Review: Pro-X XW-HDU05 Wireless HD-SDI System

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We have flirted with the idea of a wireless camera for a long while now. Our 3.5T OB Unit is finally up to a nice HD spec and able to handle pretty much all we’ve thrown at it. On the … Continue reading

Tue 15 Jul 2014

Stefan Stanciu


We have flirted with the idea of a wireless camera for a long while now. Our 3.5T OB Unit is finally up to a nice HD spec and able to handle pretty much all we’ve thrown at it. On the vision side of things we’re running three HXC-100 HD camera chains with a fourth smaller camera (Sony EX1R) on a 3m jib. We were pleased at how well the EX1R matches up to the HXC100 cameras and therefore thought to add a further EX1R as a wireless camera.The search began for an affordable system with decent quality, good range, zero latency and HD SDI inputs/outputs. There are several manufacturers out there offering systems for somewhat under £2k, however they fail short on either range, latency or connectors.

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Our good friends over at TNP Broadcast suggested the Pro-X. I have to confess that I had not heard of them. However, we decided to give it a go as the XW-HDU05 unit really did tick all the boxes.

We had a week long event in North Wales which consisted of daily music programs. Our main focus with the wireless camera was the band. The XW-HDU05 comes with two units, the Transmitter and Receiver Units. Both units have the same physical shape, size and mounting. They are designed to attach to a camera shoe mount. On the camera side this was perfect! The best possible place to place the unit on the EX1R. Remember the EX1R does not have a large battery mount. However I have to say I was a little baffled as to how/where I should best place the receiver. There are plenty of adaptors available from either tripod or microphone stand to shoe mount so mounting isn’t really an issue. If like us, you’re running a multi camera rig, then the shoe mount actually enables the receiver to attach to one of the other cameras giving it a good height.

We mounted our receiver on our camera jib as it was the closest point to the band. Our jib also has a V- lock battery for the motorised head so this gave us the necessary D-Tap DC out we needed to power the receiver.

On the camera, we are using SWIT S8U63 heavy duty battery which also has a D-

Tap out. This enabled us to run the camera and the transmitter from the same battery. A short SDI cable is all that’s needed to connect the camera to the transmitter.
Once both units were powered up they found each other and there was no need to do anything else. The signal quality is excellent with no visible degradation and no visible delay either. Delay is a deal-breaker when it comes to using wireless cameras as part of a live mix. If the wireless camera has delay compared to the other wired cameras then the image from the wireless will be out of sync with the other cameras and also the sound. Range was excellent, we pushed it to over 35-40m without issues, this was in an environment full of RF signals. It operates anywhere between 5.1 – 5.9 GHz according to the manufacturer so its somewhat away from WiFi and Cell Tower frequencies.

We did manage to get the system to lose sync slightly when we were filming in obscure positions and no longer had line of sight to the receiver. It does however regain signal quickly. We really had to push it to lose signal though. Another observation, once the camera battery got to the last 25% of its charge, the signal was affected. I guess this is down to the drop in voltage.

We were very impressed with the XW-HDU05 and it proved its reliability day after day. Features- wise there isn’t much to report as beside the power switch and the battery level indicators the units only have a status light. Whatever signal and resolution is fed into the transmitter, that’s what will come out of the receiver. In our case, it was 1080i50. I also should mention that both the transmitter and receiver units have a Sony NP470 battery mount. This is particularly useful if you don’t have a D-Tap available.

receiverWe at SECmedia are happy to give the XW-HDU05 a thumbs up as it offers great value for money as well as excellent performance. Upon returning the unit to TNP Broadcast, we placed an order for one ourselves.