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Wireless video monitoring: Overdue revisit.


lyrnxG
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On a show recently, camera always offered up their spare Teredek receiver whenever I disconnected and went without picture. The problem was always a range issue, as they aren't very good. They are getting way better, however.

On 4/3/2016 at 0:02 AM, ao said:

if you are on a large enough production (with lots of rentals), the rental house can often toss in a down converter and standard def transmitter for nothing...because there is little demand for them on the camera side of things,  now wanting to see everything on high def monitors

Good idea! Worth asking for sure.

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I go with the Nyrius Aries Pro

It's on 5.8GHz, and absolutely delay free (they claim 2ms). When I tested the delay with my notebook, I ended up having more delay on the built in screen than the nyrius and projector together.
They are a bit messy frequency wise, you wouldnt be able to use two of them at the same time if you need more than 15ft range. The claim of 160ft is easily reached with clear sight and one unit in operation.
They also do some error correction if the signal gets low, but as its 5.8GHz it doesnt take much to attenuate the signal.

I bought 3 of them a while back, I think they were around $250 each back then.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bolt sidekicks: 

 I have been using two Teradek Bolt sidekick Rx on my new TV movie project for the first couple of days. Those have been developed for AC and director's monitors, but why not jump on the train? Range wise they behave like the Bolt pro 300 Rx, which are used by video village. Everything within decent  range, but reception in the next room is usually still good. Within line of sight the range is likely what is indicated in the manual (300ft/100m).

This solution is costly, but now I am enjoying wireless HD video reception in next room distance to the cameras. I can move freely with my cart, not being tied to cables. It helps with mixing if I can watch the boom(s) in real 3D view and I can be exactly where I want to. If I have to hide far away I choose a place near to video village and ask for a short BNC cable, but this is likely to happen once every second day or so. 

Pairing with Tx is notably easy, yesterday it took less than one minute to pair with an additional unit camera Tx; must be any version of 2nd generation bolt pro. 

The units have no ON/OFF button, so I power switched each unit together with a cheap Lilliput HDSDI monitor and they take about the same 8-10 seconds to boot, so when the monitor is ready the video signal is also there. 

 

 

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Derek, this was exactly what I did for the last projects.

But rental houses here offer standard Teradek packages with 1Tx/2Rx, of which one usually goes for Video and one for 1st AC and /or directors handheld. Always big drama to convince Cam dept. to argue with Rental to tear up one of their packages for another Rx and then ask production to pay for it. All of them are negotiating with each other and the one who is least envolved (me) gets blamed from all sides for rising costs. 

For the last movie I skipped the rental house option and asked a befriended DOP if he would borrow me his Teradek and production to pay for it. At the end I got it for free and production stepped in with a decent bottle of wine, but imho this is not the way to go on long terms. 

 

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On May 6, 2016 at 5:33 PM, Derek H said:

Get them to get you an extra Teradek receiver.

 

in my market,  it is the camera crew that rents their teradek package to the production,  and  they often have no spares. there is no incentive for a rental house to give the production a good rate on an additional teradek receiver for me.  my present project uses a teradek 600 for the steadicam, and teradek 300 units on the dolly, both of  which my teradek sidekick can handle.  as axel mentions,  this is not a budget friendly solution, but I am liking the flexibility

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Well, I figure it's worth a shot. If the request for additional receivers is frequent then the rental houses will adjust their package/pricing etc and it could become semi-normal. I don't see that it hurts to ask for one. If they decline then figure it out the myriad of other ways. 

Backup cable is always still required though sometimes there are reception issues.

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I'm currently working a feature with a set of the 1st-generation Bolt Pros. 1 TX and 2RX, one for me, and one for my Boom-op. Low budget stuff, so a lot of the times we are doing three or even four moves in a day, so the added flexibility of no cables is lovely. The boomie loves it, especially when the DOP decides to reframe midshoot without warning. Boom-crisis avoided.

The TX is mounted on top of the 1st ACs monitor, which is fed by a current-generation Bolt 600 system and powered by a V-lock battery powering both Teradeks and a 9 inch monitor. 2 AC handles battery changes, so no extra work for me.

Range is a major issue. Anything beyond line-of-sight or 15+ meters will give, at best, artifacts, and, more frequently, complete dropouts. This is usually not an issue, since the 1AC and my boom operator are very close during takes, with me placed near video-village; so a lot of the times, i just pull a cable to avoid fiddling with the Teradeks. You could say that cables defeat the purpose of wireless video, though..

The Teradek is, beyond very short-range, extremely noisy RF-wise. Two scans shown below, only difference being the Teradek RX in my bag being on or off. This is another issue for us soundies, who need clear audio way more than clear image. RF Venue Antenna mounted 6 feet away from bag, connected through a PSC Multi SMA. I imagine the issue being, that the Teradek RX also transmits a lot of data back to the TX - a mere passive receiver wouldn't have this issue.

IMG_5510.jpg

IMG_5509.jpg

The current-gen Teradeks also have range issues, making the 2AC pull cable to within feet of the camera, placing the RX on a stand with a V-lock battery, and pulling SDI back to village for the image to work. We're not talking huge distances here; often the camera moving 10 metres down the hall will yield artifacts all over the place.

My conclusion for now must be, that the Teradeks are far from an optimal solution, considering my current workflow.

Now, I've bought a Blackmagic downscaler as well as a SD drone video system, that i'll hopefully have a chance to put through it paces in the next week of shooting; stay tuned..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's my new 5.8GHz Video setup.

ed4d80e3bc909fb1a6918a67f72392e5.jpg

5b4f327d25d0d12b7b261b83c2f71d62.jpg

I used the cheap Chinese down converters from eBay which were discussed earlier in this thread.

I used two different video transmitters but for rigidity I recommend the boxed version:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281988906147

The blue device is a DC/DC converter to get clean 12VDC from what ever battery voltage the video combo is running on. Alternatively I can plug in a standard 12VDC wall power supply.

The monitors I used are Feelworld FPV-718B. They have inbuilt diversity receivers and a rechargeable battery.

Outdoors it works great with crystal clear picture quality. Indoors there are a few problems with reflections if people are moving between the antennas. Though when shooting its better because usually everyone stands still...

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  • 4 months later...
I recently bought a similar wireless drone setup - maybe you can help me.  How the heck do you get the video signal from the downconverter into the Tx?  I need some sort of adapter for BNC to the drone cable, but I can't find one after hours of research.

In my case I mounted the transmitters directly on the converters. I drilled a hole into the converter box and soldered the transmitter wires directly to the pcb of the converter. If you want to use the bnc out of a professional converter you have to somehow connect the inner core to the video input and the shell to the ground of the transmitter.
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