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Boxx Meridian HD/SD Video Transmitter Review, Description & Sales Info


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#1 Stephen Consentino

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 09:43 PM

REVIEW & SALES INFO FOR THE BOXX MERIDIAN HD/SD VIDEO TRANSMITTER & RECEIVER


There is a lot of interest in the new crop of HD video transmitters on the market. I am selling the new Meridian HD/SD real-time digital video Transmitter made by Boxx Technologies.

Many of you have already contacted me with questions about the system so I wanted to take this opportunity to fill everyone in about the pros and cons of this new system and answer any rumors or issues you may have. I also have a special pricing offer available to Steadicam Forum members.

First, a quick overview. The Boxx Meridian HD/SD Transmitter & Receiver is capable of digitally transmitting high-definition (HD) OR standard-definition (SD) video in real-time over large distances without breakup or drop-out. It operates on the unlicensed 5.1-5.8Ghz band and is legal to use in U.S. and most any other country (unlike the Modulus transmitters which are illegal to use in the U.S.). The system consists of a Meridian Transmitter - which is available in a Battery Plate (V-lock, Anton Bauer or PAG) or Non-Battery Plate version and the Meridian Receiver, which comes standard with your choice of a single battery plate for power or mounting. Both the Meridian Transmitter and Receiver come standard with soft removable type “rubber-ducky” antennas and can also use any high gain 5.x Ghz antenna for added range. A Meridian Broadcast Receiver is also available in a rackmount or standmount version.

The Meridian Transmitter is capable of working in either “broadcast” or “unicast” mode. In “broadcast” mode multiple receivers can be used to allow an operator to move through vast distances or say various tunnels in a stadium and have the signal picked up on different receivers. In “unicast” mode the transmitter talks to only one receiver – this is used when say iris control is incorporated into the unit (call me about this function as too lengthy of a discussion to have here).

Now for the pros and cons.

PROS
1) Capable of transmitting HD or SD video, audio and timecode in SDI , Component or Composite formats
2) Extremely high quality uncompressed video
3) Long Range Transmission
4) Zero frame latency (<1 millisecond)

5) Daisy-chain multiple receivers with seamless handover to increase coverage
• Simultaneous HD down converter / scaler

6) Built in HD to SD downconverter in the Receiver allows you to use either a HD or SD monitor when shooting HD
7) Utilizes the 5GHz license exempt band

8) Secure encrypted transmission 
(no paparazzi stealing your footage anymore!)
9) Switch between multiple cameras

10) Automatic (seeks & locks onto cleanest frequency) or Manual channel selection

CONS
1) The unit is larger than a Modulus or Canatrans, but is the same size or smaller than other HD capapble Transmitters
2) It ain’t cheap! But hey nothing is in this business and when a SD UHF transmitter and receiver like a Canatrans costs over $4,500-$5,000, this seems (somewhat) reasonable. See below for a special offer for Steadicam Operators.

From now through October 30th, Boxx is running a special for members of the Steadicam and Red User Forums. After this years IBC convention this week, there will be a limited number of “B-stock” units that have full factory warranties and have been used at the show for display and demo purposes. These like new units will be available at a remarkable discount on a first come basis. You must speak to (or email) me directly as I have to confirm your status as a Steadicam Operator or Red Owner.

Range with these units is amazing. On the film set of “Smurfs” (my last Steadicam project), we were using the Panavision Genesis shooting 24psf and with only the stock rubber ducky antennas on both the transmitter and receiver, we were getting easily from 1 to 2 blocks of range in the middle of Times Square in Manhattan!! For those who don’t know, this is one of the toughest RF environments around. I have also easily gotten a range of over 300 feet both inside and out. With the addition of high gain receive antennas, this range can easily be doubled.

The Meridian system allows for multiple receivers and has a nice digital display and buttons on the side to do channel selection, etc. Alternately you could have multiple receivers to increase reception on a very long shot. As far as range on the unit goes, I will not quote anything until I have personally tested the final production system. At that time I will give everyone the full and detailed information and real world specs.

Obviously owning multiple receivers on such a system will get expensive, so to help out Operators who have ordered systems from me I will have several additional receivers available for rent as needed. I will try to keep the cost reasonable and allow you to mark it up if you wish. I am also going to put together a Director’s handheld monitor w/ receiver for rent also. I will also have available a high end Broadcast receiver that allows for Genlock and longer-range reception with multiple antennae. With this unit it is possible to have iris and paintbox control integrated with this unit. Great for live events! This receiver alone is over $11,000 so I don’t expect many guys to rush out and buy one, so I hope to have one available for my customers as a rental item. I will not rent out any units directly to jobs with out the Steadicam Operator’s OK. I’m not here to run a rental business or compete with anyone, I don’t believe in that. I will sell units and provide support for my customers. If your unit goes down for any reason I will do my best to provide you with a backup while yours is in for repair. These will be just some of the reasons, I hope, to purchase the units from me.

I will also have custom Steadicam and film camera specific power cables available in any length at reasonable cost. If you have any questions, wish to order a system, please feel free to contact me at the below info. I will do my best to respond to any inquiries here, but a direct email will get a faster response.

I have included pictures and several links below to see demonstrations of the Boxx Meridian system in action and to give you an idea of the range and picture quality.

LINKS:
Steadicam use on Australia's got Talent


In the park distance tests

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPPFBsdqYvQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdkuIYrGrkk

Steadicam in Denmark at Convention
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDMp11rMzxQ

KABC Lives Newcast Shot
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9JxSF6X00g

Best to Everyone,
Stephen Consentino
Email: film.maker@me.com
Phone: 914-837-0120 (New York)

Photos (left to right) 1. Transmitter w/ Battery Plate Version 2. Transmitter No Plate Version 3. Portable Receiver 4. Broadcast Receiver

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#2 Tomas Riuka

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:21 AM

Stephen,

you got mail :)

Tomas
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#3 Lars Erik

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 10:37 AM

Stephenn,


on the feature you were shooting in NY, which R/x were you using? The broadcast mode or the portable R/x?

On all the YT clips I've seen so far, I've only seen the unit used with the Broadcast R/x. This R/x is vastly more costly than the portable R/x.
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#4 Tim Moynihan

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:31 AM

Hi Stephen...I had the Boxx system out with me on "Supernatural" back in April and was impressed. We did encounter an issue of the TX not finding the RX but in the end the transmitted picture was incredible. I bought the IDX unit back in January and it has performed satisfactorily if you don't ask too much of it.
I'm still always trying for the best TX picture I can get. Can you let me know what kind of pricing you are offering on these units?

Regards,

Tim Moynihan
Rock Steadi Pictures Inc.
Rock Steadi Gear

rocksteadi@telus.net
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#5 Stephen Consentino

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:09 PM

Stephenn,


on the feature you were shooting in NY, which R/x were you using? The broadcast mode or the portable R/x?

On all the YT clips I've seen so far, I've only seen the unit used with the Broadcast R/x. This R/x is vastly more costly than the portable R/x.


Lars-
Sorry for the delay. I'm on set alot lately and replying to posts from my iPhone is difficult. Always feel free to email me directly instead.

To answer, with properly set up and similar antennas, the broadcast and portable receivers will perform very similarly. I will be offering an antenna array for the portable unit or you can purchase 5.1-5.9Ghz antennas yourself and build your own to suit your needs. The main difference between the receivers is that the iris & tally control option is only available on the Broadcast receiver. I have a Broadcast receiver available for rent if you ever need it for this function or to use Full Telemetry (remote CCU control).

Best,
Stephen
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#6 Stephen Consentino

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:14 PM

Hi Stephen...I had the Boxx system out with me on "Supernatural" back in April and was impressed. We did encounter an issue of the TX not finding the RX but in the end the transmitted picture was incredible. I bought the IDX unit back in January and it has performed satisfactorily if you don't ask too much of it.
I'm still always trying for the best TX picture I can get. Can you let me know what kind of pricing you are offering on these units?

Regards,

Tim Moynihan
Rock Steadi Pictures Inc.
Rock Steadi Gear

rocksteadi@telus.net


Tim-
I cannot post prices here but I will email them to you directly. The issue you had is an easy fix. Simply select any of the 65 channels, set the receiver and transmitter to "Manual" mode on the same channel and you will not have this problem. Without a doubt the Boxx Meridian blows the IDX out of the water. In fact, it can even outperform a $80,000+ Linx system with a little setup effort and some high gain antennas.

Best,

Stephen
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