With a new monitor/receiver combo, SmallHD & Teradek solve the wireless monitor's biggest hassle.
The argument for the existence of large corporate conglomerations is that it creates a sort of brand synergy. One current example resides under the banner of Vitec, who own a vast array of motion picture companies including Teradek (the leading wireless video systems company) and SmallHD (the excellent monitor company based in North Carolina). News of the pairing brought hope of some interesting cross-pollination, as it would, at the very least, begin to make our lives easier on set.
First teased at NAB, SmallHD delivers on that hope with the new 703 Bolt, a hybrid monitor and zero delay receiver created in collaboration with Teradek. Small HD CEO Wes Phillips introduces it very well in this video:
While wireless video is the default standard on film sets, the individual viewing unit remains a hastily assembled device. There's usually some combination of a cage (the Wooden Camera Director's Monitor is popular) with a mount for a Sidekick II, a mount for a battery, and a brick tagged on the back. This makes it too unwieldy and heavy to hold long term, to say nothing of the cables sticking out every-which-way. likely to be caught on a stray stand.
The unit we regularly use here is 14" wide, 7" tall and 7" deep, making for a rig that regularly gets placed down and forgotten by directors for simply being too burdensome to deal with (and then hunted for by the desperate camera crew when the director needs it for a take).
Being a SmallHD monitor, it has the full set of PagebuilderOS tools, including waveform, vectorscope, and a 3D LUT engine that makes it as useful for the DP as for the director.
With the 703 Bolt, several problems are solved simultaneously. By integrating the design into a single block, the unit has a much sleeker design, no external cables, and is much smaller, making it more likely for the director to keep over their shoulder when not in use. It's available with battery plates for either Gold Mount or V mount, and the screen hits both 3000 nits and covers 100% of the Rec. 709 gamut, working with Teradek Bolt 500, 1000, and 3000 transmitter units with an (up to) 300-foot wireless range.
Being a SmallHD monitor, it has the full set of PagebuilderOS tools, including waveform, vectorscope, and a 3D LUT engine that makes it as useful for the DP as for the director. Most impressively, Small HD has managed to push a full 3000 nits of brightness out of the monitor, making it ideal for working outside and viewable even in direct sunlight. With monitors in the 1500-2000 nit range being considered the current high britness standard, 3000 nits is an amazing achievement.
It made sense that the company would go with a 3000 nit panel for the launch unit, making it work well without a sunshade outdoors.
Our only wish is that an OLED version soon arrives. That request might not make sense for a bright, sunny day out in the field, but it would prove amazing for color accuracy. It made sense that the company would go with a 3000 nit panel for the launch unit, as it works well without a sunshade outdoors. Hopefully, it'll prove popular enough that more options will become available down the line.
Of course, this model does list 100% Rec. 709 accuracy in its specs, so we'll probe it once we can get our hands on one. Maybe we won't even need an OLED unit if this can be the one stop shop for accuracy/brightness/ease of use on a shoot.
Integrated Bolt Sidekick II receiver works with any Bolt 500, 1000, and 3000
300ft wireless range
SmallHD 703 monitor: 3000 nits, 1920x1080 IPS LCD, daylight viewable
Dual View Mode allows viewing two input sources simultaneously
Supports 100% of REC 709 color space
V- or Gold-mount battery plate
Power efficient: 16W draw
2x 3G-SDI inputs, 1x 3G-SDI output (user selectable)
Rugged milled aluminium construction with several ¼-20” mounting holes
Pagebuilder OS with Waveform, Scopes, Colorflow 3D LUT Engine, and more