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Teradek, based in California, is probably the best-known manufacturer of professional wireless video solutions. They just introduced two new models, the Ranger Micro for HD, and the Ranger Mk II for 4K, both with 6GHz and supposedly zero-delay wireless video transmission for live production. So far, we don’t have any information about availability or the price range. But let’s have a closer look!
At last year’s IBC, Teradek released the Teradek Bolt 6 lineup of wireless video transmitters and receivers. The Bolt 6 series was the first product to transmit and receive over the new U-NII 5 bandwidth, also known as the 6 GHz frequency band. If you are not familiar with this family of Teradek products, please check out our IBC 2022 coverage here.
The new Ranger comes in two different models, the Ranger Micro for HD transmission up to 1080p60 and the Ranger Mk II for up to 4K60p in HDR. Both are available in three different ranges: 229m/750ft, 762m/2500ft, or 1524m/5000ft (line of sight), with a V-Mount and a Gold-Mount option for the receiver.
Teradek claims that all models have almost zero delay, with an estimated transmission time of only 0,001 seconds, and visually lossless picture quality with AES-256 encryption between the transmitter and the receiver. Compared to the average latency time of 30,8ms for RF-based wireless video transmission, this would be a big step forward, especially for live events like TV sports broadcasts. As always, this has to be tested in real-world conditions first to see if there is really no delay at all.
With the Teradek Ranger, you have the option to operate in the 5 GHz band for general use, but the series also supports the new 6 GHz (U-NII 5) bandwidth, and you can gain access to 12 newly-opened RF channels to operate without interference. Just make sure that the 6 GHz (U-NII 5) band is supported in your part of the world. Teradek is providing some information about the support by region here.
The smaller Ranger Micro model is limited to an HD signal up to 1080p60 via HDMI or 3G-SDI and is available in three different transmission ranges: 229m/750ft, 762m/2500ft, or 1524m/5000ft. However, only the 1524m/5000ft model offers the broadcast mode for Point-to-Multipoint and Multicast-Mode workflow. The transmitter has a small LCD screen on the side with a joystick for menu control, and the receiver has either a V-Mount or Gold-Mount battery plate.
The larger Ranger Mk II model transmits a 4K 10-bit HDR signal and comes in three different transmission ranges: 229m/750ft or 762m/2500ft or 1524m/5000ft. Again, only the 1524m/5000ft model offers the broadcast mode for Point-to-Multipoint and Multicast-Mode workflow. The transmitter has a small LCD screen on the side with a joystick for menu control. The receiver can be ordered either with a V-Mount or Gold-Mount battery plate.
The new Ranger series is designed to pair with any combination of Ranger TX and RX, regardless of the model, so you can scale up your production to any required size.
There are basically three different ways Ranger can be used in video applications:
Additionally, you can configure Ranger from your phone and command your wireless workflow. Pair the transmitters and receivers, and then measure and analyze the frequency and amplitude of a signal. You can also view the strength of a live channel for licensed and unlicensed bands and monitor your live RF spectrum bandwidth. The Teradek Launchpad App is available for iPad and at Google Play.
So far, we don’t have any information about price and availability of these products. For further information about the Rangers series, please visit Teradek’s website here.
What do you think about these new 6GHz wireless video units? Do you think the upgrade is worth it? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments down below!
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Jürgen Moors is a freelance filmmaker based in Vienna Austria. As a pilot he is passionate about all sorts of aerial photography, but he is also working on the ground as a production manager, producer, director, editor and camera operator. Jürgen has over 35 years of experience in several departments in the film business.