In 2016 there are so many kinds of wireless video transmitters out there for you to use, but there are many questions you must ask yourself before making a purchase. I have attempted to make a non-biased review of the products that are available for purchase even though we are re-sellers of both Paralinx and Teradek. I have purchased a Connex Animon HD system independently for our Cinestar X8.
The most popular uses of Wireless HD Video outside of your home theater, FPV and security systems is for filmmaking, video production, aerial videography and many other setups for cinematography. The first question you should ask yourself is what application will I be using this for? Wireless video can be a necessity for drones, unmanned camera rigs for vehicles, cable rigs & other unique setups where a camera operator cannot manually control the camera. It can also be a luxury or convenience for Steadicam Operators, Focus Pullers, Gimbal Operators, Jib/Crane Technicians, Directors, Producers, you name it there is probably a reason you could incorporate Wireless HD video feeds into your workflow. But, back to the question… Which one is right for you?
Do your research on the 3 brands Paralinx, Teradek & Connex. You will need to consider all the ways you plan to use it because you have to consider different aspects of these transmitter and receiver combinations. It’s essential to think about how you will rig this to your camera, power both the receiver and transmitter, what ports are available to you on the camera as well as your monitor. Each of these 2 companies are very closely related to one another which is why they are so successful with there products, but each is made for different users in mind.
For all the users involved in video production and filmmaking you should figure out if you need to record sound while using your transmitter on camera. If yes then you will quickly need to rule out the Connex Animon that has a relatively quiet fan in the transmitter which isn’t too bad, but when mounted on your camera rig next to a microphone it will definitely pose problems in a quiet environment like a sound stage or closed set. This is the territory where Paralinx and Teradek will reign supreme. Most people think wireless video is all about distance and while it is still a major concern there are many other things to be addressed in a system that costs thousands of dollars.
If you just need affordable reliable wireless video with no strings attached the budget HDMI Ace systems from Paralinx will be great for tons of applications in a short range of 300ft coming in at only $1,300.00. They have built in antennas they come with barrel to P-Tap connectors which can draw power from traditional camera rigs at a wide range of voltages in addition to battery plates like Sony and Canon LP-E6 (sold separately) common camera batteries if you want to power it independently. Another cool feature is that the transmitter and receiver can be ordered with SDI inputs or outputs like all their other systems and paired together in any combination which can save you time, money and weight converting HDMI to SDI or Vice Versa. If you can afford to jump up to the Arrow X (not Arrow Plus HDMI sticks) or Tomahawk you will see dramatic increase in distance along with a more robust design. SDI will be the more commonly used connector which does limit your selection of cameras, but is an industry standard video connection that is better than HDMI in every way you could of ever imagined outside of the fact that it is also more expensive in every way.
If you are looking for features and you are more of a post production guru you will find that the Treadek Bolt system offers you different creatures that just simply are not available in the other units mentioned above. The Treadek Bolt comes in 3 flavors of distances just like the Pralinx, but all bolt transmitters and receivers come standard with both HDMI and SDI. This gives you the ultimate flexibility when it comes down to camera/monitor selection. There all also incredible features like the ability to record video signal coming from the unit live capture in a video editing program with just a simple USB cable. They even offer a slew of accessories like the Bolt Sidekick that offers a 300ft receiving range that can be paired with any of the transmitters in a super lightweight package geared towards AC’s and Directors along with 3D LUT integration. The Bolt transmitters and receivers offer much more than meets the eye. The Bolt system will offer the cross conversion between HDMI and SDI, but unlike the Paralinx units you you don’t have to get specific models to convert signals both the transmitter and receiver has SDI as well as HDMI for ultimate connectivity.