First look at the Teradek Bolt 6

Apr 27, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

First look at the Teradek Bolt 6

Apr 27, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Teradek’s Bolt 6 (buy here) is the successor to the popular Bolt 4K (buy here). It’s a very similar unit but with the addition of 6GHz frequencies. Why the change? Well, it’s for the same reason that Sennheiser went with UHF on their new EW-DP microphone system. To overcome the fact that the world has become flooded with WiFI devices and other devices occupying the same frequencies over the last few years.

Governments worldwide are opening up 6GHz frequencies for public use to help minimise the interference often found with 5GHz systems. The companies that are first to jump on them will be the ones that tend to be the most reliable and offer the best performance. For now, at least. We went to see Teradek at NAB 2023 and chat with product manager Colin McDonald about the new Teradek Bolt 6 and the advantages it offers over the previous system.

Despite adding support for the new 6GHz frequencies, Bolt 6 is also compatible with the 5GHz frequencies used by its Bolt 4K predecessor. Like the Bolt 4K, it offers 4K video transmission at up to 30 frames per second (or 1080p60) and also supports 10-Bit 4:2:2 HDR. There are three different “families” of Bolt 6, each of which takes either an HDMI input, a 3G-SDI or HDMI input, or a 12-SDI or HDMI input, with loop-through outputs on the transmitter and identical outputs on the receiver. Each also has a different transmission range of either 750ft, 1,500ft or up to a whopping 5,000ft – under ideal circumstances, of course, and with appropriate antennas.

One of the Teradek Bolt 6 system’s big claims is that it can offer full video transmission at up to 4K 30fps or 1080p 60fps with zero latency. Most other video transmission systems on the market have at least some latency, albeit sometimes very small, but Teradek’s Bolt 6 claims no latency at all. I’m sure The Slow Mo Guys might be capable of confirming or challenging that, but if there’s no perceptible lag to the human eye when filming, that’s good enough for most people.

Teradek Camera-to-cloud

Camera-to-cloud is the big thing in video production at the moment. It seems to be getting implemented in new cameras, recorders and other devices daily. And as Adobe announced, it’s even starting to expand out from video and into stills. It’s no wonder it’s becoming so popular, as it offers many advantages on set for many different types of shooter. But for devices that don’t support cloud systems, how do you get your content onto the cloud?

That’s where Teradek steps in. We also spoke with them about their cloud services hardware and their own content cloud hosting service. The workflow to get the content onto the cloud seems very straightforward and versatile, and it’s even compatible with other companies’ cloud services, such as Frame.io.

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Price and Availability

The Teradek Bolt 6 system is available to buy now in various packages starting at around $2,000 and is shipping now.

DIYP’s coverage of NAB 2023 is sponsored by Sennheiser, Zhiyun, B&H, and SmallRig

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “First look at the Teradek Bolt 6”

  1. Chris Cameron Avatar
    Chris Cameron

    Had to get to paragraph three to be told what the thing does.