I'm hoping for some assistance with a problem that we have.

We are unable to get Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 to preview any video anywhere near real-time. The best we can do is 15fps even with scaling disabled, and preview quality set to Draft>1/4. Anything higher than this preview quality setting is unworkable. We have made attempts on two different higher-end workstations with three different video cards (specs below) to no avail. After consulting suggestions on numerous message boards, including Sony's public support resources, we have not been able to resolve the issue.We do have a ticket open with sony support, but had not yet received a response.


Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 being the exception, video performance on the test systems is seamless with RV, VLC, Maya, Nuke, WMA Player, Quicktime 7.x, using any footage such as frame sequences, NTSC, HD, 2k, 2D, 3D (yes, 3D too), etc.

Test systems specifications:
1. Dual Xeon quad core (E5410)(8 total cores), 2.33GHz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia QuadroFX 3500, Windows 7, Intel S5520SC workstation motherboard with current BIOS (v.S5500.86B.01.00.0054)
a. tried sata and IDE drives, and both software and hardware RAID0 on the sata bus.

2. Quad Xeon quad core (nehalem.E5645)(16 total cores), 2.4GHz, 24GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX 4000, windows 7, Intel S5520SC workstation motherboard with current BIOS (v.S5500.86B.01.00.0054)
a. Only tried SATA drives on this box, in both software and hardware raid configurations
b. Also tried an Nvidia GTX580 card in this system
* Note on above specs: I have been told that the senior engineer here has also tried playback with an SSD drive on one of the test systems.

As you can see, these workstations are very capable and they serve us very well in every other respect.

In addition to the support resources previously mentioned, we have also performed the following:
1. Tried every combination of disabling/enabling the following in the BIOS:
a. Processor "Turbo Boost"
b. "Speedstep"
c. Hyperthreading
d. toggled AHCI features
e. toggled C3 and C6 processor reporting features
2. Reinstalled DirectX11
3. Fully patched windows
4. Updated SATA storage drivers (Intel ICH10 family2) from 9.1.1.1013 to the current 9.6.4.1002
5. Updated Intel Chipset Drivers to current version v.9.2.0.1021
6. Onboard video disabled in the BIOS
7. Intel diagnostics show no identifiable hardware trouble on either test system


Also, referencing the following Sony support documentation:
Document 1. Achieving smooth playback in the Video Preview window
Document 2. Troubleshooting stuttering, dropouts, noise, and/or latency with playback and recording
1. RE: Match Project Properties to your source media
a. Source: Video 1920x1080 AVC, 29.97fps interlaced
b. Project: 1920x180, 29.97i
2. RE: Adjust your Preview Quality Setting
a. There isn't a single setting that works with HD video, from Draft>1/4 to Best(Full). While performance does improve dramatically from 7fps in Best>Full, to 15 fps in Draft>1/4, it's still half of what it should be.
3. RE: Disable or bypass effects
a. There are no effects in any of the test footage/projects. We simply imported the native video to the timeline. there are no effects enabled.
4. RE: Selectively Prerender Video or Build Dynamic RAM preview
a. There is no human perceivable change in performance with selectively pre-rendering the video
b. There is little change in performance (2-3fps) with Dynamic RAM Preview
5. RE: Down convert to an intermediate format: Unfortunately, this is not an option in our pipeline.
6. RE: Additionally, in the playback preferences, under Preview Device, we've tried specifying both the Stereoscopic 3D Graphics Card, and Windows Secondary Display options. No difference.

In testing, we really like the feature set of Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11, but we need preview playback to work at the appropriate frame rates before committing to the purchase of a handful of licenses for our workstations.

So, the two questions are:
  • Is there any other relevant info that one would need to help point us in the right direction or solve the problem?
2. Is there a solution?

Thanks so much,
Ken