Pro Moviemaker May-June 2021 - Web


Wireless video systemsdemystified!

What they do, how to choose and use them, and why some cost 50 times more than others!

W ireless video systems may not be a new thing, but Covid restrictions have increased the demand for wireless monitoring, streaming and remote camera operation. Cutting-edge technology and lower price points means there has never been such a boom time for wireless video. If you need to distribute a video feed from the camera to a director, DOP, focus puller or anyone else on set, wireless is a must-have. For small crews or one-man operators, it’s useful when you can’t see a camera’s on-boardmonitor, but still want to adjust composition. If you’re solo, operating a two-camera interview, you can have a wireless live feed to your phone or secondmonitor. And it’s always useful to offer a viewable image to keen clients. Some systems allow you to stream directly to platforms such as YouTube or Facebook Live, or provide a feed to anyone across the world in real time. There are lots of options at different price points, so we have split the market into three sections…

Budget TX RX Affordable TX RX systems are made by companies such as Accsoon, Hollyland, Crystal Video and Vaxis, normally based on H.264 or H.265 encoders. They take in a video feed from the camera to the TX unit, and send it out over radio to the RX unit –which outputs to a display. Most use a dedicated RX decoder or smart device. The biggest pitfall is the delay, which tends to be worse on the RX units than smart devices. This delay is typically claimed to be around 60ms, though in a real-world scenario this can be much higher. Other issues are that different cameras have different latencies over their outputs, while interference caused by wireless lighting, remote heads or wireless audio can increase the delay. A delay of more than 80ms (around two frames at 25fps) is OK for general viewing, but not ideal for focus pulling. Budget systems also lack high-end features, such as encryption for secure transmission, and are often limited to how many devices they can output to.

App-based systems Systems controlled by dedicated apps can range in price massively, even though they feature similar tech to the budget TX RX units. The Teradek Serv Pro is able to take a video signal and transmit it to up to ten iOS devices. While using the Teradek Link, you can also see feeds fromup to four different Servs on the same device through the Vuer app. The Serv can also use Teradek’s Core WIRELESS SELECTION App-based systems (top) are available at lots of price points, while the lowest-cost options can be budget TX RX systems (above)



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