Creative Solutions has its headquarters in Southern California and their brands include Teradek, SmallHD, Wooden Camera, Paralinx, Rycote—and now Amimon. Creative Solutions products are used on motion picture, commercial, documentary, television, sports, news, streaming and event productions worldwide.
If you work with a wireless video system, chances are that an Amimon chipset is inside. It’s sort of like computers having the label “Intel Inside.” Amimon designs and provides the proprietary chips and circuits inside most of the wireless products from Teradek, Paralinx and SmallHD, as well as ARRI and other companies. Teradek and Amimon have been working together closely since 2012. Amimon’s technology paved the way for user-friendly and reliable wireless systems that “cut the cables” between camera, video village and other video monitors on set. It began as a way to monitor complex camera moves, Steadicam or handheld scenes—and has grown to the point where wireless video is now an expected and essential ingredient of most productions.
Amimon was founded in 2004 to provide instantaneous and visually lossless video transmission over the freely available unlicensed radio spectrum. This technology was originally aimed at the consumer AV market, mainly to mirror a computer’s display on a TV. But by 2012, the rapid growth of mobile devices and internet-equipped TVs meant that this was no longer so important. Televisions could stream directly from the internet. So, Amimon needed new outlets for its unique technology. Aha, someone must have said. The film industry was an ideal opportunity with a large demand, relatively unfulfilled, for a reliable, accurate, and delay-free video link. Today it is nearly impossible to work on a feature, commercial or episodic television production that is not using Amimon chipsets in devices made by Teradek, Paralinx, and others.
Teradek’s side of this story goes back to 2010, when it became one of the first companies to release an affordable way to view on-set HD video wirelessly. But camera crews complained about the latency (video delay) from these early products because they used H.264 WiFi technology. Fortunately, Teradek founder Nicol Verheem had already fallen in love with the cinema industry. He and his team quickly identified the technology best suited to providing zero-delay wireless video for motion picture and television productions. That company was Amimon.
When Teradek launched their Bolt wireless video transmitter/receiver system in 2012, the majority of camera crews were still running cables across the set. The Teradek Bolt and Paralinx Arrow untethered cameras and changed everything. Steadicam operators were now free to do 360-degree shots without a cable wrangler. Dolly grips didn’t have to worry about running over cables. Cinematographers could shoot handheld without seeing cables in the shot. It’s not an exaggeration to say that wireless video was an important enabling technology for drones and gimbals to offer new ways of covering a scene.
All these things were made possible with Amimon’s proprietary silicon chips and software that sends uncompressed video over a robust MiMo (multiple input / multiple output) link. That means there’s less than 1 millisecond delay in viewing the camera’s video output across the set. It’s a sophisticated, patented process that utilizes the full bandwidth of a WiFi channel very effectively, even if the RF conditions change rapidly all the time. The system can also dynamically and seamlessly switch between different RF frequencies in between video frames, making it extremely reliable even in situations where there is RF interference. For the math geeks out there, this would be the equivalent of a 4 Million QAM modulation (quadrature amplitude modulation).
Amimon R&D will continue to develop unique technology with an even greater focus on the professional cinema and video markets. The team in Tel Aviv will be led by Dr. Zvi Reznec, Founder and CTO, and Tal Keren-Zvi, General Manager. They are both staying on with the company.The facility in Israel will become a dedicated research and design center for Creative Solutions.
“We have had a deep, collaborative relationship with Amimon since 2012, when we created a worldwide market for zero-delay wireless video,” said Nicol Verheem, founder of Teradek and CEO of Creative Solutions. “This acquisition is the logical step to enable the next generation of wireless video tools. Integrating our organizations will accelerate the development of innovative new products, further simplifying production and allowing new creative freedom to our customers. It will also allow us to invest to expand the reach of our products into adjacent markets.”
Creative Solutions and Amimon believe that a huge benefit of this acquisition will be the elimination of barriers between the product, R&D and engineering teams. This will enable the groups to cooperate intuitively and drive innovation even faster—resulting in rapid development of useful new tools for filmmakers.
Currently, Creative Solutions products are 1080p/60, but certainly we can look forward to more-K in the future