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Teradek Sidekick review : It's not universal....

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#1 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 11:51 PM

Hi all,


Been a Teradek and Paralinx user for a while now and mostly happy with their products ; until now.


We have 5 complete kits : 2 Tomahawks, 2 ArrowX, 1 Bolt 2000 . All with 2 receivers each. We use them extensively on 90 days tv series and we have good results. 


Now we sometime need a third receiver and when teradek announced the sidekick, we jumped on the occasion to try it out as it was the ultimate tool to use with both Teradek and Paralinx units , a dream come true.... : 


First thing first, you have to upgrade every unit you have (TX and RX) with latest firmware, sidekick included. Understandable and painless but still not an out of the box solution : I can't send the Sidekick on any sets last minute if not with my kits .


Second, you can only pair with one device at a time. No option to "store" the channels in the memory and recall them if needed. That is an option I would love even if it meant a couple more hundreds. No can do for now.


Pairing this thing with the Bolt was easy and straightforward , but very frustrating with the Paralinx ; we reached out 3 or 4 times to teradek and paralinx support and got lots of tips that would not allow us still to pair it: removing antennas on sender, making sure the units were at least five feet away ,re-flashing firmware on all units, turning off all other sender / receiver kit on set (we have four running all the time). Just as we were losing all hope, one of the Tomahawks paired with the sidekick. No clue why it didn't before. And then it happened : screen just reads INVALID FORMAT...

We had to check the literature to understand the camera signal was not recognized .... WTF ? 

We then realize the cameras we have been using for the past 3 years (F55 with 4k module) is outputting a PSF signal when Sony menus use 1080P to describe it in it's menus and manuals.

What we learned the hard way is that the bolt 2000 linked to the sidekick WILL work with the F55 but the Paralinx units (any model) linked to the same Sidekick will not work with the F55. It seems the paralinx units do not convert the signal to a P and just sends it as a PSF signal.

That was it for us. 

The only place this is mentioned anywhere (psf issue)  is on the Paralinx website . I can't believe we still have PSF issues in 2016 with new gear. Last time I had problems with PSF was back in 2013 with Cinetronic Gen2 monitors.... 

We put the sidekick back in it's case and reached out to the reseller in Canada called Video Link : they won't take it back because we actually turned it on and used it....after a couple of emails and phone calls , they took it back with a 15% "return fee" !!! That's 300$ ! !! So we paid and now it's gone and could not be happier. 

This Sidekick cost us time and money and was just too good to be true. 

That first "alliance" between Teradek and Paralinx is a mistake. The sidekick is far from being "universal" as promise.

That feeling when you always had great items and service from the same company for years and suddenly , it just fails miserably on every level possible ? Well, that's how we feel right now on set. 


Fly safe,









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#2 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 10:09 AM

Does Teradek claim it works with Paralinx products?
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#3 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 10:41 AM



But it also warns that Paralinx senders will not support Psf signal to the Sidekick. I was just unlucky enough not really considering this as an issue not knowing the F55 was only outputting a Psf signal. And to make it even difficult to be aware; I have been using Paralinx products for ages with the F55 still outputting Psf.

To be clear, Paralinx TX to PAralinx RX : no Psf problems, it's a charm on the F55. It's the combo Paralinx TX to Sidekick RX that is the problem with the same camera....

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#4 Mike Gailing

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 11:41 AM

Hey Frederic,


Ill pass your information up to our head of engineering to figure out whats going on.


When we released Sidekick, we never had any intention of supporting Paralinx products. We decided to add it in anyway after numerous requests, but we knew there would be some limitations due to the differences between Paralinx and Teradek technology. Be assured that any future Teradek/Paralinx products will be completely aligned since we are now under the same company.


I encourage you to shoot an email to Support@teradek.com just to log your complaint so we can have it in the system and treat it as a high priority bug. 

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#5 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 12:49 PM

Will do , thanks Mike.

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