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pictures to wireless iOS devices. They had also managed to package it in a small transmitter with the only down side being the picture latency the system delivered. The end of last year saw Teradek step up the game even more in the HD wireless monitoring world, with its announcement of The Bolt, a wireless HD-SDI monitoring system. The first thing that struck many on its launch was the size of both the transmitter and the receiver. Teradek had answered many people’s prayers for a HD-SDI wireless system with the form factor and size we had been used to with SD 2.4ghz Analogue kits. Not only this, they had overcome the problem with many Wi-Fi/digital based wireless kits, and made their units zero latency! So how does it perform? Initially I was sceptical, having seen an early online video review that criticised the system for performing badly in terms of range; but like many online reviews I was worried it had been posted in haste before being given a proper road test in a working environment. I was keen to see for myself if units of this size could perform as Teradek promised, and deliver on its spec. Unlike the Cube, The Bolt uses different Wi-Fi technology and therefore appears to have virtually zero latency; and it’s most impressive attribute is it transmits uncompressed 1080 signal with 4:2:2 fidelity to an SDI monitor. After a few initial uses I was quite pleased with the picture quality it delivered. There are many nice features which show that this unit has been seriously thought through by the guys at Teradek in order to make it a strong contender in the pro market. The transmitter on the SDI version (my version) has a 3G-SDI loop through meaning you still have an SDI output, the receiver has two 3G-SDI outputs. The transmitter is a little bit larger than a cigarette packet and made out of high grade aluminium, so should withstand a few knocks on the camera. It has a number of 1/4” mounting holes, for optimum positioning. The receiver seems to be made of a plastic rather than a metal which would mean if you planned on using this as a mobile unit on a smaller monitor you would have to be a little careful with it. One of the first noticeable things with both TX and RX is the lack of any aerial, which means neither really gets in the way. If you do plan on using it as a mobile director monitor, the receiver does carry the instructions not to cover, which may prove a little tricky if you want to keep it all inside a monitor bag out of the elements! The transmitter has its own internal lithium battery, which seems like a nice thought, however with a run time I found of about 60 minutes then I can’t think that this would be useful for many of my purposes. That said the units (both TX and RX) can be powered using it’s lemo input, with a handy 6-18v range, making it flexible for a variety of powering options, batteries etc. The Pro kit comes with only one dtap – lemo cable, knowing that I would need spares, and wanting to power the receiver via vlock, Andrew House at Video Assist Ltd provided me with two rather nice curly lemo-dtap cables for them, which means the cables take the strain if there should ever be any. I have to say to fully test a wireless monitor like this it needs to be tested over several months on a variety of different locations. We have all found that locations bring different impacts on wireless monitors. I have to say though, so far so good. Particularly if you consider the price point. This is the most affordable HD SDI wireless system I’ve seen, considerably cheaper than the my Cam Wave kit was and performance does seem pretty good. CVP delivered my unit onto location in Glasgow, and we had a week long shoot on my PDW-F800. Start-up was quick, power both on and they quickly lock into each other. There are no menus I know of, and certainly no option to manually change channels etc. Teradek however state the bolt can “coexist with other wireless networks by dynamically adjusting the frequency bands used in real time”. On this shoot the receiver was rigged to my 17” Sony OLED and at times we certainly didn’t have line of sight, and the picture held strong for the best part (furthest distance probably inside 45metres). There were occasions in certain dead spots that we lost signal and we certainly weren’t anywhere near 300ft away, which is what Teradek claim the bolt can work over. We all know it is so location reliant and even the highest end kits can struggle at times, we were in a location with large columns and lots of other Wi-Fi etc buzzing around. One thing I did notice that over a few hours the transmitter did get very hot indeed, I suppose that is to be expected given the size of the transmitter but there is no heat sink built into the body of the transmitter. Since that shoot we’ve have used it line of site and we still can’t get it to deliver the 300ft as promised. That said though, compared to the IDX Cam Wave, it worked in the same location over a slightly further distance, somewhere around 130 feet before the picture dropped out. When the picture does drop out, as with many digital wireless pictures, you lost the picture completely; however the bolt is pretty quick to lock back into the transmitter. When operating within 0 – 75 feet of the transmitter I was impressed with the picture quality, there were times when quality reduced a bit and resolution was reduced but all in all pretty impressive. I think it’s over whelming plus points being that the pro SDI kit retails at around £1700+VAT, and it’s from factor. I think Teradek have delivered us something that could potentially change the game of HD wireless monitoring for many of us. Overall Verdict A full HD SDI monitoring system with ZERO latency and a competitive price, the plus sides largely outweigh the cons! PROS Price, size, powering options, no aerials, can link to multiple receivers simultaneously (up to 256!), quick to set up. CONS Receiver is not meant to be covered, transmitter gives off a lot of heat. Jon Boast is a freelance lighting cameraman with a varying array of camera and lighting kit. www.televisioncameraman.co.uk The Teradek bolt amongst other products is available from thelondoncameracompany.tv TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 78 JUNE 2013 | 55 TV-BAY078JUN13.indd 55 10/06/2013 15:16