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Cinetronic: the Elephant in the room - updated discussion


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#1 William Demeritt

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 12:28 PM

I wanted to create a thread for everyone to discuss the white elephant in the room: the Cinetronic Gen 2 monitor. I would like for this thread to become a repository of individuals experiences thus far as well as current issues experienced with the monitor, plus overall experiences. I will do my best to keep the main post updated so users can see what others are experiencing, as well the solutions to those issues (as done by the user, or by Cinetronic). 
 
First thing's first: who hasn't received their Gen 2 monitor yet, when did you place your preorder or order, and what was the delivery estimate when you ordered? Have you received communication by email or telephone regarding delays of your monitor? Did you order a digital level? Has the delays of the level been communicated to you? 
 
I include this because I think it's only fair for new buyers to get feedback from other customers regarding their turnaround.
 
Second, what issues have you experienced with your Gen 2 thus far, if any? Cameras, formats, etc?
 
Third: have you been able to update the firmware on your own, or have you taken it to someone else to get updated? What is limiting you from doing the updates? 
 
Monitor software issues: 
- PsF not detected, only P. Response from Cinetronic: The monitor currently accepts all valid SMPTE inputs, which includes 1080 24PsF. 720 24PsF is not a valid SMPTE standard, and we are working on a software change for this.
- Undetermined issue on Sony F65, most likely the PsF issue. 
- Touch buttons overly sensitive, sometimes mistakes a hovering finger (not making contact) with constant contact. Cinetronic has indicated they're working to fix in the next firmware.
Monitor doesn't save framelines or touchpad backlight brightness settings when powered off - RESOLVED as of the July 16, 2013 firmware update. Both are now saved when the monitor powers off and turned back on. 
 
Monitor hardware issues:
- Overheating for some users - a retrofit IS being offered by Cinetronic that requires a 24 hour turnaround with the monitor back at Cinetronic. 
- Tally input always detects tally on of using simple photosensor tally - requires a retrofit, otherwise constantly detects a tally signal with photosensor tallies. Can be done at Cinetronic, or add a resistor/regulator to the cable going into the monitor. Response from Cinetronic: The tally works as it is designed, accepting a 2-24V input. If you are just using a photo sensor, with no threshold, you will need to add a resistor. The tally input was designed to accept almost any tally signal input, since there are a wide variety of tally systems.
- Anton Bauer battery plate back feeds power over the 8-pin LEMO - primarily a concern for XCS sled owners. Requires a diode be added to the 8-pin LEMO inside the monitor.

Firmware installation: 
- Windows users currently supported only. Installation of the driver requires "driver signing" be turned off in Windows. William Demeritt posted a walkthrough on how to do this over at http://cinetronic.co...ic.php?f=3&t=18 . I may post that walkthrough here, if anyone is interested. 
- Mac users and Linux users currently unsupported, no version of the flash software exists for them. HOWEVER, Mac users can use virtualization software such as VMWare or Parallels to run the flash updater. However, they too need to disable driver signing in their virtual OS in order to install the driver which the updater needs. 
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#2 Iain Baird

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 12:37 PM

I am keen to hear some of the responses to this thread but I'm thinking its more of an Elephant in the Room vs. a White Elephant!! I am a new owner of the Cinetronic 2, it seems to be a very solid build and if they can sort out the software issues listed here it will remain a valuable monitor to have.
IB
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#3 chris bangma

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:02 PM

The tally works as it is designed, accepting a 2-24V input.  If you are just using a photo sensor, with no threshold, you will need to add a resistor.  The tally input was designed to accept almost any tally signal input, since there are a wide variety of tally systems.  

- Tally input always detects tally on - requires a retrofit, otherwise constantly detects a tally signal. Can be done at Cinetronic, or add a resistor/regulator to the cable going into the monitor. 


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#4 chris bangma

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:04 PM

The monitor currently accepts all valid SMPTE inputs, which includes 1080 24PsF.  720 24PsF is not a valid SMPTE standard, and we are working on a software change for this.

 

- PsF not detected, only P.


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#5 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 02:37 PM

It would be great if somebody, or Chris, who is currently at a rental house would test the Gen 2 monitor with all the available cameras there to verify compatibility.

 

That would stop the confusion.


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#6 Martin Stacey

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 02:42 PM

Just a reply to my emails or phone calls would be nice. Sick of trying to talk to a black hole.
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#7 Iain Baird

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 03:16 PM

I can't speak to anyone else's experience but Chris has been responsive to all of my e-mailed questions and concerns in a very timely manner.

 

Years ago on the forum I remember a wish list for the perfect steadicam monitor and everybody scoffed at the idea of any manufacturer coming close to satisfying the wants and needs of our very demanding and particular field. In my estimation once all the kinks are ironed out with the Cinetronic it should be pretty darn close to meeting that criteria. I'm sure it hasn't been easy getting to this point and hopefully Chris has the wherewithal and determination to see it through to a successful completion then all of these growing pains will be just part of the journey.

 

 

IB


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#8 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 04:18 PM

I have the Gen 2.
 
I should first say that Chris has been very helpful, and has usually replied to emails within a few hours.
 
I found the 7 month wait after paying for the unit a little frustrating to say the least, but what can you do. It's here now.
 
I still am not using the Gen 2 as my primary monitor tho. I also have a new eSBL Transvideo which is great indoors and workable outdoors that has many more features. I know the Transvideo will work with anything I put into it. At this stage I would be a little worried if i had to totally rely on the Cinetronic, but hopefully that will change in time.  
 
When I first received my monitor I had some issues with it changing inputs randomly and some issues with it all freezing up. This required me to pull the power to the unit to reset it.
 
I sent it back the other week and had the heat sink upgrade done and Chris swapped out a touch panel. Also had the diode put in to stop back charging into the sled.
 
Seems much more solid now. Not had it freeze up while i've been testing it since and the channel switching has seemingly been solved. Much better.
 
The buttons seem to respond well too now with the latest software. Can't say I've noticed the memory issues since.
 
I have had some ghosting on the picture and have been told this is a result of differences between 60hz and 50hz and it will be worked on in the software, but i since remember reading on the forum that someone else had noticed this and they would have been using 60hz. So I'm a little unsure.
 
I just need the level to be finished because its currently fairly useless to me without it.  I've pulled it out a few times for work under really bright sun and stuck a bubble level above the screen.
 
I currently have the latest software on there, so I haven't tried to update the unit myself, but i dread having to after reading peoples issues. I'm Mac, and not amazingly technical when it comes to installing and trouble shooting windows issues, thats if i can even find a windows machine somewhere.
 
I hope Chris keeps up the good work and has sorted out Martins concerns. I would hate for Cinetronic to go the way of some other manufacturers that we have regretted buying into in the past.
 
Rick.

Edited by Richard James Lewis, 08 August 2013 - 04:18 PM.

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#9 William Demeritt

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 04:57 PM

I've added a few notes to the initial post, including the responses from Cinetronic.

One thing: I think further testing needs to be fine with actual cameras, only because the PsF issue is puzzling to me. I had a Sony F65 that was unable to get me an image. I wish I had written down the camera settings, but the important thing to note is we had a 5.6" TV Logic on set, and while the Gen 2 couldn't give an image, the TV Logic did.

Likewise, last week I watched an Alexa at Panavision fail to give an image on the MON Out when set to 1080 and PsF, and immediately come up when at to P. This was with the new firmware, which I helped the operator update to.
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#10 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 05:33 PM

I have to second that, because the MON OUT resolution on the Alexa is 1080 (non-selectable) psf or p (selectable).

 

And I have yet to get a picture on the monitor in the psf setting. I know that the RED ONE was 720 on the monitor out.

 

That leads me to believe that the Gen 2 does not currently accept a 1080 psf signal...at least not in 23.976 FPS


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#11 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 07:04 PM

I can't speak to anyone else's experience but Chris has been responsive to all of my e-mailed questions and concerns in a very timely manner.
 
Years ago on the forum I remember a wish list for the perfect steadicam monitor and everybody scoffed at the idea of any manufacturer coming close to satisfying the wants and needs of our very demanding and particular field. In my estimation once all the kinks are ironed out with the Cinetronic it should be pretty darn close to meeting that criteria. I'm sure it hasn't been easy getting to this point and hopefully Chris has the wherewithal and determination to see it through to a successful completion then all of these growing pains will be just part of the journey.
 
 
IB


I have to agree here, as one of the guys always looking for the perfect steadicam monitor Way back even before the monitor shoot out that Charles Papert facilitated. Chris chimed in saying he could build us the perfect monitor. We all said , sweet Jesus, good luck with that, but we are all behind you ! Please knock it out of the park. Over the past three years I think he has come a long way and pretty damn close to meeting his original claims. I still do not own a Cinetronic but I truly feel if Chris can hang in there and all the little bugs get worked out this is going to be THE MONITOR to own for steadicam and dare I say it, replace the green screen TB series.

JM2C
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#12 RonBaldwin

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:00 PM

Silly wabbit...you never owned a tb6 did ya?
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#13 Martin Stacey

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:14 PM

Well I actually received a response to my email this morning. Still no promise of a monitor but at least I'm not just being ignored now and my concerns that I had pissed my money away into the wind have been somewhat if not completely alleviated. I have ended up missing my deadline for my hd upgrades for the new season here as a result of all of this. (The sole purpose for my trip around the world at the time of Cinegear was to visit the various manufacturers and get upgraded to HD) Not an easy task when you own 6 rigs.
Anyway Chris has been in contact, (thank you social media) and we'll see what happens next.
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#14 Richard W. Davis

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 09:49 AM

In my experience with Chris and the Cinetronics, both gen 1 and 2, I have found  Chris to be honorable in all my dealings and  honestly up front as well.  When I paid my deposit on the gen 2 the website  said that it was still in development but that you shouldn't pay if you were in a hurry and expected it by such and such a date.  I paid my deposit anyway because I believed in his product.  Only NEBTEk and Transvideo had done anything for steadicam ops and I feel the steadicam LCD manufacturers had stagnated.  Chris got the ball rolling and gave us another option.  A VERY GOOD THING FOR STEADICAM.   Did it take longer than expected yes, are there some hurdles to still be addressed, yes.  I am comforted however by the fact that he constantly addresses the issues head on  and makes corrections in software, firmware and the heat sink for example.  

 

Wishing nothing but the best for the entire steadicam community.

 

my .02 cents..   Full disclosure:   I have absolutely zero affiliation to Cinetronic other than being a customer.

 

Rich Davis

LA

 

PS Ron, silly wabbit, you're  never leaving that TB-6... and that's ok too...  they are awesome monitors... I just hate downconverters, they have burned me in the past.


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#15 Janice Arthur

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 11:49 AM

Hi all

I've never spoken on this subject before since I haven't bought a cinetronics monitor yet but I hope to.

I would like to say they do seem to be trying really really hard to satisfy operators

Sometimes it seems too hard, sometimes companies should say no and that's good too

Part of what is the test is to have a sustainable profit margin which means they'll be here five years from now too; that's just as important; maybe more so.

Lets see where their business model has gotten them and if future sales will sustain them or any company in our arena

I look forward to buying their monitor and having great service that is there too

The Internet lets us have instant feedback and a voice lets not kill momentum w one bad response

(I've seen it in real estate as my sideline and u can bust your butt and on a whim be slammed horrifically and its not fun or justified so I know how it feels).

So, in summary, lets let them and us take a breath and see if its a trend.

Remember its ok for a company to say no we cant do that

Janice
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