ENTTEC USB DMX Pro latency

edited December 2014 in MAIN
Hi everybody,

today we have tested a new Light, Video and Sound Show. We recognized some bigger latency from Grandma 2 over Enttec DMX USB Pro to Millumin and simply start Media. I think the latency from triggering to start media is about 15 Frames. So we are loosing synch directly at the start of the show.
For sure, we can trigger the media 15 frames before all other lights etc.. But maybe I find a"clean" way or a solution.
I am working on an new iMac and I have this problem for the first time.
Thanks for your Ideas.



  • Hello @Burner1983,

    I presume you use MilluPlug to control Millumin via DMX.
    MilluPlug is only getting DMX signals and sending back an OSC message to Millumin (to start a media for example). The latency is always very low (less than 1ms even when the computer is doing a lot). I doubt the problem would be at this stage.

    You should check that the CPU isn't overwhelm, so the USB port can transmit data. At first, run a simple test, with a small media, small resolution, ...
    Also, I guess you use Artnet between the Grandma 2 and the Enttec DMX USB Pro : check that the network is working correctly.

    Best. Philippe
  • Hi Philippe,

    yes, I am using MilluPlug. When I was pretesting the triggering with a small lightcontroller in my studio, everything works fine. There I only use a 5m DMX Cable.
    Yesterday at the test, the person who is responsible for the Light Show, gave me a wireless DMX-Reciever. --> Because the ways between all the lights and the GrandMa are very long, he will use wireless DMX Hardware for all lights etc.. I am not into DMX, this is the part of the Lightning-Guy --> Do you think that can be the problem? His lights working correctly. :-)

    The show will be running in a bigger Sportsarena and the media will output on a Videocube with only SD Resolution. So media isn´t big. Between Millumin and the Videocube are Scaler, Converter etc... Maybe the latency is the sum of wireless DMX and the the longer distance with "obstacles" to the videocube. Because the animated Video includes something like a countdown, you see the latency between sound light and video very hard :-(

    Many questions many thoughts...

    Thanks for helping.

  • edited December 2014
    Hello @Burner1983 ;

    As you said, the latency can have multiple cause. You could try to isolate the problem by performing the following tests : 

    Have you tested the following configuration : GrandMA->wiredDMX->Enttec->MilluPlug ? Do you still have the latency ?  
    Are the lights also plugged on one of those transceiver or are they directly connected on the GrandMA? 
    Is the latency still observable when the emitter and the receiver are in the same room ? 

    Are you observing latency if you output Millumin on a desktop screen ? If yes, it may comme from the video processor between your computer and the Videocube. 

     Antoine M*
  • Hi AntoineM,

    I figured out many things and I try to isolate. All the lights stay on many different positions, so they are all controlled wireless.
    But now it´s for sure, that the problem is the sum of all instances between the triggering from GrandMA an the Output on the videocube. If we trigger per wireless DMX, the video in Millumin is previewed with "only" 5 frames latency. From there, it takes again 8 frames to appear on the Cube. Tomorrow we will check wiredDMX incase of wireless and we will also check the ENTTEC MK2.
    But that doesn´t matter. The latency between Millumin and the videocube will still be there. One good thing is, that the latency is constantly the same. So we will trigger the layer in Millumin 13 frames before all other things.

    I let you know, if I got something new.

  • edited December 2014
    Hi again,

    so now I am more confused. :-(
    I was setting up "SimpleSync" in my Studio just to save me later many ways to walking up and down again in the arena during all the test setup.

    When I´m running or triggering via "SimpleSync", I think I reproduced the same latency Problem that i have with the ENTTEC. I know, it sounds wired but I made many tests now and isolate every system setup etc.

    Let me explain:
    I setup SimpleSync on my new iMac 21,5 (Late2013, Yoesmite, i7, 16GB, FusionDrive etc.) and on my older MacBook (Mid2010, MountainLion 8GB etc..). All setup with wiredLAN. Open the same File in Millumin on both machines and press "send" on SimpleSync running on the MacBook. --> up to here, no Problem.

    Now the movie starts exactly at the same moment on both machines. But from here, strange things happens --> The movie on the iMac is played "slower" or needs more time to start really. I have tested it several hundred times... I switch to Wireless LAN and start the Video with SimpleSync on the iMac and get a small start-latency on my MacBook (because of wirelessLAN). But that doesn´t matter, because the Video on the iMac starts first but played "slower", so both machines are synced again. --> Sounds good, but is bad for me...

    So I check one more thing: On the iMac I give the movie a new "start-time" 00m00s250ms - know its working. Start is again exactly at the same moment on both machines, but because the start-screen of the movie ist played 250ms shorter on the iMac, both machines stay in synch.

    Also I took my studio iMac 27“ (Mountain Lion, i5, etc) and test the same setup. Here I have no problems. No latency. I turned it all around, tested both iMacs with SimpleSync... At the end, my new iMac 21,5 have trouble with playing Videos triggered from "outside" :-( Not much, but 250ms ist too much for synching.

    Because my MacBookPro from 2010 is for sure slower than my 2 weeks old iMac 21,5 I don´t think that it is a hardware problem. The iMac has a very good performance... Big different is the OS, do you think Yosemite can be a problem?

    Any Ideas? :-)

    I think, if you know the problem, you can do many workarounds to solve it. But I like to solve the cause.


  • again it´s me : -(... Now I am just trying to figure out the Problem at the iMac and there it goes. When I am using a test movie, with some simple "flying in" animation and I am just clicking the media on the layer, I see the movie directly on the iMac screen, but the first frame stucks for a couple of frames. In the other movies before I couldn´t see this, because in the first second is no moving.

    So the triggering (Mouse, DMX, SimpleSync) is not the problem. The problem is, that it stucks on the first frame for a couple of ms...

    I check the same movie on my old MacBook and its running perfect. :-(

  • Dear @Burner1983

    What are the codecs of your media?
    What are you playing, direct media or compositions from the Dashboard?

  • Hello @Burner1983,

    Please click on the button "Optimize" (top-left corner), and see if you have recommandations regarding your codecs.
    Also, do a simple test with an empty project and your movie-file.
    If the problem persists, please test to re-encode your movie (codec Photo-JPEG) : maybe there is a bad bit hidden somewhere (rare but possible).

    For info, Millumin automatically preloads movies so they starts instantaneously.
    Best. Philippe
  • Thanks for your answers.

    I am playing direct media and pushed the "Optimize Button" --> I am using Millumin for 1 Year now and manage two bigger sportevents per Week with Live-Feed, Lowerthirds, DMX Triggering etc... And I am very happy with it. :-) That is the first time that I am not able to help myself... :-)

    I used Photo-JPEG with 95 Quality. I rendered it again with 100% Quality and it gets a little bit better, the first frame is still holding for maybe 100ms. I tried the same movie rendered as ProRes and it is nearly perfect now, only minimal stucking at the beginning. (for sure nobody will recognize this)

    But I am still thinkig about, why the other two Macs running with MountainLion have no problem with exactly the same file.

    For sure, I wouldn´t recognized this latency if the movie played solo with direct sound from Millumin. But with the light show and cues perfect matched to a fireshow, we see that it´s not 100% synched. Sound comes from a timecode generator, which gives commands to GrandMa --> thats why 100ms are important in this case...

  • Hello @Burner1983,

    This behavior is very odd : as said, Millumin preloads movies, so they start instantaneously. Moreover, if you see the first frame of your movie, it means that it has been loaded correctly.

    I don't think the problem comes from Millumin. Indeed, Millumin uses Apple libraries to playback the movies, and Apple libraries uses codecs to grab every frame of a movie file. Please check that you don't have any third-party codec installed (such as Perian or 3ivx).

    Last test : remove the audio track from your movie, and try again. If the problem disappears, try to re-encode your file, with an uncompressed audio codec.

    Best. Philippe
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