The Back-Story of a Review

Posted on by Larry

The road to a product review is rarely smooth, but a review that I’m currently working on was especially rocky – mostly due to me – but the back-story is interesting, so I thought I’d share it with you here.

Last December, I saw a demo of Telestream’s Pipeline and thought it interesting enough that I should cover it in my newsletter. So, I asked Telestream if they would send me an evaluation copy to look at.

Telestream graciously agreed and by mid-January, a gleaming new unit was sitting in my edit suite. However, Pipeline requires SDI video and all my video sources were either composite or S-Video — both analog.


So, I contacted some friends at Blackmagic Design and asked if they could lend me two of their new mini-converters which takes analog video and converts it to SDI.

After filling out the necessary forms, answering the usual twenty questions and waiting a couple of weeks, two brand-new mini-converters were sitting right next to the Pipeline hardware.


Pipeline requires OS X 10.5, and I’m still running on OS 10.4.11. This was a problem. Long-time readers of my newsletter know that my basic philosophy is that if your editing system is running properly, don’t upgrade.

While it is true that upgrading to OS X 10.5 does not provide any new features to Final Cut Studio, an upgrade would allow me greater access to third-party products.

There are three OS X 10.5 products that, individually, are almost enough to make me upgrade. Together, they finally tipped me over the edge. These are: Telestream’s Pipeline and ScreenFlow, and Noise Industries: FXFactory.

I’ll be writing about Telestream’s Pipeline in my next newsletter, coming out next week. (Click here to subscribe.) I’ll be writing about the other two in an upcoming issue.

So, I decided the time had come to, finally, upgrade to OS X 10.5. But when?

I had all the hardware, but I was about to head out of town for a three week road trip in the UK doing seminars. This struck me as a bad time to upgrade – never demo newly installed software in front of 200 people. Unpleasant things have been known to happen.

So, it wasn’t until this week – about three months after I started this whole process – that I was finally able to upgrade one system to OS X 10.5. (By the way, I did an Archive and Install, and everything worked great — except email, which took a phone call to Apple to resolve.)


I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned about Pipeline in my next newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do so. Its free and will be emailed directly to you as soon as I finish getting it written.

One Response to The Back-Story of a Review

  1. Dave Morrison says:

    Larry, why didn’t you wait a few more weeks and jump all the way to 10.6?

    – – –

    Larry replies: Mainly because I was feeling guilty that folks had sent me this stuff to review and I hadn’t done anything with it.

    It wasn’t Telestream’s fault that I hadn’t upgraded – and it wasn’t fair to you to not review legitimate products because I hadn’t upgraded. My main editing system remains 10.4.11. However, I’ve now upgraded my testing system to 10.5.

    Also, I’ll do the same with 10.6 When the new version ships, I’ll upgrade a system I can afford to have problems with, but delay upgrading my main editing system until the new version of the operating system proves itself to be stable.

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