copy data correctly. 29. Corrections to Video Development Environment Reference Guide See Documentation Corrections (page 7 of these Release Notes). You also should read Appendix F in your Solaris 2.x VDE Reference Guide.
Return to Top Documentation Changes New Documentation The following information is not covered in other documentation: To Manually Start the Server To manually start the X11R5 server provided by Parallax Graphics, use: xinit -- $PARALLAX_HOME/X11/bin/Xplxv -dev /dev/tvtwo0 To Run Dual-Headed To use XVideo in a dual-headed environment where XVideo and one other display "controller"are installed in your SPARCstation, start the server in 8-bit mode in the following manner: prompt: xinit -- $PARALLAX_HOME/X11/bin/Xplxv Or, start the server in 32-bit mode in the following manner: prompt: xinit -- $PARALLAX_HOME/X11/bin/Xplxv -I -32 The X11R5 server is designed to start the XVideo (/dev/tvtwo0) as the "main" (left) display (DISPLAY :0.0), and any second display card (cgthree0, cgsix0 ...) as the secondary (right) display (DISPLAY :0.1). To access the second display, move your mouse "off" the right hand edge of the main display (tvtwo0), and into the secondary display (cgthree0 ...). Device Control API To provide more universal controls over RS-232 video devices, the XVideo device-control API has been modified to support a more generic set of video device-control protocols. This enhancement of our device-control API effectively changes the following: List of supported devices. We now support the following protocols: SONY_IP Sony LaserDisc Players (Models 1500, 1550, 2000) use Sony_IP, Sony Institutional Protocol, an older device-control protocol that allows a single device to be attached to the computer serial port and controlled as an RS-232 device. SONY_VISCA SONY_VISCA, Sony Video System Control Architec-ture, is a newer protocol that allows up to 8 devices to be connected and RS-232 controlled (even over network). This protocol was developed for use with Sony VBOX, a "black box" that allows Sony cameras (which use Control-L protocol) to be connected/viewed as VISCA devices and RS-232 controlled. Sony_VISCA devices are generally 9600 baud PIONEER NEC PANASONIC LIVE_VIDEO JPEG_FILE Device control API, SW Dev. Guide pp. 43, 44; Player Initialize function pp. 196, 19. Note that player.h has been changed to replace defines of *_MODEL ($PARALLAX_HOME/openwin/include/player.h): Old defines: /* 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 New defines: /* 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
Return to Top Tested Hardware This hardware and software has been tested on the following systems from the Sun SPARCstation line of workstations: * SPARC 1 * SPARC IPX, IPC * SPARC 2 * SPARC 5 * SPARC 10 * SPARC 20 If you have questions about using your Parallax Graphics video card with another kind of Sun SPARCstation or display, please contact our technical support engineers.
Return to Top Fixes or Enhancements We have incorporated the following improvements over the previous release of Solaris 1.x/X11R5: 1. All 6 Operating System/Windowing System Combinations This CD-ROM release gives you all the software available for Sun/Solaris systems, so that you can choose the operating system/windowing system you want and upgrade when you want to. This CD-ROM contains the following combinations of operating system/windowing systems: * Solaris 2.5 (SunOS 5.5)/OpenWindows 3.5 (Parallax Version 1.0) * Solaris 2.4 (SunOS 5.4)/OpenWindows 3.4 (Parallax Version 1.1) * Solaris 2.3 (SunOS 5.3)/OpenWindows 3.3 (Parallax Version 1.1) * Solaris 1.x (SunOS 4.1.x)/Openwindows 3.0 (Parallax Version 3.07) * Solaris 1.x (SunOS 4.1.x)/MIT X11R5 (Parallax Version 1.2) * Solaris 1.x (SunOS 4.1.x)/MIT X11R5 (Parallax Version 1.1) 2. Upgraded Libraries, Widgets, Etc. This version of Parallax Graphics Software Essentials or Video Development Environment for Solaris 1.x/X11R5 is similar to the previous (X11R5 1.1) except that it supports libraries, graphical interface, widgets and other developer tools like those provided in Parallax Graphics Solaris 2.4/OpenWindows 3.4 release, instead of the Parallax SunOS 4.1.x/OpenWindows 3.07/X11R5 1.1 libraries, etc.
Copyright 1998 Parallax Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved.