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Wireless Video (Pros/Cons/Experience)

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by Chris Chapman, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

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    So I am very tired of running cable to my video projectors or setting up a DVD player or a PC in an odd place. Has anybody tried running wireless video in a Theatre/concert setting? What are some of the traps to look our for and what is the entry price point on the gear? I know video over CAT5 is the fast and cheap way lots of folks are dealing with this too, but I'd like to skip the cable runs.

    My design sense is moving more and more into projection. Last year I did a great version of "The Hobbit" with digital scenery streaming from a Mac running PowerPoint being controlled by Rosco Keystroke from my Lightboard. We tend to do a lot of video in concerts too.

    Any clues for the clueless would be appreciated,

    Thanks,
    -Chris
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Reliable wireless video is expensive. Video takes up a lot of bandwidth. I would not suggest going the "entry level" route, because that stuff is intended so you can put a TV out on your deck or a security camera on your driveway. It is not reliable. If you want to run anything mission critical on wireless, you will end up spending at least 3-4k. Its similar to wireless com, you will spend the money or it won't work.

    Unless you absoulutly can not run the cable, I would go the cabled option.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I have a Videocomm Technologies TC-5808 5.8 Ghz wireless transmitter/receiver kit. It works. But not all that well. My theater has steel EVERYWHERE and I have a very difficult time getting a decent signal on this setup (cell phone service is a mess too so you may have better results in your space). I'm using it for a booth/backstage monitor. And it's fine for that. But I would be very skeptical of trying to use it for projection.

    On the flip side I have an Extron setup I use for running powerpoint presentation. It takes VGA in, converts it to Cat5 and runs to the booth where it gets converted to composite video and sent up to the projector. The total distance traveled is probably 150 feet. It works really well and has very good image quality.
     
  4. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Wireless video is not possible. Well, it is if you're Television, but if you're not, forget it. But even if you're television, there's so much delay it's crazy. When you're watching your favorite sports game, the hard cameras are delayed back to the field cameras, and then if there's any digital transmission in that signal path, there's more delay there. Your favorite sports game on TV might be easily 15 seconds behind reality.
     
  5. wadeace

    wadeace Member

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    its not as bad as you may think. avocent has a system that may only cost you $2000 for a complete hdmi, or dvi plus audio system that runs over 802.11 i also saw that markertek.com had some other options on 802.11.
    its true that the most reliable systems are expensive, but the price is coming down. and the delay is not really there any more with new microwave technologies. you have a better chance of getting delay on vyvx than you do with a microwave system. the 15 sec thing for broadcast is not the wireless on site of the event, its the steps it takes after its mixed, and its actually more like 1 to 5 minuets.

    so heres a rundown.
    the wireless cameras are at reality they get mixed and set for to what you would see on tv, then a 1 to 15 sec delay is intentionally put on the video (this is a safety to prevent foul material from going to air. it allows you to hit a dump button that dumps the delay and skip the foul part) the feed is than sent via satellite and down to network switch location where it is distributed to the affiliates via satellite an vyvx where it is branded as "live".
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  6. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

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    I can tell you that I run wireless video(media server) in my apartment and it chokes enough that its annoying, but I haven't had time to buy another 50 foot Cat 6 cable yet. Go wired if you can or its gonna be expensive to do properly.
     
  7. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Someone was talking about a system running on 802.11. That in my books is reason enough to be worried. I'm sorry but reliable and consumer are diametrically opposed. You can get reliable video links. Broadcast camera links are such a beast. They generally run about 2.5 GHz. You'll need a licence from your local regulator.

    99% of cameras these days run digitally. Once you AD the signal, there is very little time difference in sending it by RF link vs sending it by triax or fibre. There may in fact be less because you may have a significantly longer cable than line of sight distance... If you uplink an OB via satellite you add about 2 seconds of delay. If you uplink via fibre or microwave link, that delay lessens. I have seen the Sydney NYE fireworks with only about a second of delay between what I see off the balcony and what I see on TV. Most delays in broadcast are there to deal with either unpredictable hosts, unpredictable guests and those sorts of things where censoring is relevant and to make sure that a live thing matches up properly at the end of an ad break. ie they are intentionally added...

    Others have mentioned VGA over UTP, there are also DVI over fibre products out there for when you need a greater distance and / or the other benefits of fibre or DVI (say the complete isolation fibre gives to EMI).
     
  8. wadeace

    wadeace Member

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    why should i be worried about sending video over 802.11 when its the only thing the devices do. I'm not talking about a system that runs off a network.

    which arez, this is not what were talking about, your situation is that you have a server that you keep your videos on and share it thought a wireless network, most likely 802.11g. your running into network bandwidth issues. if you don't want to, or cant run the cat5 cable to the server you might want to try upgrading to 802.11n the new n protocol allows for a higher data throughput at greater distances.
     
  9. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    In the middle of nowhere fine, but where there are other 802.11 systems in place, and from what I'm reading into Chris's request this is not a fixed venue system, you run substantial likelihood of interference. That and 2G4 is full of devices anyway and any one of them could interrupt your transmission. I'm a big fan of cable when it matters. (We'll call fibre cable for now).
     
  10. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    But 802.11* are network protocols. If packets arrive in the wrong order, the video glitches. It's totally not suitable for any production application, at least in my mind.
     
  11. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Now recognising I work in a different realm of production to what many people around here experience, I'm not sure we could do what we do without 802.11. But the key is what it gets used for. It gets used for networks, things like allowing wireless tablet control of DLPs or other processors, wirelessly connecting to a rack of UHF-Rs to monitor signal strength and other such information. But to use it in something where dropped packets mattered, like streaming audio or video, well do so at your own peril. I've had some bad experiences even with streaming audio across ethernet and that was with a dedicated gigabit setup (well it was using partitioned switches and lots of fibre). Copper may be heavy and a number of other things but it tends to be more reliable than any of the new fangled technologies...
     
  12. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Sort of off topic, but when all the hoopla started here in the US regarding frequency reallocations, White Space and wireless mics, I really thought that one of the major consequences would be people reassessing their use of wireless mics. Wireless mics are a virtual necessity in some applications but I thought that many might determine that wired mics might are a viable alternative that avoid all the potential problems (and minimize any potential cost if an existing wireless system does need to be replaced). However, I have seen very few indications of this happening, we seem to have become so convenience oriented that we readily accept the potential reduced reliability and other possible negative implications in favor of the ease and convenience of wireless devices. Ask someone who is simply going to be standing in one spot using a mic if they would prefer wired or wireless and they will almost inevitably select wireless as though a wired mic is somehow the lesser option. We really seem to be becoming a society where "wired" is perceived as inherently negative (just don't let everyone know about all the wires inside those wireless devices).
     
  13. Anvilx

    Anvilx Active Member

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    I setup a video projection system on 802.11G. In consisted of a nice NEC projector that featured a cat 5 port connected to one end of a wireless bridge via cat 5 cable with a laptop on the other end, note i don't remember if i used the laptops wifi or the other end of the wireless bridge. Since it was only for a power point presentation the quality was fine. however there was a little bit of lag from the time that the presentation was advanced on the pc to the time it advanced on the projector. The thing about people walking in and compromising the network in some form or fashion isn't such a big deal because how many people whip out an 802.11 device like a phone or a PC during a performance.
     
  14. wadeace

    wadeace Member

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    those aren't wires there circuit boards

    i think that binging up wireless mics is a great example. we are willing to compete with cellphones, TV stations, two way radios, cordless phones, and many other unknowns in that spectrum its insane.

    so my question is that why cant we do the same with video.


    also, just because it uses the 802.11 protocol doesn't mean there will be drooped packets. my understanding of the technology is that it creates a point to point connection with the sender and receiver. this connection is not as susceptible to dropouts because it doesn't have other devices to to compete with. in a normal network thee will be lots of devices all trying to ping at once, if they cant get the message across the packet is doped. however in this mini network its not as chaotic.
     
  15. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    How about those bits at the end of every board mounted component?
     
  16. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

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    I know its not what we're talking about, my point was to say that video transmission isn't cheap, not matter what you do, and wireless transmission is not very reliable. I actually meant to put a disclaimer in my original post saying that it wasn't the same thing, but I had decided against it.

    For the record though, it is a draft-n wireless option network with a cat 6 wired option. However I'm moving it up to fibre once I get the cards in next week.
     
  17. wadeace

    wadeace Member

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    avkid, it was my sad attempt at a joke.

    arez your saying that you have videos stored on a server that is connected over wireless with a draft n card, and you are having lag issues. what are you trying to send?
     

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