Boxx meridian Live-To-Air Demo
Posted 15 November 2011 - 08:00 PM
1. How it is being used with the Sony 1500
2. The way it is being used on "who wants to be a millionaire."
Live to air show.
Who wants to be a millionaire
Australia Got talent.
australian Logies (Emmys)
Pen and Teller show
Born to shine
Boxx Communications, LLC
3685 Motor Ave., Suite 120
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:50 PM
I'll be flying one Weds night for a live Internet streaming event at CES and will report back.
Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:43 PM
The club is inside the Wynn Encore casino; both extremely difficult environments for RF. Some casinos in fact scan and jam RF to beat the scammer players. The club space is about 10,000 sq ft.
My shot opened the show with a POV walk from outside the main club, down the stairs to the main club floor. This was approximately 200-250 feet upstairs and around a corner from the booth; definitely NOT line of sight. Plus there were about 1500 people between me and the booth.
Frankly, we paid little attention to the transmitter / receiver locations because it worked perfectly with the receiver sitting on the table in the booth (waist level through the crowd) and mounted low on the rear battery hanger of my XCS Ultimate. We only used the basic screw-on rubber duck antennas. At no time did we have a direct line of sight TX/RX except during rehearsal. The transmitter and receiver were always buried at waist level.
We tested the signal in rehearsal with the room empty and then we rehearsed again with the room full.
The results: 90 minutes live without a single lost frame or stutter in an environment where many professional audio transmitters/receivers won't even hold a signal line of sight.
PROs / CONs: (IMHO)
I've used the Boxx before on commercials but this was my first live event with it. I've also used the IDX CamWave even more extensively but never live as it would not hold up.
If all you need is a reference signal and can take a few frame hits here and there the IDX CamWave is probably the best value for your average HD job and money. It's compact, has no extruding antennas and is very affordable. I don't know much about how it handles exotic frame rates etc but it has always worked fine.
If you need a super solid signal on a live event or within a production that demands the best of everything, the Boxx gets my vote. I've used it with the advanced receiver antenna array from a camera car, line of sight at distances approaching 1/4 to 1/3 mile or more outdoors and now indoors with small antennae in what I consider a very tough RF environment. My clients have never reported a loss of signal or dropped frame.
For live work I've yet to test how they can control / paint the cameras with the Boxx. For this job I managed my own aperture.
The downside for me is the price of the Boxx. At +/- 3x more than the CamWave, only the highest echelon of my clients need or will be willing to PAY the higher rental for me to get a timely ROI on it. At full retail it would be the second most expensive accessory item in my kit next to my Preston HU3 system.
I definitely am in the market for a Boxx but probably only as a used or demo unit so if anyone knows of one for sale out there... CALL ME PLEASE!'
And one last thing: We ALL have to be very careful and diligent that HD transmitters don't become the next "included in your kit" rental item; whether it's the Boxx or the CamWave or whatever incarnation comes along.
At some point in Steadicam history we all got suckered into providing remote focus systems "included in out kit" and that probably started with one or a few ops doing it. Now, I have a drawer in my cart with nearly $30k of Preston HU3; gear I provide for another professional on the crew who IMHO should own their own or should be getting it via production rental. If some of you guys are getting additional rental on your Preston above and beyond a typical $1000-$1250 daily kit rental I'd like to see a thread on how you present / sell that. Off my soap box now!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm in no way disparaging the IDX CamWave here, just reporting my experience and observations using it on quite a few jobs. There is definitely a place and market for that product but it's not for live / mission critical work IMHO.
Again, if you have a slightly used or demo Boxx for sale hit me up!
Posted 12 January 2012 - 05:01 PM
We have a new 5way antenna just released which you can see here.
Edited by Scott Walker, 12 January 2012 - 05:02 PM.
Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:49 PM
Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:26 PM
We're very happy with the system. In fact, in the stage just next door another op is using two Meridians on his rig for the live-to-air BBC show "Magicians". He's got the remote CCU control setup as well and all seems to be working flawlessly. No interference issues either despite him being on only the next channel up from me.
PS we have the high gain 5 way antenna Scott demoed above and it was the only thing that caused us an issue: I started with it on thinking there'd be no downside; the reality was that the signal strength overloaded the receiver and we got a little digital noise. So you really only need to break out the big antennas over really long distances.
Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:04 AM
Boxx will be selling off limited B stock/ex-demo/ex-hire units at NAB 2012.
Depending on the condition of the particular unit, prices will be discounted by 20-30% from list price.
We are offering this deal to members of the Steadicam forum and the unit must be picked up from our stand at NAB 2012 between 16th-19th April 2012.
Payment to be made and cleared before 1st April 2012.
The offer is on a first-come basis, and all warranty and support will be from the manufacturer in the UK only.
Please email us at directly firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:05 AM
We used his systems on Sons of Anarchy Season 4. The first 3 seasons I was always tethered with a video cable and the Genesis while doing both Steadicam and hand-held. Yup. It was not much fun doing Steadicam with a cable. This last season we had Alexa's and the BOXX. Needless to say it made quite a difference.
For those of you that don't know, Sons of Anarchy is a very crazy fast moving set with a volume of 6 to 10 or so pages daily. I guess that is becoming the norm again for TV....hahaha. Often 3 company moves a day and we have done as many as 5. We basically shoot 14 hours everyday and we are always out in the desert or on the side of some highway or doing some crazy stuff on Steve Holiday's shooting bike with side car. Of course we are also spending days on our sound stage and back lot in North Hollywood. My point is that its a hard show on the crew as well as all the gear we use. The Boxx system worked very well throughout the season. Upon testing of the system at PREP our DP decided that he could indeed judge quality from the image and we went wireless! Most of the time the system was flawless. We had a few problems along the way, often broken cables or something simple and Mark was always fast to get on set with spares or whatever we needed. I have not seen a company in quite a while with this level of customer service. I appreciate that!
The only real down side (if there was one) is that the systems are big and a bit heavy compared to what we are use to from a transmitter. I am not a fan of the array of antennas on top but it is a decent trade off compared to using a cable! They draw a fair amount of power and we had to have some custom mounts made and cables made to work well with the Alexa's from Otto's. It was not anything that we could not address during prep and once we were up and running life was good. It was very nice to not have to be restricted by the evil cable tether. I feel that the quality of my work was better this year and I attribute that to being wireless. If anyone has any questions about how we did things on the show to make it all work please feel free to contact me.