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BMD support for Resolve

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Dennis Kutchera
BMD support for Resolve
on May 14, 2012 at 3:10:08 am

I'm not one who uses tech support very often, but when you need it, boy do you need it. I called Avid support recently for the first time in 12 years. I would not have met deadlines without it.

Could anyone share their experience with support from Black Magic Design for DaVinci Resolve? I'm wondering about things like wait or response time, ability to troubleshoot and resolve issues and how often or not you might find yourself in need of technical assistance. Do they offer any kind of remote desktop troubleshooting?

I see no mention of cost or support contracts anywhere on BMD's site, so I am assuming it is either free support or pay per incident. I'm really interested in the whole support picture and process.

Thanks for your input.

Dennis

Dennis Kutchera
EggStudios.ca


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Ola Haldor Voll
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 14, 2012 at 5:37:32 am

The few times I've needed support from BMD, I've sent an email. The response time varies, I guess they have a lot to do.

Some times it's a matter of minutes, or hours. Other times it's a matter of days. But then again, I might be asking some extreme questions. The answers have been very good in my case. Satisfied as a fish in water.


Most of the time, I end up reading forums to see if anyone else have experience in what I have questions about. Most of the time, the Cow or other forums is the source of knowledge.


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Tim Wilson
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 14, 2012 at 6:37:27 am

[Ola Haldor Voll] "Most of the time, the Cow...is the source of knowledge."

Pardon my selective quoting. :-)

Dennis, Blackmagic has also always been one of the most active companies in the COW forums. Product specialists post regularly and in the the main Blackmagic forum. So while I don't have any experience to comment on direct support, you can see their participation here.

And of course the folks here know quite a bit, and are available more or less around the clock....

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Robert Pitman
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 15, 2012 at 1:15:23 am

Hello All,

I just want to add another personal experience with the BMD support for Resolve. I've emailed and called with a number of issues (plus non-issues, in other words user error) and I have found the replies to be detailed, timely and polite.

The one time I had an important deadline with real issues; exporting 4K for a DCP from EPIC 5K footage, the local support advised me to discuss with Peter Chamberlain. I was transferred to his mobile while he was travelling in Japan. Peter was able to answer all my questions and with his support the project was completed perfectly.

I totally respect what other users are saying about their experiences, I just wanted to add mine. I hope that when any of us (new, intermediate and professional users) need support that BMD support or a growing user base at Creative Cow can help us all out. How to make support more efficient is the hard task for BMD and Creative Cow. The Da Vinci Basics & Configuration forum can only help.

Also I'd like to thank BMD support and the users in this forum for the support and inspiration with this great software.

Cheers,
Robert


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Peter Berg
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 15, 2012 at 4:26:13 pm

I wish I had received that type of support. Sometimes support is able to help me, and in a timely matter. It's just that my experience is just more mixed. Sometimes I get an answer to my question, while other times I don't hear back or I get an answer that they don't know that aspect of the software (the Conform room) and they don't offer any more help from there. In my opinion, there is much room for improvement in the customer service area. That also includes listening to their customers. I have offered many suggestions (multi-page emails describing my workflow and workarounds I have had to create) and so far it seems that they are more focused on creating other versions of the software rather than improve the things that don't work for their users.

Maybe Blackmagic is taking Resolve down the road that Apple took Final Cut. Make it more accessible to the masses and not worry so much about the professional (more demanding) customer. Certainly that would be one way to go.

-Peter


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Peter Berg
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 14, 2012 at 11:33:21 pm

Hi Dennis,

I want to start by saying that I think the Blackmagic guys are good guys, and they work hard, but I have been quite disappointed in Blackmagic support.

Currently there are 3 avenues of support. There is a general email address, a phone number, and the Creative Cow. All support is free. I have used all 3, and none of them are all that efficient. Usually it takes a day or two to receive an email response. But there have been a few times when I never got a response. The phone support is not bad, but a few times I was not able to get an answer to my question or help for my problem (They told me they didn't know much about that part of the software and I should try to Post on the COW to see if someone could help me. Wow, really???). I am a paying customer, and I expect more from the support department.

Again I don't blame the individuals, I think they work really hard. I think it's a corporate thing, and a lack of support for the Customer Service part of the company. I also blame the fact that I'm sure the support guys are getting hammered with support requests from people who download the Free Resolve software and ask for help.

I think there really needs to be a separate area for paying customers. As bad as support was before they released the Free Resolve, now it's even worse (again I blame the company, and not the support guys).

I am coming from the Avid world as well. And it's great to be able to get professional level support when you need it. Avid takes that seriously and does not disappoint (at least in my experience). Contrast that with Blackmagic... I have been in a real jam with Resolve (found some bugs in the software and some workflow things that were just not working) and when I reached out to Blackmagic, they were not able to solve my problem. I needed to make a delivery deadline and I was on my own (with the help of the COW). So basically you have to support yourself. Find your own work-arounds. Hope someone on the COW will help you or has had the same problem and figured out a solution.

I guess you can't have it all. You pay $0 or even $1000 and I guess professional level support is too much to ask (although I wouldn't expect to get support with Free software). I know I wish Blackmagic would have kept the price a bit higher so they could have built a real professional support department. This was my fear with the dirt cheap software model.

Well that is just my experience. Maybe it will improve in the future, although I have my doubts since we will have even more users coming online from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and their free copy of Resolve.

-Peter


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Ronald Lindeboom
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 14, 2012 at 11:51:20 pm

[Peter Berg] "The phone support is not bad, but a few times I was not able to get an answer to my question or help for my problem (They told me they didn't know much about that part of the software and I should try to Post on the COW to see if someone could help me. Wow, really???). I am a paying customer, and I expect more from the support department."


If I had a dollar for every time that Apple tech support or Adobe tech support tells people on the phone to "try the COW, they can probably give you the answer," I'd have a lot of money in the bank. Over the years, we have been told countless times that Apple, Adobe and other major manufacturers send their customers here. I even once called Apple with an issue to see how they'd handle it and they sent me here. I chuckled...

There is NO WAY that a tech support person could have the knowledge that is found in an aggregate body of users whose experience levels far exceed any single tech person that I have ever met.

No offense but when you find the bottle you can rub for the magic genie to give you the answer every time, please let me know as I will either hook them up to the COW or auction them off to the highest bidder -- and trust me, I'll get a lot of money from the major manufacturers for someone like that.

Lastly, da Vinci tried the high-cost tech support model and it didn't work. Every manufacturer I know who did it that way either has changed or is in trouble and likely should change.

Those are my thoughts on the matter.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Peter Berg
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 15, 2012 at 4:45:02 pm

Hi Ronald,

I totally agree with you on the Apple thing. Their support is also laughable. But it's pretty clear that they are not that committed to the professional market or even to really helping their customers realize their maximum potential with their software. They barely updated Apple Color the entire time they owned the software. Never incorporated customer suggestions or feedback on any meaningful level.

I think Blackmagic is better than Apple, but far from my idea of a great customer support department. I could just accept it, but I wanted to give my feedback. Also in hopes that things could improve for Blacmagic's customers (although how much better than free software can you get I guess).

Have you had experience with Avid support Ronald? If Avid did not exist I guess I would not have it to compare to, but fortunately I have dealt with Avid support. They are truly great and how a professional support team should run. In the times I have called or emailed Avid support I have ALWAYS received the support or answers that I needed. They never sent me to a message board to go find the answer myself (not that I don't do that anyways in some cases). There was a time when I ran across a bug in the software that was really hurting our workflow. After talking to Avid and when they could reproduce the problem, I think it was less than a week before a software patch was out that fixed the issue. That was pretty impressive to me. They would often follow up on my email or phone call to update me on any outstanding issues they were still looking into or to let me know what they were doing to fix the problem. Also I have worked with Assimilate support and they are also really great. They really listen to their customers and improve their software to make sure it works just as their customers need it to. Impressive support team over there.

For the normal consumer that level of support is not realistic I understand. But I guess I was putting Resolve on the same level with Avid in terms of professional post-production tools. In my opinion they are just not at that level and have alot to learn about customer service and support.

But let me give credit to the COW and it's users. It is really a great resource and has saved me on numerous occasions. I just wish the companies would not use it as a crutch instead of having their own robust internal support department.

But the industry is changing fast and what is accepted today could be out the window tomorrow.

-Peter


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Andrew Anderson
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 15, 2012 at 4:56:32 pm

Question is ? Would you be happy to pay $1999 for the software knowing you get a level of direct support?

How much would you pay for what level of support ?

I find it pretty stable with no issues for support, I'm happy with $999

I'd pay $1999 if I could map my tangent elements myself ......

Davinci Resolve Control Surface
MacPro
Cubix desktop 4
2 Red Rockets
GTX470+GTX470+GTX285
24GB RAM
HP Dreamcolor


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Sascha Haber
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 16, 2012 at 2:28:33 pm

I would be happy if the software would be 5000€ and had a good online copy protection ;)

A slice of color...

DaVinci 8.2.1 OSX 10.7.2
MacPro 5.1 2x2,4 24GB
RAID0 8TB
GTX 470 / Quadro 4000
Extreme 3D+

ICA Instructor
http://www.icolorist.com/Sascha.html


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Peter Berg
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 16, 2012 at 7:45:55 pm

Even at $1999 the software is a steal. I would certainly pay that and even more if I was treated as a priority to Blackmagic. When you put a piece of software into your company's workflow chain, it's very very important that it runs well and any issues/problems are fixed. It's even better when the company listens to it's customers and improves the software to work better with how the customer actually uses it (and not how they think you should use it).


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Ronald Lindeboom
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 17, 2012 at 4:45:19 am

[Peter Berg] "Have you had experience with Avid support Ronald? If Avid did not exist I guess I would not have it to compare to, but fortunately I have dealt with Avid support. "


Yes, I owned an Avid for a number of years and would agree with you that their customer technical support is the best in the business. (IMHO) But there is another darker side to Avid, as well. That is found in the same customers who love Avid's customer technical support team, tend to give much lower marks for updates, new features, price-to-performance ratios (though this changed in the last year, didn't it?), etc.

No company is perfect, it doesn't happen.

I'll keep my response brief: da Vinci charged big monies for their support and found it didn't work. Blackmagic has added many things, dropped the price and ended the premium support program. That is the reality of the market. I could wish for something else but that is just what it is: speculation and wishing -- something that does indeed have its place here at the COW. So please feel free to speculate and ruminate.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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David Jackson
Re: BMD support for Resolve
on May 21, 2012 at 10:02:14 am

I can only speak regarding support for UltraScope, which I was struggling to run due to Windows PCI power issues - they were very quick to reply and got to the bottom of the problem in no time at all. They were also kind enough to send me a copy of their draft Avid roundtrip document.

YMMV of course, but my first experience with them was extremely positive.


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