August 3, 2016

Teradek Thinks Through the Details with New Wireless Transmitters

Teradek Bolt Transmitters
With their new Bolt 3000 transmitters, Teradek uses the 20MHZ range to allow for more units on a busy set.

With their new Bolt 1000 and 3000 wireless video transmitters, Teradek is bringing lower prices, smaller physical footprints, and new firmware that should require less customization to work out of the box. They also boast instantaneous reconnect times, leading to fewer dropouts. While that will be more useful for live event work (where you could be livestreaming the video and every dropout is sent on to the audience), it's not as interesting to cinema filmmakers who are recording on-board as well. For us, the smaller form factor (great for gimbals) and the all new 20MHz RF antenna in the 3000 are the more useful new features.

If you've ever worked on a crowded set with many wireless systems going out to a variety of cameras, including wireless follow focus and microphones, the RF band can get pretty full and can lead to interference issues. By moving into the 20MHz band, the 3000 is both moving to a less full area of the spectrum, allowing for its own transmission clarity, and also less likely to cause hits with the sound team's wireless mics.

Bolt Identity
The Bolt IdentityCredit: Teradek

The Features:

  • 1080p60
  • 3G-SDI & HDMI
  • 262g/346g
  • USB3 Grab Engine for Live Ingest
  • Metadata Transmission Support
  • Range up to 3000ft (depends on model)
  • 28% smaller than previous models
  • Realtime cross conversion
  • 3D LUT integration
  • Bold Identity Color Plates

My favorite feature of the transmitters is "The Bolt Identity," a color-coded system of anodized plates that can be bolted to the units to identify sender/receiver pairs. ¬†Yes, you could easily do this with tape or stickers, but those can and do fall off and get mixed up. If you are having signal path issues on a shoot that you need to fix right away, having clearly bolted-on color pairs that tell you what unit to troubleshoot is a huge timesaver.      

Your Comment

2 Comments

Well it looks quite amazing. I would love to try them!

August 3, 2016 at 4:26PM, Edited August 3, 4:26PM

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Signed up just to comment about how wrong the article is... The RF system is not operating at 20 mHz but is just using 20 mHz wide channels instead of 40 mHz wide channels which means they're making more space in the spectrum (2.4 gHz range) to have more devices without overlapping channels.

Say you have 100 mHz of usable space in the unlicensed frequency band and put 2x 40 mHz channels in, you've now filled that 'band'. If you have 100 mHz of usable space and use 20 mHz channels you can have 4x devices (I'm pretty sure you have to leave some space in between channels).

August 3, 2016 at 8:36PM

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Jeff
74

Signed up just to clarify some errors in this article about being in the "20MHz Band"...

This device operates in the unlicensed 5GHz band and the change made here is to use 20MHz wide channels instead of 40MHz wide channels.

Basically by using skinnier channels you have the ability to operate more devices in the limited spectrum. There's only so much of the 5GHz 'band' dedicated to unlicensed devices so you have to spread your devices out over different sections of the band. If each device takes up less space on that band, then you have room for more devices.

There is not a '20MHz antenna' as you wrote.

August 3, 2016 at 8:42PM

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Jeff
74

I totally disagree with the first paragraph. Cinema filmmakers are extremely conscious of signal dropout because producers and directors are very sensitive to losing the precious image at video village. Also, Teradek is still falling short in not including either male-female Gold Mount or V-Mount plates directly onto their Receivers for more secure mounting to directors hand held monitor rigs.

There is also no 1/4" pass through hole on either of these units to mount them flush to a flat surface. You have to mount these from the bottom with a noga arm or israeli arm. Not ideal.

Happy to see the move to 20Mhz however!!

August 5, 2016 at 12:47PM

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Ryan Griffith
Senior Research & Development Technician
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