Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:27 PM
Just got back from CineGear, wanted to report back on a project that seems near and dear to me: wireless HD video. More details are coming out, but just wanted to share the paper specs of this product.
The Paralinx Arrow uncompressed wireless HD kit
The transmitter is about the size of a bulky USB stick (like the Phillips one someone posted a few weeks ago), runs off 5v USB input (wish they'd went with another type of power connector) that includes a d-tap to 5v adaptor.
The receiver is about the size of a 3x5 index card and about 1" thick, also runs off 5V usb adaptor. It's very light and portable, I would think it's great for a handheld director's monitor.
Price: $995 for the next 2 weeks until they ship, then it goes to $1195.
Biggest downside: it's HDMI.
Even they're suggesting "just go get a Decimator 2 if you need HD-SDI to HDMI", and they're right. To build this wireless HD kit out right, you will spend another $495 for a Decimator 2, AJA HI5, Atomos Connect H2S (for $349 when it ships), etc. Likewise, you'll need an AJA HA5, BlackMagic HDMI to HD-SDI on the receiver, Atomos Connect S2H (for $349 when ships).
$995 + $495 + $495 = $1985 (plus tax?).
New Canatrans is $4,327. Lite version of new Canatrans is $2,195. Switronix Recon is around $3,000. Camwave is $5400.
Briefly chatting with Dan Kane (who I know has been working on WHDI transmitters since before I was playing with them), they did increase the power output and add new antennas to the transmitter/receiver.
The result: advertised 320' line of sight transmission, 200' transmission with obstructions.
Some of the other operators at CineGear walked a good distance from the booth and lost signal, I'll let them chime in with the distance.
Another downside: from power on to signal lock: 7-10 seconds.
IF you lose signal during a shot, it takes about as long to recover the signal, especially if you're far away.
They're actively researching multicast capability, so that one transmitter can be received by several receivers. Hopefully, that's a software update down the road (they're not saying when, but it's on their development path).
Personally, I'm pretty excited. I'm going to try and arrange a demo, and if it works out well, I'll pick one up at that price and shelf my Modulus. For film jobs, I've found a few analog to HDMI converters that I can replace my Decimator 2 with and just transmit digitized 720p.
As far as range, I've already grown accustomed to working with video assist in placing a sharkfin "close to the furthest possible place, and closer for the rest of the move". For this system, I would just have video assist run a BNC to my stand or somewhere very nearby.
Again, I want to demo this and really put it through some trouble. However, if it works, I'll be really excited. Here's a very prospective unit, advertises great range, low power consumption, and a package whose pricepoint altogether is over $1,000 less than competitors.
So, in summary:
$995 price now, $1195 in 2 weeks.
320' line of sight advertised, 150-200' obstructed (looking forward to Steadicam testing)
low power consumption
small, compact, and light
UNCOMPRESSED (DP can turn on scopes and histograms at the monitor and get an reliable reading)
LATENCY FREE (sub 2ms)
slow to lock, slow to recover
powering could have been more robust, not USB port
range needs to be tested, reliability needs to be tested
No, I don't work for Paralinx, I have no affiliation with them or Hot Rod Cameras (who are selling them). I'm just a WHDI enthusiast whose happy to see a company take advantage of the technology without gouging the pricetag.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 08:53 PM
Right now, I get the feeling that someone did a good job modifying a wireless HDMI unit built for home entertainment systems. One where HDMI is the default type of signal, USB power is acceptable, and the TX and RX will always be stationary. For this to be considered a true professional wireless option, a few of the deal breakers would have to change.
Firstly, the HDMI has got to go. I don't consider the addition of converter boxes at both ends a viable solution. I'd also be concerned about the delay that could possibly add up as the signal gets put through all those paces. Even if there's no perceivable delay, our world deals with HD-SDI. A product isn't a good product if you need other products to make it work.
It would need proper power inputs, but that should be easy enough to do.
The signal recovery issue is a big one. For that reason alone I would go with another unit. I just couldn't imagine having video village lose its signal for that length of time during a shot. The yelling I can already hear in my head.... oof.
Will, I hope you do get a demo unit. If anyone from the company is reading this, a true, on set, practical trial is the only way to really test its performance. Sure, walking around the CineGear crowd is enough to get people to take notice (as we obviously have), but it hasn't truly proven itself. I'd be very curious to see how it actually performs, forgetting about the input and power issues. If the company simply wants to cater to the DSLR crowd, and doesn't care to make a professional production system, that's cool too. It's up to them. I do hope they don't though. We could really use a product like this.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 10:02 PM
Strangely contradictory though since he also says, "We want to make all your wireless HD Dreams come true because we have the same dreams."
Sooo... what else is out there for HD Wireless??
Posted 02 June 2012 - 10:11 PM
Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:19 AM
(sorry about typos, I'm on my iPhone but felt this post was timely).
Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:31 AM
For me, the whole HDMI issue isn't really a dealbreaker when considered against the cost (I would consider owning two kits, in case the first goes down). I just think this is the cheapest solution to the problem of tethering vs. reluctance to use SD transmission. I have no problems telling productions "If you want a truly bulletproof unit, let's rent a Boxx Meridian (from Ron Baldwin, here's his number, call Jumbo's and have them page him)."
The linkup time, in my mind, can be "handled": stack it on the camera's battery and whenever the camera is on, the Arrow is on. 8-10 seconds to lock transmission is still about the boot-up time of most HD cameras. If you lose range, get back within range and wait to re-link (yawn). When Paralinx gets feedback of the final product, I bet they're going to dig into the software and figure out how to improve that re-link time. However, I have the feeling that's a part of the AMIMON chip, as the old Brite-Views I played with had the same challenge.
I guess I'm just thinking of this unit as a $1,000 powered antenna for my Decimator 2 to my AJA HA5, not a transmitter. If I get self-conscious, I can buy a plastic hobby-box, wire in a 2-pin hermaphrodite LEMO plug and DC plug, and slap all the stuff into a box together. Bam, it's "packaged" with HD-SDI on the outside.
On a bigger set, yes, probably not the go-to package, but on the other projects when I get that question of "Do you mind being tethered?" I can decline and offer a good solution with limits, and if they want better, "vote for Jumbo's".
Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:29 AM
Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:26 PM
What makes this different from the other WHDI sticks on the market?
Dan and Paralinx say they've added new antennas inside the transmitter and receiver, as well as power amplifiers to give them their broadcast performance distance. Likewise, both the transmitter and receiver are FCC and CE approved for sale here with those enhancements.
WHDI sticks sold on Amazon generally advertised 30' to 100' line of sight with significantly reduced performance for obstructions. Dan packaged the kit properly, and priced it to move. I have one on preorder with them, and plan on testing it on set as soon as I have one.
Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:05 PM
Here is a link on You tube of Dan from Paralinx showing the system off .
Great size for both ends .I hope they develop it for hd-sdi .
Posted 06 June 2012 - 06:19 PM
Posted 06 June 2012 - 06:45 PM
Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:12 PM
Posted 05 July 2012 - 01:19 PM
Posted 21 July 2012 - 08:11 AM