Jump to content



Photo

How good is the Bolt 2000 Pro?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Knut K. Pedersen

Knut K. Pedersen

    New Member

  • Validating
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Portugal, Algarve

Posted 25 June 2014 - 03:15 AM

Hi.

Before buying a Bolt 2000 Pro, I would like some feedback on use on location int/ext. range.

Is there a better system out there?


  • 0

#2 brooksrobinson

brooksrobinson

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 267 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 25 June 2014 - 09:55 AM

I'm having tremendous success using my 2000 since I purchased it three months ago. I've been on a feature since then, and while we haven't done too much steadicam, what we have done has been quite ambitious from a transmitter/receiver stand-point. Shooting through multiple concrete walls hasn't phased it, and the only thing I would like to see improvement on (and I've been told by Mike that it's already happening/done) is a faster reconnect time should the signal be lost. Aside from that, no complaints at all, and I'm very pleased with my purchase. At roughly half the weight and cost of a Boxx, and at least as much signal strength (my humble opinion), there isn't much to improve on.

Brooks
  • 0

#3 Lars Erik

Lars Erik

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 543 posts
  • Norway

Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:14 AM

Just used the 2000 unit on a tv-series. I own theboxx myself, but production had the 2000 unit. Similar experience as Brooks had. Good unit  with good range, but the start-up time just killed us sometimes. Half the time, the director chose to look at either my monitor or a playback.

 

They really need to fix that start up time, specially for crews who's shooting fast, as the case is for most Norwegian sets.


  • 0

#4 Mike Gailing

Mike Gailing

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 139 posts
  • Irvine, CA

Posted 25 June 2014 - 11:42 AM

Just used the 2000 unit on a tv-series. I own theboxx myself, but production had the 2000 unit. Similar experience as Brooks had. Good unit  with good range, but the start-up time just killed us sometimes. Half the time, the director chose to look at either my monitor or a playback.

 

They really need to fix that start up time, specially for crews who's shooting fast, as the case is for most Norwegian sets.

 

Lars / Brooks,

 

If you update your units with the latest firmware, you can put it into Broadcast Mode which will speed up the connection time with the RX:

http://www.teradek.c.../downloads#Bolt


  • 0

#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

Alec Jarnagin SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1800 posts
  • New York City, USA

Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:20 PM

Mike, is there a downside to using "Broadcast" mode?  I was on a commercial last week where we were using a 2000 for car to car stuff with great success.  Our DIT owns both the 2000 and a Boxx and he actually thinks the 2000 is better!  The one complaint from assistants was (if I understood them correctly) that if you cycle power  on the Transmitter, you need to cycle power on the receiver.  Is this true?  May have been an old firmware thing too.  Mike, please elaborate. 


  • 0

#6 Mike Gailing

Mike Gailing

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 139 posts
  • Irvine, CA

Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:33 PM

Mike, is there a downside to using "Broadcast" mode?  I was on a commercial last week where we were using a 2000 for car to car stuff with great success.  Our DIT owns both the 2000 and a Boxx and he actually thinks the 2000 is better!  The one complaint from assistants was (if I understood them correctly) that if you cycle power  on the Transmitter, you need to cycle power on the receiver.  Is this true?  May have been an old firmware thing too.  Mike, please elaborate. 

 

What you describe happens when the unit is in Unicast Mode and loses connection with the RX for a significant period of time.

 

The new firmware allows you to switch the unit into Broadcast Mode which not only significantly increases connection time, but it also avoids the power cycle issue (which only occurs in unicast mode).

 

There is one drawback to Broadcast Mode: it cannot use DFS channels. On the other hand, Unicast Mode can use DFS, which gives you a couple more channels to transmit over in areas with a lot of interference. 

 

We're still working on the Unicast power cycle issue so we hope to have a fix some point soon. 


  • 0

#7 Lars Erik

Lars Erik

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 543 posts
  • Norway

Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:34 PM

Alec, we had to cycle power on both if I remember correctly.
  • 0

#8 Grayson Austin

Grayson Austin

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 89 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 12:39 PM

Long overdue for a review of the Paralinx Tomahawk system and since I had all three systems (Paralinx, Bolt 2000 Pro and Boxx) at the same time to test them side by side I should let you guys know what I found.

First of all, I always made it the hardest on the Tomahawk in tests, like just using stock rubber duck antennas on receiver while Boxx had long range panel antenna, etc.
My practical test which was the most telling was this:
My house...
All three transmitters set up close together in my office (which was the garage and was converted) so it is solid concrete walls all around and the only door to the house is a solid fire door. I set up the transmitters close to see if they would interfere with each other or play nice. The Bolt 2000 never liked the Boxx very much so I usually powered it first and let it seek channels which leads to my first issue with it. The link up time is long, sometimes more than three minutes even though on screen it said wait 60 seconds. Yes you have picture quickly but the annoying message is prominent on screen for a long time. Boxx doesn't do this and Paralinx Tomahawk lets you turn this off and I have not noticed any perceivable distance loss in this mode. In fact, it still easily beat both the other systems time and time again. I'll get to that in a minute. I know the link time issue is one that can be addressed but at the time I couldn't wait which was the big reason I sent back the Bolt 2000. Hopefully they have/ will resolve this.

On to the test.
All transmitters used their stock supplied antennas and were mounted on a baby triple header and fed the same video signal from an Atomos Blade. Receivers were clustered together so I could carry them around together fed to a monitor to view. Boxx had the long range Boxx panel antenna, Bolt 2000 had high gain rubber duck antennas (also tested with stock antennas) and the Paralinx Tomahawk had stock rubber ducks. I walked from the office through the laundry room, closing solid fire door and into kitchen, again closing every door I went through, now crossing through open living room and up stairs, which is now two solid walls, one of them concrete and brick, up the stairs (at this point I consistently lose the Bolt 2000) and into the master bedroom, closing the door behind me and another 20 feet (losing the Boxx at this point). I can walk to the very back of the room and the Paralinx Tomahawk is still solid). I then tried the Tomahawk with the long range Boxx panel antenna. Here is where it gets interesting. Now it is incredibly hard to kill the signal. It already beat the other two systems hands down time and again but now it blows them away with the long range. I have now used the Tomahawk on my last several features and series exclusively and have yet to find the end of line of sight range. Even against Boxx systems with the exact same long range panels, it blows them away through set walls, outdoors, car to car, Pasadena RF hell, etc and the picture is rock solid and in general looks better than the Boxx picture.

Downside for now is that the transmitter is HDMI but come July ish, that won't be an issue anymore and so far, no actor has ever come up to me and asked why my transmitter wasn't HD SDI, not even Will Smith. Weird since I thought he would be really concerned about things like that. Go figure... For now I use a Decimator mated to it and it's fine with no delay. I've checked and my focus puller can easily pull focus from it. I'm so thrilled with it and confident that I sold my Boxx system. It transmits to multiple receivers which are HD SDI out and have power pass through on the Anton Bauer plates just like my Boxx did so it can go on the back of a monitor and power the monitor as well and mates perfectly with the panel antennas. And when I say Boxx long range panel antenna, I am talking about the more expensive ones they do that have five separate smaller panels attached to a metal enclosure where the antenna cable live, not the single panel multiple Antenna style.

I will post some photos over the weekend of some recent setups. The most recent test was from inside a moving bus with a follow van for video receivers. B Camera with Tomahawk transmitter inside bus, A camera inside bus on short Hydrascope (yes a hydrascope inside the bus) but the Boxx transmitter had to be on the outside top of the bus to get reception. Both receiver on outside top of follow van many car lengths behind. Tomahawk was rock solid. Boxx would have some breakup and occasionally lose picture if too many other vehicles got in the way. It has also been perfect in the blazing summer heat and humidity of Louisiana outdoors all day long in 90 + degree weather. No issues. Everything in this review is only my experience but I have been doing this for more than twenty years and in that time have owned or used almost every type of wireless video system out there including microwave, etc. I can't wait for the HD SDI version of transmitter. Hope this helps any of you but as with all things, do your own research and testing. Trust No One!

Grayson Grant Austin, SOC
  • 2

#9 Grayson Austin

Grayson Austin

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 89 posts

Posted 25 June 2014 - 04:53 PM

Oh I forgot,
My house is 3200 square feet so the end to end (corner of room to opposite house corner) distance through three sometimes four walls with closed doors every time I came to one is easily 200 plus feet completely NON line of sight. I have also run this test inside to outside and gotten better distance. The fact that this is zero line of sight in a real world setting is very significant. Through regular on stage set walls, it is fantastic. In my test, I also fired up every device I could in my home that creates RF of any kind to cause as much chaos as possible. On real sets there is no issue with production radios, sound dept wireless, production wifi, producers cell phones/ laptops/IPads, etc.

Grayson Grant Austin, SOC
  • 0

#10 Knut K. Pedersen

Knut K. Pedersen

    New Member

  • Validating
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Portugal, Algarve

Posted 25 June 2014 - 05:12 PM

Thanks, this is what I want to hear. I have been doing steadicam since '86, and had all kind of transmitter systems. When I no going over to a Hd for my Omega, I am tired over all the money I have wasted on transmitters over the years. Pls. More inputs will save me and others money.

Thanks for the input.
  • 0

#11 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

Osvaldo Silvera SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 674 posts
  • Miami, FL

Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:05 PM

Knut... This is off topic, but I still have the Stubby Blue T handle Flat Blade driver you gave me many many years ago!. Thanks again...

 

OK, back to the Bolt Pro 2000!


  • 0

#12 Aaron B. Brown

Aaron B. Brown

    Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 15 posts

Posted 22 August 2014 - 02:41 PM

Grayson, thanks for the post. Did you notice any power or heat issues with the paralinx? I would love to hear how it performs throughout a long day of use. 


  • 0

#13 Grayson Austin

Grayson Austin

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 89 posts

Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:54 PM

Full on summer in Louisiana. Super high humidity and blistering heat indexes. Exterior days. All day long. Worked perfectly through 9 week shoot. Transmitter gets warm as they all do but not as hot as my Modulus used to get. There are heat sink fins built into the case design. I now have the HD-SDI transmitters. Two complete systems. One system is a 1 transmitter to two receivers. The other is one to one. I tested again through my house with both transmitters inches apart. No problem through my house through multiple walls and into the garage. Reall walls. Not set walls. Works great. When I forced it to lose signal by facing panel antenna the opposite direction and then turned back, reconnect is around 5 seconds or so. If one component is powered down, no power cycling of both needed. Use broadcast mode. Not the other mode and you avoid the annoying on screen message about initial connection frequencies. Not sure what else to say. Picture is cleaner than Boxx but have not tested actual signal yet. Buy whichever system fits your way of working from the company you like to deal with. I found the guys at them all (Boxx, Teradek and Paralinx) to all be great guys but in the end, Dan Kanes and company at Paralinx have gone out of their way to get me what I need and everything works the way I need it to work. The shots we did from inside the greyhound bus to a follow van and many others that the Boxx could never do convinced me.

Grayson Grant Austin, SOC
  • 0

#14 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:13 PM

So far I've found the Bolt 2000 (I feel like the performance of that and the Tomahawk are close enough to interchangeable to consider them the same) reasonably good, but the Boxx with the panel antennae somewhat better under most circumstances. Yesterday had the 2000 with clear line of site out in the desert, neither unit moving, and it was showing degradation at less than 400 feet. In other circumstances it has been fine much further away. I can't be scientific about all this because I don't have the units next to each other but based on four years working with the Boxx, I'm sensing that it still may be the winner by a small margin. This experience is contrary to Graysons, but that's the nature of RF.


  • 0

#15 Nathan Chapman

Nathan Chapman

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 24 August 2014 - 09:57 PM

....Picture is cleaner than Boxx but have not tested actual signal yet.....

 

Hey Grayson, did you mean cleaner as in fewer compression artifacts?

 

If it's signal/transmission noise, my impression was digital was an all-or-nothing signal - unlike analogue, where the quality simply degrades...


  • 0




Teradek

Ritter Battery

Omnishot Systems

Paralinx LLC

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Boland Communications

IDX

PLC - Bartech

BOXX

SkyDreams

GPI Pro Systems

Varizoom Follow Focus

PLC Electronics Solutions

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wireless Video Systems

Engineered Cinema Solutions