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  1. #1
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Contour Cameras Out of Business

    Yes it is true.

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/brierd...ed-apparently/

    Seattle sports camera maker Contour apparently has closed, laying off around 60 employees.

    Contour was a homegrown startup that emerged from a University of Washington business competition in 2004. Founders Marc Barros and Jason Green are avid skiers who developed helmet-mounted cameras used for capturing and sharing action-sports videos.
    By 2011 the company had annual sales of $15 million and was named one of the most promising companies in the country by Forbes magazine. But it struggled to compete against category-leader GoPro and other companies such as Sony that offered similar, wearable cameras.

    I guess my hopes of future firmware updates to fix all the buggy software have died as well.

    Anyway, my unit still works, and I still like it better than GoPro. Maybe I better get some more batteries.
    Last edited by DiabloScott; 08-10-13 at 01:26 PM.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Seńior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I'm sure there will be aftermarket batteries available on eBay for years. I've never actually bought an OEM battery for anything, from cheap gadgets up to my SLR, and I've never had a problem with a $4 ebay battery instead of a $40 OEM battery.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  3. #3
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    I have two Contours and while they were good cameras, I hated the format for the videos (.mov).

  4. #4
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VACaver View Post
    I have two Contours and while they were good cameras, I hated the format for the videos (.mov).
    They changed that about a year ago to .MP4 with a firmware upgrade.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
    They changed that about a year ago to .MP4 with a firmware upgrade.
    Unfortunately, that didn't apply to my 720 and 1080p cameras.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VACaver View Post
    I have two Contours and while they were good cameras, I hated the format for the videos (.mov).
    .mov files are Apple Quicktime videos.

    Try the freeware video transcoder Handbrake, http://handbrake.fr/

    This won't help you in any way with your Contour firmware but should be able to convert your the Quicktime videos to other formats.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by estasnyc View Post
    .mov files are Apple Quicktime videos.

    Try the freeware video transcoder Handbrake, http://handbrake.fr/

    This won't help you in any way with your Contour firmware but should be able to convert your the Quicktime videos to other formats.
    I've already got software to convert with. It's just having to do it at all that's a pain in the butt.

    No biggie, though...I hardly use my Contours anymore.

  8. #8
    Seńior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    For handling different file formats, I recommend looking into AVIDemux
    http://avidemux.sourceforge.net/

    Free/open source, Windows/Mac/Linux, handles a lot of audio/video formats, converts to other formats, does simple cut/paste editing, is very simple and fast. I own a copy of Sony Movie Studio HD but I use AVIDemux a lot of the time because it's so fast and easy to use.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  9. #9
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Something was up in March when it's founder cashed out and took his golden parachute in March.

  10. #10
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    This is sad, not only due to the hardship that a closing company causes; but also to consumers. There is the point that competition improves the category. Further, I still have not forgotten Go-Pro's bringing a law-suit against a person that gave a negative review. Yes, things like that do impact my buying decision.
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. – Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  11. #11
    Rocketship Underpants Dwayne's Avatar
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    Contour goes out of business without an explanation the same day Garmin introduces their own line of robust video cameras. The Garmin units have the same basic design as the Contour cameras, including the big sliding switch that everyone liked about the Contour.

    Coincidence? I think not. I think Garmin gave the Contour executives a bag of cash for their patents and design, took all the upsides of the Contour cameras, updated them with image stabilization and an energy-efficient preview screen and other features, and made them work together with other Garmin hardware. Contour closes their operations, but the product more or less lives on with Garmin. That's what I think happened. If it's true, I don't understand why there wouldn't be a press release about it... I don't see anything wrong with Contour being bought out if that was the case.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team
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  12. #12
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
    Contour goes out of business without an explanation the same day Garmin introduces their own line of robust video cameras. The Garmin units have the same basic design as the Contour cameras, including the big sliding switch that everyone liked about the Contour.

    Coincidence? I think not. I think Garmin gave the Contour executives a bag of cash for their patents and design, took all the upsides of the Contour cameras, updated them with image stabilization and an energy-efficient preview screen and other features, and made them work together with other Garmin hardware. Contour closes their operations, but the product more or less lives on with Garmin. That's what I think happened. If it's true, I don't understand why there wouldn't be a press release about it... I don't see anything wrong with Contour being bought out if that was the case.
    Contour probably just used the Garmin introduction as the last hammered nail in the coffin excuse. Sony's action camera looks a lot closer to the Contour than what the Garmin does, and in an article that I read, action cameras from Sony and Go Pro were major players in Contour's downfall. If I ever do have to replace my Contours, it will probably be with the Sony version, the Garmin is closer to being a brick like the Go Pro.

  13. #13
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    Further, I still have not forgotten Go-Pro's bringing a law-suit against a person that gave a negative review
    It wasn't a lawsuit -- it was a DMCA takedown notice.

    Still bad, of course ... but not quite so bad as a lawsuit would have been.

    Also, the review seems quite positive rather than negative. (Though maybe it's been changed since then? But if so, they didn't update the date.)

  14. #14
    Senior Member aubiecat's Avatar
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    Good news for Contour owners and fans. The company has been purchased and the plan is to bring Contour back online in the near future.

    Investor plans to revive Contour after winning bid to buy GoPro rival for $1.9M

    th a bid of $1.925 million, investment company Clarke Capital Partners has emerged as the prevailing bidder for the assets of Contour Inc., the Seattle-based action-camera company that abruptly closed its doors in August in the face of tough competition from its larger rival GoPro. The sale, which resulted from a competitive auction by a court-appointed receiver, has been approved by the court but still needs to be finalized by the parties.
    Clarke Capital is an existing Contour investor. Assuming everything goes through, Clarke Capital plans to bring back the Contour business and brand, confirmed James Clarke, the CEO and managing partner of the Utah-based investment company, speaking with GeekWire via phone this morning.
    Clarke acknowledged that part of the investment firm’s motivation is preserving the capital it has already invested, but he said Clarke Capital sees itself as a business operator first, and an investor second.
    “We think it’s a great business,” Clarke said of Contour. He said he believes the company is positioned to be “a great Pepsi to GoPro’s Coke, and it deserves an opportunity to resurface.”
    Jason Green (left) and Marc Barros co-founded what became Contour as University of Washington students who wanted to record video on the slopes.

    The struggles of Contour highlight the intense competition in the market for wearable cameras, used by mountain bikers, snowboarders and other outdoor sports enthusiasts to capture point-of-view footage of their escapades. That competition will only escalate as general-purpose competitors such as Google Glass enter the market. Contour defaulted on nearly $7.5 million in loans prior to closing.
    Some of the former employees of Contour would be offered a chance to return to the company if the sale goes through, but overall it would be a “much lighter organization,” Clarke said.
    Clarke said he loves Seattle, but added that it may ultimately make more sense to locate the new Contour in Utah, given Clarke Capital’s presence there. A final decision on the location hasn’t been made, he said.
    Apart from formalizing the asset sale, another outstanding issue that needs to be resolved is the status of more than 32,800 Contour cameras held by PCH International, the product development company that oversaw the manufacturing of Contour cameras under an agreement with the Seattle company.
    Those cameras held by PCH are specifically excluded from the assets to be sold to Clarke Capital via the court-appointed receiver. Clarke said his company is in discussions with PCH about the situation, and is hopeful that they can reach an amicable resolution.
    PHC said in court filings that it reserved the right to sell the Contour cameras on its own to help make up for what it estimates to be its $3.6 million in damages in the Contour case.
    According to court records, competing bidder Industrial Revolution offered $2.075 million for Contour’s assets, but its bid would have included Contour’s accounts receivable, which were excluded in Clarke Capital’s bid — making the Clarke Capital bid effectively higher.
    Contour, founded in 2004 by Jason Green and Marc Barros, faced stiff competition from GoPro, whose parent company Woodman Labs raised $200 million from Foxconn last December in a funding round that valued the venture at $2.25 billion. Contour raised total venture capital of around $16 million, and Green said after the closure that he believed Contour’s location in Seattle factored into that disparity.
    “We’ve been a hardware company in a software town,” Green said at the time, saying it was difficult at times to get the attention of the region’s software-oriented investors.
    Clarke said this morning that he hopes to honor the original vision of the company’s founders. Green remained with the company prior to its closing, and Barros had left the company earlier this year.
    We’ll continue to follow the Contour story as it unfolds. Many Contour customers have been emailing GeekWire about the status of cameras that they had sent in for repairs, and we’ll also provide updates on that issue as we get details.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Lighting this up again. UPS dropped off my Contour Roam last August the same day the announcement was made. doh.gif Now I am having issues with it. Has anyone heard anything? Is anyone honoring warranties on this thing?
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Fenway's Avatar
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    http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/con...capital-buyout
    Contour saved by Clarke Capital buyout


    by Mark Sutton
    Thursday, November 21st 2013 at 9:51AM
    In News
    Helmet camera company announces relaunch and restructuring
    Contour has announced its purchase by Clarke Capital Partners, with a relaunch due in the next few weeks.
    A fee of $1.925 million was paid by Clarke Capital, who were already a backer of the camera firm, which closed abruptly at the end of August.
    The firm has since announced plans to support its retail partners with new marketing drives, creating demand for the Contour Roam 2 and +2 cameras.
    UK Distributor Ultra Sport Europe will take stock of the product again within the next ten days, with a further shipment due in the new year. So if you need stock for Christmas, call 01332 813 150 to discuss availability.
    www.contour.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
    Contour saved by Clarke Capital buyout


    www.contour.com
    Hit the support link and this comes up. http://help.contour.com/system/site_not_found I would think one of the first things to be done once the deal is done is to get something on the website to indicate an impending comeback. I am still very concerned.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Fenway's Avatar
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    http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/news/ar...rebound-38797/
    Contour action cameras on the rebound?

    By BikeRadar | Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12.00pm




    Contour action cameras could live again John Witney/Bikeradar

    Less than three months after popular action camera makers Contour announced they were going under because of tough pressure from their rival GoPro, the American company could be on the rebound.
    Geekwire report that assets of the Seattle company, sold at auction, were bought by investment company Clarke Capital Partners, an original investor in Contour, for almost US$2 million.

    Clarke Capital Partners' CEO James Clarke said the objective was to revive the brand and bring back the competitor to brands such as GoPro and the Garmin VIRB series, which was launched days after Contour went under.
    Clarke said Contour could be the Pepsi to GoPro's Coca-cola.
    Details of when Contour helmet cameras, beloved of mountain bikers, snowboarders and outdoor enthusiasts, might return are still to be announced.

  19. #19
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Finally, something tangible.

    http://contour.com/
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  20. #20
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    Finally, something tangible.

    http://contour.com/
    It looks good for the future of accessory availability, but I wouldn't count on the new guys honoring the warranty on pre-bankrupt cameras. What kind of problem are you having?
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    <$2 mil doesn't sound like enough for any company competing in this business... Googling says FoxConn bought a 9% stake in GoPro last year for $200 mil.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Fenway's Avatar
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    Their website is back up with full support/downloads and the facebook/twitter pages are now updated regularly again. "Happy holidays to all and thank you for continuing to support CONTOUR. It has been a difficult time, as you may have read, but we are getting closer to being able to provide you with the support you deserve for the world's best sports camera! The shop will be open soon, so stay tuned for new announcements."

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