ALEXA SXT goes wireless
In a move that will increase efficiency on set, ARRI has integrated a high-quality and low-latency HD video transmitter and a WiFi radio into the new ALEXA SXT W model ("W" for Wireless). Based on the popular ALEXA SXT Plus, the SXT W will replace the ALEXA SXT Plus and ALEXA SXT Studio models. As always, there are attractive upgrade options for existing owners of ALEXA SXT EV and ALEXA SXT Plus cameras.
The new hardware will be accompanied by software upgrade SXT SUP 2.0, which adds improved HDR monitoring, support for current SxS PRO+ and CFast 2.0 cards, quicker frame grabs, various WCU-4 and lens motor features, and other refinements.
Having a video transmitter built into the ALEXA SXT W makes the camera smaller and lighter than it would be with an external transmitter. It also means fewer cables around the camera and fewer associated problems, since cable failure is by far the most common technical hitch on set. Camera setup and power-up will be quicker, and productions will be able to move faster.
In addition, the integrated WiFi radio opens up a whole range of options, starting with wireless color management on set and continuing with wireless camera remote control using the ALEXA Web Remote. Other exciting WiFi options are currently under development.
An extensive accessory range will include various mounting brackets, antenna extensions, and the handheld Director’s Monitor Support (DMS-1), as well as a specially adapted Transvideo monitor with a built-in receiver for the ARRI transmitters. Whether using this monitor or others, the modular system allows for a compact and efficient setup. An extra power-out on the video receiver, for example, permits a single on-board battery to power both the receiver and an attached handheld monitor.
For the director, cinematographer, assistant, or anyone else on set, a monitor feed from the ARRI Wireless Video System increases creative control and oversight without adding clutter to the camera configuration or potential difficulties for the crew. From the protective collars on the connectors to the versatile mounting options, all of ARRI’s expertise has gone into the ergonomics and durability of the system. Designed for real-world usage on professional sets, every component is spray and dust proof, constructed from rugged materials, and has a wide operating temperature range.
Interference between different radio frequencies can be a time-consuming issue for camera crews. The ARRI Wireless Video System eliminates this issue because it works harmoniously with ALEXA SXT W’s other radio-based offerings: the WiFi and the ECS, ARRI’s proprietary camera and lens control system. Since ARRI now fulfills all wireless requirements, crews can be sure there won’t be any problems on set. The high-quality video feeds from the ALEXA SXT W and stand-alone transmitters are long-range, uncompressed, and encrypted for safety. Audio, timecode, and REC flag are included in the zero-delay signal, and up to four receivers can be used per transmitter.
The introduction of a built-in wireless video transmitter is a significant upgrade for the ALEXA SXT and reflects ARRI’s commitment to continually improve the SXT platform with additional functionality. Further hardware and software developments are in the works.