I wanted to bring up my latest frustrations and hope it has been a anomaly as I was/am highly anticipating my monitor.
I am trying to give the crew at cinetronics the benefit of the doubt and wish them much success.
I, like many jumped on the pre order close to 8 months ago to get the new model sooner then later. After being informed it was to be ready mid march, I was looking forward to use it for pilot season. It was going to be close but I was told I should have it the following week. After hounding and hounding (sorry Chris), it finally arrived close to 2 months after it was due to ship.
Bummer, but at least I got it finally.
I was very excited to test it out and was looking forward to checking it out at work that night. As I had the camera crew of 10 peeps huddled around with anticipation, I plugged it in to the Alexa.
Nothing- We troubleshot with 2 Arri's and a Epic but there was obviously something wrong.
I was able to get in touch via a long strain of one line responses from Chris. I get that he is busy and perhaps overwhelmed with the huge demand but maybe I was hoping for something more. There has been nothing but positive posts here so again it may be a anomaly.
I can only assume that it was not tested before it left the shop and I hope that mine is not a lemon. I shipped it back and it was due to be fixed.
We are now waiting on boards to arrive so they can be swapped out.
I asked for a new monitor instead but did not get a response other then that the new boards should arrive monday hopefully.
I am used to back ups of everything being at the shop so when existing customers have problems they can be solved immediately like at Pro or Preston etc.
In response, we are doing everything we can toi get monitors out to people. This means we do not have a pile of spare parts laying around, since we assemble them into monitors and send them out. We try to plan and forcast when the new boards come in, so that we do not run out. We found a manufacturing defect in the first batch of monitors (which is why yours failed). This defect has been corrected, but it delayed the delivery of boards while the issue was being corrected. Every monitor gets tested and burned in for 24 hours, and it worked when it left our shop. This is still a new product, and we are trying to address the issues as they come along.
As far as the short responses go, yes they were short, since I often answer from my phone, and you can understand that emailing from a phone is not condusive to long emails. Just as your emails from your phone were rather short to me as well.
We have done a lot of testing on the monitor, but the issue came in with the manufacturing process. The first batch of 10 boards worked flawlessly, but the second batch of 20 had a problem with a connector not being properly soldered. This took a little while to find, since everyone said that nothing had changed in the build process between the 2 batches. The problems have been corrected for the new batches.
The monitor is designed to be very upgradable in the field. This will allow us to address any issues people have, and send software updates to correct them. Needless to say, we cant fix a bad connector via software.
Preston doesn't provide loaners, so lets take that off the table. Chris is busy trying to build the best monitor possible, he does a great job getting back to people especially for a one man band, but unfortunately that doesn't always happen as fast as we would like while we are on set. Now not telling you how to do things but I never run a fresh piece of gear onset without having a nice bit of downtime to do the conversion and operations test. not while 10 people are hovered around the rig. I understand your disappointment. trust me I wanted my monitor long before I got it, but I also understood that cinetronic is; 1) a startup 2) a high tech company 3) a SMALL business
Chris and Mike are working their Asses off, do you think that they are happy that their supplier screwed the pooch on the connector? Trust me they want to fulfill the orders as fast as possible, but rightly so they are ONLY go to ship the monitors when they are satisfied that they are in 100% working condition. Yours as far as they knew, was. It passed the 24 hour burn in so they shipped it. You unfortunately were the customer that identified an issue with batch 2 of the controller boards, boards BTW that are proprietary to Cinetronics, they designed and developed it, it uses components that only became available in December and January. No other LCD manufacture has a more up to date, advanced controller (Its one of the reasons for the delay)
I guess the point of my post is that while I understand your frustrations Im not sure what you are accomplishing with it. Chris is tying to make you whole as fast as he can and that's customer service.
and for the record I LOVE mine, it's head and shoulders better than the Gen 1
My point of the post was not a smear tactic. I am a huge fan of what is to come from this small company as I stated.
As far as being on set, I never said I was using it. I wanted to see a image of this highly anticipated monitor so I plugged it in for the first time and nothing.
And as far as Preston, if you have a issue, they, in all probability have the part needed to fix it. I have been asked by peers about the "new monitor" and have told them it is in the shop. There response- Well why haven't they shipped a new one.
And, I guess the point of my post was to see if my case was a anomaly or if there was others having issues as stated in the original post.
Few companies are in a position to stock and provide loaner gear. Some do, some don't but most of them will if they are able to at the moment. Even with our two Mercedes the dealership may or may not have loaners for us depending on availability. Most of us at some point have had to reach out to colleagues in a jam or a bind for help with broken gear.
Monitors are a critical item of course but also the most fragile of what we use. Having some sort of spare or backup to that is crucial even if it's marginal LCD. I still have my Transvideo SBL 6 and In a bind I also can use my Camos directors monitor or my program return monitor or my prompter. They'd be a bitch outdoors but better than nothing. Just to be clear I'm not saying the Transvideo SBL would be marginal outdoors I'm referring to the other LCDs intended for other purposes.
I'm just now to the point of having two complete sleds which came in super handy last month while one was out for upgrade and Alex got booked on a shoot. I'm going to add another arm and vest this month but I think it will be a long time before I can justify adding a second Preston system.
Chris and Mike are doing everything they can to fill orders and take care of customers and I'm 110% sure that they would have overnighted you a fix if they had it. Like software, I never 100% rely new gear or updates until I've had a chance to test it a bit. Since I've been a beta tester for Cinetronic I've always kept the Transvideo on-hand as a backup. The one time the Gen 1 Cinetronic went down, Chris drove over and changed the board in his car in the parking lot!
Good luck and I'm sure Chris will take good care of you.
Phew.. I read the title of this topic and thought there was some issue with the performance of the monitor, that it won't be bright enough for our job or something like this. My heart skipped some beats, as I had just transferred the last part of the invoice some minutes ago.
But luckily going through the topic I realised, that it's not about the performance of the monitor.
I have also waited since november, but now it seems that the thing is coming my way very soon. Good things come to those who wait
But it is bright, right? The monitor I mean..
P.S. Maybe te title of this topic should be changed into something like "factory defects" or "delays..", because "..gen2 failing to impress" implies that the performance is not good enough.
I'm not sure what people are looking for as a good response time these days in this instant-gratification world of ours. Chris has always answered my emails within a couple of hours (usually less). If that is not good enough, than I'm not sure what is. As for short responses, I can't say that is always a bad thing. When I had a technical question about my Gen 2 from set the other week, he responded almost immediately (even though it was Sunday) with one sentence. Rude? Not when I'm on set and would not have wanted to sift through a long scroll of pleasant amenities. Just the answer I needed was good enough.
Problems with monitors? Yes, as I understand it, there have been some issues. Cinetronics is a small start-up company but both Chris and Mike have been in the film business for years. Trust me, they "get" it. Having a tour of their shop while they upgraded my Gen 2 to the latest firmware was fun and educational. The space impressed me and they are well on their way to being the company that everyone, including themselves, wants them to be. I'm fortunate as I have not been in a rush for my Gen 2 as I still have a perfectly functioning Gen 1 (that never failed me despite some serious use for the past 2 years) and a TB-6 (that also never failed me after more than a decade of hard use).
Oh, the Gen 2? I have had very little time to actually use it yet as I received it on the heels of a five month job so I have been mostly laying low. That said, I did use it extensively for a two day shoot - all exteriors. Indeed, it performed as expected (once I worked out the Alexa output issue - the monitor out needs to be set to 24P and not 24PSF which impacts nothing on the recorded end, but hopefully it is something the software engineer can work out so its one less thing to think about).
The level? Not ready yet, but I'm excited to see it. Hopefully soon, but I think they are doing the right thing concentrating on getting monitors built for those patiently (and not so patiently) waiting.
I'd add that I don't work for Cinetronic's, etc and as a Moderator here, I'm often reluctant to endorse gear on the Forum, but I feel this thread is a bit unfair and could potentially cause them unwarranted harm. That said, Quincy has a right to speak his mind so I'm not opposed to this threads existence. Indeed the name of it is a bit misleading so, I'm changing it to "Cinetronic: Customer Service"