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John E Fry

Advice Please! Wireless HD Links for use in central London

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BOXX, CW5HD, BOLT, others?

 

 

Hi all,

 

I have been asked to quote for a little multicam red carpet job that will see me on Steadicam plus one other wireless camera. The location is in the middle of central London, outside & inside, with the cameras probably never more than 100m from the receivers. The pictures will be going live to screens, not broadcast.

 

There are various options for wireless HD, the ideal being a Vislink Gigawave but there's certainly not the budget for that, so I'm wondering if you have any advice or recommendations on the other options.

 

 

Here's what I am considering:

 

Two BOXX Meridians

cost about £700 to hire for the day, but would they be overkill in price and performance?

 

Two Teradek BOLTs

would be about £2500 to buy, which would be paid for out of the other kit hire & would be useful in future, but would they be up to the job?

 

Two Camwave CW5HDs

would be just £100 to hire total, but would their latency be a significantly more than the others, & would two work together well in close proximity?

 

 

Are there any other options I should be considering? Any advice & experiences warmly received!

 

Many thanks,

 

 

John

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I, personnally, am not impressed by Camwave. 3 separete times production hired them for transmission to video village and each time my trusted Transvideo Titan SDs came to rescue after major break-ups for no reason.

 

i don't have first hand experience with either bolt or boxx but it seems with multiple cameras and live audience (though not brodcast) i would use the high-end industry standart Boxx. from what i head it's bullet proof but i beleive people with experience with bolt and boxx will chime in.

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None of the units listed have latency issues, so it's a matter of range and reliability.

 

100m is a significant radius between tx and rx. I've seen all of the systems above drop out at less under various circumstances. If production feels it is acceptable to lose signal from one or both of those cameras, by all means spend less and get a Camwave or Bolt. You can't ensure it with the Boxx but it will give you a much better chance at it.

 

Make sure it comes with the external patch antennas and get them high in the air.

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I just did a demo with a Boxx system, it performed very well until people arrived, then we had some breakup. We didn't lose the signal altogether, just some pixelation. I should say this was inside in a steel structure, and I had the portable receiver with an antenna array. Two Boxx systems may give you better coverage, but you may still get a glitch or two. See if you can get the broadcast receiver for at least one of them.

 

All in all, I'd still go with the Boxx, just thoroughly test your coverage and be ready to adapt when the guests arrive.

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Thanks guys, I guessed the BOXX would come out on top!

 

The client says the cameras will actually be much closer, within 30m of the receivers, and wasn't very happy with the BOXX price, so bearing that in mind if we couldn't afford two BOXX systems, what would be the closest runner-up for best picture least break up, from your experiences?

 

John E Fry

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John, given those circumstances, your best bet would be the the Bolt. You and your client simply won't be very happy with the performance of the Camwave. The Bolt has tested well, next to no latency, small and robust. Make sure you get the receiver high on a pole next to video village and, in that 30m range, you should be just fine. One thing, though, you will lose signal if you go from outside to inside a building. Your set up should have one pair (Tx & Rx) outside and, if needed, one pair for your interior camera.

After the gig, post your results here for all to see...

 

Tim Moynihan

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Or you could do one Boxx, for A camera and a Bolt for the less important camera. if the Bolt breaks up, you can switch to A cam on the screens until the bolt reconnects.

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Make sure you drill it into the clients heads that only the Visilink or similar unit would do the job at the level they may expect, and any other product may not live up to their expectation, so if they break up more than the client likes on the day, they are aware and don't come back at you claiming they aren't happy with the performance and want to pay less, etc.. I've had this happen before where a client cannot afford the best, rents something cheaper and then complains and moans about not wanting to pay for it. Just protect yourself. Have a great shoot.

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I have been having great success with the Boxx over long distance with this large 200x 200 receiver antenna .I also have made a receiver bracket where I have 4 x 20x20 antennas which also extend the range greatly .

Boxx every time for me .I have never used them on OB's but I don't own a broadcast receiver .

Good luck

Louis Puli

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post-76-0-58429600-1358400351_thumb.jpg

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Wow, thanks for the input chaps!

 

I have been at pains to point out to the client that they definitely get what they pay for with wireless HD, but thanks for reminding me to do it again, Osvaldo! Interesting experience with the Camwave, Tim, didn't realise they could be that much less reliable, ta for the heads up.

 

Range won't be the problem, but I don't think I will get a chance to try before I buy a BOLT, so purely because they can be hired easily in London I have recommended BOXX to the client. If there's the option I will get some of the bigger antennas, thanks Louis.

 

Having said that I've only ever hired one at a time previously, so if you London guys have any other suggestions of where to rent a BOXX or two in The Smoke chances are I haven't tried them before!

 

Is there anywhere I can hire or borrow a BOLT to try out, ideally somewhere in the south or south west UK, as that would also be very helpful? If they are as good as many have found then they might be the way to go in future, even if only as a backup to a Vislink or BOXX.

 

Thanks again all!

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Have you got any links to those other, better alternatives like the Vislink please? Handy to know for bigger OBs. Mr Google isn't being very helpful with HP...

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