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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Dolby software upgrades free or pay

   
Author Topic: Dolby software upgrades free or pay
Kirk Futrell
Film Handler

Posts: 92
From: Nashville, TN / U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2008


 - posted 02-01-2013 11:05 AM      Profile for Kirk Futrell   Author's Homepage   Email Kirk Futrell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does Dolby charge for software updates to their servers?

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2565
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 02-01-2013 01:26 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It depends on how old is your server. I think you have 3 years of "software support", then you have to pay to have the latest version - but you can still have an "old" version for free.

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Wolfgang Woehl
Film Handler

Posts: 31
From: Munich, Germany
Registered: Apr 2012


 - posted 02-01-2013 04:17 PM      Profile for Wolfgang Woehl   Author's Homepage   Email Wolfgang Woehl   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Every time you're paying Dolby or any of the vendors in digital cinema for a software update you are paying for bugfixes and new bugs. Keep that in mind for the next negotiation. Yes, it is unacceptable, indeed.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6440
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-01-2013 04:55 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's a tough call to make. Yes, they should use care in designing and coding software and they should test that software before releasing it to the public but it is not possible to predict everything.

Sometimes, despite best efforts, bugs are not apparent until software is used in real life situations. Other times, software and equipment are used in different ways than originally planned.

You just can't write software that is 100% bulletproof 100% of the time. Incremental improvements and bug fixes are necessary to keep software up to par in the mission-critical environment we work in.

If thre is a problem that should have been caught before it was released, yes, those fixes should be free but you can't rightly expect every software update to be free forever. That's just not reasonable.

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Wolfgang Woehl
Film Handler

Posts: 31
From: Munich, Germany
Registered: Apr 2012


 - posted 02-01-2013 05:26 PM      Profile for Wolfgang Woehl   Author's Homepage   Email Wolfgang Woehl   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Don't pay for bugfixes. It is that simple.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12295
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-01-2013 05:29 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wolfgang, that is not true. Once a server qualifies for a version number x.y, then it qualifies for all subsequent revisions of that software to ensure that bugs are indeed fixed. The question comes from "new features" and at what point do they stop being free. There can be a whole discussion on that and I certainly have my opinions too.

Since Dolby provides up to 3-years of software maintenance, the version of software that shipped with any particular unit should not only have had all of the bugs from that version fixed, but also 3-years of whatever new features...say high-frame rate, to name a recent one. But if your server qualifies for the current version 4.5...then you would qualify for all of the 4.5 versions (currently 4.5.4.2) that subsequently come out. That is to ensure that bug fixes are covered.

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Kirk Futrell
Film Handler

Posts: 92
From: Nashville, TN / U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2008


 - posted 02-02-2013 03:57 PM      Profile for Kirk Futrell   Author's Homepage   Email Kirk Futrell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, how many digits typically in the cost of the upgrade and do other server manufactures use this same model?

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Antti Nayha
Master Film Handler

Posts: 259
From: Helsinki, Finland
Registered: Oct 2008


 - posted 02-02-2013 04:23 PM      Profile for Antti Nayha   Email Antti Nayha   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Apparently it’s only Dolby, the others offer updates for free. (But correct me if I’m wrong.)

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Marco Giustini
Film God

Posts: 2565
From: Reading, UK
Registered: Nov 2007


 - posted 02-02-2013 06:22 PM      Profile for Marco Giustini   Email Marco Giustini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This price list says $400 for a year of updates?

Anyway, if you are out of sw warranty that does not mean that you cannot have a software. You cannot have the latest one - maybe - but Dolby should not refuse to provide you with a decent version which will make your server fully functional.
Say if you are stuck at version 3.8, I think you can have a version 4.x free of charge.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12295
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 02-02-2013 06:29 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am unaware of any other company in the industry that charges for software updates of its own equipment.

The claim is that due to the public nature of Dolby that they are "required" to charge for the engineering time devoted to software updates when they contain new features as part of some SEC rules (protection to share holders).

Clearly, there are other software creators in the industry that charge, mostly in the financially related services (POS, accounting...etc). Also, more than one TMS software manufacturer charges annual fees.

That said, Dolby seems to have been rather loose with its 3-year policy. Every DSS100 was able to update to 4.3...long after the 3-year period. With the CAT 745, there isn't a KDM requirement so it will be difficult to enforce.

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