The Teradek Bolt 500 XT and LT are the backbone of wireless monitoring on film sets for a reason.
Wireless video is one of those things that has made life so much easier on set that it's funny to remember how recently it was not a thing. For most indie filmmakers, running SDI cable, even long distances, was a habit we had all gotten used to. Every time the monitor moved we had to re-run cables, which made moving the monitor slightly more annoying than it needed to be, thus making you slightly less likely to do it.
You'd hire a Steadicam operator for a day and they would have their own wireless video setup for monitoring, but as soon as the shot was done, you'd be back to running cable.
Teradek really changed everything by making zero-delay wireless, built on top of Amimon technology, something independent filmmakers could afford to have in their regular kit. Compeition has since come in force, with many other vendors offering similar items.
That's why this is a good time to look at what makes the Bolt 500 units (both XT and LT) such a mainstay. It's more than just the very easy pairing setup, the simple interface, and the fact that it "just works."
What has been nicest about working with the bolt is the entire ecosystem.
If you roll up to set and there is another wireless setup, odds are good it's Teradek, and if it's the same generation they can interplay. Each transmitter can connect to up to 4 receivers. That means if the director has a SmallHD 703 Bolt with a built-in bolt receiver, your transmitter can pair with that AND your own device. Add to that the Sidekick II, a receiver designed to receive all the Bolt signals, and you have a robust set of tools that all work together.
The goal is to feel like you are always showing up to set with the tools to do the job and the tools that will let you play well with others. The ecosystem Creative Solutions has built around the Bolt lets you do just that.
Here is the group buy form:
- 3D LUTs - apply looks directly to the video feed. Upload your own LUTs or select from presets native in the Bolt.
- Cross Conversion - Bolt XT automatically converts resolution, frame rate and input/output interfaces for seamless transport to external monitors.
- 5GHz Spectrum Analyzer - scans the surrounding area for radio frequency (RF) congestion. This helps to determine which frequency to set your devices to operate on for best transmission results.
- Channel Selection - manually choose which 5Ghz frequency channel to operate on.
- Dual Inputs - XT transmitters feature HDMI & 3G-SDI inputs with a 3G-SDI looping output.
- Dual SDI Outputs - XT receivers feature HDMI & 2x SDI outputs.
- NATO rail - 1000 XT and 3000 XT receivers have built-in NATO rails for easy mounting.
- ARRI ⅜ Pin-Loc - built-in on all XT (and LT) transmitters.
- Additional mounting options - Gold & V-mount battery plates can be added onto receivers.
- Sony L-series and Canon LP-E6 plates can also be added to either the RX or TX.
- Pass-Through Power - all battery plates feature pass-through power via a second plate (Gold / V mount on 1000 XT and 3000 XT receivers), P-Tap (Gold and V mount plates) or barrel connector (Sony and Canon plates).