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wireless video X-mitter


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#1 Jon Krol

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 02:36 PM

I'm thinking about buying a wireless video X-mitter/reciever for my camera. A lot of my work is handheld and I would like for the prod to be able to see the image while shooting without being teatherd to the 9" field monitor. It's industrial type work and it doesn't need to be high end but I would like for the picture to be reasonably good. I want to broadcast it to a 5"-7" battery powered LCD type portable monitor that the prod can carry easily. Any good durable systems out there? I don't want to go to radio shack to cob something together. Thanks for any info.
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#2 Tony Brown

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 03:35 PM

I'm thinking about buying a wireless video X-mitter/reciever for my camera. A lot of my work is handheld and I would like for the prod to be able to see the image while shooting without being teatherd to the 9" field monitor. It's industrial type work and it doesn't need to be high end but I would like for the picture to be reasonably good. I want to broadcast it to a 5"-7" battery powered LCD type portable monitor that the prod can carry easily. Any good durable systems out there? I don't want to go to radio shack to cob something together. Thanks for any info.


Any rental house will rent you one. They all seem to add a bunch of stuff to the camera end and I've not seen one yet that keeps a decent picture thru the day
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#3 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 06:28 PM

I'm thinking about buying a wireless video X-mitter/reciever for my camera. Any good durable systems out there? I don't want to go to radio shack to cob something together. Thanks for any info.


Hi Jon, there are several choices in video transmitters that range from junk, to sort of junk, to works wells, to feature and option laden.

You can find a huge amount of information over on the Steadicam Forum under the video assist section. One thing you should know is that many of these systems are not authorized for sale or use by the FCC here in the United States. On the other hand, they are common place and in use here, but sold mostly out of Canada or "wherever". Most of the ones that are legal in the US pretty much suck.

The quick run down is:

$250 gets you a single channel vhf or uhf transmitter that will get you by but you need to double check if the frequency / channel is already in-use in your town or the area you work in

$700 gets you a 6-9 channel version of the same thing both made by RF-Links in Canada. Mike Wilder at Image Gear is the contact and company that sells them.

$2100 used to get you a production grade 30+ channel model called a Modulus 3000 or and older 2000; both made by a company called CIT or Custom Interface Technology. The used 3000's in good shape are hard to find and if you do you'll pay close to new price on them since they are so sought after. They sell within an hour on the Forum.

The same company has been promising the Modulus 4000 as "coming soon" for years and even back in March had everyone phsyc'ed that it would ship around NAB... despite the pictures of a mock version, it's still vapor-ware. Plus that company is known to have customer service problems in a big way. Read the forums, make your own conclusions.

At $4000 the next step up is a CanaTrans made by Lentiquip. It has all the bells and whistles, doesn't look like a garage project and is considered by many as top of the line. The two complaints are it's expensive and a little large; about the size of 1/2 of a BetaSP tape 4x4x1.5 or so. It's a nice product.

There are a few other brands out there but I don't have experience with them.

I started with the $700 model and have compared it side-by-side / picture-to-picture same time and image with the Modulus and Canatrans units. Distance, signal, interference and picture quality were virtually indistiguishable. The CanaTrans may have a touch better image but not $3300 better.

The $700 model had to go back to the factory twice in four months and they replaced / repaired it overnight which was great. However, it weakened my confidence in the unit so I ponied up last month for the CanaTrans and keep the other unit as a backup and for rental. I simply cannot afford to take a chance. Love the CanaTrans quality, but the cost was a bite. Another option was two of the $700 models but... well... after using and working with a CanaTrans a friend loaned me while my unit was in the shop, I just did it.

On to monitors; David Hable at Cramped Attic customizes a handheld Camos 7" LCD TV/monitor with BNC connectors and Sony Info Lithium battery adapters. It's not cheap at $650 USD (including all the options) but it's nice and I own one. The old Curtis Best Buy version I started with for $129 is sitting on the shelf in the shop. I had a double handed grip made for my Camos that protects it and keeps the Director's fingers off the screen.

Again, visit the Video Assist section of the Steadicam Forum and you'll find a lot about video transmitters and handheld Directors monitors from people who use them every day.

Good luck!

Robert Starling, SOC
Steadicam Owner Operator
Las Vegas

Edited by Robert Starling SOC, 29 September 2007 - 06:32 PM.

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#4 Jon Krol

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 06:56 AM

Hi Jon, there are several choices in video transmitters that range from junk, to sort of junk, to works wells, to feature and option laden.

You can find a huge amount of information over on the Steadicam Forum under the video assist section. One thing you should know is that many of these systems are not authorized for sale or use by the FCC here in the United States. On the other hand, they are common place and in use here, but sold mostly out of Canada or "wherever". Most of the ones that are legal in the US pretty much suck.

The quick run down is:

$250 gets you a single channel vhf or uhf transmitter that will get you by but you need to double check if the frequency / channel is already in-use in your town or the area you work in

$700 gets you a 6-9 channel version of the same thing both made by RF-Links in Canada. Mike Wilder at Image Gear is the contact and company that sells them.

$2100 used to get you a production grade 30+ channel model called a Modulus 3000 or and older 2000; both made by a company called CIT or Custom Interface Technology. The used 3000's in good shape are hard to find and if you do you'll pay close to new price on them since they are so sought after. They sell within an hour on the Forum.

The same company has been promising the Modulus 4000 as "coming soon" for years and even back in March had everyone phsyc'ed that it would ship around NAB... despite the pictures of a mock version, it's still vapor-ware. Plus that company is known to have customer service problems in a big way. Read the forums, make your own conclusions.

At $4000 the next step up is a CanaTrans made by Lentiquip. It has all the bells and whistles, doesn't look like a garage project and is considered by many as top of the line. The two complaints are it's expensive and a little large; about the size of 1/2 of a BetaSP tape 4x4x1.5 or so. It's a nice product.

There are a few other brands out there but I don't have experience with them.

I started with the $700 model and have compared it side-by-side / picture-to-picture same time and image with the Modulus and Canatrans units. Distance, signal, interference and picture quality were virtually indistiguishable. The CanaTrans may have a touch better image but not $3300 better.

The $700 model had to go back to the factory twice in four months and they replaced / repaired it overnight which was great. However, it weakened my confidence in the unit so I ponied up last month for the CanaTrans and keep the other unit as a backup and for rental. I simply cannot afford to take a chance. Love the CanaTrans quality, but the cost was a bite. Another option was two of the $700 models but... well... after using and working with a CanaTrans a friend loaned me while my unit was in the shop, I just did it.

On to monitors; David Hable at Cramped Attic customizes a handheld Camos 7" LCD TV/monitor with BNC connectors and Sony Info Lithium battery adapters. It's not cheap at $650 USD (including all the options) but it's nice and I own one. The old Curtis Best Buy version I started with for $129 is sitting on the shelf in the shop. I had a double handed grip made for my Camos that protects it and keeps the Director's fingers off the screen.

Again, visit the Video Assist section of the Steadicam Forum and you'll find a lot about video transmitters and handheld Directors monitors from people who use them every day.

Good luck!

Robert Starling, SOC
Steadicam Owner Operator
Las Vegas


Thanks Robert, your information is very helpful. Like I said, I don't need high end stuff, this is industrial work and the prod just needs to see what I'm shooting. She trusts me to get what she needs but I would like for her to see what I'm getting to save time stopping and looking playback on some shots. I will investigate the leads you've provided. Thank you.
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#5 Tony Brown

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:34 AM

Rent them first Jon..... other peoples mistakes will save you a lot of money....
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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 11:25 AM

Check out Nebtek.com. They upgrade the Camos LCD TV with camera battery backs and do it for less. We have them in rental and they work well.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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