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Old April 13th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #16
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Kind Words of Encouragement

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Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
Mark,
Anyone who thinks you are "bitching and pissing on" CD or their firmware doesn't understand the nature of beta testing... or user forums in general. In your case, you state your case, professionally represent your view, provide constructive feedback, and, importantly, are respectful of others opinions. In my limited time on this forum, I have always seen you conduct yourself in that manner.

What's not to like? No worries...
....Hi Bob: I sincerely thank you for your kind words of encouragement. You get the beta tester feedback thingy :-)
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Old April 13th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #17
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... and CD gets it too.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=Deke Kincaid;1513882]psst: not everyone does the same work as you do. Just because you don't have time to fiddle doesn't mean you should impose that on everyone else. People have different priorities of what they want the device to do.

Yes, thank you Deke, I can do without being patronised. If expressing my professional opinion offends you then maybe you should view an alternative forum, I thought that's what forums were for.
As for priorities, I repeat, time lapse is not, jam sync is!
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Old April 14th, 2010, 09:49 AM   #19
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If I Get Your Drift Chris ?

Hi Chris:
I think I understand what you're trying to express. What I think you mean is that when you purchased your Flash XDR (?) you thought you were purchasing a completed product. You didn't necessarily consider you were signing up for some kind of freaking beta testier program ! In other words, you didn't pay five grand to participate in some kind of experiment. Did I get you right Chris ?

* Perhaps it's time to discuss the 800 LB Gorilla in the room here ? There is a gorilla here, and he's a beta tester ;-) I think we need to be clear and be willing to admit what we have in fact purchased- wether it be a Nano Flash, or a Flash XDR, we should understand these are highly complex and experimental devices. Yup ! I dare to make the central point nobody else on this forum would dare to admit. Now, I've been developing my own Solid State Recording Device based on SDXC, SDHC, and SD based memory media for practically 2 years now, so I have a natural propensity toward adventure, experimentation, and creativity. This also explains why we haven't released our product because we want to make painfully sure it actually works perfectly, and right now it still isn't recording properly ! Sorry ! That's another thread ! I went into my $6K Canadian purchase of my XDR with my eyes open. I knew well in advance it was an uncompleted device as far as its full advertised functionality goes, but I went ahead with my acquisition because I also knew this device would allow me to record full raster HD video and audio material out of a camera which only could produce thick raster HD (1440 x 1080) with only 2 channels of 48 K 16 bit audio realistically (My H1 actually records 4 channels of audio, but not at 16 bit samples). The Flash XDR now records up to 8 channels of 48 KHz *24*bit audio ! Big difference ! The XDR is also a phantom powered analogue audio embedder ! This is amazing my friends !

For normal shooting and recording of Sony XDCAM HD 4:2:2 the XDR is a dream ! This is predominantly my normal paying job use of the device with my camera equipment. The time-lapse I have big use for, and the Jam-Sync too. These functions seem to be working well with Firmware 1.1.151 (Except for jam-Sync @ 23.98 fps with 3:2 pull down removal activated). This isn't a total deal breaker per se, since concert and normal TV broadcast video is still predominantly acquired as interlaced HD @ 59.94 MHz (Which does work in fact work quite well)

So what are folks actually purchasing ? Are they buying the fantasy, or are they buying the reality ? If you extrapolate this scenario, but now replace the device with - say- a Sony SRW 9000 HDCAM SR Broadcast Camcorder, and try to apply the same manufacture and market strategy what do you get ? Probably a great big fat lawsuit from disgruntled owners. ;-) I still hold out great hope for CD to eventually fix, and or activate whatever functions are buggy, or need to be turned on.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #20
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It's true to a degree

I have been considering this topic from the start and I am glad we are talking about it. I bought the Nano thinking that it was a great device, and it is. I think it is the future "leveling the format field" product and I am sure there will be others to follow.

It is an incomplete box, however. There are things (sync audio on playback) that don't work correctly in the production firmware, let alone the beta firmware. So, this box is experimental to some degree...

That experimental nature makes it difficult to use. There are so many parameters and workflows to choose and those processes are still being worked out. Read this forum and it is clear, this device is a work in progress. The more I use different functions the more my frustrations have been growing. I considered selling the Nano, wondering if it was worth the headaches. What I have concluded, is that for now, I am learning a lot about how my camera works, how NLE systems work, and how other cameras work. That is a good thing.

I am happy I purchased it, even though it is incomplete. I have already put it to work on paying gigs. I have been uncomfortable using it, at times, when in the field I have had trouble knowing I was getting what I needed (sync audio, in my case). I am always rolling tape as a backup. If I had purchased a $3000 tape deck, and it didn't play back correctly, I would be concerned. It is not exactly comforting to be told there are "known issues" and that everything is fine in the finished file. It is not exactly comforting to be told to "take your footage through post" to be sure it all works... when CD should be the ones taking everything through post to find the flies in the ointment. (granted, most of us would do this anyways, even with systems that are tried and true, because we need to be sure it is bulletproof).

For me, though, it is impossible to take my Nano recordings through all post flows because A: I only run FCP, B: There are several other NLE systems, C: There are several camera settings to try, D: My clients (and their post production facilities) are scattered across the globe... This list goes on and on. I am happy to do what testing I can, but testing on all systems, with all major cameras, and all flavors of video is a cost of doing business for Convergent... and as much as I have dove in head first, these things need to be borne on their end first and foremost.

The conundrum is that the Nano (or XDR) is the only game in town with it's capabilities. For me, that makes it worth the development headaches for now. I'm not sure how long owners of the device will put up with the current state of things... I am not sure how long I will put up with it. Soon, however, CD is going to have to fix this box to get everyone to purchase it...

Us whiners (!) on the forum won't be the motivation for sync sound, jam sync, etc. We are just identifying problems. What will get those things working is the marketplace. My guess is that ball is rolling very quickly down the hill and Convergent is doing all it can to get it under control. If they don't, someone else will and we will all be looking at buying the next recording device next year! I certainly hope that all the quirks in this box are fixed, because I really like it and I think the Convergent folks are great at customer service and responsiveness.

I am sure that nothing we have all written in this thread is really a surprise to Convergent, either. They know the score! I am rooting for them, (we are rooting for you CD!) as I think most of us are... because they have a potentially outstanding product, I am invested $3000 already, and they seem like good people to boot.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #21
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Now Comes 3D

Hi Scott:
In one sense I wonder about what new variables have now been introduced for Nano users who choose to go down the 3D route ? To be as fair as possible to Convergent Design, financial realities guarantee they always need to move forward and develop new products in a timely manner. I have no way of knowing for sure exactly what forces are driving them to move as quickly as they are. As an existing customer, I don't want to feel like I have to be the *next* customer to get the attention required to address the issues I have as an *existing* customer. My personal impression as an XDR customer is the company has simply moved on, and now, as an XDR owner/user, I am at the bottom of the company's list of priorities in terms of firmware updates and focus. You Nano owners get firmware updates faster than we do now. Now that the Nano is in 3D, I would expect 3D to take priority over 2D Nano, then XDR.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #22
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Another thing

I was out for a bit and thinking this topic over. I also think there is another thing at play.

Innovation on the scale of small companies has got to be tough. Sony, Panasonic, large corporations... they have the financial muscle to take a product and put it through R&D, waiting for the bugs to be worked out, before releasing it to market. This gives them total control at the expense of being the first product out there. I am guessing that Convergent isn't in the same financial boat as these huge corporations. I am guessing that they had to get the products on the market to keep the cash flow going. That cuts both ways... you get to be first with your product but you also risk alienating customers with a buggy product.

The economic reality is that smaller companies like Convergent may not be able to put their financial resources behind testing. I feel like we have seen this more and more... companies releasing tools that are not 100% ready to go. For instance, the RED camera. I don't work with that cam but it sure sounds to me like they release new firmware constantly.

Maybe, as consumers, we have to decide if this is ok. I, personally, would rather see companies like Convergent, RED, etc. succeed with their products. Their innovation is important to the industry and it keeps the Sonys and Panasonics competitive as well. I would like to see less reliance on the consumer to find the problems with products...

If the trade-off is that the NanoFlash would not be in my hands right now and making me money, well, I would rather have a Nano than nothing at all.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stoneback View Post
Read this forum and it is clear, this device is a work in progress.
Hey Scott,

I think EVERY device is work in progress. Manufacturers are always working on the "next version"... software, firmware or hardware. The difference here is that CD does its development work in the open... unlike Apple that does everything in secret. I much prefer the former. Think about it... with Apple you can only guess about what's coming up or what might have been... or if anything is being done or considered at all! ProApps owners know what I'm talking about. Heck, did anyone catch the difference in the KiPro hype and actual shipping features? A couple of really big ticket items were missing. And that's from AJA, a great company.

The old saying applies: Caveat Emptor. ALWAYS buy a piece of gear for what is in the shipping model. NEVER buy a piece of gear for what might be in the next release. I learned this lesson when I bought the Media 100 844/x... which promised the moon. 30 days later it was history... gone... no warning. I was so pissed, I was green. But the truth is that I still earned a lot of money with that box. So I learned to get over lose of the "promise of technology" and stick to things that will make me money now. Like the nano.

I think the folks at CD have all the best intentions and a darn good track record too (although I'm sure Mark will disagree). But sh*t happens and plans changed. Hot swapping has slipped (much to Billy's chagrin). I can understand why you guys with an XDR feel left behind... uncompressed is a big deal if you work in that world. AND you guys are stuck looking a two worthless connectors on your box! Sheesh! So Caveat Emptor may sound harsh, but it is the safest way to go.

In regards to my nano, I think CD has been remarkably up front about what's in the pipeline, their best guess about when something will become real, and delivering on those promises. Damn good batting average... not perfect... but nothing is. There are a handful of bugs that I know of and frankly... I deal. I know the playback is going to be out 2 frames... so I deal. I don't use time lapse or cranking so I don't see the issues.

I just shot a 4 week gig with with the nano... over 1100 files across almost 1.5 TB @ 100Mbps. This is a 2 year gig, the biggest gig I have ever had in 35 years. There was no margin for error. I recorded to the nano as well as to tape on a HDX-900. Out of the 1100 files, I had 2 corrupt nano files that CD rescued for me. Their response time was incredible and they continue to look into the problem. And after essentially telling him he's nuts, Dan still insists that it's OK to call him 24/7... incredible. Name one other company that works like that.

Come on, guys... you sound like the glass is half empty. It's not. The glass is pretty damn full and I am thrilled with my nano. The friggin' thing is a miracle to me. This thing pisses all over pretty much anything out there... definitely better than the FireStore I was using. The quality of the nano is amazing and the workflow is easy too. I got home from that big shoot and was editing in FCP a few hours later. Adios digitizing! Heck, I just donated every deck I own to a local foundation... and got a hefty write-off... bonus! Yes, there are bugs and problems but none of them stop me from using the nano for the purpose for which I bought it.

Scott, I just read your latest post and I think you are right about the big company/small company thing. We all got in bed with a small bunch of entrepreneurs who have a really neat idea and a very promising product line. They will do some things that we think are right and some we question. Some things will benefit some individuals, some things won't. However, they appear to be working their butts off on our collective behalf... and I hope they all get rich doing it. I'm getting what I bargained for.

Damn, I must of had too much coffee today. ;-)
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Old April 14th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #24
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Innovation vs Stability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stoneback View Post
I was out for a bit and thinking this topic over. I also think there is another thing at play.

Innovation on the scale of small companies has got to be tough. Sony, Panasonic, large corporations... they have the financial muscle to take a product and put it through R&D, waiting for the bugs to be worked out, before releasing it to market. This gives them total control at the expense of being the first product out there. I am guessing that Convergent isn't in the same financial boat as these huge corporations. I am guessing that they had to get the products on the market to keep the cash flow going. That cuts both ways... you get to be first with your product but you also risk alienating customers with a buggy product.
....Hey Scott:
Yes. I agree. I can confirm to you that developing a solid state digital recorder (Even a small project like the one I am involved with) is unbelievably expensive ! My gosh, the biggest issue on our project is that we can only do it in short spurts at a time, because the cash flow requirements are really, really big ! I come at this subject from my small garage project perspective, which makes Convergent Design like a huge multi-national company by comparison to us :-)
Honestly, I don't know wether to commend them or condemn them ultimately for their approach. (??) There are big positives and negatives on both sides of this approach. On the one hand Mike & his brothers have probably made it into the history books by coming up with the first practical solid state recorder which folks could afford. I think they are worthy of great praise for accomplishing this feat - and it is a feat. Trust me ! Building your own SSDR sounds easy enough when it rolls off your tongue and on paper, but in actual approach it's really, really, frigging hard to do !
From reading folk's opinions on this forum over the past year or so, I think there seems to be a more or less evenly divided set of customers, whereby half don't mind this public beta approach, and are willing to put up with slowly fixed malfunctioning features in exchange for laying hold to great innovation, while the other group of clients consider they have purchased a complete product, and are expecting stability and dependability. The latter group feels they didn't pay to be a beta tester, and they expect this responsibility to be handled by the company manufacturing the product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stoneback View Post
economic reality is that smaller companies like Convergent may not be able to put their financial resources behind testing. I feel like we have seen this more and more... companies releasing tools that are not 100% ready to go. For instance, the RED camera. I don't work with that cam but it sure sounds to me like they release new firmware constantly.

Maybe, as consumers, we have to decide if this is ok.
...Yup. This is *THE QUESTION*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stoneback View Post
I, personally, would rather see companies like Convergent, RED, etc. succeed with their products. Their innovation is important to the industry and it keeps the Sonys and Panasonics competitive as well.
...I would too. We need to have the innovation. But innovation is quite expensive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stoneback View Post
I would like to see less reliance on the consumer to find the problems with products...
...I am in agreement with you. As much as I like to beta test, I also like stability even more. Perhaps the solution here would be to actively call for a sign up list for those of us who want to participate in a Convergent Design Beta Testing Group and go put that info in either NDA with whatever new product is coming along **BEFORE** that new CD product ships to the market, or keep it open. The problem with the second approach is it leads to confusion over what end users are purchasing. Personally, this is not a conversation I would want to have with a potential client.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stoneback View Post
the trade-off is that the NanoFlash would not be in my hands right now and making me money, well, I would rather have a Nano than nothing at all.
...OK. This would be the opinion of group A.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #25
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The Track Record is Good :-)

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Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
Hey Scott,

I think the folks at CD have all the best intentions and a darn good track record too (although I'm sure Mark will disagree).
....No. Not at all ! I fully agree CD has a good track record.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
But sh*t happens and plans changed. Hot swapping has slipped (much to Billy's chagrin). I can understand why you guys with an XDR feel left behind... uncompressed is a big deal if you work in that world. AND you guys are stuck looking a two worthless connectors on your box! Sheesh!
....Yup ! You hit the nail right on the head my friend ! And it pisses me off each and every time I look at my box, then read of another new feature Im getting, for which I did not ask for, which may or may not work anyway ! I mean, what the heck am I supposed to do with that ?! Let us also not forget that we XDR folks also paid more for our boxes ! Let us at least remember this point if nothing else ! Does this not at least put us to the head of the line ? No ? OK :-(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
Caveat Emptor may sound harsh, but it is the safest way to go.
...Yeah sure, but Caveate Emptor implies I got screwed ! I don't consider I was short changed per se, since my lovely XDR recorder still does many, many things and has many uses for which I am grateful to CD for :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
In regards to my nano, I think CD has been remarkably up front about what's in the pipeline, their best guess about when something will become real, and delivering on those promises. Damn good batting average... not perfect... but nothing is. There are a handful of bugs that I know of and frankly... I deal. I know the playback is going to be out 2 frames... so I deal. I don't use time lapse or cranking so I don't see the issues.
...Yes. This is about where I'm at with my XDR. I'm not using all of the other features s much, so their particular bugs don't affect my paying work. I quickly revert back to stable firmware 1.1.151 for paying jobs and I'm ok @ Long GOP 50 Mbps MXF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
on, guys... you sound like the glass is half empty. It's not.
...Uhhh, yeah it is. Until I can get the other things fixed and actually enable, then I will always have this view. I can't help it really. I'm staring at it every day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
glass is pretty damn full and I am thrilled with my nano. The friggin' thing is a miracle to me. This thing pisses all over pretty much anything out there... definitely better than the FireStore I was using.
...Yup. This is in fact a true and accurate statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
The quality of the nano is amazing and the workflow is easy too.
...Yup. I agree with this too. Same holds true for my XDR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
, I just read your latest post and I think you are right about the big company/small company thing. We all got in bed with a small bunch of entrepreneurs who have a really neat idea and a very promising product line. They will do some things that we think are right and some we question. Some things will benefit some individuals, some things won't. However, they appear to be working their butts off on our collective behalf... and I hope they all get rich doing it. I'm getting what I bargained for.

Damn, I must of had too much coffee today. ;-)
.....Yes. I agree, and yes, I think they are. Try tea instead ;-)
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