I'm sitting in my hotel at 7:20 PM in a georgeous location in So. Cal. It is 7:20 PM in the evening and really wish I was home with my wife and baby, or at the very least enjoying a great meal at Matsuhisa (hopefully, some of you know about it... :) ). Instead I'm sitting here in front of a laptop writing this, smoking a Padron 1964 Anniversario Torpedo, which is a pleasure I usually allow myself when I feel good. Tonight however, I am doing it because it's about the only thing that is helping me feel better about doing this. I know I might open up for more flak here, but so be it.
AnonCoward (how fitting): YOU ARE THE REASON THAT WE HAVE AN AUTHORIZED DEALER POLICY!
You are what we call a trunkslammer. You might be an engineer; good for you. You might be a service technician; good for you again. But you are not a dealer of home theater. Dealers have ethics; you have none. You purchased an expensive product for a "customer" sideways (Japan?) and sold it to him for who knows how much profit, and didn't inform him of the fact that he was screwed if he needed help from anyone else but you. Now he is having problems that only you can solve for him (which he doesn't, by the way-- but that's another issue; do your research and stop looking for the easy way out). And you are frustrated because we won't help you. BOO-HOO.
You know what Mr. Cook? Have your customer call me. You have the number. I am one of the most accessible people I know of in this industry. I promise I won't slam you to him, and I will tell him the information that he needs to know.
The reason we have authorized dealers is because anyone can find a source for products, market themselves, and call themselves a dealer. Anyone can buy a domain name, get an account with UPS and start selling on the internet also. And immediately get GLOBAL exposure. Is that fair to the people who have dedicated their lives to selling products and service and maintaining relationships and reputations?
You never applied to be a Marantz Dealer. You think that can't be checked? Maybe a phone call to one of our representatives, but that isn't even close to becoming a dealer. And they have not a clue as to who you or your company is. And it's their job to know any of the real players in their area, whether they sell our stuff or not.
For everyone else here, let me lay out what is happening here:
About a month and a half ago, we got an email from this person asking about the pixel clock. A reasonable enough request, since it isn't in the user menu. At the time I was working with my sample from pre-production, and was interested myself, since using a PC I could get very close to pixel perfection, but not exact. So I asked the engineering team in Japan for the information about the service menu.
Now I travel quite a bit; I'm on the road about 200 days a year (damn! my cigar went out :( I hate it when that happens), so I wasn't able to get the information right away. I was also asking about other issues that I thought the service menu could help with, like some Faroudja adjustments suggested by Stacey Spears that might do some interesting things. During that time, I managed to talk to our intrepid AnonCoward for about 25 minutes during a long drive through the Northwest rainforest. I let him know during that time that I was working on it and I understood that it is important information for HTPC use.
When I returned, I was informed by Japan of several things:
1. That there are service areas that if made public would violate non-disclosure aggreements with Faroudja/Sage.
2. The code to get into the service menu (but not what was there).
3. That the pixel clock was non adjustable, because it is the master clock that ties into both the Faroudja and the PixelWorks circuitry of the projector.
Now, the first thing I did was to try out the service menu. I have already reported about my findings elsewhere, but I'll recap here: It is useless for anything we might wish to do. It check things like whether the LEDs are operating properly, whether the main controls are working properly, and if the remote buttons are operating. I'm not giving out the code to get into this menu because I was asked not to from Japan. But from what I saw, who cares?
Then I started fooling with my PC some more and got even closer to pixel perfection (my settings are close to the ones reported here by others, so no need to get into them now). My unit looks great with a PC, as do others here, so as nice as it might be to have the pixel clock adjustment, it is by no means an absolute necessity.
Here's the long and short of it. The projector is firmware controlled, and to change that firmware requires a PC and a chip burner. Now this is what I've been told from Japan, and I have no reason to not believe them.
About a week later, I get a call from our National Service Manager, who, by the way. is a great guy and as honest as they come. He wants to know if I can help him with an issue regarding the VP12S1 and adjusting some clock. It turns out to be our hero. So I call him, get some financial firm on the phone, leave a message and he calls back. I explain to him that there is no clock adjustment, and that the service menu won't do him any good. He calls me a liar because he KNOWS that there is an adjustment, and we get off the phone. Now at this point, its just kind of humorous, so I let it go. I have no idea yet that he isn't even an authorized dealer, or any of the other unethical things going on here.
The next day, our Service Manager conferences me in on a call with him (I was just listening; I didn't say anything), where he admits to buying it sideways, so he is told that he wasn't going to get a service manual either. The service manuals are for authorized servicers only. Period.
Now he's pissed. So he writes an email to Japan, which gets bounced back to us. Now really Mr. Cook, do you think by going over people's heads, you are going to accomplish anything other than making yourself look like a fool and guaranteeing that you won't EVER get help?
So now he starts here. I realize what is going on as soon as he posts about the clock.
Now, lemme ask any of you: Why would we keep this information to ourselves if it existed? But with the Powerstrip settings posted by several members here, this thing looks beautiful.
Now, like I said earlier, I HATE THIS. My stomach is in knots, and I have had to ask my dealers if I can use their internet connections to check this forum during the day. I want to be helpful, because I realize that we all have a common goal, but I will not have my credibility or ethics questioned here; I have been doing projection television since 1974 and it's one of the reasons that I still am a part of this industry after 30 years. So I'm done with this matter.
Now, on to other things.
I'm sorry that you felt the need to cancel your order. The business side of me tells me that it's no big deal, because we can't build these things fast enough. And not only that, but even though ours is the best of the lot, ANY of these new HD1 devices are so much better than anything else out there previously, that no one who owns one comes back and feels ripped off. But the emotional side of me doesn't want you to do this based on skewed information. Here's a little nugget from the manufacturing side of things.
There is no such thing as a perfect product. There will always be some little issues tugging at the apron strings. That having been said, I can honestly tell you that there has not been one time-- NOT ONCE, where I haven't set up a VP12S1 for a dealer, turned it on, let it warm up, where they haven't said WOW!
|patience is a lot to ask of someone who has just spent over $10,000 for a product that is not working properly
I agree. 10k is a lot of money. Hell, 5k is a lot of money. The real question is what defines a product that isn't working properly. And that is always going to be a matter of opinion in cases like the flickering. Obviously if it blows up that's one thing. But my pre-production has the flicker. Is it annoying? Yep, it sure is, and I'm pickier than anyone else I know. But on the other hand, I've got over 300 hours of movie and TV watching on this thing already, and I love watching it. Would I like the flickering not to happen? DUH. So the chief Japanese video engineer and a translator are coming to my house on Sunday to discuss these and other things. We will get these issues resolved, I promise.
Please everyone, be careful about letting this board, or anything else you read, make decisions for you. You have to have faith in your dealer, and the products they carry. If you don't then get a new dealer.
This is a small industry; most of us know each other-- hell, most of us have worked over, under, or with each other at some point. It is also an industry that is fueled mostly by passion. Very few of us are getting rich here; we just love what we do. The dealers in particular. Most of the dealer priciples that I know who are driving the exotics are doing phenominal amounts of business, not the little guys. And they believe in what they do. So if you have gotten burned in the past, move on. And find a dealer that you can put your trust in. You might pay a little more, but it'll be worth it in the long run.
Thanks for reading this. And I apologize if this was unconfortable for anyone; it was more so for me.
So, I'm going to go downstairs, take a walk, and try to relight my Padron.