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#1 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 10:49 AM

I'm looking into a cheap wireless video transmitter & receiver combo to use for handheld and Flyer with an HVX200, I've scoured the threads and gotten some good info, but I just can't seem to put all the pieces together. Can someone enlighten me on the pros and cons of different options, and in particular the practical issues with different frequency ranges and technologies?

Specifically,

-What are the pros and cons of 900mhz vs 1.2ghz vs 2.4 ghz? Seems most folks are using 2.4ghz or 900mhz, few are using 1.2. It seems that range is a function of both frequency band, and transmitter/receiver design.
-Can you define "microwave" vs. UHF range in terms of 900/1.2/2.4? Are there other UHF frequencies?
-Is there a cheap unit available in a frequency range that would allow me to simultaneously have a cheap directors' monitor/tuner and a dedicated receiver for video village?
-for any of the frequency ranges, are any of the cheap, consumer-grade receivers worth buying? I've seen some UHF antennas.
-anything else I need to consider? Any real-world considerations or specific recommendations of systems that you like (or hate)?
-what frequencies or ranges may be the least prone to interfere with, or be affected by, other items such as wireless focus, walkies, or other radio communications?
-what does the digital transition mean to the legality and practicality of using these frequency ranges?

Thanks!
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#2 Santiago Yniguez

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 11:40 AM

I'm looking into a cheap wireless video transmitter & receiver combo to use for handheld and Flyer with an HVX200, I've scoured the threads and gotten some good info, but I just can't seem to put all the pieces together. Can someone enlighten me on the pros and cons of different options, and in particular the practical issues with different frequency ranges and technologies?

Specifically,

-What are the pros and cons of 900mhz vs 1.2ghz vs 2.4 ghz? Seems most folks are using 2.4ghz or 900mhz, few are using 1.2. It seems that range is a function of both frequency band, and transmitter/receiver design.
-Can you define "microwave" vs. UHF range in terms of 900/1.2/2.4? Are there other UHF frequencies?
-Is there a cheap unit available in a frequency range that would allow me to simultaneously have a cheap directors' monitor/tuner and a dedicated receiver for video village?
-for any of the frequency ranges, are any of the cheap, consumer-grade receivers worth buying? I've seen some UHF antennas.
-anything else I need to consider? Any real-world considerations or specific recommendations of systems that you like (or hate)?
-what frequencies or ranges may be the least prone to interfere with, or be affected by, other items such as wireless focus, walkies, or other radio communications?
-what does the digital transition mean to the legality and practicality of using these frequency ranges?

Thanks!




-Don't buy cheap stuff! There is a reason Steadicam ops use what they use. Yes, they cost a bit more than say Radio Shack, but they work. You can read in previous post what we use and like. I have a Canatrans transmitter with a Hermes receiver. It works perfectly fine.
-I'm a huge proponent of microwave. If I had the $$ I'd have one but you don't really have to go into the microwave realm of transmition. UHF works fine for what we as ops do. For the most part, they're cheaper. We don't walk a 1/4 mile away from video village when operating a shot. If you do, more power to you. At that point, you'll need a chase vehicle.
-No matter where you go, you'll ALWAYS run into some kind of radio interference. Preston runs on 2.4 and bartech runs on 900. The audio and VTR guys could be running on the same. The only way to achieve a better signal is to have different kinds of antennas that have different gains.....or up the wattage on your transmitter......but there are some legal stipulations to that. I believe that a radio can have no more than 1/4 watt of output power to not require you to have a license to operate. There are some companies out there that run on a higher wattage. Yeah, you get a great signal, but will you be able to have kids?? UHF......who knows where that's going.
-As far as digital transmition, it doesn't matter if its analog or digital, your still transmitting a signal, so it carries the same legalities as everything else.

Hope that helps!

Santiago
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#3 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 02:06 PM

Santiago,

Thanks for the info. I understand and totally respect the point about the limitations of cheap gear. I've read extensively and know about the high-end solutions; modulus, canatrans, titan, etc.

That said, my work is mostly in corporate/industrials, direct to video and cable documentary, and low budget multi-cam and low budget commercials. The cost-benefit calculations in this world are brutal, so the choice at some level becomes to try to find a lower cost solution and accept its limitations. The idea is to find something that allows me to lose the cable and utility guy in at least some situations, or provide the director with a confidence monitor instead of relying solely on "trust me."

Some have reported on this forum that they have gotten acceptable results with some low-cost wireless gear, so I'm trying to tap the collective wisdom. Again, thanks for the information you've shared.
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#4 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 03:58 PM

t a great signal, but will you be able to have kids?? UHF......who knows where that's going.
-As far as digital transmition, it doesn't matter if its analog or digital, your still transmitting a signal, so it carries the same legalities as everything else.

Hope that helps!

Santiago


Just to clarify that question...I understand that when the US analog-to-digital TV broadcast transition is completed this summer, the spectrum formerly occupied by the analog TV channels will be carved up for the use of other services (such as emergency communications, perhaps??) Anyway, if I had a UHF setup, for instance...are there specific channels or frequencies that will become completely unusable due to whatever communication services end up occupying that spectrum?
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#5 Santiago Yniguez

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:31 PM

t a great signal, but will you be able to have kids?? UHF......who knows where that's going.
-As far as digital transmition, it doesn't matter if its analog or digital, your still transmitting a signal, so it carries the same legalities as everything else.

Hope that helps!

Santiago


Just to clarify that question...I understand that when the US analog-to-digital TV broadcast transition is completed this summer, the spectrum formerly occupied by the analog TV channels will be carved up for the use of other services (such as emergency communications, perhaps??) Anyway, if I had a UHF setup, for instance...are there specific channels or frequencies that will become completely unusable due to whatever communication services end up occupying that spectrum?



I'm sure there will be specific allocated channels but just like before on UHF , you take your chances with broadcasting on those channels. Just to cover yourself you should do a little research and find out which channels are going to be allocated to such usage and try to stay away from them.
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#6 Stephen Vanderspek

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:06 AM

As I understand it a bunch of the spectrum is going to cellphone companies to develop 4G wireless coverage.
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#7 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 01:48 PM

In June channels 52-69 are being reallocated to other things in the US which will leave 7-51 allocated for television use. Once television stations switch to only broadcasting in digital there should be less interference although it will be harder to tell which channels are occupied without looking at a channel listing or using a DTV tuner.

Channels 14-20 are sometimes allocated for land mobile radio use in the US. Mainly in large cities.

~Jess
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#8 Brad Smith

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 08:08 PM

If you decide to go down the 2.4 gig path you might try These guys Low cost diversity receivers, and you can add directional antennas. Teletest are also a better priced manufacturer of 2.4 TX/RX gear.
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#9 Katerina Kallergis

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:35 AM

In June channels 52-69 are being reallocated to other things in the US which will leave 7-51 allocated for television use. Once television stations switch to only broadcasting in digital there should be less interference although it will be harder to tell which channels are occupied without looking at a channel listing or using a DTV tuner.

Channels 14-20 are sometimes allocated for land mobile radio use in the US. Mainly in large cities.

~Jess



So the RF links transmitter I just bought that transmits via channels 65 thru 69 is garbage now? If so, that really stinks.

-Kat
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#10 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 12:17 PM

Not necessarily, and not necessarily anytime soon. Sounds like it might be used for some sort of new cell phone service which will take time to develop and depending how they use it might not make your transmitter useless. Of course when they do start using it you might make everyone with data service on set hate you.

~Jess
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 01:51 PM

That may be a moot point soon anyway, I'm finding more sound mixers are having interference issues with their wirelesses FROM cel phones. I'm not sure if it is all CDMA phones, all 3G phones or specifically the iPhone but that annoying buzz that comes through nearby speakers and headphones is interfering with the mikes, and thus we are all supposed to go into airplane mode when on set (we had one enthuasiastic PA who would blast around the stage shouting "3G no good!").
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#12 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 11:50 PM

GSM phones as used by AT&T and the like are usually the culprit. Data services, 3G, etc... make it worse. That's one of the reasons I still have an actual cell phone. You know one of those things with buttons that you talk on.

~Jess
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#13 TJ McCormick

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 03:58 AM

Okay, I saw the Canatrans system, and I was very impressed. However, I'm a corporate guy, and I'm looking for something a little simpler, and a lot less expensive. I found this website..
http://www.rf-links....ers/sender.html
And they have $1000 solutions which look pretty stable for what I want to accomplish.

There's a bevvy of RC enthusiasts looking for quality video tx from their airplanes and helicopters, and they have minature solutions.
http://www.pacificca...aName=BL1188MOD
This is one of them. They have one company that actually provides a dual diversity system for under a grand! Sorry I can't find the link.

Until I see how they perform on show site, i'm not sure the $8k canatrans will completely outperform the rf-links system at $1k. I haven't even bought my system (I will this week -- pilot, soon to upgrade to flyer), but I'm also looking for $1k solutions for transmitting video, up to 500 feet. Any other suggestions out there?

And, what about renting these? I've never seen them on VER's website before. I assume a flyer needs to own vs. rent this system, so they have the right setup for the sled, etc...
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