In a recent article here on the DVT blog, we looked at the Teradek Cube, a powerful wireless video transmitter that combines web streaming, monitoring and point-to-point broadcasting on one box. While the Cube is a fantastic all-in-one solution, Teradek also manufactures a range of other products that focus much more specifically on key areas of the video production process, improving and, in many cases, radically improving them.
In this article, we're going to take an in-depth look at two of these products – the Teradek Bolt and COLR. Let's see what they can do!
Wireless monitoring with the Teradek Bolt
Like the Cube, Teradek's Bolt range offers production crews the ability to stream video wirelessly from one place to another. The difference however, is that the Bolt focuses almost exclusively on monitoring, making it a common sight on film sets large and small. Part of the reason for the Bolt's ubiquity is the range of different models available. The most affordable option is Bolt 300, with a transmission range of 300 feet and latency of less than 0.001 seconds. This incredibly low latency is what really sets the Bolt apart from other wireless monitoring solutions like the Cube.
Every product in the Bolt family has the same 1080p, 60fps resolution and frame rate.
At the other end of the spectrum, the top-of-the-line Bolt 3000 has a whopping range of 3,000 feet. These newer versions also offer Rapid Reconnect, which allows the Bolt to work in rugged conditions and reconnect quickly after a signal is lost or when the unit returns to operational range.
Regardless of which option best suits your needs and budget, every product in the Bolt family has the same 1080p, 60fps resolution and frame rate. This makes the units perfect for any situation where directors or any other members of the crew need to monitor what a camera is recording in HD, without any latency.
Wireless grading with the Teradek COLR
So, with the Bolt it's possible to remotely monitor a camera's signal. The problem though, is that often this raw footage will be incredibly different to the final product, making it more difficult for directors and DOPs to make decisions about lighting, framing and other elements of the cinematography. The ideal solution would be to monitor 'pre-graded' footage to get a sense of what it will look like after post-production, and this is exactly what the Teradek COLR provides.
The COLR is a real-time LUT box, and as we've delved into in previous articles, LUTs are powerful tools that allow us to view footage in a different way. The classic example here is log footage, which is flat until after it has been graded. The COLR applies a preset or custom-defined LUT to this footage, giving a glimpse of how each frame will look after it's been through post-production. The COLR can also be used to calibrate unconventional monitors (such as an iPad) and ensure they're accurately representing the recorded footage. Here's what ProVideo Coalition had to say about the COLR in a recent review:
"COLRs simplify the complex nature of the on-set grading process for independent filmmakers, especially when limited output resources are available. The COLR workflow then allows the camera's native video signal to be recorded externally at its highest quality, while simultaneously being distributed around the set."
Keen to view the Bolt and COLR in action? Check out the video below to see both pieces of equipment being used during the production of HBO's Westworld. For any other questions about all things production, contact DVT today.
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