As a school media production program, we are constantly on the lookout for products that are durable with sensible features, and come to market at a budget friendly price.
Our student work force operates at a very high level of production that actually competes with most local production companies in terms of quality. In order to get many hands on gear at the same time, we search for budget friendly products that can stand up to any expected abuse in the field.
For years we have known that IDX sees the value of the education market and manufactures several product lines that fall into our area of use. A great example of this is their Cue Series batteries. They have limited features such as a single D-Tap instead of two, which is perfect for our level of production. The cost is low, but the quality is still high.
I recently had the chance to get my hands on the new VL-4X charger by IDX, and it does not disappoint. I first saw the 4-channel charger at the 2019 NAB show along with a number of other products. You can check out this video link for the full SVN Video Review with Don Mainardi at their booth.
The VL-4X is a slim, lightweight 4-channel charger that is portable and affordable, making it a perfect fit for our needs. I tested the unit with several of our Endura Cue V-Mount batteries. Out of the box setup is quick and easy. Just plug in the unit and twist the integrated locking support stand on the bottom. The batteries will charge simultaneously when installed on opposite sides of each other on the charger. When positioned on the same side, they will charge sequentially.
The red charging lights on the top of the unit are bright, so there's no mistaking which batteries are currently on charge. The front panel shows a red or green light to indicate charging or charged for each of the four battery positions.
The top handle is a nice feature for grabbing the unit when you are on the go, and with a weight of only 2.5lbs it is very travel friendly. As with their other IDX chargers, the unit is designed with all of the necessary safety features to protect your batteries from damage and will automatically stop charging when needed.
For the full list of features and specs, I recommend visiting the IDX VL-4X product page for a complete list of details.
Tom Wilson is the Coordinator of Media and Video-Journalism programs at Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio. You can learn more about his teaching program and unique production vehicle called the Mobile Storyteller by selecting the links. - [email protected]