UWP-D11 Review


Kevin Cook TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Kevin Cook
Issue 91 - July 2014

Ever since the new regulations in the UK on radio microphone frequencies were introduced in the UK at the end of 2012, the days were numbered for my trusty old Sony UWP series radio mic system (consisting of the URX-P1 UHF dual-diversity receiver and UTX-B1 transmitter). Whilst super-reliable and excellent quality, this combo is limited to channels 67-69 which the government sold off to expand the frequencies available for mobile phones (cheers!!).

After the new regulations came into place radio mics had to switch over to channel 38 if they were capable of doing so - and the old UWP series were not. Apparently there are ways to upgrade this receiver/transmitter system but it entails changing the main board in each unit (way beyond my technical skills) but Id already made up my mind that it was time to move on to something new with some additional features that would make wireless microphone use even more adaptable and reliable.

There have been many new and compliant radio mic solutions on the market since these changes were announced but Id resisted them all for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Id managed to carry on using my old UWP series without interference or conflict with the authorities. Naughty I know but when needs must the devil drives! Secondly, I was so pleased with their performance that I was reluctant to change to anything new and untested. To me, Sony have always represented belt and braces technology so any move away from this brand was a turnoff. Any replacement would also have to have the same dual-diversity capability, be robust, compact, easy to use and within the same kind of budget as the original UWP series (sub £500).

Introducing the UWP-D11

I first set eyes on the new UWP-D11 at BVE 2014 where I was filming interviews with various exhibitors about their new products aimed squarely at professional videographers. This included filming an interview with lvaro Ortiz at Sony about the various bits of technology they were showing for the first time in the UK which included the UWP-D series (http://vimeo.com/87877656). I knew there and then that Id found my replacement so it was only a matter of time before I got one.

The complete UWP-D series includes:

- UWP-D11: Belt-pack transmitter, portable receiver
- UWP-D12: Handheld microphone, portable receiver
- UWP-D16: Plug-on transmitter, belt-pack transmitter, portable receiver

The D11 package is a direct replacement for my old system, though I have to admit that a UTX-P03 Plug-on transmitter (part of the D16 package) is still on my wish list. Whilst the vast majority of my work is adequately covered by the D11 package (which includes an omni-directional lavalier microphone, windshield, belt clips and cold-shoe mount) there are occasions where I use a wired handheld reporter-type microphone and it would be great to go completely wire-free between mic and receiver. Having said that, the D11s portable transmitter (URX-B03) has a mini-jack input, with adjustable attenuation, allowing you to connect other microphones with differing sound pressure levels. The input can also be switched between mic and line level so I could, for instance, feed the transmitter with an output from my Tascam DR-60D mixer-recorder enabling me to feed up to three microphone inputs into the URX-B03 and transmit that back to the receiver (URX-P03).

The UWP-D11 difference

The UWP-D features Sonys Hybrid Digital Processing which combines the sound quality of digital audio processing with the reliability of analogue FM modulation. This helps improve the signal exchange between transmitter and receiver resulting in a stronger and more natural sound recording. As a true dual diversity system, continuation of signal is maintained by the URX-P03 always using the strongest signal picked up either of the two independent receivers.

The D11 package offers wide frequency coverage with up to 72 MHz bandwidth across a wide range of channels. The Sony website lists seven different carrier frequency versions of the D11 so its important to source the right model from an authorised Sony dealer for the country/region you are using it in as regulations do vary. This should result in a product that works out of the box, without fear of interference or causing interference to others on restricted channels/frequencies.

Ease of use was high on my list of priorities and the D11 achieves this will some very useful features. The large, bright display panels (11.5mm x 27.8mm) on both transmitter and receiver give you an instant indication of status. This includes channel and bandwidth settings, battery strength and audio level meter on both units. The transmitter also includes a mic or line setting indicator, a transmission indicator and transmission strength setting indicator. The receiver also has signal strength status (showing the dual receivers a and b independently - and which one it is presently using) so at any one time you can see what each unit is set to and whether theres communication and signal passing between the two.

The audio level meter also includes a peak indicator which displays solid black on the screen when you overload the input. Both units also have two light indicators on the top edge of the body one for Power (Power/Muting button on transmitter) and another marked RF on the receiver and Audio on the transmitter. Under normal conditions the transmitters Audio light will flicker green to reflect the movement in the audio level but if you do manage to overload the input on the transmitter this light will temporarily turn red which is very easy to spot. If you lose signal at the receiver your green light will go out altogether otherwise it remains on constantly.

The power lights will also give you further information on battery condition (each unit takes two AA batteries) with a solid green light displaying under good battery conditions, flashing green when the battery power is getting low, flashing orange when the audio is set to muted/disabled (switched on and off using a short press of the power button on the transmitter) and, finally, solid orange when the batteries are being charged.

This is one of the major advances on the UWP-D series in that you can charge Ni-MH batteries within the units by connecting them via their USB connectors (Micro B type) to a suitable supply (for instance, a laptop or any other standard USB power supply). In addition, you can also use the USB connector to power the unit without the need to have batteries installed plus this USB connection is also used for updating firmware.

Menu Controls & Settings

Changing the parameters is carried out through a very simple menu system which is navigated via the Set, + and - buttons. Besides the power button these are the only controls on the units. There is an advanced menu setting which enables you to change the commander settings, lock power switches, alter screen brightness, battery type etc - but for normal operation the simple menu mode gives you everything youre likely to want to change in the field.

Both units also contain an infrared red detector. By default the UK model comes set to channels 33-35 so youll need to change this to channels 38-40. You do this by selecting the Band setting in the menu on the receiver (using the + - and then Set buttons) and toggle through to the desired channel set. Once adjusted youll see that the RF signal is lost between the two units until you click menu again and then the Auto Set - Yes mode at which point the RF light will flash and the unit will go through searching mode and communicate with the transmitter via infrared. Once coupled via infrared the transmitter display will show the channel setting on the receiver and ask you if you want to sync the units. Select yes and the transmitter will change to the same channel/frequency and two units will connect via RF again. Youll see the signal strength indicators return on the receiver and the audio level will match that on the transmitter.

If you are in an environment where theres a number of radio devices being used the receiver also has a function that allows you to scan the channel band to see if theres anything being used on the same frequency and then select a frequency which is unused. Within the advanced menu you can also use the Active Channel Scan function, which allows you to tune in multiple receivers to the same transmitter. In addition you can also manually adjust the channel/frequency by holding down the Set button on the receiver and then pressing the + - buttons. Again, once set youll need to select the Auto Set button and go through the syncing process with the transmitter.
This all sounds complicated but in practice the D11 package allows you to be operating on a clean, interference-free and legal channel very quickly.

Ins and Outs

Besides the USB connector the transmitter has only one mini-jack connector which also carries power to the supplied microphone. This has a screw-on collar fitting to stop the microphone becoming inadvertently disconnected from the unit. The receiver has two standard mini-jack connectors one marked Output for connecting to your camera or recording device and the other marked Phones for headphone monitoring. You can adjust the level on the output via the menu to match your recording device (±12dB) as well as changing the monitoring level on the headphones. The receiver also has and additional multi-pin auxiliary connector for connecting accessories but Ive got no idea what these might be!

Conclusion

Theres lots of things that I really like about the UWP-D11 package but the two things which jump out at me are its robust build and ease of use. The main body is made of metal and feels like it would fair well in the often drop-hazard world of ENG production. In other words, theyre tough little buggers but weigh in at under 180g including batteries. Theyre also slightly smaller than my old retired UWP system making them ideal for use on DSLRs as well as traditional video cameras.

The other major advantages are the USB power supply or, more importantly to me, the ability to charge batteries within the unit whilst in the field. Not only could this save your bacon but it also means you do not need to buy yet another charger unit. Ive not had to put this to the test yet but Im sure I will.

Im also really looking forward to coupling the system with my Tascam DR-60D mixer/recorder which will open up a whole new range of wireless audio solutions for me. I do a fair bit of conference work and often theres no AV technical handling audio or when there is the feed from their desk is not exactly perfect. Faced with these situations I could add get up to three mics placed on stage, mixed through the DR-60D and out to the transmitter once set to line input and then wirelessly transmit this back to the receiver at the camera without the need to run and gaffer-tape cables. I can imagine this feature/combination to be highly appealing to wedding videographers filming top-table speeches too.

The UWP-D series are also compatible with Sonys WL-800, UWP and Freedom series systems, allowing you to switch between different commanding modes. Like any bit of technology youre going to have to read the manual (supplied on CDROM) but, thankfully, not religiously and only when you want to dig deeper into its capabilities.
So, Im legal at last and ready to deal quickly with any audio situation that might arise without interference of other devices. Well done Sony.


Tags: iss091 | uwp d11 | review | sony | audio | microphone | Kevin Cook
Contributing Author Kevin Cook

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

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    Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

  • Matrox at IBC 2014

    Matrox at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Facilis at IBC 2014

    Facilis at IBC 2014

  • Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

  • Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

    Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

  • Metus at IBC 2014

    Metus at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

  • Tally Technologies at BVE 2014

    Tally Technologies at BVE 2014

  • Autoscript at IBC2011

    Autoscript at IBC2011

  • Sony Wireless Microphones at BVE 2014

    Sony Wireless Microphones at BVE 2014

  • Social Media Virtual Production Switching from Sony

    Social Media Virtual Production Switching from Sony

  • 6K Sony Venice and Sony 4k Palm Camcorders at IBC 2017

    6K Sony Venice and Sony 4k Palm Camcorders at IBC 2017

  • All you need to know about the Sony FS5 Raw and HDR Upgrade and more from NAB 2017

    All you need to know about the Sony FS5 Raw and HDR Upgrade and more from NAB 2017

  • Sony Alpha7S at NAB 2014

    Sony Alpha7S at NAB 2014

  • Sony Camcorders at BVE 2014

    Sony Camcorders at BVE 2014

  • Sony Monitors at BVE 2014

    Sony Monitors at BVE 2014

  • Sony at ProVideo2011

    Sony at ProVideo2011

  • Sony at IBC2011

    Sony at IBC2011

  • Thear Technology at BVE 2013

    Thear Technology at BVE 2013

  • Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

    Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

  • KitPlus filming rig used at NAB 2017

    KitPlus filming rig used at NAB 2017

  • Den Lennie considers what kit and cameras to buy for 2015

    Den Lennie considers what kit and cameras to buy for 2015

  • Thear Technology Limited at BVE North 2012

    Thear Technology Limited at BVE North 2012

  • Glensound show Beatrice the AES67 Network audio intercom beltpack at IBC 2018

    Glensound show Beatrice the AES67 Network audio intercom beltpack at IBC 2018

  • Latest audio product updates from TSL Products at IBC 2018

    Latest audio product updates from TSL Products at IBC 2018

  • Nugen Audio Loudness Meter, Halo Upmix and Halo Downmix at NAB 2018

    Nugen Audio Loudness Meter, Halo Upmix and Halo Downmix at NAB 2018

  • 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos support by Halo from Nugen Audio at NAB 2017

    7.1.2 Dolby Atmos support by Halo from Nugen Audio at NAB 2017

  • AudioVideo BrandBuilder Corp at NAB 2016

    AudioVideo BrandBuilder Corp at NAB 2016

  • Nugen Audio at NAB 2016

    Nugen Audio at NAB 2016

  • Minnetonka Audio at NAB 2016

    Minnetonka Audio at NAB 2016

  • Nugen Audio Loudness Toolkit at BVE 2016

    Nugen Audio Loudness Toolkit at BVE 2016

  • Nugen Audio Halo Upmix at BVE 2016

    Nugen Audio Halo Upmix at BVE 2016

  • Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

    Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

  • Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

    NOA Audio Solutions at IBC 2013

  • NuGen Audio at IBC 2013

    NuGen Audio at IBC 2013

  • NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

    NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

  • Nugen Audio at IBC 2012

    Nugen Audio at IBC 2012

  • Audio Developments at ProVideo2011

    Audio Developments at ProVideo2011

  • Audio Developments at BVE North 2011

    Audio Developments at BVE North 2011

  • Junger Audio at IBC2011

    Junger Audio at IBC2011

  • The Mic Store at BVE North 2011

    The Mic Store at BVE North 2011

  • Sennheiser at BVE North 2011

    Sennheiser at BVE North 2011

  • Nugen Halo Upmix and AMB Updates at IBC 2017

    Nugen Halo Upmix and AMB Updates at IBC 2017

  • Canford at BVE 2017

    Canford at BVE 2017

  • Telos Alliance at BVE 2017

    Telos Alliance at BVE 2017

  • RTW at NAB 2014

    RTW at NAB 2014

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2014

    Sound Devices at NAB 2014

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

  • Clear-Com ProGrid at NAB 2014

    Clear-Com ProGrid at NAB 2014

  • Clear-Com HelixNet Partyline at NAB 2014

    Clear-Com HelixNet Partyline at NAB 2014

  • Glensound Atomic Copper at NAB 2014

    Glensound Atomic Copper at NAB 2014

  • TSL Products SAM1 MADI at BVE 2014

    TSL Products SAM1 MADI at BVE 2014

  • Glensound Cub at BVE 2014

    Glensound Cub at BVE 2014

  • Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Nexidia QC on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Nexidia QC on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • TSL Products PAM1, SAM1 and PAM PiCo at IBC 2013

    TSL Products PAM1, SAM1 and PAM PiCo at IBC 2013

  • Glensound with the USB Commentary Mixer at IBC 2013

    Glensound with the USB Commentary Mixer at IBC 2013

  • TSL Products at IBC 2013

    TSL Products at IBC 2013

  • Calrec at NAB 2013

    Calrec at NAB 2013

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2013

    Sound Devices at NAB 2013

  • TSL Products at NAB 2013

    TSL Products at NAB 2013

  • TSL Systems at BVE 2013

    TSL Systems at BVE 2013

  • TSL Products at BVE 2013

    TSL Products at BVE 2013

  • AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

    AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

  • Pinknoise at BVE North 2012

    Pinknoise at BVE North 2012

  • Shure Distribution at BVE North 2012 LIVE Show

    Shure Distribution at BVE North 2012 LIVE Show

  • RTW at NAB 2012

    RTW at NAB 2012

  • Sonifex at NAB 2012

    Sonifex at NAB 2012

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2012

    Sound Devices at NAB 2012

  • Emotion Systems at NAB 2012

    Emotion Systems at NAB 2012

  • Clear-Com Eclipse MADI Card at NAB 2012

    Clear-Com Eclipse MADI Card at NAB 2012

  • Glensound at NAB 2012

    Glensound at NAB 2012

  • TSL at NAB 2012

    TSL at NAB 2012

  • Triveni Digital at NAB 2012

    Triveni Digital at NAB 2012

  • Petrol at NAB 2012

    Petrol at NAB 2012

  • Qualis at NAB 2012

    Qualis at NAB 2012

  • Calrec at NAB 2012

    Calrec at NAB 2012

  • DK-Technologies at NAB 2012

    DK-Technologies at NAB 2012

  • Glensound at BVE 2012

    Glensound at BVE 2012

  • Calrec at BVE 2012

    Calrec at BVE 2012

  • Sonifex at BVE 2012

    Sonifex at BVE 2012

  • DiGiCo at BVE 2012

    DiGiCo at BVE 2012

  • 4HM at BVE 2012

    4HM at BVE 2012

  • 4HM at BVE North 2011

    4HM at BVE North 2011

  • TNP and DSMB at BVE North 2011

    TNP and DSMB at BVE North 2011

  • Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

    Source Distribution and Genelec at BVE North 2011

  • HHB and Soundfield at BVE North 2011

    HHB and Soundfield at BVE North 2011

  • Riedel at BVE North 2011

    Riedel at BVE North 2011

  • Solid State Logic at IBC2011

    Solid State Logic at IBC2011

  • Dolby at IBC2011

    Dolby at IBC2011

  • Murraypro at IBC2011

    Murraypro at IBC2011

  • Calrec at IBC2011

    Calrec at IBC2011

  • TC Electronic at IBC2011

    TC Electronic at IBC2011

  • SADiE at IBC2011

    SADiE at IBC2011

  • RTW at IBC2011

    RTW at IBC2011

  • Prodys at IBC2011

    Prodys at IBC2011

  • DK Technology at IBC2011

    DK Technology at IBC2011

  • Linear Acoustic at IBC2011

    Linear Acoustic at IBC2011

  • Sound Devices at IBC2011

    Sound Devices at IBC2011

  • Sennheiser iPhone Microphones at IBC 2107

    Sennheiser iPhone Microphones at IBC 2107

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2015

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2015

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

  • DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

    DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

  • DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

    DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2013

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2013

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2012

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2012

  • Editors Keys at BVE North 2012

    Editors Keys at BVE North 2012

  • Soundfield at BVE 2012

    Soundfield at BVE 2012

  • Shure at ProVideo2011

    Shure at ProVideo2011

  • Editors Keys at ProVideo2011

    Editors Keys at ProVideo2011

  • Shure at BVE North 2011

    Shure at BVE North 2011

  • Source Distribution and Rode at BVE North 2011

    Source Distribution and Rode at BVE North 2011


Related Shows
  • The future of audio with BBC R&D at BVE

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Articles
What is next in OTT
Mary Kay Evans In the past year alone, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the amount of OTT content that’s being streamed. In the first quarter of 2018, there’s been a 114 percent year-over-year growth in streaming video hours, and those numbers are only expected to rise. With OTT revenue predicted to reach $16.6B in 2018, a 40% gain over last year, there’s no question that OTT is booming, and that there’s never been a more critical time to pay attention to the space.
Tags: iss133 | ott | verizon | cisco | Mary Kay Evans
Contributing Author Mary Kay Evans Click to read or download PDF
Managing Technological Change
Alan Wheable Continual technological change in the broadcast and media industries can make it difficult to plan for the mid to long term. Typically, broadcasters and media organisation are still implementing the last set of changes to working practices when the next changes come along.
Tags: iss133 | omnitek | ip | waveform | vectorscope | ultra tq | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
IBC in a post Brexit world
Peter Savage 2 Cast your mind forward and we are not in 2018 but next year and, yes, it’s you and me walking to the departure lounge to catch the plane to IBC just as I, and perhaps also you, have done for the last 25 years. (By the way, where is my long service award – and perhaps a new pair of shoes as I must, surely, have walked the equivalent of five Caminos covering the 12 halls in the Rai). We are at the gate and my imagination kicks in as I hypothesize on what the trip might look like next year. I leave it to you to decide which is closest to what might be to come.
Tags: iss133 | azule | brexit | ibc | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Why are trade shows still important
Mike Crimp First, the disclaimer: as the CEO of a rather large trade show, my opinion is likely to be skewed. However, I wouldn’t be here – now in my eighth year at IBC - if I didn’t truly believe that well-curated trade shows like IBC are a hugely important resource for our industry.
Tags: iss133 | ibc | innovation award | Mike Crimp
Contributing Author Mike Crimp Click to read or download PDF
OB999 Accelerates Hill Climb Broadcast
Nick Collier Over the last century, The Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb has been attempted by some of the world’s most accomplished racing drivers striving to be the fastest up the 1,000 yard, 1 in 6 gradient track.
Tags: iss133 | ob999 | blackmagic | atem | multicam | videohub | cleanswitch | premiere pro | hyperdeck | Nick Collier
Contributing Author Nick Collier Click to read or download PDF