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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #1
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Wireless Video Transmitting?

Among other things, I shoot choral concerts for local schools. I have one school (our best client), that likes to have their last concert of the year set up so they can view it backstage. Up to now, I was simply running a coax cable from my wide angle camera to their backstage area. However, as a single person operation, laying and taping down this wire is very time consuming and tedious. It requires more time and energy than running a snake and multiple mics from the stage to my mixer and cameras!

Does anyone have suggestions for sending the video and audio wirelessly with a budget? I've looked at many systems that praise their "clear line of sight" performance, but this is a modern school that will require the signal to pass through a couple of walls. Not knowing how much this will get used, I am leery of putting much money into it. However, I do want it to work well under the circumstances and pay for itself in convenience.

It only needs to feed from a single, stationary camera - no live editing.

Any ideas, experiences or thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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Keep using your cable solution. You're not going to find anything that will work well through multiple walls if you're on a budget.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 02:59 PM   #3
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No radio system at any price is as reliable as a piece of cable. You may save twenty minutes running it and taping it down, but it will work great every single time. If only we could say that about RF, which seems to need the wind to be in the right direction and for the person aiming the antenna to have x-ray vision!

The microwave kit currently available is pretty good, compared with what went before, but soooo expensive. All those cheap RF senders meant to get pictures from one room to another at home are pretty awful things.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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Thanks, Gentlemen. I was afraid of that.

It did occur to me that I may be able to rig some type of adapter to make use of the 1/4" sends on the snake for part of the run. That's 100' I wouldn't have to bother with. It's worth a shot, I suppose. :)
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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #5
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Much depends on the snake individual core specs. They sure won't be 75Ohm, but I can squeeze video down my 50m one, although it's clear high frequencies suffer - there is a loss of fine detail, but the loss is ok - the sync problem when the pulse level drops too much isn't present. a 1/4" to phono adaptor, with a phono to BNC socket works ok both ends for me.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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I need to test it, but I'm thinking I can run RCA component cables (one audio, one video) directly from my camera to RCA to 1/4" mono adapters and plug them into my snake's 1/4" sends. At the stage end, from the snake box, use 1/4" phone plugs to RCA cables and connect them into my r/f modulator that will convert the audio and video signals to plain old coax cable. Then I just have to run the coax from there to where the monitor is set up.

Sounds complex but provided it works, it takes out 100 ft of coax to tape down. That's probably nearly half or more the length of the run. I also have a coax signal amp if I need it.

Any reason why that shouldn't work?
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #7
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No - it probably would, I can do it with my audio snake, a 1/4" jack to phono socket, then a short cable to the camera shouldn't be a problem. Electrically, it's attenuation and capacitance that are the unknown factors. Lose too much down the very thin conductors in some snakes and the 1V p-p signal will go down, the sync pulse, which is a third of that level will go down too, and if it drops outside the range the kit on the other end is happy with, then the picture will lose lock and roll - or as often happens on modern kit, the picture just mutes. The capacitance of the cable will mean you'll lose some of the higher frequencies, and this would show up on a test chart, but as it just gradually degrades, depending on what you are doing with it the other, people might not notice. I've sent video down 50m of audio cable to a projector and it's been fine. Just difficult to predict as audio cable rarely has frequency response or attenuation specs available.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 08:54 PM   #8
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Thank you once again to my friend across the pond. As soon as I get the chance, I'm going to give a try at home. I don't need any surprises the evening of that taping. It stresses me out enough getting the cameras, mics and soundboard lead set up.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 08:55 AM   #9
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If anyone is curious, the technique of running the audio and video signals down the 1/4" phone jacks on the snake worked flawlessly!! 100' down the snake, to an RF modulator at the stage, which sent the signal down another 125' of coaxial cable to backstage with no noticeable signal loss - all without the use of the signal amp. They even threw me a curve ball and had me plug the signal into a video projector rather than a standard television.

I ended up patching the audio for the feed directly from my soundboard that was handling the stage mics, giving the backstage feed stereo sound that was better than what the audience was hearing live (less the solo mic vocals)!

Thanks for tips and encouragement. It's nice to know that I can now add this service to our others now that it has been tried and tested.
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