Posted 3/Sep 2012 at 14:43
by in Science & Tech / read by 898 people

How I finally solved my Sony Movie Studio HD Platinum instability issues

Not too long ago, I started to do some Full HD, stereoscopic 3D editing and found that the Sony Vegas line of products appeared to be the sofware to do it with. It recognizes the MTS files created by my TD10, exports in various Stereo-3D formats - including anaglypic for any screen, side by side for YouTube and Blu-Ray 3D for .. well, blu ray players. 

The interface is great, is easy to figure out and reminds me a lot of what I was used to from Adobe Premiere way back then. It does everythng I'd be looking for in a video editor program, and does it very well. However, what it did very well too was crashing.

And that I didn't like. It crashed during editing, and it crashed during rendering. Sometimes with a "friendly" error message, but usually it would just freeze. Bad stuff!

I searched the web, found all sorts of advice about reducing the rendering threads, trying with or without GPU acceleration and some tricks appeared to help. In particular by reducing the rendering threads from 16 to 1  I was finall able to render a DVD. And I managed to get my 1h30m video rendered up to 92% (from somewhat around 20% where it used to crash). Restarting the computer helped a bit as well.

But nothing consistent.

Then, deep down below all other advice, there was one suggesting that if nothing else it might have something to do with overheating of the CPU. I installed CPUID's HWMonitor and noticed a temperature of about 90 degrees on my Intel i5 proc. Which is quite warm.

I decided to see if perhaps opening my cabinet would work. It did not. But what I did see was my CPU being covered by a thin layer of dust. So, I took an old (dry!!) toothbrush and a vacuum cleaner, spend about half an hour getting most of the dust away.

Now my CPU's temperature doesn't get above 70C anymore and rendering hasn't halted a single time. Haven't done a lot of editing since, as I just had this large project to render, but I would say that it's likely to have it's effect on that as well.

Lesson learned

That wat appears to be a software problem, was actually a hardware issue. Really, my anger and frustration towards Sony was really building up with every crash. But, assuming the editing will also be more fluent now, my temper has calmed down as well.

Some other tips

Here are some other things I noticed in my quest for a solution to the instability:

  • Contrary to what many people say, the Dynamic RAM setting did not appear to have any influence on rendering speed or stabiliyt. Obvious, as the Dynamic RAM is used to build Dynamic RAM previews. Something you can use to quickly render a part of your video with some efects for fluent playback. Works faster than a selective pre-render.

    I recommend setting it to half the amount of memory that's typically available to your sytem while Sony Vegas / Movie Studio is in heavy use. That should be safe.
  • The default setting of 16 concurrent rendering threads (in Movie Studio Platinum 12) is quite alright. Messing with the Internal settings to raise it to 32 didn't give my any noticable difference. Lowering it would put less stress on your CPU, so if your CPU is a bit slower or if you want to use your computer for normal web surfing during a (pre-)render operation this could be a good idea.

    Put it all the way down to 1 if your cooler is broken ;)
  • Always do a program restart before rendering. I've noticed that sometimes, especially when I've been switching back and forth between Vegas, Windows Explorer and Sound Forge it would render either without sound or picture when I don't restart Movie Studio.
  • Have some patience ;)

You might also want to explore these likealots