Wireless video transmission has replaced a good amount of SDI cables on film sets around the globe by now. It’s reliable, delay-free and it used to offer decent 1080p quality. At this year’s NAB show in Las Vegas, Teradek introduced their new line of Bolt 4K wireless video transmitters and receivers. Among them: the ultra-performing Bolt 4K MAX – which is now shipping.
4K 10-Bit 4:2:2 zero-delay HDR wireless video up to 5000ft, that’s the promise if you implement the Bolt 4K MAX system to your workflow. That sounds a bit like pushing the laws of physics but I must admit, it seems to be a very capable setup even for the most demanding setups. The MAX is, of course, the flagship product in the Bolt line of wireless video systems by Teradek and you get what you pay for.
Teradek Bolt 4K MAX
Teradek offers a kind of modular system in order to build your very own Bolt 4K MAX setup: both the transmitter and the receiver sport multiple antenna ports which you can fit with either vertically polarized omnidirectional antennas (“V” Antennas) or, in order to improve range and signal strength, you can attach two so-called horizontally polarized omnidirectional antennas (“H” antennas) to the outer ports of each device.
To really push the system to its limit (and to the advertised 5000ft range) you’ll need an external dish antenna array to which the receiver module attaches. You’ll have to equip that receiver with a dual battery mount for this to work. For more in-depth intel about the correct choice of antennas, head over to Teradek’s knowledge base article here.
The whole Teradek Bolt 4K MAX system is a no-compromise version of the company’s already very capable Bolt 4K line of wireless video systems. It really is MAX in range, MAX in performance and, you guessed it, MAX in price.
In terms of connectivity, the Bolt 4K MAX offers 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 inputs plus a loop-through 12G-SDI out on the transmitter and two 12G-SDI outputs plus an HDMI 2.0 output on the receiver unit.
Cross-conversion from HDMI to SDI is built-in and signals up to YCbCr 4:2:2, 10-bit/ HDMI: RGB 4:4:4, 8-bit can be processed with virtually zero-delay from TX to RX modules. When using SDI as an input, Bolt 4k MAX can transmit metadata, timecode, and start/stop flags from most camera manufacturers as part of the data stream.
The 4K MAX can handle HD, as it can handle 4K. The following resolutions are being supported:
- 480p50 576p59.94/60
You also can cross-convert incoming HD to output 4K on the receiver or vice-versa, if your attached monitor can’t handle 4K resolutions. Embedded audio is supported too, up to 48kHz 24-bit PCM can travel alongside the video stream. In broadcast mode, a single transmitter can broadcast to multiple receivers and each RX unit can cross-convert the incoming signal to match the device downstream. You can control each device directly on the unit or by using the dedicated Bolt 4K app.
Both, Gold mount and V-mount versions are available.
The Teradek Bolt 4K MAX system leaves nothing to be desired but all that functionality comes at a premium and you’ll need (very) deep pockets to get it. Maybe one of the other tiers, such as the Bolt 4K 750 or the 1500 (feet, that is) might be a better, as in slightly more affordable, choice. But if you just want it all, a non-compromise powerhouse, the 4K MAX is for you!
Do you use wireless video systems? What do you think about wireless 4K video? Share your thoughts in the comments below!