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.
The Bolt IdentityCredit: Teradek
- 3G-SDI & HDMI
- 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.