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Another introduction/wireless video thread.


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#1 Ryan Beatson

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:02 PM

Hello all,

I'll admit that I'm feeling a little out of my depth here on this forum, being a newbie amongst some big names & professional operators, but I guess we all have to start somewhere. I'm not working as an operator, it is purely a hobby of mine and to be honest, I've ended up on here because I once saw a guy on a show operating a steadicam and thought "wow, that looks like a really interesting piece of equipment" and I've set my mind on learning the 'art'. And if I'm going to learn something, I try and learn it from the best. So my first investment, was The Steadicam Operator's Handbook which I am learning a lot from and I'm sure that many people on here would suggest my second investment be attending a workshop, however my location (outback Western Australia) does not allow for that, at least without some costly flights tagged onto the cost of the course... So given I find that getting my hands onto something is the best way that I learn, I've purchased what I'm sure many operators on this forum would describe as a "cheap and nasty" rig, but it's a stabilisation system (not a true Steadicam) that does enough for my current needs.

Currently, I'm working with the 'ye ol faithful' Canon XL1s (a far cry from the world of RED or 3D HD technology, but i have to learn to crawl first) and i have some other accessories (matte box & rail system, Sennheiser wireless mic system). It's nothing fancy, but at the moment my only real project is putting together a 'church news' segment each week, so it does the trick. And down the line a bit, I might get to do a bit of imagemag work at a conference or at a community concert and the likes.

So that's my intro out of the way (hope it made sense), so now onto my question.

I'm sure everyone would agree with me that being tethered by a cable whilst doing live to screen/air work is rather annoying, so I have been doing some research and looking for a not too expensive, but good quality (no sync issues/long(ish) range) wireless video unit. Well it's no surprise that the Boxx Meridian system showed up fairly quickly, but that is way out of my price range and my requirements level at this stage. The IDX Cam-Wave system also popped up, and whilst it may be just within my budget, the 150' range may turn out to be a bit short for an outdoor concert that I may get to work on later this year. And at the moment is the Transvideo Titan system appears to be the best option (that I've found anyway).

So I'm interested to hear peoples thought on the Titan... Has anyone run into any problems with it? are there any little tricks that make life easier? And also, the info I've found says that "It can broadcast through walls without resynchronization of the video picture and has a 1000' line of sight." so I'm wondering what the range is when working through walls and the likes?

And of course, feel free to open my eyes to wireless systems that I haven't mentioned, that you think might work for me.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this and I'm looking forward to your feedback and learning as much as I can.
Cheers,
Ryan
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#2 James Puli

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 12:24 AM

Hey Ryan. Welcome to the world of Steadicam.

I would think the next step for you is to give a call to a few local operators to you in Perth.
Theres 3 that I know of already - Rusty Geller (American Steadicam legend), Jimmy Frater, and Blake Waldock. Blake is the newest out of that lot, and in a similar position to you, flying a Glidecam V25. If you want some numbers, please let me know off forum and ill hook you up.

Im not sure how many rental companies you guys have over there, but if you can find a Transvideo transmitter / receiver kit, go and test it for yourself. I, like many people have had mixed results, with the Transvideo, as with any transmitter / receiver system. In the outback, paddocks, outside, shouldnt have too many problems. But if you can test one first, before you outlay cash, its always best. For what your doing now, Id forget the Camwave, and Boxx totally. Modulas 3000 kits come up for sale 2nd hand fairly regularly around here, so just keep an eye out. Bearing in mind of course, that the Modulas and Transvideo are not suitable or broadcast quality enough to do a concert with. They are mainly for video assist on films, where you dont need broadcast quality images. Mite have to hire one of the more expensive ones in for that job or go old school and run a cable.

The SMPTE tradeshow is coming up (small version of NAB / Cinegear) in Sydney in July where Steadicam will be demoing most of their fleet of rigs, and we all normally get together for a beer or 2. Well worth attending if you can get to Sydney.

As far as workshops in Australia go, check out http://www.steadi-on...p_schedule.html
Phil runs light weight Steadicam workshops mainly with the Steadicam Flyer and Pilots which sounds perfect for you.

If theres anything else, please sing out. We're a small but ever growing group of operators here in Australia.

Hope this helps!

JP

James Puli
jamespuli@live.com.au

Edited by James Puli, 10 February 2011 - 12:29 AM.

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#3 Ryan Beatson

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 06:03 PM

Hi James,

Thanks for the welcome & the suggestions, they are very appreciated. And I agree that having a chat with local operators is probably the next step for me, so I was surprised to find that there are actually a couple of guys over here in the west that do operate. So I'll definitely be up for the introduction. Thanks for offering.

As far as the wireless video goes, (& I know my questions are above my operating level) but what clasifies as "broadcast quality"? And is that specifically referring to 'live to air broadcasts' on tv or does imagemag at a concert classify as broadcast as well? Ive just a clip up on YouTube from our local Carols by Candlelight from last year, which would give you an idea of the type of event that I'm looking at going wireless for, but I can't get a link to it whilst working off my iPad. But the idea that I have is to be able to get a camera into the crowd to get shots looking through the candles toasted the stage. So I don't see that running a cable is the best idea.

Thanks for the information regarding the workshops & trade show. I would have been up for the Adelaide workshop, but have a wedding to attend that weekend. I'll see if I can make it to Sydney, but somehow I think that'll be on the plan for next year...

Thanks again for your help.
Ryan
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#4 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:57 PM

Hello Ryan,

I've used the Titan several times and it's definitely not for broadcast quality use. For instance, I had a show in a very small area...(Miami Ink on Discovery/TLC), we shot mostly in the Tattoo studio, a real location in Miami Beach, so a ton of folks with Cell phones around, cars driving by on the street 15 feet from the front door with their stereos and such.
We had the receiver antenna's up in the grid at about 10feet high off the ground. The three cameras were Panasonic SD 900's with the TiTan transmitters on the side. The Tattoo studio was 12 feet wide by 40 feet long, not alot of space. and we still got lots of drop out when moving. I also worked on a commercial for a Golf School and I was working with the Red on Steadicam. With the shortie antenna I could barely get a signal more than 5 feet from the rig. I changed antennae on the transmitter to the long rigid black antenna that's like 12" long and the signal was rock solid for all of 50 feet, no drop out. And that was on a golf course, big Open spaces. So it's a hit and miss. On another job we had the Boxx Meridian on the camera process trailer and the receiver in a van following behind, Driving up and down South beach, covering an area of 8 miles of driving passing different buildings, even a radio station while on the course of travel...perfect signal!! If you want to be working 100'+ away from the receiver, and your images are going up on a big screen, you will be in trouble with an SD Titan I believe, if your images cannot break up, I suggest locating a rental house nearby that has a Transvideo HD system or a Boxx Meridian to rent out. If a Titan SD system cost $3000 USD to buy and a Boxx costs $500 to rent, It's worth it to rent it, Cause you'll look fantastic to your bosses for suggesting such a great system and by the time you've rented the Boxx system 6 times ($3,000) you'll have 6 flawless projects under your belt and more clients that will understand the need for premier equipment.
Good luck on your upcoming jobs!
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#5 Ryan Beatson

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 06:08 PM

Hello Osvaldo,

Thanks for the information and the practical specifics of past problems you've experienced with the Titan. Now that I'm aware of the interference generated by cell phones and the like, using it at an open air concert with +5000 people & maybe +3000 cell phones seems like a really stupid idea. So I am very glad I came here for the advice first instead of trying & failing miserably.

So I guess to change the direction of this thread a bit, does anyone know of any Rental Houses in Perth, Western Australia?? I unfortunately get to Perth all that often, but am heading down in April so would love to line up some time with a local op or supplier/rental place.

Thanks again for the comments & advice.
Ryan
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#6 Brodie butler

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:03 AM

I'm from perth too but im only sporting a baby Steadicam merlin vest & arm. I work purely with HDDSLR films and projects. Still a fantastic unit tho.

Edited by Brodie butler, 28 March 2011 - 03:04 AM.

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#7 Ryan Beatson

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 04:03 AM

Hey Brodie,

Welcome to the forum.

It's good to find someone else who is based in Perth/Western Australia.
Where did you get your gear from? I notice a lot of BH Photo Video banners on your website, so was it from there or did you find somewhere in Australia? Either way, did you have any dramas with the order/shipping & have you had any dramas with warrantee claims?

Cheers,
Ryan
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#8 Marc Colemont

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 03:41 PM

Hi Ryan,

I tested also multiple wireless systems for my flyer and other handheld work on live events and concerts.
I took the jump by buying a second hand IDX CW-5HD a few years ago, and started back then to try it out a few times on jobs inbetween rehearsals or setups.
I was always amazed about the low latency and uncompressed quality... and the distance it can reach on a stage.
A few of my customers where I do freelance for started hiring me with my wireless kit.
Up to the point were I last week bought another second kit, as I got more and more jobs where even two units get used now on stage.
So for me the IDX works fine. And my customers have blind faith now in it.
You do need to take care in testing the setup. I use the receivers on Microphone stands on stage or even FOH in smaller venues.
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#9 Ryan Beatson

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 10:51 PM

Thanks for the info Marc.

I'm in the process of booking my flights and accommodation so that i can make it to the SMPTE trade show in July, so hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on some demos there... and then I'm doing the Steadicam Gold workshop, so I'm sure i will learn a HEAP there...

I had looked at the IDX, but wasn't sure how it would go distance wise... do you have any ideas what roughly the longest distance you've used it over is??
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