Wireless Video System FAQ
Common questions on ARRI's Wireless Video System
Common questions on ARRI's Wireless Video System
With the ALEXA SXT W we introduced an integrated HD wireless video transmitter. The ALEXA LF continued using this built-in technology.
The ALEXA SXT W replaces the ALEXA SXT Plus and ALEXA SXT Studio cameras. The ALEXA SXT W is based on the ALEXA SXT Plus, with the addition of a wireless video transmitter, a WiFi radio and a new internal board that allows faster frame grabs.
The new ALEXA line-up includes:
We offer an affordable upgrade from an ALEXA SXT Plus to an ALEXA SXT W and from an ALEXA SXT EV to an ALEXA SXT W.
In case of an upgrade from ALEXA SXT Plus to ALEXA SXT W, the upgrade includes:
As before, we also have upgrade options from ALEXA XT to SXT cameras and from ALEXA SXT EV to ALEXA SXT Plus.
ARRI had the hardware and software of the wireless video transmitter and receiver modified to comply with ARRI’s stringent performance and quality requirements. Therefore the ARRI WVS is not compatible with other systems on the market. In addition, this ensures that all components of the ARRI WVS work seamlessly together and all adhere to the same high quality standards, from the high input voltage range to the easy one-button pairing.
No. The Transvideo Starlite ARRI‑WVS monitor is only compatible with the ARRI Wireless Video System and does not have control functions for ALEXA Mini. There is another Transvideo monitor that does that: the Transvideo StarliteRF-a. However, the StarliteRF-a needs a Transvideo transmitter on the ALEXA Mini for the remote control functions. While it would have been desirable to have both functions in one Starlite monitor, this was technically not possible.
The Transvideo Starlite ARRI‑WVS monitor has a much smaller receiver board inside than the ARRI Wireless Video Receiver WVR‑1, and so covers less distance. While the WVR‑1 should be able to receive a signal from as much as 600 m (2,000 feet), the Starlite ARRI‑WVS is rated for about 200 m (660 feet).
These are new dual-band high performance antennas that will work with all three radios on the ALEXA LF and ALEXA SXT W. They can be attached to the wireless video (5 GHz, blue ring), WiFi (2.4 GHz, white ring) and ARRI ECS (2.4 GHz, white ring) antenna connectors. Please note that the old ARRI ECS antennas have no color ring and should only be used for WiFi and ECS. The old antennas should not be attached to the wireless video antenna connectors on the camera or to any connector on the WVT‑1 or WVR‑1.
While at this time we do not supply high gain antenna panels for the ARRI receiver WVR‑1, such panels available from other vendors are compatible with the ARRI receiver WVR‑1.
Yes, the ARRI WVS can be used to transmit and monitor HDR images as it transmits a 10 bit signal.
The pairing procedure for the ARRI Wireless Video System devices is a fast and easy one-button process. Essentially, you turn on one transmitter/receiver pair at a time and then pair them. Please note that the pairing process for each of the receivers must be done while the other receivers are turned off.
The number of WVS systems (one system being one transmitter and up to four receivers) in parallel depends on the number of channels available, which is different for each region, and on the radio noise present. In general, 4 to 6 systems can work in parallel.
The transmitter built into the ALEXA LF, ALEXA SXT W and the stand-alone transmitter WVT‑1 in combination with the receiver WVR‑1 cover as much as 600 m (2,000 feet) within line of sight. The Transvideo Starlite ARRI‑WVS monitor has a much smaller receiver board inside than the ARRI Wireless Video Receiver WVR‑1, and so covers less distance, it works for about 200 m (660 feet) within line of sight. Note: The minimum distance for all units is at least 1m/3 feet. The system does not work very well if you get transmitter and receiver any closer to each other.
Depending on your set-up and the power consumption of the additional accessories, one L series battery might not be able to supply enough power through the PWR OUT connector of the WVR‑1. In that case, either add a second L series battery or use the Receiver Power Supply RPS-1.
The ARRI Wireless Video System uses the 5GHz unlicensed frequency band (blue antenna color code), while the ALEXA LF and SXT W WiFi and ECS radios work in the 2.4 GHz range (white antenna color code). The new antennas we supply work for both bands and have a blue and a white ring. The old antennas have no ring and should only be used for WiFi and ECS.
No, in most countries selecting a frequency band manually is not legal. Instead, the system automatically and continually scans the airwaves and selects frequency channels with low interference levels. This is called DFS - Dynamic Frequency Selection. In DFS, all channels are continuously monitored and ranked for immediate use by the WVS. In case of interference on any channel, the system immediately hops to a better channel without losing even a single pixel of video.
The HD wireless video transmission includes 2 channel embedded audio, timecode and the HD-SDI REC flag.
During the development phase of the Wireless Video System we experimented with a large range of antennas, including very pretty integrated antennas and strange mushroom shaped omnidirectional antennas. In the end we found that a certain type of stick antenna provided the most robust transmission, especially if transmitter and receiver are not perfectly aligned, as is often the case when the camera is hand held. Also, these antennas cover a large range of frequencies in the 2,4 and 5 GHz bands, allowing the transmitter and receiver to negotiate their frequency based on the largest range of options. Many third party antennas cover only a small part of the 5 GHz spectrum, and thus limit the system's ability to re-negotiate frequencies.
Based on all available information, it is safe to operate these radios on the camera.
The FCC in the US, the European Union and other countries require any device that emits radio waves close to the human body to pass the so called SAR test, which the ARRI WVS devices easily passed. SAR stands for "Specific Absorption Rate", and is a measure of the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to a radio frequency electromagnetic field.
The transmission and the video output of the WVS devices are 10 bit. This is important since 8 bit is not enough for monitoring HDR images, but 10 bit is.
No, the WVS takes whatever signal comes from the camera and outputs it without any modifications. In general, we recommend to make color changes (3D LUTs and CDL values) centrally in the camera, as that ensures that everyone on set sees the same image. It also ensures that the color metadata gets recorded with the master images for faster dailies creation, proxies creation and editing with the intended look.
At this point in time the WiFi of the ALEXA LF and ALEXA SXT W offers only access point mode, which means that external devices can connect to the ALEXA WiFi network, but the ALEXA cameras with integrated WiFi cannot log into existing WiFi networks.
The use of devices on the 5 GHz frequency band requires regional certifications which will be provided by ARRI for the countries listed below. To comply with regional certifications, different regional software versions will be installed on the Wireless Video devices by ARRI manufacturing or ARRI Service Centers.
Region Settings for integrated HD-video transmitters in ALEXA LF and ALEXA SXT W, Wireless Video Transmitter WVT‑1 and Wireless Video Receiver WVR‑1:
Region Setting Australia:
Australia, New Zealand
Region Setting Canada:
*It is legal using the ARRI WVS devices in the USA with the Canada region setting. However, the Canada region setting uses nine different frequencies while the USA region setting uses 11 different frequencies. This may limit the maximum amount of WVS devices on the same set.
Region Setting China:
Region Setting Europe:
Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
Region Setting Japan:
Region Setting Middle East:
Region Setting South Korea:
Region Setting Thailand:
Region Setting USA:
The Transvideo Starlite ARRI‑WVS monitor with built-in receiver is only certified for Europe, USA, Canada and Japan.
If a customer wants to use the ARRI WVS in a country other than the country it is currently programmed for, ARRI Service can change the regional software. Only devices with the same regional software version are compatible with each other.