There are several ways you can control an URSA Broadcast G1 / G2 wirelessly.
Using a Standalone Bluetooth Mobile App
You can use a Bluetooth mobile app that offers direct control of the camera (such as Bluetooth+ on iOS) , which is the easiest way to control Blackmagic cameras that have a bluetooth chip built-in, such as the BMPCC 4K / 6K/ 6K Pro and the Ursa Mini Pro G1/G2 and Ursa Broadcast G1 / G2 . The downside is that the range is quite limited. In real world environments you will often get a maximum range of 20-30 feets. It makes the app more suited for situations where you are close to the camera.
Using Blackmagic ATEM Software Control
If you are in a live production multicamera environnent, you might be using a Blackmagic Design ATEM to switch from camera to camera, in which case you will have direct control over your URSA Broadcast Camera if you connect an ATEM PGM or AUX Output to the URSA Broadcast SDI IN. The ATEM Software Control is powerful and allows you to adjust settings like Iris / Shutter / ISO / Focus / ND Filters / WB remotely as well as Primary Color Correction remotely.
The ATEM Software Control is much more suited to live production environnements.
Wireless Camera Control Workflow
However, if you have moving cameras which have to send the video signal wirelessly (i.e using Teradek / Hollyland transmitters) , you will only have one way communication. You cannot have both the video transmission and the reverse camera control information running in the same wireless TX/RX unit. This is why URSA Mini Pro and URSA Broadcast require 2 SDI cables if you want to control them remotely. One for the video signal and one for the return signal (which includes camera control signal). And you also can’t use two video TX/RX units, one for each direction, the control can’t be sent back through a video transmitter.
With the Middle Things APC-R , we wanted to solve this by offering a solution that acts as a Wi-Fi (ATEM Network) to Bluetooth (Camera Control) converter. Let’s take the network router that you’ve connected to your ATEM. Well, the APC-R connects to this router through Wi-Fi and grabs the camera control information of ATEM Software by reading into the ATEM. The APC-R then forwards that information wirelessly to the Blackmagic Camera using Bluetooth.
The APC-R can be powered with 5V using the back USB-C port of the URSA Broadcast G2 , or any 5V USB Powerbank. It is sufficiently compact to be easily attached to the URSA Broadcast. Here are the exact APC-R dimensions :
Width : 8cm
Height : 3cm ( +5cm with antenna attached)
Length : 12.5cm (+3.5cm with antenna attached)
Weight : 218g
Wireless Range with the APC-R
How good is the range ? The idea is to put the APC-R as close as possible to the Blackmagic camera. Ideally within a few feet away. This way, you can maximise the bluetooth signal strength and have great reliability even in crowded areas. On the other end, you can improve the Wi-Fi coverage by using a more powerful wifi access point, close to the stage (Ubiquiti, Cisco, a mesh system…) . You can connect tat Wifi access point to the primary router using a long ethernet cable. We recommend you check out the video above that goes into setting up the workflow with further detail.
Also, the latency is very reasonable and does not affect the usability of color matching / painting and camera control.
We’ve used this solution a lot in our own live productions, and it works like a charm! You just have to try for yourself, we offer a 30days money back guarantee on the APC-R, that you can order online here
The APC-R offers other features such as remote DJI Gimbal control, integration with Bitfocus Companion, etc…
If you have any questions, please let us know!
The Middle Things Team