Tv-bay magazine

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REVIEW 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 you’re 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 you’ll 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 you’ll 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. You’ll 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 there’s a number of radio devices being used the receiver also has a function that allows you to scan the channel band to see if there’s 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 74 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 91 JULY 2014 Conclusion ‘+’ ‘-’ buttons. Again, once set you’ll 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 I’ve got no idea what these might be! There’s 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, they’re tough little buggers but weigh in at under 180g including batteries. They’re 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. I’ve not had to put this to the test yet but I’m sure I will. I’m 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 there’s 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 Sony’s WL-800, UWP and Freedom series systems, allowing you to switch between different commanding modes. Like any bit of technology you’re 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, I’m legal at last – and ready to deal quickly with any audio situation that might arise without interference of other devices. Well done Sony.