In film production, you often have a whole crew that needs to watch the image that is being shot. Obviously, director and cinematographers are on the first row, or even behind the camera itself, but often times you’ll have the producer or a representative and it would be nice to show them what’s going on in real-time.
But even the makeup artist, the script supervisor or the set designer may need a peek sometime to check that everything is good. In this scenario, you build your video village, fire up a few meters of SDI cable and you’re done. But what if the location does not allow for a cable to be tossed around? Well, this is where this handy Cinegears wireless kit comes in.
Let’s get it out loud and clear. The range of this setup is simply amazing! In the first test, when the additional antenna is blended in the mix, we can see Tom Antos getting to an amazing 1600 feet outside of a clear line of sight with cars and turns of the road in the middle, and the signal is still crystal clear, no interference, no artifacts or noise in the image whatsoever.
At that point, the simple distance stops not having much use to stress it beyond that, and we can agree that indeed it is a crazy distance to send your video signal through.
Plus, the setup is quite simple. A V-lock battery is powering the receiver and a few BNC connections are hooking it up to the large antenna granting the maximum range. The transmitter is mounted on the cage of the camera and it surely isn’t a tiny one.
Seeing it on the Pocket 4K probably makes it seem larger, on a bigger cine camera it could get lost in all the gear mounted, but still, it does not seem to weight that much, or at least Tom does not have complaints in that regard.
One important note, though – this setup is very directional, so aiming in the general direction of the camera is required to get the maximum of the range, if for example, the antenna is facing the opposite direction, you’ll start losing signal already at 50 feet.
The input and output on both receiver and transmitter are both SDI and HDMI, making it possible to use it with almost any camera on the market. At the startup, it autotunes to the best frequency available, but if needed, a simple menu allows to fine tune if you have any problem.
As with all wireless video systems, there is a minimum delay, but it is more than acceptable. Keep in mind, though, it gets a little bit worse if you’re working on HDMI.
So, final thoughts. It seems that the Cinegears wireless system is a great setup for small independent film crews, allowing for remote monitoring of the scene.
The ability to stream two cameras is quite handy in dialogue or interviews, it may be too little if you plan on broadcasting some kind of event where you usually have more cameras, but the main strength is with no doubt the distance covered, that will surely be enough for (almost) any situation on set.