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MCE QuickStream DV
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Old May 30th, 2004, 02:48 PM   #1
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MCE Quckstream Deliverability

I hate to write this thread because I believe the Quickstream is probably the best solution for those of us who are anxious to have a reliable direct to disc solution but can’t afford a FS-3 together with the necessary power supply equipment (batteries and mounts). I found Jason Opats’ argumentation for his companies product good, in spite of his being forced into the defensive.

There are two things bothering me at the moment: One is that apparently MCE is having trouble delivering the Quickstream. I ordered one about two months ago and am still waiting. And although the person at MCE with whom I have been in contact, is very friendly and apologetic, I am beginning to get the feeling he is running me around. I don’t buy "it should be there next week anymore”. I did notice in other threads that people have had to wait longer than they had expected. Someone mentioned a year, I think.

Jason, if you are still out there, maybe you could say a few words about why MCE is having trouble shipping the Quickstream, or is the one I ordered a special case?

The other thing is that Kevin Kimmell asked a specific question in a previous thread as to the update-ability of the Quicksteam, which remains unanswered (I believe). I kind of feel obliged to ask this question for Kevin one more time because I inadvertently justified what I believed MCE’s answer to that question was, without really knowing.

Is it be possible to update the Quickstrem’s OS to take advantage of future augmentations?

Thanks.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 05:26 PM   #2
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Daniel,

I too was really excited by the Quickstream when it first came out for the same reasons as you but mainly affordability and its specs. I came real close to buying one but didn't because of the increasing bad reports from buyers that I have been reading about here and other forums, lack of response to my technical questions that were directed to MCE and finally an offer from them 2 months ago for me to test a unit from them that never came through. If I were you I would try to get my money back. If you paid by credit card you might be able to get a charge back if it has been less than 60 days. Bottom line is as much as I would like to believe in MCE and the Quickstream I think the company is going to tank because of all the problems it is having. In other words great idea...but poor execution.

Regards,

Mark
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 12:16 PM   #3
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I found it odd how he answered so many of my questions so quickly and simply ignored that one question several times. Even if the answer is no, at least an answer would have been nice.

I have also held off on ordering this drive for the same reasons. I'm now starting to wonder about that CitiDISK DV PRO solution. I've read some of the various threads and am still unclear as to the end format and whether or not it will be problematic in post.
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 02:18 PM   #4
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I called MCE again yesterday, and told the person who has been handling my order how I felt about MCE’s lack of responsiveness on this forum. In general I’m not one of those people who get really upset on the phone even when I would kind of like to, I try to keep things moving in a positive direction if you know what I mean. So I gave this guy, who only works for MCE, probably in the shipping department, and who has about as much control over things at MCE as I do, some advice – I told him that MCE should not leave customer’s, or potential customer’s questions unanswered on a forum like this one. We have very active imaginations, and as you say a simple "no, it doesn’t have that function” is a lot better than no reaction at all. A "no, the quickstream doesn’t have that function, because...” is even better. I only hope that someone will listen to him at MCE, if he chooses to share my advice, otherwise they are going to "tank(?)”, as Mark said above. (I’m kind of guessing what "tank” means – is that when the goldfish is sort of swimming on it’s back but its mouth isn’t making that sucking kind of movement anymore, and its eyes are kind of glazed over?

This Web site is an excellent venue for gadget makers to peddle their goods – but it can be equally devastating if they don’t take care. Maybe MCE has other markets where they are selling so many of their Quickstreams so that small one-item consumers like ourselves are not interesting for them anymore. I don’t know.

Anyway, it is going to be difficult to get my money back, and I would like to have the bloody thing – so I’m giving MCE one last chance. The guy in shipping told me that my Quickstream should be shipped in the next few days – three weeks ago it was "next week”, so I feel like we are getting somewhere (not).

As far as you’re mussing about end format compatibility – I’m not sure I know what you mean. I think the most important thing to consider with these gadgets is their immediate format compatibility with the NLE system you are working with. If the gizmo you buy can generate DV in a format that your NLE system can digest easily then you are set. Of course it would be nice to have a device that is multifunctional, versatile, and unlimitedly upgradeable, (and cheap) (I forgot reliable, and a few other things). But sometimes I find a thing that does one specific job well is often better than the multitools. I have a Swiss army knife I always carry with me ... but sometimes a Philips screwdriver that can only screw in Philips screws is the best tool for the job.

Cheers,
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 06:31 AM   #5
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Oops. Sorry about this. I'll see what I can do.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 05:06 PM   #6
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I just wanted to let you all know MCE notified me yesterday that my Quickstream was being shipped. It arrived today. I guess my persistence paid off – too bad it took two months. At least it was a month less than Emmet Lucey from Norway.

Maybe MCE has finally caught up on its back orders, and everyone that orders a Quickstream now will get it sooner. I hope so.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 05:16 PM   #7
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Daniel,

Please let us know how you like it. Also, what cam will it be mated to?

Thanks,

Mark
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Old June 4th, 2004, 06:09 AM   #8
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And also, what NLE are you using the footage with and do you have any problems editing straight from the device if that's your intended use.

Sorry for all the Q's but I've only read one "real" review to date and another person's perspective would be nice.

Congrats on receiving it!

-Kevin
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Old June 4th, 2004, 06:12 AM   #9
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Thanks,

I don't actually have it yet. I had it sent to an address in the States so I will be recieving it on Monday I hope.

But I will keep the community posted.

I'll be hooking it up to my XL-1, and editing with FCP 4 (Finalcut Pro)
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Old June 9th, 2004, 02:30 PM   #10
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Okay, so I have finally gotten my Quickstream. I tried it out today, and unfortunately, I’ll be sending it back the day after tomorrow (because tomorrow is a holiday).

I’ll give the tech guys from MCE a call, just to make sure I’m not doing something really stupid wrong – or to make sure that there isn’t a simple way to fix whatever is bothering this unit, but I’m pretty sure that this device is defective. The clips I captured, run at about two times the speed they should, and the unit made my FCP 4 freeze when I tried to capture to it.

There are other issues, but there is no point in criticizing something that is clearly defective.

It looks like MCE is having trouble with quality control in general. The locking nut on the microphone mount adapter I received that comes with the Quickstream, is clearly a machining reject (the hole where the threading is, is slightly off center and off axis). I think this is minor in itself, but it shows that MCE is packaging the pieces before someone who knows what they are doing has checked them.

This can’t be good for MCE. Even if I eventually get a unit that works as advertised, MCE will have lost so much business from, taking so long to deliver, and then delivering reject units, that I can’t imagine this devise will survive.

It is really too bad, because the unit makes a good impression as far as size and design.

I still want one that works – but it looks like I am going to have to be patient for a lot longer.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #11
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The Quickstream Drive is such a great idea and is at a good price point compared to others. It is small, has numerous mounting configurations and cuts out the "capture process" which I find very boring, hard on equipment and time consuming. However, you pay your money and what you get....is crap. This problem is recounted numerous times on this and other forums. Why can't MCE get it RIGHT! If I sound a little bitter it is because I too have experienced lack of response from MCE as well as broken promises. It may take one of the big boys like Segate, Maxtor or WD to finally deliver a product like this that is reliable. Hey, maybe they will buy MCE out. Although I image this type product only represents a very small part of the market. Does anyone on this forum have a Quickstream that works? If so please let us know and I'll eat some crow.

Regards,

Mark
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Old June 10th, 2004, 01:52 AM   #12
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Since February I have been through alot with my QuickStream DV. For details see the 'My Detailed Experiences' section below.

For anyone using a QuickStream DV and having recording problems I would recommend using the DV format, it is, in my experience, the least problematic (probably because it is closest to the original tape format).

For anyone looking to buy a QuickStream DV then some things to note:

1. MCE technical support is slow if not non-existant via e-mail (dv@mcetech.com).
2. MCE honours their warranty, but you will have to wait.
3. MCE paid for FedEx to collect my faulty unit and to send the replacement unit - I estimate the cost of this to be between 1/3 and 1/2 of the original purchase price (a note for economists).
4. I question the reliability of the review at http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/quickstreamDV/ (all the clips are quite small http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/quickstreamDV/cliplist.jpg) - although any potential buyers should read the yellow comment at the bottom of the page.

The QuickStream DV as an idea is the future for video, but I think the implementation lacks. You might want to checkout the CitiDisk DV http://www.shining.com/products/totalsolution/citidisk_dv/ - but I have no idea if their quality or support is any better.

Dave


====================== My Detailed Experiences

I received my first QuickStream DV 180 at the beginning of February and had many problems. After some e-mail ping-pong and performing some requested tests MCE asked me to send the unit back due to a suspected power problem (beginning of March). After 9 e-mails (of which only one was answered) I suddenly received a brand new unit out of the blue at the beginning of May.

The first unit had the following problems:

1. Recording light was often on but nothing was recorded.

2. Would not write large files correctly in that it would not split on the 2GB boundary. The file size of the first file differed based on recording format (DV 1.8GB, AVI 2.4GB, MOV 1.2GB) and the second file was always 0KB - i.e. recording suddenly stopped (note I have never tried Canopus AVI format).

3. Windows AVI format was recorded incorrectly. After about 2.5 minutes of recording the sound would get lost or be out of sync with the video. Fastwording through a AVI video in Windows Media Player 9 generated a 'invalid file format' error.

4. QuickTime MOV format had very blocky video when played with QuickTime Player 6.5 for Windows (I told MCE it was unacceptable quality). Note that AVI and DV video quality were always superb.

5. DV format lost sound after about 6.5 minutes of recording.

6. Plugging the QuickStream into my Windows PC and deleting the generated video files almost always caused an 'invalid directory' error. The only way to delete the files was via the format command on the QuickStream itself.

7. Plugging the QuickStream into my PC would not always recognise the drive correctly. Note, I have a Maxtor OneTouch drive which I use on FireWire and it has never caused such a problem, so you cannot blame my PC's FireWire card.

These problems occurred while using battery power, using mains power some things improved: point 2 went away, and DV sound (point 5) was always present.

I was on holiday for the most of May and so I have not had much time to play with the replacement unit. The power problems appear to of been solved, plus the new unit is much quieter and 'feels' better made.

However, the Windows AVI format is still recorded incorrectly, sound is always present but Windows Media Player 9 still complains when you fast-forward. In addition, Windows Movie Maker gets completely lost with the sound when you split the video into clips. I have complained about this to MCE - so far without an answer.
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Old August 25th, 2004, 12:16 AM   #13
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Update

In case someone is still reading this thread....

The replacement unit is better but not good enough. I sent it back at the end of June - I am still waiting for my refund.

MCE 's website is now offering a 'second generation' QuickStreamDV drive. However, I find it hard to believe that the likes of Maxtor and Western Digital are not going to jump on the DV bandwagon real soon now - I will wait.

The price of my 40GB ($729) drive is 2/3 of a Lacie 1000GB Bigger Disk ($1199), I might just buy one of those and stick to capturing video the hard and inflexible way for the time being.

David Richmond
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Old August 25th, 2004, 05:40 AM   #14
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Hi David,

Thanks for your input. Very good description of your experience with the Quickstream.

I have been testing the Citidisk and am having similar (although different) problems with it as well. The Citidisk and the Quickstream are the same thing in different packages.

Personally I am now going to wait for the FS4 to get on the market. I plan to go to Amsterdam in September to take a good look at it.
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