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Glurp
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Topic # 171981 7-May-2015 16:12
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I bought three things. One was an HDMI cable. It turned out to be faulty. I only figured that out after wasting more hours of my precious life trying to diagnose non-existent equipment faults. The company that sold it to me disappeared so no CGA. Oh well, it was ‘only’ $12.

Another was a mini-computer. The tale of my woes with that is ongoing and has filled many threads here.

The third was a highly-reputed Hauppauge HDMI recorder. In my naivety, I foolishly imagined reclining on my decadent couch, streaming the world at the flick of the remote, capturing whatever took my fancy in HD.

The computer still isn’t working right, and probably never will. Chinese support has advised me to ‘ask friends for help’ and ‘search the Internet’. The HD DVR 2 isn’t working correctly either, but I have been so immersed in the problems with the computer that I only just realised that.

I don’t seem to have ordinary ‘doesn’t switch on’ problems. My problems are subtle and devious and confidence-sapping. Sometimes the computer works. Sometimes it doesn’t. It is usually when I want to actually watch something that it doesn’t.

The recorder should have been simple to install. It wasn’t. It took days to determine that a faulty USB cable (supplied with the recorder) was intermittently sabotaging things. But I finally got it working, in the process chewing through many, many obstacles put up by the unfamiliar faulty computer and the unfamiliar frankly bizarre Windows 8.1 architecture. It doesn’t help that the computer is a desktop, albeit a tiny one, but comes pre-installed with a tablet OS that is completely unsuitable for it.

At long last I was able to make some test recordings. Gorgeous vivid HD recordings. At last, something that works. Or at least it did until I actually tried to play it back. Turns out the software is cutting off the last 10 per cent of every recording. No idea why. It records it, but then chucks it away during ‘finalisation’. The only way to get the whole video is to copy the file somewhere else while it is still being recorded. As soon as the recording is stopped or the program closed the end gets lopped off.

All of this has taught me a lesson. The days when products were actually tested before being shipped are long gone. The days when products were so well made that they didn’t need to be tested are also past. Quality control has become an alien concept. Along with customer service.

Never again will I buy anything new.





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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Bee

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  Reply # 1300002 7-May-2015 16:24
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Or just buy from well established "Bricks and Mortar" stores that are NZ based?



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  Reply # 1300050 7-May-2015 17:32
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Except condoms perhaps...





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1300054 7-May-2015 17:41
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Rikkitic:

Never again will I buy anything new.



It seems probable that this decision will work out just as successful as your recent purchases. wink

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  Reply # 1300055 7-May-2015 17:47
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Not only am I not surprised, I'm also not particularly sympathetic. Sorry.
The older I've got, the more I have stopped relying on the net, and instead found my 'guy'.

There's my 'tyre guy'. He's the bloke who understands the car I drive... and importantly, how I drive it.
I have had my 'bike guy', he has sold me road and mountain bikes + parts for over 20 years. He understands what sort of gear I will like, how I ride / what I ride into + off etc.
I have my 'electrical guy' who is a good sparky, and I can trust.
I have my 'water bloke', he can fix pipes / plumbing etc.

Relying on the interweb for purchase advice may seem like a good idea, but your issue resolution options are often somewhat stymied. Real people, they have a reputation to upkeep, it's best to hunt these folk down and stick with them.
My $0.10.

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  Reply # 1300058 7-May-2015 17:54
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I do get the feeling that in some cases I've bought things based on so-called "reviews" that were probably little more than re-hashed press-releases.
Latest impulse buy in this category was a NexStar wifi HDD enclosure.  It seemed like such a great idea, but the horrific implementation of software/apps as well as design (non)features renders the thing mainly useless.  The "reviews" never noticed these flaws (about 2m wifi range, wifi doesn't work when the thing is also plugged in via USB3 or to the charger, the android app is about the worst thing I've ever seen - and there's no way to access device settings unless you use the app).
I actually doubt that the so-called "reviewer" had even seen the device, let alone used it.  I suspect that I may have been beta tester - so there you are NexStar - my feedback is above.


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  Reply # 1300063 7-May-2015 18:06
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Service (before and/or after sale)
Price
Quality

Pick 2 from that list that you are happy with and live with it, its very very rare that all 3 line up.

In the times of everyone trying to undercut everyone else, something has to give......

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  Reply # 1300064 7-May-2015 18:07
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I've always seen the cheap media boxes, Freeview receivers, USB Android sticks / mini-PC's to be the obvious 'results may vary' category.
While it's nice that there's innovation, the line 'if it's too good to be true' really does ring true for me.
I have always tried to take the approach of buying the best I can afford, and buying it once. The aim is to have a seamless experience, and 95% of the time it's true.

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  Reply # 1300083 7-May-2015 19:16
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Geektastic: Except condoms perhaps...


And toilet paper? surprised

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  Reply # 1300276 7-May-2015 22:52
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Most new items that I've bought in recent years have performed extremely well and been 100% reliable including my car, whiteware, TV, camera, etc.

The exception is anything made by the computer industry who seem to have completely different standards from all other facets of engineering. They don't test stuff properly, don't seek feedback from real world users and try to pass the buck when you point out the faults in the product.

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  Reply # 1300282 7-May-2015 23:02
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alasta: Most new items that I've bought in recent years have performed extremely well and been 100% reliable including my car, whiteware, TV, camera, etc.

The exception is anything made by the computer industry who seem to have completely different standards from all other facets of engineering. They don't test stuff properly, don't seek feedback from real world users and try to pass the buck when you point out the faults in the product.


Blame consumers who want everything cheaper cheaper cheaper.  You can't have it both ways.

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  Reply # 1300322 8-May-2015 01:27
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I remember when I was much younger I would always be on the lookout for that 'cheap' bargan..
Only thing was that most of the time after buying the cheaper item it didn't entirely live up to the description on the box.

This led me to the rather skeptical view that"if it's cheap, it not worth the trouble".

If I want an item to last a decent amount of time and do a good job while I have it, I'll spend time researching the quality and options I have, and usually a fair price.
I have been stung by spending money on a lesser item, only to end up spending more for the more expensive item that I should have got in the fist place, effectively throwing away the money I spent first.

If it's worth having, you'll have to pay for it, and the better the item, and it usually cost's more to have the better item.
ie, you get what you pay for.

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  Reply # 1300344 8-May-2015 07:17
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Buying an expensive, branded quality item is often cheaper in the long run.  Factor in the enjoyment, the reduced issues, and its money well spent.  

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  Reply # 1300345 8-May-2015 07:24
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There's a difference between high quality and low quality.

High quality uses high quality parts and had strict quality control. Which means faults are readily known and failures are less common.

Low quality uses the cheapest material they can find and have little quality control. Which means you don't know what's going to happen.

If you buy low quality stuff be prepared to take it back. If you have no idea how to trouble shoot don't buy those things.




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  Reply # 1300347 8-May-2015 07:35
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are you using the HDMI capture on the cheap low powered windows 8 device?

If so, have you tried it on an actual mid range computer?  

Hauppauge is a well established brand.

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  Reply # 1300350 8-May-2015 07:50
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joker97: There's a difference between high quality and low quality.

High quality uses high quality parts and had strict quality control. Which means faults are readily known and failures are less common.

Low quality uses the cheapest material they can find and have little quality control. Which means you don't know what's going to happen.

If you buy low quality stuff be prepared to take it back. If you have no idea how to trouble shoot don't buy those things.


I suppose you could argue that the CGA drives the prices of consumer goods downwards, as many people see buying cheap no-name items as a no-risk scenario. After all, if they don't like how it performs, they can always claim 'not fit for purpose'. However, if you have time to keep updating / searching for a fix, or you're live with a flakey product - then sweet. 
Of course... many people don't understand the CGA and just want the cheapest of the cheap.

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