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Introducing the Rebotnix RB-2, a long range low latency wireless video link

wireless video long range hd sdi 3g

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#1 Karsten Jaeger

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 05:18 AM

Hi,

 

Some of you may know me as a fellow steadicam operator. Since a few months i am colaborating with Rebotnix Technologies, a uprising german company for wireless video solutions.

 

After a long time of development and testing we are happy to release the unique long range wireless video system RB-2.

 

A goal was to unify as many features one might need working on broadcast and feature film sets in one single system.

Just to name a few:

 

- up to 900 meter range (with standard omni-directional antennas) in line of sight

- over 1.5 km range using patch antennas (we did not test that distance to its limit yet. -we will update that information as soon as we found enough space to do that :) )

- 40ms delay (1 frame @25fps)

- full duplex intercom audio connection

- timecode transmission (coming soon)

- 3G-SDI

- FullHD (no downsampling or similar processings)

- Multicast on as many Receivers as you need

- Multicast on tablets (Android only, Ipad coming soon) or computers (WiFi enabled, PC/MacOS) in full 1080 included (no additional hardware needed)

- V-Lock battery plates (AB Lock coming soon)

 

For further details please check out the Rebotnix RB-2 product page.

http://rebotnix.com/?page_id=2735

 

Here is a range test video we shot a few days ago:


 

 

If you are interested in the RB-2 System or if you are missing some features don't hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to receive your feedback soon.

 

Best regards from Germany,

Karsten Jäger

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#2 Alan Rencher

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:57 AM

Do you happen to know the difference between the Rebotnix system and the Ikan system? http://ikancorp.com/...tail.php?id=766
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#3 Karsten Jaeger

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 02:59 PM

Hi Alan,

 

i needed to wait for detailed tech-info from the Rebotnix software-geek as i dont know all the background stuff, but here we go.

 

There are some major differences.

 

1) on the RB-2 we put range first. At Rebotnix we define long-range at a distance from 500 meters (1600 feet) to 3 kilometers (1.8 miles). Beyond that distance we are transmitting the Videostram via satelite Uplink or LTE, which is also possible with the RB-2. (when transmitting uncompressed this is not possible without processing the signal a second time). With the standard antennas (3x 5dbi) the RB-2 is stable up to 900 meters in line of sight. With our Rebotnix Patch antennas we can transmit over much longer distances.

Line-Of-Sight is very crucial at Systems like the Ikan, Bolt 2000 or also our RB-2. (this is because of the used 5GHZ frequency) As i am working in the field with wireless video systems, we are aware of the problems regarding line of sight as this is not always possible in reality. We are currently working on solutions for that problem. But in the meanwhile it is always good to choose a system with the longest available range at line-of-sight. It is possible that you won't achive the maximum 900 meters with the RB-2 in reality but you can be sure that it will transmit about 50% longer in the same situation than a system that has just (about) the half line-of-sight range (like the Bolt2000) or even 6 times longer than the Ikan IKW1-A which has just 150meter line-of-sight. (by taking the range information from the fact sheets of the individual products)

So you have a much more stable and longer range connection with the RB-2 than the Ikan.

 

2) the Ikan device is just unicast. the RB-2 is multicast

 

3) you can combine omni and patch antennas at the RB-2. in a long-range situation is the challenge of line-of-sight much worse than in short-range applications. Due to the fact that the RB-2 utilizes highly optimized RF-Path and algorythms, the RB-2 is capable to adapt the system to changing frequency situation while keeping a very low buffer-time. With that feature the RB-2 will much faster re-connect than other systems like the Ikan which have just 2 omni antennas or like uncompressed systems like the Bolt2000 or Paralinx Tomahawk.

 

4) the RB-2 is optimized for broadcast by having a IP-Stream which allows to get a UDP or TCP transport stream in mpegts. That is giving you the option to receive the stream via a pc or mac at a very low latency and forwarding it to a satelite or LTE uplink. (we will demonstrate that soon)

Additionaly you can receive the stream in full 1080p with the Rebotnix App for Android Tablets without additional compression (you have, when just geting a parallel proxy stream). This is something the Ikan is not capable of, what we think is a highly useful feature.

 

5) the RB-2 can be extended by using repeaters for transmiting the videolink around corners, when walls are too thick. RB-2 repeaters will be very cost-effective and are going to be released in near future.

 

6) you can utilize the ethernet port on the receiver to onpass the stream via internet without having a CDN provider. This is very interesting for studio and broadcast aplication. (maybe less for steadicam operators..)

 

7) with the USB data channel and the RS-422 interface camera control is possible. (as this is not a common need we did not implemented and tested that yet. But the RB-2 has all tools to set up such a link, which we can do on request)

 

8) i am not sure if the Ikan has also a full duplex intercom link. their site isn't clear about it. -that's a real neat feature in long range application. You dont need to carry an aditional intercom system. In multi-cam situations you could connect the RB-2 receiver with an existing intercom system to other stationary operators/director to be fully connected if needed.

 

9) the RB-2 is offering SDI only at the moment. Most of our customers are using SDI only. And less connectors/boards on the device: less costs we can pass to our customers, less things which can get broken ;) if you realy need HDMI we recomend HDMI-SDI converter like from Blackmagic Design. (which are realy nice at a good price in my opinion)

 

Again. We are not fully aware of the Ikan system. So i am not 100% sure if all here written differences the Ikan realy does not have.


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#4 JobScholtze

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:53 AM

Would love to test that puppy


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#5 Karsten Jaeger

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:31 AM

Hi Job,

 

give us a call when you are near Lünen (which is not to far from Netherlands), there is always a hot coffee, the RB-2 and many other fancy stuff waiting for your at the Rebotnix Headquarter.

 

At the moment we ran out of stock but i ensured that we will ready up a demounit with the next batch.

 

Karsten


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#6 Karsten Jaeger

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:28 AM

actually i forgot a realy nice, kind of soft-skill, feature.

 

The RB-2 devices are fraud-protected. The name of the customer will be branded together with the serial# into the firmware. Shown at each boot-up, you have the chance to call the displayed owner direclty when somebody got offered a second hand device. That way stolen gear is much clearer noticeable than just by a serial#.

 

The branding can just be changed by Rebotnix, and of course, Rebotnix will contact the last known owner to check for a legal sale.


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#7 Mike Gailing

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:43 PM

Hi Karsten,
 
I have some questions about the product:
 
1. This device is using compression, right? What H.264 profile is it using (High, Main, or Baseline)? Compression means there will always be more latency than from something like the Bolt or anything from Paralinx and others. Also, is the video 4:2:2 like the Bolt or is it 4:2:0 which is more like our Cube product?
 
2. "Low latency" over satellite or LTE means around 2 seconds or more. This isn't due to the product per se, but the network you're trying to broadcast over.
 
3. Careful about making comparisons to two products that are not actively in the public yet: the Bolt Pro 2000 and the Paralinx Tomahawk. How did you determine that reconnect times are quicker on your product than others that aren't shipping in bulk yet? How do you know it performs better than those products when you don't have line of sight or when you're going through obstacles?
 
4. Using and selling patch antennas in some countries might not be legal. Is this device and its antennas certified by the FCC?
 
5. Android streaming is only compatible on the 5GHz band, correct? Im pretty sure if your modulation is 700/900MHz, no consumer electronics devices can pick it up.
 
Lastly, am I correct stating this is just like a $2000 Teradek Cube, except with higher powered antennas and modulation on 700/900mhz? It appears to have the exact same functionality and similar latency.

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#8 Karsten Jaeger

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:57 AM

Hi Mike,

 

Let's first come to your most important point, comparing with Teradek and Paralinx products which are not officialy released yet. I am very sorry, it is not my intention to discredit other products. I just tried to name differences. In that case (coming to reconnect times, stability and range) we just named principle differences comparing the nature of compressed with uncompressed technlogy by taking the facts which you offer from your announcement of the Bolt 2000. (i come to that matter later again) We know these problems from 8 years of experience Rebotnix and its partners has made in wireless transmission.

 

5GHZ is interesting cause of its worldwide license free use, but it is terrbile when not having line of sight. That's why most COFDM / DVBT systems are working at another frequency while costing more than 40k :)

We are going to change this. In the first demovideo (shown above) it was a simple 5GHZ line-of-sight demo, but even there it is cuting edge. It's also not the frequency that counts here, it's the scheme how we adjust the RF-Path in a 3 Mimo system in combination with the feedback and control of the encoder module.

It is in the nature of the 5GHZ band to need line of sight. Additionaly we worked out a way to use different frequcies which work better through obstacles while saving the ability to multicast on tablets/computers at the same time. (Demovideo coming soon)

 

I think all this is going far beyond what users (like me) usualy need to understand.

In the end it is all just about real world performance and what the user for his specific situation is demanding.

 

To be clear, we are not saying that the RB-2 is the better Bolt 2000 or something. Both systems (compressed/uncompressed) are unique and have their advantages and disadvantages.

That's where we come to:

 

 

1. This device is using compression, right? What H.264 profile is it using (High, Main, or Baseline)? Compression means there will always be more latency than from something like the Bolt or anything from Paralinx and others. Also, is the video 4:2:2 like the Bolt or is it 4:2:0 which is more like our Cube product?

 

The RB-2 is using h.264 @ base or main profile. H.264 is not H.264, especially the motion vector that we developed to detect the motion in a single (one pass) encoding is essential to ensure that the compression looks outstanding. Rebotnix has years of experience in professional streaming technology, that's where are coming in the advanced technologies.  The encoding profile base or main is useless if you dont have the right motion vector with an perfect frame lookhead.

We put massive CPU and DSP power in the RB-2. As colorsampling we also use 4:2:2 which makes this device unique, because many people are demanding it. (in my personal opinion 4:2:0 would completely sufficient, but that's a whole other story ;) )

At the RB-2 we have 40ms encoding latency, which is nothing compared to other existing products. We need that low latency for getting a lot of more range to adjust the buffer and compression rate on the fly and in realtime without having a framedrop. -that's impossible with uncompressed transmission :)

 

Our RB-1, which is another device, optimized for UAV, has a latency of just 10ms. We know that there is no other h.264 encoder which is able to do it. -and we are aware of legal limitations. That's why the RB-1 does not go over 25mW of output power, because this is not allowed within the EU airspace, while achiving 1500 feet of range. This is another advantage of compressed technology. (low output power + high range)

 

You are absolutely right that latency is higher than uncompressed technology, but uncompressed often is not meaning 1:1 (like you would pull a SDI cable), as we figured out. We saw a lot of quality decreasing from different manufacturers chipsets (that promised to be uncompressed) when increasing the range.

It is all about what you need.

We learned when it is coming to long range application, it's not the best way to 'overload' the airspace with gigabit by gigabit, because then you are loosing a lot of flexibility to react on changing circumstances. It's much more useful to keep the bandwidth low. and this does not necesarily means that you are loosing quality, these days there are a lot of clever ways to get the best out of both worlds.

The only real noticeable difference is the latency as you have said. Again, this is just about what you need for your specific application. When you need a very long range while having maximum stability and quality (eg for broadcasting) and you can live with a delay of aproximately 1 frame (at 25fps) then compressed is the way to go. And when we talk about compression, we mean the top end of compression where you just barely can notice it.

 

 

2. "Low latency" over satellite or LTE means around 2 seconds or more. This isn't due to the product per se, but the network you're trying to broadcast over.

I did not state that the RB-2 will have 40ms latency via satelite. 40ms is just the RB-2 latency. Of course a satelite link will add latency.

Regarding satelite uplink in gerneral:

When you want to live-stream in a crowded space (like a concert or something else) the cless of the mobile provider are complletely full. Here we can offer a great sat-upload link interface for our RB-2, including a very in-expensive rebotnix satelite service in a two way channel, so you dont need terestric internet. We are working on this with eutelsat. This service is currently working in europe (for the upload) and from europe to USA and asia we offer Amazon service or Level(3).com streaming.

That's another handy advantage of compressed technology like we are utilizing in the RB-2. It is very versatile and going far beyond simple camera to receiver monitoring.

 

 

4. Using and selling patch antennas in some countries might not be legal. Is this device and its antennas certified by the FCC?

Yes. We have found partner in the industry to creat exclusive antenna components for us. All of our radios have an FCC ID of course.

 

 

Lastly, am I correct stating this is just like a $2000 Teradek Cube, except with higher powered antennas and modulation on 700/900mhz? It appears to have the exact same functionality and similar latency.

Not realy. That both products are utilizing the same principle (compression) does not mean that it are similar products. We are sure that the RB-2 is going far beyond the cube when it comes to quality, latency, link stability and versatility. (that's why it is more expensive of course. We won't deny that)

But let's do not go deeper in the comparision as i am sure both products have there specific purpose at their price-range.

 

I am sorry that this post is exceeding the usual amount of info a little bit. Again, i just tried to compare compressed with uncompressed technology. I would like to delete any reference to other companies unreleased products in the post above, as u were right to complain about this. Unfortunately i cant edit the post anymore.


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#9 Mike Gailing

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:54 PM

Thanks for the quick response Karsten. 


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#10 Gerhard Riesenhuber

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:10 AM

Hi Karsten,

 

I haven't been able to contact Rebotnix via mail, telephon or facebook. I left a message on the answer machine, but still no reply. Doesn't the company exist anymore?

I would like to get a test unit for ARRI rental in Vienna.

 

Thanks,

Gerhard


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#11 Iain Baird

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:58 AM

I haven't been able to contact Rebotnix via mail, telephon or facebook. I left a message on the answer machine, but still no reply

 

These are all very good reasons NOT to buy one!!

 

IB


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#12 Gerhard Riesenhuber

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 11:07 AM

Just wanted to test one, but you're right!


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#13 daniel hanit

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:26 PM

I also wrote an e-mail to Rebotnix about 2 months ago, and no reply as of yet...
Thanks.
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#14 Jameson Johnson

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 06:31 PM

Same here...


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