Teradek Bolt – SOLID Wireless HD-SDI Monitoring

When it comes to wireless HD monitoring, I have been using the Teradek Cube on my productions for over a year now.  The Cube is an encoder that transmits compressed video over WiFi for live streaming over the internet, H.264 proxy recording, or wireless monitoring on iOS devices.  On the set of "Mobius" last fall, we used the Cube in tandem with the Teradek Case to monitor via laptops and iPad’s in the desert. 

Now Teradek has upped its game and introduced the Bolt, a wireless HD-SDI monitoring system.  I can say that I am amazed at the quality of the image, total lack of latency, and rock solid signal. This unit has so far performed as well as high-tend units priced a 5x to 10x the price.   I will need to use this for one year in a variety of locations to give you a full run down on how it performs in a wide variety of environments – you’ll find that both high end and low end wireless units can be susceptible to a variety of different types of interference..   So far though – so GREAT.   I haven’t run into a single issue.   Just turn the transmitter and receivers on – and boom you’ve got signal from a RED Epic or a Canon C300. 

 

Unlike the Cube, which used WiFi to transmit a signal, the Bolt has zero delay, instead relying on WSDI Pro for wireless transmission up to 300ft.  Even more impressively, it also transmits an uncompressed 1080p60 signal with 4:2:2 fidelity  – which means you can record it to an external recorder or VTR.  The Bolt can send this signal to multiple receivers simultaneously – increasing your number of monitoring options on set – and comes with TWO receivers which is a really nice touch, not to mention a nice little Pelican case to hold the entire kit safely.

 

 

Being an HD-SDI system, this unit is fully ready to be integrated into any professional production monitoring workflow.  The Bolt transmitter has a loop through 3G-SDI input on the transmitter, so you can simultaneously run a signal wirelessly from your camera and to an external monitor. On the receiver end, each has two 3G-SDI outputs that you can run to a monitor or a video switcher.  If you wanted, you could also run your signal from the receiver to a Teradek Cube and also stream the signal to laptops and iOS devices.

 

In terms of build – the Bolt receiver is made of high grade aluminum to withstand the wear and tear of being attached to a camera.  It has numerous 1/4" mounting holes so that it can be attached to your rig wherever is most convenient for you.  The receivers are enclosed in a plastic shell, which should be no problem given that they will most likely be sitting next to your monitor.  

 

The transmitter also has an internal Lithium Ion battery that provides up to 70 minutes of run-time.  This can be charged via a mini-USB port, or the Lemo DC input.  The Lemo DC input (available on both the transmitter and receiver) also means that you can use an external battery, such as an Anton Bauer, to power these units, so when attaching the transmitter to your camera rig, it should easily interface with whatever external power option you have on board.  

 

At this price point, this is by far the best wireless transmitter i’ve used and as I mentioned it exceeds the performance of some very high end receivers that are noticeably more complicated,  bigger and expensive as well.   The bolt will now remain permanently connected to both my 21" and 9" Marshall Monitors for wireless use.

 

For more information hop over to Teradek’s site!