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Steadicam Wireless Latency Issues


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#1 Justin Lemme

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 08:04 PM

I am working for a TV station that uses a Steadicam in studio for live bumps and segments. It is a completely wireless setup. We began this project by using a IDX CW-5HD transmitter and receiver combo. The two receivers are placed as follows: One inside the studio for studio segments, and one receiver in our back lot studio for outside segments. We noticed that we were always taking random video loss hits on the SteadiCam, mostly on the out back receiver but some on the inside receiver. We have tried every preset frequency that the IDX will allow, but nothing seems to fix it. It is odd that outside takes more hits, considering there is more open space and direct line of sight to the IDX (The IDX is a line of sight RF system) than inside where there is other equipment. We even contacted IDX who sent out a team of engineers to check RF interference and other settings, even replacing our unit with a whole new unit. Nothing works. We even took the whole IDX system out into the middle of nowhere to check if it was indeed some sort of RF interference, and it also didn't work out there.
The IDX engineers just finally said they have no idea and stopped troubleshooting...

Then we decided to try a whole new system, from MicroLite HD. The model is 58MLT. This system works much better in terms of a solid video signal, but now our problem is with latency between audio & video. We run our audio through a separate system (wireless mics and audio board, like any other TV station) but the Microlite adds between 7-9 frames of delay for processing, which makes our lip sync off and unusable for air. We have toyed around with the settings to no avail, and even contacted the company for assistance who basically told us that the system was designed to have audio and video embedded in the same stream to avoid lip sync issues (which we cannot do logistically).

So my questions are:

1) Has anyone used either of these two system in the setup configuration that I described? If so, how in God's name did you get it to work properly?
2) Does anyone have a different solution for a completely wireless Steadicam system that is working for them?

I have researched and researched and cannot find out how to make this darn thing work. Any information would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

-------
Justin
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#2 William Demeritt

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:38 PM

Justin,

Welcome to the forum. Yea, I think the experience of many operators (Steadi and other) is that the CamWave just doesn't have the robustness in broadcast ability that they expect. Even with line of sight, the signal breaks up a little too easily. I think the MicroLite is compressed in it's HD transmission (I think it compresses to H.264 before transmission, which creates a latency that will never get below 3-4 frames.

I believe most people will tell you the TitanHD and Boxx Meridian are quite capable. Both systems are based on the same chips as the CamWave, but they've spent more time perfecting the transmission strength, fidelity, and packaging software around it to give the user feedback about connectivity. Likewise, it's an uncompressed HD signal, so the latency is sub 1ms. They also have external antennas, which some people have modified their CamWaves to have (with good results).

Both cost less than the Microlite, more than the CamWave, but would probably work in your environment.
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#3 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:50 PM

The LINK system has never let me down, but I don't know anyone who owns one themselves, I was told the price was WAYYYYYY more than a Boxx system, Like.....Several times more.

I've only used it on live shows or live to tape so far.
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#4 Alex Kolb

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:16 PM

I know one or two ops who independently own the 1500 transmitter from LINK, but the full system with receivers and the likes is really an investment for a station. It is a fantastic system, though. Dropouts are just something you don't think about once it gets set up properly.
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#5 Justin Lemme

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:51 PM

Justin,

Welcome to the forum. Yea, I think the experience of many operators (Steadi and other) is that the CamWave just doesn't have the robustness in broadcast ability that they expect. Even with line of sight, the signal breaks up a little too easily. I think the MicroLite is compressed in it's HD transmission (I think it compresses to H.264 before transmission, which creates a latency that will never get below 3-4 frames.

I believe most people will tell you the TitanHD and Boxx Meridian are quite capable. Both systems are based on the same chips as the CamWave, but they've spent more time perfecting the transmission strength, fidelity, and packaging software around it to give the user feedback about connectivity. Likewise, it's an uncompressed HD signal, so the latency is sub 1ms. They also have external antennas, which some people have modified their CamWaves to have (with good results).

Both cost less than the Microlite, more than the CamWave, but would probably work in your environment.


Thank you all for the replies, as I would fear, it seems that the CamWave and Microlite just wont work. I would like to know more about the TitanHD and the Boxx Meridian. Anyone know how much these are? I think the LINK system would be too expensive based on what people say, but on the other hand, my boss REALLY wants to get this going so maybe he would be interested in that as well.

I am still looking for someone who possibly figured out some way to get either the CamWave or the Microlite to work, though. I still have a glimmer of hope! ;)
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#6 Justin Lemme

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:01 AM

Does anybody have any links for the TITANHD system? I can't seem to find it anywhere on Google (keeps coming up with iPad apps......)
Thanks!
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#7 William Demeritt

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:13 AM

Transvideo makes the Titan HD
Boxx makes the Meridian
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#8 Justin Lemme

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:33 AM

Thanks, I was finally able to find the links. Here they are for anyone else that may need them:


TitanHD:
http://www.transvide...s-HD/TitanHD-Rx

Boxx Meridian:
http://www.boxx.tv/p...cast/index.html


Thanks again for all your help!
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#9 Phil Thomas

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:39 AM

Here in the UK the Boxx is used quite a lot on TV shows especially studio shows where I think the indoor environment with lots of reflections works well with being able to align the antennas on the Tx and Rx units to different angles for good coverage. There are some good videos knocking around of the Boxx being set up, just whack Boxx Merdian into YouTube. Other than that the GigaWave units are used for Outside Broadcasts a lot of the time, they are similar to the Links Systems.

With these systems you can also leave the camera control to the engineers to as there are return Data systems so your engineers can control iris and paint from their RCP/CCU.
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#10 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 06:51 AM

Boxx Meridian is the best on the market today.

You would typically have less hits indoors because these systems actually use the reflections of their transmissions to improve signal transference.

Line of sight, yes, but outside you do not reap the benefits of signal reflections off structural components.

The two biggest absorbers of RF, especially this portion of the spectrum are human bodies and large pine trees.
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#11 Mohamad Faiz

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:56 AM

Here in the UK the Boxx is used quite a lot on TV shows especially studio shows where I think the indoor environment with lots of reflections works well with being able to align the antennas on the Tx and Rx units to different angles for good coverage. There are some good videos knocking around of the Boxx being set up, just whack Boxx Merdian into YouTube. Other than that the GigaWave units are used for Outside Broadcasts a lot of the time, they are similar to the Links Systems.

With these systems you can also leave the camera control to the engineers to as there are return Data systems so your engineers can control iris and paint from their RCP/CCU.


Agree..... Links system and gigawave are fool proof , we use it alot... Especially gigawave for outside broadcast and its damn important to have a full wireless system especially the control of CCU and tally light as well.... I only use the cw5 as a return monitor feed.... Which is miserable at times.... Due to no line of sight....
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#12 Dean Smollar

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:42 PM

What do guys like Rob and John Perry use when they work live? Boxx? LINK?
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#13 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:34 AM

Link
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