Tech Support Headaches

Tech-Support Troubles

Based on a favorable write-up in another publication, I purchased a Canopus ADVC100, hoping to use footage from my analog camcorders in addition to my digital camcorder for editing. I use Pinnacle Studio version 8 on my HP Pavilion 763N. Having a Ph.D. and being a retired university president, I feel I am able to read and understand directions. I hooked up the Canopus, and although the analog tape played through it, the clips were not captured. Now the horror:

I tried to reach Technical Support at Canopus. Result: email is undeliverable, the fax number will not accept a fax, and the telephone number puts you on hold for 16-18 minutes without answering. I finally wrote, but want you to know that Canopus did not support me, and to please consider this when recommending their equipment.

To compound my woes, I called Pinnacle. Their 800 number refers to a toll number for technical support. No one answered technical support even at this company that makes a nice product.

Conversations with friends who are videographers and your subscribers elicit the comments that no company really gives technical support, and one is on one’s own. If this is so, please bring this to the attention of these companies and make videography enjoyable even for the non-pros.

Laurence H. Lattman

Albuquerque, NM

Pinnacle Systems’ Product Management and Customer Service Team responds:

"Thank you for your comments and our apologies for your experience with Pinnacle Systems to date. We do provide support to our customers and on any given day, we will talk or write to some 1,000 customers in the US alone. There are many ways to get support, and each of them has some advantages."

Pinnacle went on to mention that they offer an online user discussion forum, an online knowledge base, email support driven by knowledge base documents, as well as phone support, which has hold times around ten minutes, with the best times to call being mid-morning and mid-afternoon, Tuesday through Thursday. Pinnacle has also hired additional support staff, they report.

Additionally, Pinnacle supplied some troubleshooting tips, including attempting to capture footage through Canopus’ software and Windows Movie Maker, as well as verifying that the Canopus capture device is selected in Studio’s setup menu.

Robert Sharp, General Manager of Canopus Corporation, Responds:

"I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties Mr. Lattman encountered. Canopus strives to provide first-rate customer service as it is very important to the success of the company – a satisfied customer is, we hope, a returning customer. Canopus continues to implement strategies to better serve its customers. To that end, Canopus began an extensive update to its server in May, which unfortunately lead to a few instances of the server being down and could explain Mr. Lattman’s email problems. The good news is these changes were made to implement our new No Hold customer support program. This new support program is in operation now at and allows customers to submit technical questions directly from the Web site and receive a response immediately. These questions are submitted instantly to an extensive technical support knowledge database and a response is sent back to the customer straight away.

Another very valuable tool for customers are the forums on the Canopus Web site. The forums allow users, forum leaders and company technicians to engage in discussions regarding technical issues, as well as general questions concerning video production. I strongly urge all Canopus customers to take advantage of this valuable tool."


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Boffo Batteries

Just want to thank you for a great article in the June 2003 edition on Battery Care. I always wondered about memory effects, etc of new NiMh and Lithium batteries; the NiCds were such dogs! Nobody, not even manufacturers, made this info as understandable as Videomaker.

Gary Bisogna


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