why post beta xdr upgrades? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > External Video Recording Solutions > Convergent Design Odyssey

Convergent Design Odyssey
...and other Convergent Design products.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 13th, 2010, 04:54 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: llangynidr UK
Posts: 23
why post beta xdr upgrades?

Is it just me that finds it astonishing that firmware upgrades are released as 'beta' ?

Beta is industry code for ' we're not sure if it works but give it a go anyway'.
1.5.25 was released with the advise that it was used for 'non production purposes' !!! what on earth else would I use it for?
I'm still on 1.1.151 as this was the last non beta available, sorry guys but I don't know any professional camera operators that will load a beta upgrade and then go out on a job!
May I suggest that if you want to release a beta upgrade then send it to a small group of trusted XDR owners, I'm sure there are some on here who would be willing to put it thorugh its paces and report back, then, and only then should you release it for everyone else.
Chris Atebr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 09:15 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Rancho Santa Margarita
Posts: 590
Chris, I'm also still on the last stable version on my XDR. I tried the beta and then went out on a job. When I discovered the glitchy playback issues, I was horrified that my job might have had glitchy recording issues. I had no way to verify if my footage captured with the beta firmware was good or not, since I had to turn it over to the producer at the end of the day.

After that horrifying experience, I vowed to not use the beta software at all on jobs. It's too hard to go back and forth between beta and stable firmware.
Aaron Newsome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 09:40 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,138
Chris & Aaron You Are Not Alone in Wondering About This !

Hi Chris & Aaron:
I am a beta testor at heart, so I will naturally test a beta almost right away, but *I always roll back to 1.1.151 for paying jobs. I have long been quite critical of Convergent Design for forsaking the *Normal Beta Development Paradigm" before general releases.

** I am also quite concerned about the constant release of new features versus fixing the existing functions of the Flash XDR and Nano Flash. I understand that firmware upgrades do not boost sales of Nano Flashes - Features do, but there needs to be a balance struck between new feature releases and *STABILITY* . If it's a choice between new features or stability, then I would prefer to have an absolutely stable operating Flash XDR, versus a feature packed Flash XDR with lots of buggy, undependable extra functions. I understand these comments may upset some folks, but this is not my intention at all here. I am always willing to test and contribute to this forum, because I also want to make my Flash XDR a better product, as I'm sure many end users of the XDR also want.

Ironically, the features I do want, Convergent Design will *NOT give me, such as RS-422 control, FireWire 1394 port enabling, and uncompressed recording option for use with digital cinema origination, for which I'm willing to pay, but many features for which I have not asked for and don't really use I have received ! It's a real head scratcher. Even so, I acknowledge the Flash XDR to be a unique product which allows me to obtain video and audio recording quality unobtainable by any other Solid State Digital Recording product at this time.
Mark Job is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Drachten, Netherlands
Posts: 179
Mark, I totally agree to your post.
Ron Aerts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 01:40 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,222
Mark, many features that you want may not be possible or may require a large development effort. I'm all for exploration of features and appreciate betas. It's important for a development company to have some external testers, and CG is merely advertising for such on this forum. Some people like you are pushing for more features and willing to experiment with them, so CG is lucky to have you around.
Gints Klimanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 01:54 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Carbondale, Colorado
Posts: 117
Cross-post and update.

(Just saw this thread so apologies for this cross-post. I have modified it here to be on topic with this thread. Original on "Second Public Beta Discussion Area". I'll discontinue posting there.)

Chris,

This was done at the request of most of the nano and XDR users. CD has been VERY explicit that the beta releases are just for testing purposes. IMHO, this is a great program and allows users to play with near final versions of the upcoming release to help improve it. CD is extraordinarily responsive to user input and works hard to incorporate their input. It's a great community effort. CD's "customer service" even exceeds the much touted customer service that AJA has... and that's pretty amazing too.

Look above in this post. Mark Job is an XDR user and diligent tester. His efforts help improve the firmware for both XDR and nano users. Sure, CD could just send it out to a small group of testers but that limits the system/camera permutations that might catch a problem.

You are correct... most camera ops would not work with beta software in the field. What I do with my nano is load the beta software, play around with it and then reload the most recent "approved" version back onto the nano when I have a shoot.

(Added to this thread:)

Mark,
I'm surprised that you don't like the existing beta test program that let's everyone check out what's coming up. Yes, I completely believe that you are a beta tester at heart. Nobody wrings out the firmware like you do!... and we are all better for it. I am not a beta tester at heart... but I still like playing with the new features before they are locked-in so I can add my 2 and be helpful to the general effort. I think this is to our mutual benefit as users and I applaud CD for doing it.

I don't ask a lot of the my nano. I do pretty much straight recoding at 1080 30p, rarely varying from that. So I'm not seeing the stability issues you are. IMHO, the nano is rock solid. I've read your posts about your XDR and I'm surprised to see your findings. I hope that CD gets to the bottom of those and any other instabilities you are seeing. They have a good track record at doing that.

As for your requests for the XDR, I think you have a beef with the uncompressed option. That was pretty heavily hinted at and was one of my buying considerations. I can only assume that the necessary R&D is proving too daunting and costly for CD. Same with the RS-422 and FW implementations. Still, as you said, the XDR is a "unique product" that is presently unmatched at this time and will serve you well for years to come.

Aaron,
Going back and forth between version is a snap. I don't see what's so hard. Load the version you want on a fresh card, pop it in Drive 1, and update the firmware. Easy... just a few minutes.

My 2...
__________________
Bob
FireDancer Productions, Inc.
Bob Griffiths is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,138
Mark's Features Requests

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
Mark, many features that you want may not be possible or may require a large development effort.
...Hi Gints: Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of too. My concern is for some internal reasons Convergent Design may not be able to dedicate enough resources to programming such features as RS-422 interface. The RS-422 is a biggy, which you run into head on as soon as you take in your XDR to a TV station or post house. What happens in these establishments is they will take away your XDR into a room usually 100 feet or more away, then they will sit with you at a work station and try to control it from their keyboard via the RS-422 protocol, but won't be able to. So then you get up and run over to the other room where your XDR is plugged into their system and yell at the top of your voice for their yelled back cue to hit play. Some stations can also control their decks via the Fire Wire 1394 interface instead as a backup.Isn't there a fully functioning FW interface on the Nano Flash ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
I'm all for exploration of features and appreciate betas.
..I'm all for features as well, and appreciate betas, but I'm even more in favor of a special feature called **Stability**

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
It's important for a development company to have some external testers, and CG is merely advertising for such on this forum.
...I noticed you have referred to CD as a "development company." Is this what you think CD is ? In a normal beta testing paradigm, you have a group of established beta testers in place under NDA who test the product, and/or software before this product begins shipping to the market. I certainly agree with you on the value of external beta testers. If you noticed I pestered Dan on the forum for the 2nd public beta for the XDR. I'm not really taking issue with beta files per se, rather, I would have preferred more focus on resolving known issues (Read bugs and malfunctions), than the latter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
people like you are pushing for more features and willing to experiment with them, so CG is lucky to have you around.
...I'm not sure they may view my participation in the same way, since I'm rather a pain in the ass at times. I acknowledge this ;-) I'm not trying to actually be as such, only, beta testers often bring bad news all the time. You know ? Reporting stuff which doesn't work right, etc. Giving unpopular opinions.
Mark Job is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Atebr View Post
May I suggest that if you want to release a beta upgrade then send it to a small group of trusted XDR owners, I'm sure there are some on here who would be willing to put it thorugh its paces and report back, then, and only then should you release it for everyone else.
I think it is fine that the betas are out there for anyone to try. Some of us have breaks between gigs and enjoy toying with the beta firmware. If your dumb enough to use firmware (which is clearly marked as beta) for paid production production work then it is your own fault when all your data is lost because of a glitch (no offense Aaron).

We are paid professionals. Babysitting should not be required.
Deke Kincaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: llangynidr UK
Posts: 23
please just get it right....

Maybe one of the problems is that the XDR IS unique. There isn't really anything on the market from the major players that is giving it a run for it's money. It is a good machine, but, rushing out with gimmicks like time lapse before enabling the ability to jam sync with another camera is insane, my Beta SP camera could do that 20 years ago!! I use the XDR with my Polecam system, I don't have time (or frankly the inclination) to sit and test the machine every time an update is posted. CD are indeed, very responsive to feedback and long may that continue, but please, CD, you have wonderful opportunilty, but get the basics working first.
Chris Atebr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,138
My Thoughts On Beta Testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
Mark,
I'm surprised that you don't like the existing beta test program that let's everyone check out what's coming up.
....Oh no. I wouldn't say I hate it, or something like that. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I have to commend CD for allowing it to all hang out with the busted stuff reporting. On the other hand, I always am concerned that my reporting style in an open and public forum, such as this one, will be repeatedly mistaken for bitching and pissing on and on, etcetera. This is kind of the heavy burden any beta tester will have to carry on an open forum such as this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
Yes, I completely believe that you are a beta tester at heart. Nobody wrings out the firmware like you do!... and we are all better for it. I am not a beta tester at heart... but I still like playing with the new features before they are locked-in so I can add my 2 and be helpful to the general effort. I think this is to our mutual benefit as users and I applaud CD for doing it.
...Yeah, you see, this is the mixed blessing of an open and public beta. It is true what you say.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
don't ask a lot of the my nano. I do pretty much straight recoding at 1080 30p, rarely varying from that. So I'm not seeing the stability issues you are. IMHO, the nano is rock solid. I've read your posts about your XDR and I'm surprised to see your findings. I hope that CD gets to the bottom of those and any other instabilities you are seeing. They have a good track record at doing that.
.....When I go back to firmware 1.1.151 all is rock solid with my XDR as well. I'm pretty much doing straight recording @ MXF 50 Mbps to post in Avid Media Composer, but the Jam-Sync thingy is a very essential feature for concert and house of worship shooting. I can certainly use that one big time. BTW, Jam-Sync works perfectly in 1080 59.94 !, and is getting more and more accurate 3:2 pull down removal 23.98 FPS. (With each beta there is less seconds of time drift)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
for your requests for the XDR, I think you have a beef with the uncompressed option. That was pretty heavily hinted at and was one of my buying considerations. I can only assume that the necessary R&D is proving too daunting and costly for CD. Same with the RS-422 and FW implementations. Still, as you said, the XDR is a "unique product" that is presently unmatched at this time and will serve you well for years to come.
...Yes indeed. However, hope springs eternal.
Mark Job is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Atebr View Post
Maybe one of the problems is that the XDR IS unique. There isn't really anything on the market from the major players that is giving it a run for it's money. It is a good machine, but, rushing out with gimmicks like time lapse before enabling the ability to jam sync with another camera is insane, my Beta SP camera could do that 20 years ago!! I use the XDR with my Polecam system, I don't have time (or frankly the inclination) to sit and test the machine every time an update is posted. CD are indeed, very responsive to feedback and long may that continue, but please, CD, you have wonderful opportunilty, but get the basics working first.
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.

As for competition, the XDR is nice but not that unique. The aja kiPro and cineDeck are both pretty good options imho and give the XDR a run for it's money.
Deke Kincaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: White Rock
Posts: 254
Beta Testing is clearly not for all of us

Hello People,
I don't think I'll discover anything with this post or I'll make you like the Beta Testing if you already don't. The fact and the matter is that Beta Testing helps CD and us to speed up with more people, with more different cameras then CD has in place, with more variations of testing on different cameras in different parts of the world for a better stable production release.
I was in India when I had a problem with the NF. The long story short, Dan sent me a private Beta firmware to test and try it if the settings and the results worked for me. Worked!

No one is pushing anyone to do the testing. Volunteer work! That's all it is.
At the end of the day, let's be realistic, someone would never be happy one way or another! I just upgraded to EX3 and the nanoFlash will be a huge part of it. Will I Beta Test again? You Bet I'll!
Thank you CD.
Just my little penny...
Cheers
Luben
Luben Izov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Atebr View Post
I'm still on 1.1.151 as this was the last non beta available.
The last non beta firmware is 1.5.126.
__________________
David Issko
Edit 1 Video Productions
David Issko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Carbondale, Colorado
Posts: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Job View Post
I always am concerned that my reporting style in an open and public forum, such as this one, will be repeatedly mistaken for bitching and pissing on and on, etcetera. This is kind of the heavy burden any beta tester will have to carry on an open forum such as this.
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...
__________________
Bob
FireDancer Productions, Inc.
Bob Griffiths is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2010, 04:27 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Carbondale, Colorado
Posts: 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Issko View Post
The last non beta firmware is 1.5.126.
David,

I believe that's for just the nano. The current approved firmware for the XDR is 1.1.151.
__________________
Bob
FireDancer Productions, Inc.
Bob Griffiths is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > External Video Recording Solutions > Convergent Design Odyssey

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:47 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network