I had a project a few days ago where I wanted to provide a client monitor. I rented a Teradek Bolt Pro HDMI wireless transmitter, and learned a few things that I’d like to share about wireless monitoring.
- HDMI cables suck. I couldn’t get a signal and spent a lot of time trying to figure out why the transmitter wasn’t working. Turns out the HDMI cable was bad.
- The Bolt Pro 300 receiver runs very hot. If it gets too hot, the signal will cut out unexpectedly. I found that placing it on a table was where it overheated – it was happiest with good airflow around the unit.
- The SmallHD 502 and 702 monitors both offer loop through from SDI to HDMI, so it was possible to output to the client monitor via HDMI while at the same time receiving a rock solid SDI signal from camera to monitor.
- Test everything thoroughly the day before your shoot. The power requirements, the calibration of the monitor you’ll be using, and how you’ll be mounting everything. The details will kill you if you don’t get them right ahead of time.
- Did I mention HDMI cables suck? Next time I will pony up the extra cash to rent an SDI transmitter, because the HDMI cables really aren’t worth the headache in a production environment.
I was pleasantly surprised with how little latency the wireless video signal had. It was no problem to use the wireless signal to pull focus with. I can definitely see incorporating the SDI version of this system into my future production environments.