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Friday, January 17, 2014

REVIEW - Radian Pro Wireless HD Video

Radian Pro Wireless HDMI Video From Camera Motion Research
Radian Pro Wireless HD Video From Camera Motion Research

A few weeks ago Camera Motion Research, the manufacturer of the critically acclaimed Blackbird stabilizer (review here), launched their professional wireless HD video set for the US market and now they also made a version available for Europe! I've had the great opportunity to try it out the last couple of days and I'm happy to be able to share my experiences with you.

Radian Pro Wireless HD Video Set

The CMR Radian wireless HD video set is manufactured with Amimon WHDI professional quality chip sets for best uncompressed resolutions and frame rates up to full 1080P(60). The system has near zero latency and line-of-sight range of over 300 feet (90 meters)! A connection between the Radian transmitter and receiver is established in just a few seconds and it automatically selects the best channel to use. Even if you have never used a wireless system before, you will be up and running in no-time.

Here's a quick video showing how long it takes for the Radian Pro wireless video system to link the transmitter to the receiver. A longer video demonstration with the system in action will be added at a later point in time.

The Radian system is available in two flavours. The Radian Pro unicast for connecting one transmitter to one receiver and the Radian MC multicast for connecting one transmitter to up to 4 receivers simultaneously. The one I'm reviewing here is the unicast version. The system is shipped with many different parts. You'll receive HDMI and USB power cables, remote, power adapter and of course the Radian transmitter and receiver. All perfectly packed with a quick start guide. In order to be able to use the system you will need some kind of power and mounting solution for your camera and monitor, and that's what we're going to discuss now. So please take some time to (re)fill your favourite coffee mug and I'll wait here for you to return.

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Radian Pro wireless HD video transmitter in use

CamLink TX and RX Backbones

OK, lets continue with the next chapter: mounting solutions. I wouldn't recommend plugging the transmitter directly into the HDMI output of your camera. During camera operation the HDMI port or connector could get damaged and it will be very expensive to get it repaired. Further more, in order to get the highest range possible, it's best to keep it free from things blocking it. Same goes for the receiver part. Both will also need power supply and with the included power adapter you are limited to stay close to a power outlet. Unless you don't mind carrying a few extra feet of extension cord with you. But it kinda takes the fun away of going wireless!

So what's the solution then? Well it's quite simple actually. Camera Motion Research has designed something clever for this. They call it the CamLink TX and RX Backbones ($189). The TX Backbone stands for transmitter and the RX Backbone for receiver. These backbones are made from milled anodized aluminum and will protect the original HDMI connector and provide you with several mounting options thanks to three ¼-20 threaded mounting holes on each backbone. It also comes with a camera hot shoe mount and thumb studs with locking nut accessories for easy mounting to camera, monitor or other rigs. USB power cables and thin HDMI cables are also included. The CamLink TX and RX Backbones are an essential accessory for reliable and easy mounting of the Radian wireless video system to your camera, monitor or any other rig.

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CMR CamLink TX and RX Backbones for easy mounting solutions
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These adjustable chrome plated battery clips will work with multiple brands of USB batteries

The backbones have chrome plated battery clips installed which can be adjusted in height and enables multiple brands of widely available USB lithium batteries to be used with the Radian. CMR has done extensive testing over the last couple of months and also sells very reliable USB Anker Astro batteries that can power the set for over 6 hours on a single charge or even up to 10 hours when using the larger battery. When your camera or monitor battery has a D-tap output, you can also get the CamLink D-tap Converter to directly power the Radian transmitter or receiver without the need of an USB battery.

Radian Custom Case

Of course a nice wireless video set like this deserves good storage to keep everything neat and tidy and protected when traveling. That's why there's also a Custom Case ($85) available for the Radian wireless system components. You can store up to 4 batteries inside with plenty of room for all the power and HDMI cables, USB battery charger, hot shoe adaptors, thumb studs and the Radian Pro transmitter and receiver with the Backbones still attached to them. You can also use it to store the Radian multicast transmitter, two receivers with backbones attached and 5 or 6 batteries. So there's plenty of room to keep everything at hand.

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Nice custom case for the Radian Pro is also available
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Radian wireless system components are safely stored inside the case

CamLink Monitor Yoke

Camera Motion Research didn't stop after creating the CamLink Backbones, the Radian Pro Wireless Video Set and a Custom Radian case. They also developed a Director's CamLink Monitor Yoke to complement the set. This will make it very easy to hold the monitor and receiver in your hands, while staying flexible enough to walk around on set.

The monitor yoke is very lightweight yet remains extremely sturdy and has comfortable hand grips. The height is adjustable and can take monitors up to 10 in. wide. There are six 1/4-20 threaded holes on the top and bottom of the yoke, so you can easily attach the receiver on top with the CamLink Backbone and have plenty more places to mount other accessories. It costs $89 and can even be used as a small Fig Rig-like camera stabilisation device for your DSLR camera.

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Director's CamLink monitor yoke with plenty of mounting options
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Radian Pro wireless HD video receiver mounted on the CamLink monitor yoke


Camera Motion Research created a fantastic product with easy plug and play operation and added some very handy accessories to take all the hassle away for the customer. A connection between the transmitter and receiver is established within a few seconds and it selects the best channel automatically on power up and seamlessly switches channels when needed during operation. There's no visible lag and it has a great range with full HD uncompressed resolution.

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Radian on the Blackbird
The Radian wireless HD video system provides new possibilities for cable free video connections. Making it the ideal tool for camera crane operation, follow focus assistants and working with Steadicam and (multi-axis) stabilizer devices. Clients and directors/DPs don't have to look over your shoulder anymore while filming, which makes things much easier for everyone involved in the production. And all for an incredible low price, which truly sets it apart from the competition with amazing accessories to boost. If you have been waiting for a high quality yet affordable wireless HD video system, then this is the one to go for!

For more information about the Radian system: click here.

Please note: The Radian Pro unicast set and Radian Pro multicast set are available in both an US and EU version. The US version can be purchased through B&H and the EU version can be bought directly from Camera Motion Research:

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