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hd transmitter decision


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#1 richard bellon

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 10:36 AM

hi all

sorry if this has come up before..
ive been reading the posts on various HD transmitters and i would like to buy one.

the problem is that its s little difficult to test out systems as i live in South Africa
so is is no real "local" manufacturer and pretty much everything has to be imported or (in most cases cheaper to fly to another country and pick it up myself), i actually will be doing this in febuary/march im travelling to London to buy some gear.

All i really have to go on is my fellow operators opinions and experiences on what gear to purchase.
Now since im already going to London i was wondering if there is any HD tx/rx system i should have a look at thats worth buying?

I want to buy right the first time on this.
are there any really good value for money systems out there that i can look at?
Or is it a case of spending big on whatever gets recommended here?

Any opinions would be appreciated

kindest regards
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#2 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:05 PM

Hands down the IDX CamWave has been a great investment for me... pretty rock solid and only a few times have there been any issues of hits or drop outs.

What type of work do you mainly do? if its live.... not so sure you can get away with the IDX. I flew the Nucomm CamPac2 on Ídolos Finale, Live-to-Air show in São Paulo this year on the Tango and it worked rock solid also.

-Alfeo
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#3 Blake Waldock

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:10 PM

I've used the box systems a bit (mostly the SD, but also the meridian).
The meridian worked flawlessly with the RED. Dir+DP couldn't tell the difference between the Boxx and when it was cabled on sticks
Seems like bang for buck!
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#4 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:11 PM

Folks-- I've had my Boxx Meridian on two features so far, one an Alexa show and currently wearing an Arri LT, and all I can say is buy one.

The performance is nothing short of incredible. This system has Impressed folks in all departments and made me hero to them, too.

I will post some photos when I have a minute or two.
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 04:14 PM

Having used both the IDX Camwave and the Boxx Meridian, the picture quality is going to be the same between them. The real key is dependable transmission. The Camwave is great when it works, but too often it doesn't work. Alfeo, glad you are having success with it but it became enough of a disappointment for me to have to move on, and it has gotten quite a reputation out there from others experiencing issues. I've had someone carrying the receiver 5 feet away on a cable and had the image fall apart. So yeah, I went to the Boxx and so far so good. It's a LOT more money but it's easy enough to justify the extra rental to production if the alternative isn't dependable.
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#6 Blake Waldock

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 04:18 PM

Has anyone used the Transvideo Titan HD?

On paper they seem the goods.
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#7 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 04:25 PM

do a search, Chris Fawcett has written extensively about the Transvideo.

I was planning to do a head to head test of all three units but the Titan seems to be taking its time to arrive in the US. If someone can get us one, I'll still be happy to do the test, I think we would all find it illuminating.
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#8 chris fawcett

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:06 PM

do a search, Chris Fawcett has written extensively about the Transvideo.

And drooled extensively over it. Still rock solid. never a drop.
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#9 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:40 PM

So therein lies the crux of the issue--Richard is looking for recommendations on which system to get, and here we have 3 operators who are each fond of their particular system. What we really need is an objective head to head comparison of all as I said, in various environments (soundstage, heavy RF location, wide open spaces etc). I'll be happy to arrange for this if we can get a Titan unit. Does anyone in LA have one?
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#10 Caleb Ennis

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:49 PM

I second Charles idea. We need a heads up comparison! I think that would benefit many on the edge of which unit to invest in.
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#11 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:04 PM

it would be awesome to take the same test parameters to RF Hell Central.... Times Square. Can someone arrange that side of the hill also?
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#12 Charles Papert

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:11 PM

I had complete success with the Camwave in Times Square last year, no problems. They worked fine on the NAB show floor which is a real mishmash of RF too. These transmitters seem to "like" having multiples reflections of the signal bouncing around, which is why they don't work as well out in the wild. I'm sure someone can chime in with extreme detail into why this is, but I'm sure most of us just want the unit that is the most reliable under all conditions that we would find ourselves in.
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#13 richard bellon

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 01:31 AM



What type of work do you mainly do? if its live.... not so sure you can get away with the IDX. I flew the Nucomm CamPac2 on Ídolos Finale, Live-to-Air show in São Paulo this year on the Tango and it worked rock solid also.

-Alfeo


hi all
@alfeo : i dont have a specific field, we tend here to work across all mediums, from broadcast to features, Ive also done live sports events as well. But when i was as an assistant i was only doing commercials and features.

Thanks all for giving opinions its really appreciated, i will check out all of those
kindest

Edited by richard bellon, 07 December 2010 - 01:33 AM.

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#14 brooksrobinson

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 01:42 AM

I think the idea of HD transmitters is great. I was very gung-ho to buy one earlier in the year and posted questions about all three of the major players. I like that both the Boxx and Transvideo work with film cameras in addition to HD, since that is the majority of my current work load.

This summer when I was looking to buy, the Transvideo was unavailable for purchase in the US. It had yet to be submitted to the FCC for licensing, although there were plans to do that in the near future. I saw it at the Transvideo booth at CineGear, and while the picture looked great on their monitor, I didn’t get a chance to see the range of the unit. While it seemed like it would fit onto the battery mount of a HD camera nicely, it appeared rather large for use with film cameras, where Velcro (or the like) would be involved.

Stephen Consentino was nice enough to let me demo one of his Boxx Meridian units while I was working on the film Water for Elephants earlier this year. I was pretty sure this unit was going to work for me and was very excited when it arrived. I was surprised by the size and weight of the unit. Again, I’m sure it works well with its intended HD cameras, but for the kind of work I do, and the way I like my rig set up, it seemed too big. Personal preference I guess.

I didn’t get a chance to do a shot with it on my rig, but we did put it on a studio body and have the grips push it around the stage on the dolly. Using my AC’s Hilti, we measured a range of 170’ before we ran out of room in the concrete warehouse we were filming in. This was both line of sight, and when the camera and transmitter were separated with a freight train between the units (don’t ask why we moved a freight train onto a stage). It would have probably had more range if we’d had more stage to test it with. Outside, we had 275’ line of sight before the image started to break up. This was using the standard portable receiver with the four flexible antenna. I’m sure the results would be even better (like in the online videos of it in the park and show hall) with the broadcast receiver, but that is far too cost prohibitive (in my opinion) to be considered for everyday use.

I’ve only used the Camwave a few times with very mixed results. I had it on a commercial this past week with the Red camera. The first day was spent shooting exteriors in downtown Los Angeles on 6th and Grand. It didn’t work – period – and I ended up hardwired. Not good, especially when I shouldn’t have needed to be. I was glad I didn’t own it, and didn’t need to justify why production was paying for something that clearly didn’t work as intended. The next day we were exterior in a residential neighborhood in Pasadena and it worked great, although the receiver was placed VERY close to me. I don’t know if it needed to be that close, or the DIT was just making sure to get the best possible signal.

At this point, I’m going to wait until something smaller, lighter, and better comes along. I’m still shooting mostly film, so for now, my Canatrans is great, but I’m sure there will come a day in the near future when I bite the bullet on an HD transmitter/receiver…but I doubt it will be one of the currently available models.
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#15 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:30 AM

While the size of the Meridian Tx is considerably more than the analog UHF gear we now take for granted, the performance has amazed folks both in the RF hell of Midtown Manhattan and the open waters around our locations in Connecticut. Sure, cost is always a factor but between the performance and the wireless "freedom factor" in HD work, the decision came easily enough for me.
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