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IDX: Multi-camera links via WiFi

A new WiFi-based camera link aimed at cable free multi-camera production has been launched by IDX. The CW-F25 uses standard 802.11n technology to keep costs down, but to deliver the quality needed to mix seamlessly with wired camera systems it uses 4×4 MIMO channels with OFDM/64QAM modulation, giving a maximum data rate of 300mbps.

This supports H.264/25Mbps high profile video with four channels of embedded audio and timecode data. It also supports a second video stream over the link from an IP camera or the Gigabit Ethernet connector on the receiver that can be used to route the main feed into an IP server or network.

The signal is resistant to interference on the popular 5GHz frequency band through the use of beam forming technology, which has the added advantage of increasing the wireless range to a maximum of 400 metres utilising the standard antennas. Optional external patch antennas are available for both the transmitter and receiver to give a maximum transmission range of 2km where delay is still an acceptable six frames.

To increase the resilience of the link, it uses dynamic frequency selection to scan nine possible working frequencies to determine which will deliver the best performance, while breaks in the transmission are prevented by adaptive variable bit rate, which will decrease signal quality if anything affects the link rather than cut to black.

Return video, intercom, tally and RS-422 remote control are also supported over the link. The CW-F25 should be available early next year.