April 5, 2018
NAB 2018

Teradek Gets Indie-Friendly with New LT and XT Options for Bolt Wireless Video

Teradek makes it easier for indies to afford the wireless features they need without paying for the ones they don't.

Wireless video is becoming mandatory on film sets. Maybe it's the cell phone everyone has in their pockets, but clients, directors, and crew all just expect to see wireless video on set in a way that simply wasn't considered constantly necessary a few short years ago. 

The current market leader in this space is Teradek, and with a crazy year of innovation (the Serv Pro) and collaboration (creating the 703 Bolt with SmallHD), they could definitely rest on their laurels for a second. The company's flagship product, the Bolt line of receivers and transmitters, was updated pretty heavily throughout 2016 and has some recent expansions as well. However, on the eve of NAB, Teradek has announced that the Bolt line will be split in two, with the new XT and LT lines of Teradek Bolt products.

Credit: Teradek

XT Line

The XT line is the "premium" version, will have pretty much every single feature that a filmmaker could want. This revision focuses not only on internal technical improvements but also external mountability, with a NATO rail on the receiver and an ARRI rosette mount on the transmitter to make it easier to rig the units in a more stable fashion on a chaotic film set.

They all have both SDI and HDMI and can cross-convert the signals, and offer 3D LUT support to either calibrate your monitor or to create a "look" for your client. They are available with AB or V mount plates on the receiver side as well as Sony or Canon mounts on the transmitter side, and are fully backward-compatiable with the previous generation of Bolt kit (500/1000/3000/10K and sidekickII).

LT TransmitterCredit: Teradek

LT Line

The LT line is also backward-compatible with the last round of Bolts (implying they are built on the same generation of internal hardware), but strip out some features to save on cost. They are available as either HDMI or SDI, but not both. They remove internal LUT processing. But they are smaller and lighter than the last generation Bolt units and the XT units, which makes them perfect for a gimbal owner who wants to add absolutely the least weight possible to their rig. 

Credit: Teradek

Indie-friendly

How is this going to affect you, the indie filmmaker? The LT is going to sell like hot cakes, and you are going to find that you can either afford to add wireless video to your own kit or rent it more easily than ever before. This is especially nice since, while other wireless video options might still be a hair cheaper, Teradek owns the market and plays well with others.

If your director has splurged and bought their own Teradek directors monitor and you are rolling up with your wireless kit, you're going to want a transmitter that works with their system. If you can confidently say "I know I don't use LUTs on set and won't need to soon, and I know what camera it'll be 90% of the time and can thus commit to either HDMI or SDI," well, the LT is a super appealing unit. If you are a flexible freelancer who might want to rent the units out on the side, the XT, which are still very affordable, will make a great option since you'll have the freedom to work in a wider variety of workflows.

Both lines ship in may, with the XT line starting at $2490 for the 500XT.  The LT starts at only $1990. Check out the Teradek site for more info.

Tech Specs

Bolt XT
  • • Available in 500ft, 1000ft, and 3000ft models. Compatible with new Bolt 10K receiver (3000 XT transmitter required)
  • • 100% compatible with current generation Bolt 500, 1000, 3000, Sidekick II, Bolt LT, and 703 Bolt
  • • 3G-SDI & HDMI inputs on the TX, with looping 3G-SDI output
  • • 2x 3G-SDI outputs & HDMI output on the RX
  • • Built-in cross conversion from TX to RX
  • • Includes Teradek’s proprietary software utilities, including a manual frequency-selection tool, 3D LUT engine, AES 128 encryption, camera metadata/timecode support, and a 5GHz spectrum analyzer
  • • NATO rail (RX), ARRI rosette (TX), 3/8” and 1/4”-20 mounting points
  • • Integrated (internally wired), pass-through battery plates in Gold or V-mount for the RX. Canon LP-E6 or Sony L-series battery plates for the TX
  • • External antennas now available on the 500 XT transmitter
  • • Multicast capable up to 4 receivers simultaneously
  • AES 128 encryption algorithm 

Bolt LT
  • 500ft and 1000ft models
  • 100% compatible with current generation Bolt 500, 1000, Sidekick II, Bolt XT and 703 Bolt
  • Integrated bi-directional Sony L-series or Canon LP-E6 pass-through battery plates 
  • Multicast capable up to 4 receivers simultaneously
  • 3G-SDI or HDMI models available
  • Super affordable, making it easier than ever to add onto existing Bolt kits or enter the Teradek ecosystem

Your Comment

1 Comment

I'm happy we returned our Bolt 500 last month. I'm usually the guy who just bought the expensive toy when it's replaced with a much-less-expensive version.

April 6, 2018 at 8:29AM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.