When it comes to wireless HD monitoring solutions, companies like Teradek have some impressive offerings. That company's Bolt, however, isn't the only airwave-bound HD-SDI transmission system around. Switronix's Recon is another such offering, with models including HDMI support and HDMI to HD-SDI conversion. Switronix has just announced a new addition to the Wi-SDI family in the shape of lighter-form factor Recon Micro, made more compatible with the smaller scale of cameras like the Blackmagic (pair pictured left). Switronix has also released details for a new modular battery power solution, geared towards anything from BMCC to Sony HD camcorders. If you're looking into powerful, off-the-grid, untethered field shooting solutions, check the details below.
First, here's a promo video of the original Recon HDMI and Recon ULTRA models by Switronix, which tells you pretty much all you'd want to know about the capabilities of this family of prospective wireless monitoring choices:
Meet the Recon Micro Wireless 3G-SDI System
So, think likewise -- but smaller, lighter, and more easily mounted (and without HDMI capabilities) -- and you have the Recon Micro. I'll let the images and specs do the talking on this one:
Dimensions (TX/RX Micro Body): 5.6’(W) x3.5”(L) x2.5”(D)
Ext. Antennas: 4.25”(L)
Housing: Double-Wall ABS
Mounting: ¼-20 thread on bottom and back of housing
Weight: 0.6lbs (TX) 0.6lbs (RX)
Power Output: 11-17vdc with included 4-pin Lemo to Powertap
Transmission Distance: up to 350 ft
Transmission Latency: less than 1ms
Transmitter: 1x HD-SDI Input, 1x HD/SDI Loop through output
Receiver: 2x HD-SDI output
Supported Format: 1080p: 23.98PsF, 24p, 25p, 25PsF, 29.97p
1080i: 50i, 60i
720p: 24p, 25p, 50p, 60p
SD: 480i, 576i
SD-SDI: 525/59.94i (NTSC Equivalent), 625/50i (PAL Equivalent)
It's definitely worth mentioning that the system intelligently switches channels when it detects interference to somewhere else within its entire 5.1GHz-5.9GHz frequency range -- and can broadcast to up to five receivers. I can think of at least one shoot coming up for me wherein an array such as this -- and one this small, for sure -- would be nothing short of ideal. Especially in more run-and-gun style situations, where a video village may be too bulky, the Recon Micro allows key personnel such as the director, DP, or DIT to monitor live picture in HD -- and each with his or her own separate monitor, if necessary. Conceivably, with distance, interference (or lack thereof), and reception allowing, a receiver could also be hooked into a deck or separate recorder to generate backup versions of footage as well. This system supports up to 3G-SDI, the single-connection version of dual-link HD-SDI, which means you can transmit (and record, remotely, if you wish) uncompressed 4:4:4 1080 if your outputting camera and inputting device also support 3G-SDI.
Switronix JP-MOD Modular, Hot-Swappable JetPack Power Supply with New J65 Batteries
Adding to our JetPack line, Switronix is pleased to announce their new JetPack modular battery system. The new JP-MOD allows you to connect and hotswap the J65 battery packs, offering a combined available capacity of 195wh. The shown BMCC version allows you to power the BMCC up to nine hours with three batteries connected and indefinitely using the hotswap feature. The JetPack houses a power regulation board connecting to three LEMO outputs (5v, 7v, 12v) and a USB power connection.
The J65 is a high capacity, lithium-ion battery pack that can power any Sony HD camcorder accepting the BPU style battery packs, as well as being used with our new JP-MOD modular battery system. The J65 battery features a 4-LED gauge and high capacity cells to withstand high current draws and multiple can be legally transported without restrictions under IATA, ICAO, and UN regulations.
To be perfectly honest, I can think of at least one imminently upcoming shoot where this particular array would be super helpful as well. The hot-swap-cycle solution makes almost too much sense, and means you don't have to power down your camera to drop a dying battery. Pop-off, replace, keeping shooting without any additional bumps in the road. I can't say this is something I'd mind having while shooting in more remote or off-the-beaten-path locations.
There are no definite pricing details at this time, but the wireless system will likely come in below the original, which started at around $3K for the transmitter and receiver.
What do you guys think, how do these measure up to field solutions you know and have used before? What piques your interest here? Will your decision to rent/buy them depend on price point, or are these simply 'must-haves' for your purposes?
- Switronix NAB 2013 New Product Releases
- Recon Micro -- Switronix
- JP-MOD -- Switronix
- J65 Battery -- Switronix
- Switronix Recon (Original) -- B&H
Disclosure: Switronix is a No Film School advertiser.