Video production requires more than just a cameraman.
It encompasses producers, directors, and a technical crew – all of whom need access to the footage being shot – and the faster, the better. In the past, a team of people required to get the right shot had to be hooked up to monitors that were hooked up to the cameras via long cords and cables, which littered the floor of the set, causing potential tripping hazards to everyone present. But thanks to a few advances in modern technology, the production team can now view footage instantly at remote stations via wireless transmission systems.
These wireless transmission systems can be attached to a camera and can transmit whatever is being filmed to a receiver, which can in turn be connected to monitors so that a variety of people can watch the footage as it is being shot and provide critical feedback to the cameramen. It can also be an excellent directing tool, allowing the director to view the footage and direct the actors and technicians. It’s an invaluable tool when it comes to getting the exact shot you want while using a wide range of cameras, and being able to recognize immediately when you’ve gotten that shot.
Some may be wary of using wireless transmission systems because of the concerns with wireless frequency allocations in use within a given physical region – there can be circumstances of existing signals in play that cannot be controlled and may interfere with a new signal being added. Wireless technology rid the production world of cumbersome cables, and transmitters have now been designed to be lightweight – adding a minimal burden to the cameraman shouldering the camera. Matching receiver modules can have a range starting at about 100 feet to much further, depending on the choice of the wireless system itself. Most producers and directors operate within 100-250 feet from the action of the camera person in order to be able to give and get directions to the production crew.
Wireless transmission systems can be expensive, depending on the needed range, signal quality and license issues. To some, these systems may be considered a luxury. Basic systems will typically run anywhere from three to six to twelve thousand dollars or more in price. Depending on your budget and how important and efficient the instant feedback is to your particular production, it is often worth the money. Cutting the inconvenience of having a multitude of wires and cables on set, increasing the safety factor and speeding up the process of the shooting schedule when using wireless video transmission system can greatly help streamline your production.
6 Questions to ask before you buy a wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver
If you’re in the market for a wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver, you’ve probably noticed that there are a ton of options to choose from. But if you want to make sure you wind up with the best wireless HDMI transmitter, you’ve got to get the answers to these 6 questions before you hand over your credit card information:
1. HOW MUCH DOES IT WEIGH?
Chances are your hands are full enough as it is. The last thing you need is more heavy equipment to weigh you down. That’s why you need to make sure that your wireless HDMI transmitter system only weighs a couple of ounces. In fact, it should be easier to lug around than your smart phone. That way, you’ll be able to wirelessly capture all of the high-quality video you need, without breaking your back. As long as you’ve got a pocket, you’ll be ready to go!
2. HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY SEND AND RECEIVE THINGS?
OK, so you’ve already figured out that your transmitter is going to use a wireless signal to send and receive video and audio, but you’ve got to take things one step further if you want to make the very best purchase. Specifically, you’ve got to make sure that your wireless HDMI transmitter takes advantage of dynamic frequency selection — meaning that it automatically searches for a low interference frequency channel. That way, you won’t have to worry about static, snow, buzzing, or other types of congestion making their way into your stuff!
3. HOW STRONG IS THE WIRELESS SIGNAL?
Sure, using low interference transmission channels is great, but they won’t do you any good if your wireless HDMI transmitter isn’t strong enough to send audio and video through walls and ceilings. After all, it’s pretty rare to have a setup that’s completely unobstructed, so you’re going to need to make sure that your equipment fits in with the design of the space you’ll be working in.
4. WHAT’S THE LATENCY?
For all of you non-techies out there, latency is the amount of time it takes for your equipment to process information (or, in this case, the time it takes for your packets of audio and video data to go from one place to another). The higher the latency, the longer of a delay you’ll have to deal with. The best wireless HDMI transmitters will have a latency period of less than 1 millisecond — or, the same amount of time it takes for a camera’s flash bulb to go off.
5. CAN IT ACCOMMODATE 1080P?
You may think that HDMI is as good as it gets. However, your HDMI connection isn’t worth much if it can’t send and receive 1080p video (not to be confused with 1080i). If you have any plans to grab a still frame from your video, put some of the video in slow motion, or scale the video up or down, you’ll need 1080p. If you try to do any of these things with 1080i, you’ll wind up with jerking video and a finished product that doesn’t look as smooth as it should.
6. WHAT ABOUT OTHER TYPES OF VIDEO?
As great as 1080p looks, there may be instances where you simply can’t work with it. That’s why you need a wireless HDMI transmitter that can also handle lower video formats — like 720. That way, you’ll be covered in any situation!