An affordable option from Teradek emerges.
It's rare to not see a Teradek transmitter/receiver setup on a set these days. The brand has become ubiquitous with reliable zero-delay video transmission. And it's not a brand thing, either. I'm sure if a better option emerged, the industry would shift to that product. Teradek is just that good.
Its latest product, the Ace 500, is the company's foray into the budget-friendly market for wireless video transmission. Given Teradek's track record for reliability and incredibly fast performance (less than a millisecond, or zero-delay, transmission from camera to monitor), I expect this product to fly off of the shelves.
Crucially, the Ace 500 uses the same wireless transmission technology that is found in its bigger sibling, the Bolt 500, which can run upwards of 5 times the price of the Ace 500, depending on the spec in which you choose.
The Ace 500 works seamlessly with the entire Bolt ecosystem
This is a welcome bonus to the system's build because it allows you to slot a new piece of tech into a pre-existing and, more importantly, widely accepted, ecosystem. It also works with the newer products made in collaboration between Teradek and SmallHD.
The Ace 500 runs I/O exclusively through HDMI (no SDI options, but I'm not surprised at this price point, though if you need one end of a link you can pair it with a Bolt). As its name suggests, the Ace 500 transmits up to 500 ft. within line-of-sight, and can send an uncompressed 1080p image up to 60p. Power comes from a 3.5mm barrel connection but it also has optional battery plates that allow for Canon and Sony battery options (thank goodness).
Are there any negatives?
Other than the lack of SDI I/O...not really!
Pricing for the TX/RX bundle is $999.95 and is shipping today, and Teradek has plans to roll out bundles for Director's Monitors and On-Camera Monitor options in the future, but prices and shipping on those bundles are unconfirmed. However, because of the compatibility between the Ace and the Bolt line of products... you can always just make a bundle yourself.
Would you buy this? Let us know what you think in the comments below.