I Give Up on The Badly-Named MediaVision

Steve Loboyko (slob@mindspring.com)
Sat, 11 Mar 1995 22:22:25 -0600

The following email was sent by me last Wednsday.

>From: slob
>To: techsupp
>Subject: PMStudio/Spectrum driver problems
>Date: Wednesday, March 08, 1995 1:46PM
>It is the understanding of the many owners of the Pro Movie Spectrum and Pro
>Movie Studio boards trying to use it with CU-SeeMe that you do not intend to
>provide further "updates" (that is, _bug fixes_) to your Video for Windows
>drivers. I reported a problem over two months ago, and got absolutely
>nowhere; others buying this board from several outlets have discovered this
>flaw also.
>As the drivers are obviously fauity in terms of reporting palettes to
>programs that capture their stream, we would appreicate it if you could make
>the source code to these drivers available to the public, to myself or to
>the developers of Cu-SeeMe. Several of us in this 1000+ member newsgroup
>have access to the Video for Windows DDK. I, for one, do not see fixing this
>as a big problem.
>Neeless to say, not providing the fix to a known defective driver critical
>to the proper operation of a rather pricey hardware product is bad, but
>keeping the source code proprietary would be worse. Note that I am not
>asking you to write a driver for NeXT, or Linux, or some obscure opeating
>system. Or, for that matter, to update a driver on an obsolete product for a
>new operating environment; I'm simply asking you to provide us with the
>capability of fixing the software (that you do not intend to fix) provided
>with the product for proper operation in the system for which it was
>marketed and sold. Considering that you have no further interest in this
>market, there would be no purpose for holding anything as proprietary.
>The following is representative of the kind of "bad publicity" such a lack
>of timely action generates on the 'net, recently mailed to me and the other
>1000+CU-SeeMe list members:
>>So, out here on the open, I will stand up and say that I am going to
>>immediately retire my ProMovieStudio as soon as I can find a suitable
>>replacement, and I STRONGLY encourage anyone considering buying the card
>>NOT to do so, no matter how great a deal it seems. You will receive
>>sympathy and some support from MV, but there will never be any better
>>drivers than what we have now. Go buy something else. I am.
>>MV just came out of Chapter XI. I wished them much luck staying out, as
>>I for one do not intend to buy any further toys from them (although I got
>>to listen to several taped promos for their Reno CD-ROM drive. I'll
>>stick with my Plextor, thanx...
>>Consider this fair warning about MV's ongoing support for their video
>>products. I do not expect the negative-image video problem to be solved
>>by MV themselves...
>I own two of these boards as well as a Thunder+Lightning board and an
>I expect a reply, yea or nay, by 5 PM PST Friday, otherwise I will be forced
>to join the others who are titling their posts to newsgroups even as I write
>this with "Avoid...", as well as begin the disassembly of the driver with
>the intention of patching it (well within my legal rights - check with your
>If you do not have the authority to act on this email, please forward it to
>someone who does.

The response I received was unsatisfactory, consisting of the "we're
looking into it" crap encountered over the last few months, and then about
2 megs of the same crap I have already spent money downloading off their
bulletin board, except now I paid to receive the same garbage off the
Internet. This person, Jim Patton (who told me _months ago_ that he was
going to test it out at MediaVision with CU), at techsupp@mediavis.com,
invited owners of the group to express their problems to him; However, I
would advise all of you to just give up on MediaVision and their products,
as they are apparently not capable of supporting them, and wait for CU's
driver to be finished. If you have a PMStudio or PMSpectrum, hope that CU's
driver will be OK; if you are thinking of buying one, even at a bargain
price, be aware of the problems that you may have.

I will be forwarding/faxing this letter to Surplus Software, who may be able
to provide some leverage if they are made aware that the stuff they bought
to sell (and not just the PMS stuff) may not work as advertised and is
unsupportable. After that, I wash my hands of the mess, except I might just
get mad enough to post this to the audio newsgroups...

Steve Loboyko
Software Engineer
cR Solutions, Incorporated
11285 Elkins Rd Suite G-1
Roswell GA 30076