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Jeff Wexler

Zaxcom's new High Density wireless

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Zaxcom has just announced a new wireless transmitter they're calling the "ZHD". The press release is on the Zaxcom website but I have posted here as well.

POMPTON PLAINS, N.J. — April 13, 2016 — Zaxcom today announced their latest line of digital recording wireless transmitters with a brand new modulation, Zaxcom High Density (ZHD). ZHD modulation allows for up to 10 channels of wireless to be operated in one MHz of frequency spectrum space. Like other Zaxcom Digital Wireless transmitters, the new ZHD models, the TRXLT3, TRXLA3 and TRX743 are 100% digital, have built-in backup recording with timecode, NeverClip™ for superior dynamic range and are fully encrypted.

When using ZHD modulation the wireless signal is 50 KHz wide and can be spaced as close as 100 KHz apart, so a single American television channel of 6 MHz can contain up to sixty channels of Zaxcom high density wireless. The narrow signal gives the transmitters outstanding operating distance. This along with the 100 KHz spacing effectively solves the spectrum availability problems for UHF wireless microphones.

“This is a major development for our industry. There’s currently a genuine concern because the available spectrum for wireless microphones is shrinking. In the near future many broadcasters won’t have enough spectrum to cover events as they did in the past. Since so many more wireless mics can be utilized per MHz with ZHD modulation in comparison to current wireless microphone technology, this won’t be a problem anymore,” said Glenn Sanders, Zaxcom president. “Compatibility with our current transmitters and receivers allow users to migrate to the new gear without an all or nothing investment. We’re looking forward to giving live demos of the technology at our booth at the 2016 NAB Show.”

The new ZHD transmitters will run all existing mono Zaxcom transmitter modulations maintaining compatibility with all currently produced Zaxcom receivers.

TRXLA3_HR-253x300.jpg

 

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ok. I'll start.
this will require new hardware?
if so will the current receivers be updatable, or is it a whole new system.

is the ZHD compatible with the zaxcom 50mw rated output? or for that close channel spacing does it require a lower power output (which is kind of what i would expect)

also, what impact does this have on the system delay? currently XR modulation increases delay by a millisecond or two.

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That's great!  100khz spacing as opposed to 700khz spacing is a huge improvement.

Is there any compromise in sound quality with the new compression scheme?
Also hoping the TRX743 has fixed some of the 742 drawbacks like exposed SD card and loose XLR connection.

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>The narrow signal gives the transmitters outstanding operating distance.

so, how does that compare with the current XR modulation? 5% better? 50% better?
is there a stereo ZHD modulation or are we still limited to the old modulation for that (pre XR)?

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From our testing it is effectively double the distance of our current system.   We have about a 9 dB gain between the 50KHz wide transmission and the reduced noise floor of the receiver. ZHD is only available for Mono transmission. Transmitter power with ZHD modulation is 100mW maximum. Channel spacing of 100KHz can be used at any power level.

Glenn

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1 hour ago, rich said:

ok. I'll start.
this will require new hardware?
if so will the current receivers be updatable, or is it a whole new system.

is the ZHD compatible with the zaxcom 50mw rated output? or for that close channel spacing does it require a lower power output (which is kind of what i would expect)

also, what impact does this have on the system delay? currently XR modulation increases delay by a millisecond or two.

The new modulation is will become available on the current receivers via firmware update, but you will require one of the new transmitters for this new modulation.

Power output is available at 50mW.

It does increase the delay by another millisecond or two.

1 hour ago, Wandering Ear said:

That's great!  100khz spacing as opposed to 700khz spacing is a huge improvement.

Is there any compromise in sound quality with the new compression scheme?
Also hoping the TRX743 has fixed some of the 742 drawbacks like exposed SD card and loose XLR connection.

There is no audible compromise in sound quality. In fact I think it sounds as great as ever.

42 minutes ago, Shastapete said:

>The narrow signal gives the transmitters outstanding operating distance.

so, how does that compare with the current XR modulation? 5% better? 50% better?
is there a stereo ZHD modulation or are we still limited to the old modulation for that (pre XR)?

In our tests we got about 500 feet (approx 2 city blocks) on whips with line of sight between transmitter and receiver in Midtown Manhattan.

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2 minutes ago, PalmerT said:

Will current QRX receivers be able to still get 2 mono channels of ZHD?

No

13 minutes ago, Jose Frias said:

 

Power output is available at 50mW.

Actually the LA and 743 will go to 100mW

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Just now, Matt Martin said:

Jack, so the QRX200 won't be able to receive two mono channels of the ZHD modulation? Only one mono channel?

Correct, QRX200 will only be able to receive one single ZHD transmitter with the new modulation.

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Jack, so the QRX200 won't be able to receive two mono channels of the ZHD modulation? Only one mono channel?

Correct, QRX200 will only be able to receive one single ZHD transmitter with the new modulation.

Bummer. But perhaps there will be another surprise at NAB so a dual receiver is still possible with the new modulation?

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25 minutes ago, Matt Martin said:

Jack, so the QRX200 won't be able to receive two mono channels of the ZHD modulation? Only one mono channel?

1 mono channel of ZHD modulation.

21 minutes ago, Matt Martin said:

Bummer. But perhaps there will be another surprise at NAB so a dual receiver is still possible with the new modulation?

It is being worked on but you won't see it by NAB.

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Correct.

Are there any plans to have that change in the future? if that's the case I may as well go RX200 route over the QRX200 for my next rx

Pure speculation here, but if a "4 channel" QRX can only receive one mono ZHD tx than perhaps a "2 channel" RX200 wont be able to handle the ZHD at all. I would assume a new line of receivers to go along with the new TXs. Can't imagine they wouldn't have a new dual receiver option in the works.

**EDIT - as Jack says, seems as though they are working on it.

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21 minutes ago, Reuben Colazo said:

Are these transmitters block specific, Glenn? It doesn't mention wideband in the announcement

They are wideband, and will come in two flavors just like the TRXLA2s.

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The new transmitters are the same as the current ones in all respects as far as the user is concerned (so they can also do 100MHz tuning). They are very similar except the new transmitters are capable of much higher signal to noise RF and very precise modulation. When a ZHD transmitter transmits the old modulation(s) it will have significantly higher dynamic range (RF wise) so you should be able to get more channels together even using the old modulation formats (maybe even 2 times as many). 

The software for ZHD on the transmitter and the receiver takes up a lot more horsepower. That is why the receiver can currently only receive one channel at a time for now.  If I can make the receiver do 2 channels at a time it will only require a software update.  

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2 minutes ago, Reuben Colazo said:

Are these transmitters block specific, Glenn? It doesn't mention wideband in the announcement

Wide band.

There with be the

TRXLT3.5 and 3.6

TRXLA3.5 and 3.6

And the 743.5 and 743.6

 

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10 hours ago, Wandering Ear said:

Is there any compromise in sound quality with the new compression scheme?

To my ear the ZHD sounds a little better. I tried it in the recording studio. I might be imagining. Will test more tomorrow.

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Any plans on a new wide band "CL" camera link with ZHD to match my RX200 that I haven't even taken out of its box yet? This would be very welcome please. I purchased the RX200 to replace my RX900S but the current CL is not wide band so a new wide band CL would be the go. 

Thanks 

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