Unreliable Apple MacBook Pro Laptop for our Church

In Febuary 08, our Pastor bought our church video production department a brand new Apple MacBook Pro laptop to fullfil our video editing needs, and we were pretty excited about this piece of equipment, mainly because even though it only had Final Cut Express it was more versatile than Adobe Premier Elements that we had been using previously on the bug ridden/virus attacked windows operating system and we were looking forward to using a different interface as well as joining the ranks of those using premier graphics equipment for our productions.

For the first year our MacBook pro performed flawlessly on a weekly basis, production after production, video podcast after podcast and then last year we had our first Apple hardware failure on the eve of a very important church theatrical production that involved playing back some video clips we had shot and edited specifically for the event!
During the full clothes rehearsals, the Apple MacBook laptop had been used to playback these clips without any problems, but on the day, we couldn't get any sound on the main house audio system! We didn't immediately suspect the MacBook, because we had hired in additional audio equipment which meant a different XLR cable run between the laptop and a new mixer desk so we thought it was either an interfacing problem or cable issue, we finally replaced the laptop with a different audio resource, and bingo problem solved. What made the diagnosis so hard was the fact that we had sound on the laptop, but when the jack was plugged in, nothing arrived at the audio console!

Luckly we had purchased a 3 year Applecare warranty, as the MacBook was now about 18 months old, so we were able to take it to Apple and had to be over a week without it (very hard since we were now used to having it perform various functions like church video announcements, sermon illustrations, even backup audio sermon recordings using Logic express).
Our MacBook came back and we thought that we would have seen the last of hardware problems, but last week, after using it perfectly during the sunday morning service, I tried booting it up in the evening to upload the weekly podcast, but the screen was dead, the keyboard worked, and I could hear the disks spin up, and the backlight on the keys were also functional, but a black screen stared at me!

Our MacBook pro is back with Apple now, and it is another week before we will get it back due to a graphics board failure, it might be that we are just unfortunate with our laptop batch, but when an important piece of church video equipment like this fail, you are mostly likely to be upset and brand it unreliable. Having said all that, I wonder how long a PC would have lasted, had we been using it on a weekly basis for video editing software, playback as our Apple laptop?

editing with Final cut pro for dummies or church

More Reading
Multi-camera video mixing software for Mac.


Unknown said...

Ouch, I'm sorry to hear about your problems. Laptops are more prone to issues because they're constantly being moved. Also, sometimes, you also happen to get a lemon. I hope this isn't the problem with yours. As far as whether it's good to get a PC or an Mac, the answer is, it depends on which PC manufacturer. http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/17/laptop-reliability-survey-asus-and-toshiba-win-hp-fails/

Then again, with PC, you are wasting time in dealing with viruses, spyware, setup issues, etc..

Anonymous said...

I have been using a HP Pavillion for 3 years for my audio video system. I have not had a problem with the laptop being moved and transported in my vehicle or the back pack case I bought.

About viruses if you keep your antivirus updated you will not have that kind of a problem. Microsoft recomends that when you set up any computer set up two accounts one that is the administrator with a password. The second is the user account and only set up as a user. This way a hidden virus can not get onto the system in a hidden file since you would not have permission to install or run it.
the adobe pro software works well on the pc and according to the mac users I have talked too with the adobe the pc works great.


Post a Comment