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Q: Why the name, “HiDef Cowboy”?  It makes my boss/CEO/Ops Director nervous to hire you.

Short Answer: They’re right, we should have gone with something dignified like Google.

Long Answer: We work with creative people mostly, and found that the “name generator” that people seem to use to name their integration companies (insert the words media, integrations, systems, partners, design and communications in any random order to name your company today!) didn’t really suit the team of creative, forward-thinking and, yes, human technicians that we have assembled.

“Cowboy” stands for honor, honesty, hard work and a lot of other things that modern businesses often forget. We thought we’d put it in our name to remind us.

Q: Do you work for CatDV?

A: No, the company that makes CatDV is called Squarebox Systems and we don’t work “for” them. We do, however, have a really close relationship with the “factory.” We were one of the first US installers and the first in the western United States by more than two years, so we were designing workflows and managing assets while other integrators were still talking about “someday.” We were early to the party so we got to “hang out with the hosts,” so to speak. We beta test and share data back and forth and participate in real-world testing of the CatDV product line. We also work in the booth at trade shows and assist with US dealer support when needed.

Q: Don’t you just work with that one dealer?

A: Actually, no. We work directly with clients and we also subcontract for six software and hardware dealers around the United States on consulting, integration and technical support.

Q: If I buy CatDV, will I have to learn to do Unix programming or something crazy like that?

A: If you are more creative than technical, don’t worry; we can make your system hum along and you will never have to do much more than click a mouse. Most of our clients are video producers who’d rather make art than wrestle with tech. We have you covered. However, that leads us to…

Q: If I hire you to build our system, will you teach me all about CatDV?

A: Yes and no. We provide one-on-one and group training, for a fee, and we make sure that our clients know as much as they need to in order to be comfortable with their systems. However, CatDV and its related apps are really a set of tools that require a varied set of skills that can’t really be taught in the classroom in a short time frame. While there are basic installations and workflows, any advanced integration may require Unix, Windows and OS X server admin skills, Unix command line experience, knowledge of broadcast video workflows, nonlinear editing expertise, archive and storage technology experience and web programming skills, to name a few of the tools in our kit. If you are one of the folks out there who thrive on such geek-ery, you will love this product. If you are setting up a system for your company, we will make sure that you are familiar with the workings of your system and we provide excellent after-care, but obviously we may not be able to train you in all areas of knowledge needed.

If you are a dealership that requires higher-level integration support, we will train your staff in the basics of CatDV, CatDVServer and Worker. Hopefully, over time, you will become comfortable with the entire product line, but to expect to be trained in a single session or even a few weeks in the higher-level knowledge of the product is unrealistic, if not impossible. Asset management is a career, not a weekend seminar. Note that in our demos you may also see “middleware” that is not part of the CatDV product line. These are proprietary apps and applets that we sell to solve problems and bridge gaps between systems.

Q: Can CatDV integrate with my…

A: Maybe, and mostly yes. If your app generates or imports one of several types of data, we can likely help you connect those systems, but you may want to first get CatDV up and running by itself and then see how you can mix things. Also, custom integration and coding can get expensive for small shops. That said, compared to the $100,000 and up average installed cost of comparable asset management systems, CatDV can be extended relatively inexpensively and is extremely flexible and powerful.