Millumin and Datapath x4

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  • Found a way.
    The first instance of millumin, managing content, must have 4x  screens setup, so there are 4 identical outputs (I used the LCD of the laptop) then the second instance of Millumin (the one being in Full screen mode), managing the 3840x2160 2x2 matrix, has the 4 syphon outputs from first instance and each is positioned on the 2x2 matrix at its right place. Now I have a row of 4 with soft edge blending between the 4 (blending done in first instance, managing content).

  • Hello @perspixe,

    Yes, this is a solution.
    In Millumin 2, you won't have to do this : Millumin 2 will automatically detect the format and size, and propose you to work per quarter (or third in the case of a TripleHead, or an half in the case of a DualHead, ...).

    Best. Philippe
  • edited June 10
    can you give me instructions to install the sdk libraries please?
  • Hello @igraph,

    You don't need to use the Datapath libraries to use an X4 : just plug it, and you computer will recognize it as a 4K screen.
    If you have troubles using your X4, don't hesitate to contact Datapath support, they are usually very responsive.

    Best. Philippe
  • Hi Philippe,

    do you know if a late 2016 15" Macbook Pro would be able to display an 5760 X 1080px 60Hz via one of its USB-C 3 port connected in HDMI or DisplayPort in a Datapath FX4 (or FX4 SDI) ?
    The Datapath will be connected to 3 Full HD video projectors.
    Capture d’écran 2017-07-11 à 14.25.36 copie.png
    2330 x 668 - 70K
  • edited July 11
    Hello @emericad,

    The Datapath FX4 was working greatly with previous generation of MacBookPro 15'' (recognized as a 4K screen).
    So it should be the same with MacBookPro late 2016, since USB-C is faster anyway (and designed to recognize 4K/5K screens). See this post.

    We just configured a MacBookPro late 2016 to test the Apple eGPU kit. We hope to publish the results of our tests in a blog post this summer. I hope you can wait a few weeks, as we may need time to gather enough info.

    Best. Philippe
  • Hello,

    I confirm that the Datapath FX4 is working greatly with MacBookPro USB-C.
    For info, the FX4 can now run at 60hz (instead of 30hz previously). You need to upgrade the firmwire and use the DP input to do so (not working with the HDMI input).

    Best. Philippe
  • Just to confirm: it is possible to use 2 datapaths simultaneously on a MBP - there is however a sigificant frame drop even without the media playing back.

    My test configuration was:

    - Mac Book Pro Retina Mid 2015 15' with Radeon R9 M370X 2GB graphics card
    - Datapath F4 (displayport edition) (30 Khz refresh rate via HDMI -> HDMI)
    - Datapath FX4 (SDI Edition) (60Khz refresh rate via miniDisplay Port -> HDMI)

    Outputting 1 x 4K signal from Macbook Pro (not even playing back any media) and then splitting them into 4 x 1080px:

    - I got around 30fps as displyed in the Millumin software

    After connecting a second datapath simultaneously in the same manner (1 x 4K split into 4 x 1080) the output frame rate dropped to 18fps on millumin - and than even further down to 14fps when I tried to do soft blending and playing back 11000px x 1080px media content encoded into Photo Jpeg Quicktime.

    Is there a way to optimise it? Different codec? Different refresh rate on the Datapath?

    Would there be a significant improvement in the frame rate if I used external gpu (like the one currently sold as Apple Developers Kit?)



  • Hello @HenryForma,

    First of all, the Datapath X4 can output to 4K (then splitted into 4 x 1080p feeds) but the framerate cannot exceed 30fps for hardware reasons. The new Datapath FX4 doesn't have such a limitation and can output to 4Kp60.

    Since all the displays must be synchronized together, the X4 is limiting the framerate for all other displays. So you cannot get more than 30fps when pluging your X4 + FX4.

    Then, outputting 2 x 4K images, in realtime, on a laptop, is quite an heavy task : it's the equivalent of 8 x 1080p feeds. Even if no media is playing, the computer still have to send huge amount of data through video outputs. From our tests, this MacBookPro 2015 can easily run a 4Kp60 feed (or 4x1080p60), but we didn't test 2 x 4K.
    My hypothesis is that your graphic card might be reaching its limits.
    A (expensive) test could be to use 2 x FX4 instead, to see if it makes a difference.

    Regarding codecs : the best performances wil come with HAP codec (or ProRes). More info on this post.

    Regarding eGPUs : we tested the Apple eGPU dev-kit, and it's working pretty well on High Sierra so far.
    We haven't run a lot of tests, so we'd stay cautious, but in your case, you should have much better performances with an eGPU. However, keep in mind that all displays (even the one showing Millumin's interface) should be plugged to the eGPU (else, this affects a lot the performances because data have to go-and-return).

    Best. Philippe

    PS : I know that some users were able to run 8 x 1080p60 feeds on the latest MacBookPro Touchbar / Radeon Pro 460 (with 2 Datapath FX4), but we still needs to run the same tests to check if this configuration can be used on the long run.
  • Dear Philippe,

    Thank You for Your answer. I will update this thread once I've tested other solutions. The results with the Mac Book Pro Touchbar / Radeon Pro 460 sound promising. I am wondering if it still makes sense to go for the eGPU or to save some cash and upgrade to MBP Touchbar.

    My intention is to feed millumin with live generated 3D content through syphon and then output it to 8 screens using Millumin. So this is actually a test of what is the safe resolution to go with live performance to show live generated content.

    And thanks for the update about the MacBook Pro Retina 2015 - looks like with this model eGPU is the only way to go.


  • P.S. 

    I made a mistake in naming the datapaths I used for testing in my previous post - actually both were FX4, and precisely:

    - Datapath FX4 SDI Edition
    - Datapath FX4/D - Display Port Edition

    So the results I described above were acheived using both FX4. I guess the difference in 30/60 kHz came from differend hardware config of those two.

    So in short - the results for 11000px x 1080px Photo Jpeg were: 

    - about 30fps on Millumin using one of them configured to output 4 x 1920 x 1080px  (using 1 x 4K out from 2015 Retina MBP)
    - about 15fps on Millumin using both of them configured to output 8 x 1920 x 1080px in total (using 2 x 4K out from 2015 Retina MBP)




  • Hello @HenryForma,

    As stated on Datapath's website, the FX4 is capable of 4Kp60. In your case, you would probably need to update both firmware and flash : see this post.
    Then your device should work as expected, I mean, Millumin will output at 4Kp60 with only one FX4. We tested the FX4 months ago, and it was working nicely with a MacBookPro Retina 2015.

    Let us know what are the results with 2 x FX4 (but be sure to test each individually, and check that you can output at 4Kp60).

    Best. Philippe
  • sabsab
    edited 10:51PM
    Hello.

    Does FX4(or X4)  recognised by Millumin as 4 indiivisual screens? or  just a giant 4K screen?
    If it is so, Do i have to do layout them by wall designer@windows app?

    Thanks.

  • Hello @sab,

    Millumin does not recognize your FX4 (or X4). Everything is managed in macOS System Preferences / Displays : your FX4 (or X4) will be recognize as a big 4K screen.
    Then, Millumin will show exactly what is displayed in macOS System Preferences / Displays.

    However, Millumin allows you to split a 4K screen into "quarters" : so you don't need to use Datapath Wall Designer, just select the right quarters.
    For example, this is very practical if you want to get 4 x 1080p60 outputs aligned horizontally (instead of a 2x2 layout).

    Best. Philippe
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