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Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...

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Steve WargoOver a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 2:29:07 am

That was a terrible subject line but listen to this: We have a Pioneer PRV-LX1 industrial DVD recorder. It costs around $5500 new. We've had it since August of '03. This is our number one money maker out of all of the equipment that we own. Well, today, the hard drive took a dive. I called the Pioneer hot line and the tech said that it was either the mother board or the hard drive. Ok. I took the lid off and pulled the IDE hard drive out of it's cradle and hooked it back up with it lying on a cushioned pad. When we fired it up, I could hear noises coming out of the drive and a stethoscope test proved my suspicions. I called Pioneer back and asked to order a new hard drive with software installed.

The tech informed me that they will not sell me a hard drive, that I have to send the unit in, wait two weeks, and pay $650 for the privilege. I asked if he was serious and he said that Pioneer does not want anyone working on "their" machines. So I asked him how this was legal. He said "Do you want to send it in or not?" After saying that I likened it to buying a car, having a flat and having the dealer tell me that only they can repair it and the cost is $650. He said "Anyone can change a tire". And just about anyone can change out a hard drive. 4 screws and two cables.

Anyone care to comment on this travesty of justice.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 on the way.


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FlowMotionRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 2:38:04 am

All I want to know is how you make money with it:)


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Mark SuszkoRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 4:33:44 am

Unfortunately reminds me of the ponytailed ne'er-do-wells at my local Apple-authorized service center in town. Next one I know of is 2.5 hours away in Grinnerland.

Bought a used white G3 macbook online for $250. It was actually in pretty good shape overall but two months afterwards, the LCD started getting intermittent and the laptop kept wanting to go into sleep mode, like it and Dorothy were in that field of poppies in Oz....

So I researched the problem and it's a bad cable that gets worn at the hinge area. Cable carries a close/open signal from a magnetic reed switch that tells the laptop to go to sleep if the lid is down but power is on. Smalldog had a new cable for $15 and directions for taking the laptop apart and installing the cable.

Armed with this info, I go to the local PC paradise (not their actual name) that also is the annointed apple dealership/repair depot in town. Only one. That is always a bad sign.

Mister ponytail hipster counterman doesn't want to even discuss it, he just signs them in and doesn't talk about actual problems. OK. I'll tell you what to write down on the ticket for the bench tech as the problem. I see what he writes after I tell him about the cable and the sleeping and 32 pictures with the lines an arrows(wait, that's thanksgiving, tell that one another time when I have my guitar).

He writes on the ticket: "no pictures"

That's all: it must go to the backroom and be "evaluated" for $50, which will be applied to the final bill if I authorize a repair post-diagnostic.

There seems no way around this. I allow the "diagnostic".

(on the phone)

"Your video processor is shot, it's welded to the motherboard, gotta pull it and give you whole new motherboard... it's $500".
"No, it isn't, I hooked a scan converter to this baby's VGA port and it pumps out a screen image just fine before it goes to sleep. Did you even READ my attached note about the..."
(cutting me off) "We'll get back to you"

(another phone call three days later)
"Your entire lid and screen need to be replaced, it's only $350, and we'll take fifty off that from your diagnostic fee."
"Put it back together, I'm coming to pick it up".

I get there and of course it's not put together. They can't believe I'm not going for it. With supernatural quietude similar to the calm before Steven Segal unleashes a blizzard of fists, I levelly state: "You want me to pay between $300 and $500 to fix a computer that cost me $200, even though the repair I want you to make takes a $15 part I was willing to pay you to put in. I can buy an identical used laptop for $250, or a newer one for that $500. Is this what Cupertino tells you to do to customers? I don't begrudge the labor cost..."

"That's EXPERT labor and diagnostic service!"

"Bolt.
It.
Up.

*now*.

(gabbling noise)

"Bolt that thing back up, and I am never stepping inside this building again. Like the prophet Jeremiah, I shake the dust of your store from my feet as I depart. Never again."

Bought the $15 cable online. Bought a fifth of Jack and a torx screwdriver set. Printed out the directions and took everything to an engineer friend's house. Next day he's hung over and the laptop works fine.

The secret is to give them the Jack AFTER the repair though. If you want the repair to last.


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ArniepixRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 6:38:00 am

[Mark Suszko] "I see what he writes after I tell him about the cable and the sleeping and 32 pictures with the lines an arrows(wait, that's thanksgiving, tell that one another time when I have my guitar)."

Would those be color glossy photos? With circles, and arrows, and a paragraph on the back of each one, so as to be used as evidence against us in court?

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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Mark SuszkoRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 1:33:50 pm

Welcome to the Group W bench:-)


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RennieRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 6:36:59 pm

[Arniepix] "Arniepix"

Is that Arniepix or Arlopix?

[Arniepix] "Would those be color glossy photos? With circles, and arrows, and a paragraph on the back of each one, so as to be used as evidence against us in court?
"




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Steve WargoRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 6:57:33 am

It encodes DVDs in real time. I know a hundred people with huge videotape libraries and they want to archive their stuff to DVD. The LX1 reads time code with an RS422 connector. It takes about 2 to 4 minutes to do a set up and the LX1 controls the tape deck and captures the clips. It also has an EDL system built it. It can be used as a source deck in a standard editing environment. We usually charge $25 for the first hour and another $10 after that. A custom menu can be built in Photoshop and we get $50 to $100 for those.

We do this while we're doing other projects so it takes very little time to do.

We shoot a lot of seminars and roll each presenter to the LX1. When we're done, we export a VOB file to a Mac and import to DVD Studio Pro and make a DVD master.

We converted all of our archives over a 6 month period. Part of that was a hundred 3/4" and S-VHS tapes that I shot for ESPN Speedworld from 8 years of stringer work.

We've billed out over $15K in conversions at almost no labor cost. And, it's NTSC and PAL.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 on the way.


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Mike_SRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 11:37:46 am

Is there a local IT tech who could extract the data from your grumbling original drive and clone it onto a new one for you ...?


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RennieRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 28, 2007 at 6:41:36 pm

Apparently it costs $800.00 to replace a burner on those things. (my pioneer dvr-111 only cost me $39.99 to replace in my G5 but then I did the work myself. And we bitch about apple ram.


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JBaumchenRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Nov 30, 2007 at 4:18:08 pm

It sounds to me that all you have to do is go to your nearest bix box discount store, buy a new EIDE HDD, and install it.

Having worked for a large Japaneese electronics company in aftermarket support, can say that their attitude is unusual.

We used to sell tech manuals and parts if the customer desired. Just don't ask us to help you fix it if you decide to do it yourself.

Anyway, this sounds no more difficult that replacing a drive in a pc.

Cheers.



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Bob ZelinRe: Over a barrel with my backside hanging out...
by on Dec 3, 2007 at 2:35:25 am

Devil's advocate -

1) a hard drive is cheap, but Pioneer does not want to sell you a $89 hard drive (for $150 with markup), have you install it, only to have you say "hey, I just spend $150 for this damn harddrive that you sold me, and nothing is working" - because then you will want them to pay for shipping back and forth to fix it - after all - you did BUY their overpriced hard drive. As you know, most users can't do anything, and Pioneer (like many companies) has had it with sending out parts to end users that can't accomplish the repair.

2) I have never replaced the hard drive in the LX-1, but as you know, a drive needs to be formatted and initialized for the particular OS. You just don't stick in a bare hard drive and have it start working. If the initialization can happen in the LX-1, that's great (I just don't know) - but if this has to be done in a stand alone PC, it's a "multi step" process, and this is something that Pioneer does not want to sit on the phone with you for 45 minutes, and teach you how to do it. (I am not saying this is the case - I just don't know and am making an assumption).

You don't buy a head for a Sony VTR, and call up Sony support and say "hey, I just paid for this thing, can somebody tell me how to install it". Again, the LX-1 might have a simple menu to "init" hard drive - I just don't know.

Bob Zelin


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Steve WargoOK, So, I sent it in and . . .
by on Dec 6, 2007 at 3:44:52 am

I sent the LX1 to Pioneer for the $550 overhaul. When it gets back, I'm going to pull the drive out and clone it. Any reason that shouldn't work for a backup for the future?

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 on the way.


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David Roth WeissRe: OK, So, I sent it in and . . .
by on Dec 6, 2007 at 4:14:07 am

[Steve Wargo] "Any reason that shouldn't work for a backup for the future?"

Its possible that it requires some type of proprietary operating system. My guess is your computer won't be able to see the drive when you plug it in. But, its worth trying...

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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