letter from outlaw

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Duke, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Duke

    Duke Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 8, 1998
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    By placing a reservation for a Model 950 you have become a member of the extended Outlaw community, and as noted in the previous communications you have received from us, we are working as hard as we can to create a sufficient supply of this highly anticipated product. However, as you may have read on the various forums, we have recently encountered some problems with the initial production run. This information was sent out to those expecting deliveries this week, but as a part of the community, we feel that it is important that you now see it, as well.

    When the first batch of 950s was received late last week we made a special effort to begin shipments early, and a few Outlaws did receive a 950 in time to install it over last weekend. The response from those customers is that although the sound quality is all that they had hoped for and more, it appears that two problems have arisen. While not all units exhibited the problems we have decided to temporarily suspend shipments until we isolated the cause and extent of what was reported.

    What has happened is that the wider range of discs, players and displays at use in the general population has revealed conditions that were impossible to catch despite the extensive variety of tests the Model 950 has undergone. These tests included extensive beta testing, licensing approval testing, in-circuit testing of the bare boards and both burn-in and system tests after assembly, but "real world" use is the ultimate test of any product. What was found was an occasional drop-out of digital signals and an issue with S-Video playback.

    The digital audio drop-out problem is a random issue that does not appear on all units or discs. While this makes it difficult to repeat and hard to analyze, we have a few potential causes already identified, (thanks to the hard work of the Outlaw customers with the suspect units, as well as both internal staff and outside engineering consultants). It will take a few days to test the causes and then to test the solutions. At this time we are hopeful that it should not take too long to complete that process although we cannot predict the timing. This will likely be one of those things that is hard to find, but easy to fix.

    The S-Video problem has already been solved, with the root cause verified as incorrect part that still allowed most, but unfortunately not all displays to work properly. Units with the correct part have already been tested and approved, and we will update existing units as well as double check the parts insertion for new production.

    The bottom line for all of this is that we want you to know that we have encountered a problem, but that we are well on the way to solving it. As soon as everything is re-validated and tested we will update the units already produced and re-start both the production line and shipments. This will mean that your projected delivery date will slip a bit, but we hope, not significantly. Once we resume production, we will do our best to catch up quickly through the continued use of air, rather than ocean freight to send units to our warehouse.

    We realize that that this may seem like yet another part of what some like to call the "Outlaw Conspiracy", but we assure you that the shipping and production halt is not a step we took lightly. We have a substantial number of units already in our warehouse with more scheduled for production that have been halted in the factory. We know that you want us to ship them, and we would certainly like to accommodate the many who have waited for so long. However, we ask you to understand that the action we have taken is in everyone's best interests: yours and ours.

    Given that while one of the problems is solved, but the other is still open, we will not take the corrective action until a solid change order is available covering everything. We will keep you informed as to our progress, but it looks as though this will push shipments back to one or two weeks. As we have long stated, we're more than happy to take any flames for a delay that is warranted, rather than ship a unit that does not meet your expectations.

    Two final notes: First, some Outlaws have requested that we ship their units now and provide an upgrade later. We prefer not to do this, as we want to make certain that any upgraded units are modified properly and tested by our technicians. We appreciate the vote of confidence, but it would be inappropriate for us to ship units that we knew were not "right", even though most of their functionality is perfect.

    Finally, thanks to all of those who suggested corrections to the Model 950's Owner's Manual. For those who are interested in taking a look, a revised manual (Version 1.25) is now posted on our web site for you to download. Very shortly we will have a Model 950 in your hands to go with that manual.


    The Outlaws
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

    Oct 13, 1998
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    Received the e-mail also right after lunch today. That's cool - let 'em fix it. I know from electronic manufacturing experience that these things almost always happen with new product introductions and first manufacturing build.

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