DIY Wireless Video System

Today, I wanted to show you how to build your very own wireless video system for under $300 (or $330 with more range).

Such a system allows you to see what the camera is recording when mounted on a crane, steadicam, or even a 3-axis camera stabilizer.

Also, if you want to pull focus with the camera on any kind of a stabilizer (ex. gimbal, steadicam), you need to to connect a wireless follow focus system (which I’ll be reviewing in my future post) and a wireless video system.

There are already lots of professional video systems like this on the market. Unfortunately, all of them are expensive – usually over $4000. But I have built one using consumer products and adapted it so it works for the real world filmmaking usage.

Watch the video below for how I did it, then continue reading below to see what and where to buy all the parts and materials.

Below is a list of the gear you will need:

Nyrius ARIES Pro – 50ft Range Digital Wireless HDMI Transmitter and Receiver System
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Nyrius ARIES Prime – 20ft
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Jackery Bar 5600mAh Portable Battery / Charger
5volt 2.1A will power for up to 2 hours
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Jackery Giant 12000mAh Portable Battery / Charger
5volt 3A will power for up to 4 hours
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BiXPower USB Power Cable with interchangeable tips
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Ziotek USB to USB Mini Cable
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Thin HDMI Cable (3 feet)
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If your camera doesn’t have the full size HDMI output, but only a smaller HDMI connection, then you will also need to get an adapter.

HDMI to HDMI Mini Adapter
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$262 – with weaker transmitter
$332 – with more powerful transmitter
$372 – with more powerful transmitter and bigger batteries

Once you’ve assembled your wireless video system to your monitor, you might want to mount it to a cage or frame with side handles.
Holding the monitor and all the weight of the batteries just by the edge of the monitor is not a good idea because it can easily slip from your hands. Also, it’s not that comfortable.

You can buy a professional monitor cage, but it won’t be cheap. Plus, it comes in only one size – around six-inches tall. This might not fit your monitor unless you’re using an industry-standard field monitor.

If you do use such a monitor, here are a few options for the cage:
ALZO Rig $95.99

PNC GearBox Cage $89.99

Proaim DSLR and LCD Monitor Cage $157 on eBay

But if you want to save money or need a different size, you can of course go the DIY way, like I did – and for only $17.

To build the monitor cage with handles, you will need to get the following materials:

Flat Aluminum Bar 1″ wide and 48″ long with a 1/8″ thickness $10 on eBay

Duct tape $2.97
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Copper Pipe Insulator 3/8″ thick $2 on eBay

Vinyl bumpers with self adhesive 3/4″ wide
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Total= $17

First, start off by bending the aluminium bar to form a rectangle around your monitor. You want the rectangle to have the same height as your monitor, but the width to be about six inches wider than your monitor. This way you’ll have three extra inches of space on both sides to make the side handles and have enough space to put your hands in there.

Once you bend the aluminium into the right shape, you want to either cut off the excess aluminium or bend it back and forth till it breaks off (in case you don’t have a saw).

Then, use the strong duct tape to attach the two loose ends together.

Next, cut the foam insulator to match the height of your monitor and wrap it around the sides of the aluminium frame where the handles will be.

Put some more duct tape around the foam to make sure it stays in place – you can also use the tape that’s used for tennis racquets. This way you’ll also have nice, no-slip grips.

Finally, just drill a 1/4″ hole in the bottom of the aluminium frame. Do it right in the center so that the monitor sits in the middle.

Now, you can stick the vinyl bumpers to each side of the hole you just drilled.

The vinyl bumpers will keep your monitor from rotating sideways, since the whole monitor and all the weight on it is attached using just one screw.

That’s it. You’re ready! Just use a 1/4″ screw (the same that comes with most tripods) to mount your monitor to the frame.

You can also build the same frame with different dimensions to make an inexpensive fig-rig for your camera.

Here are a few good portable monitor options, in case you don’t yet own a monitor:

Great monitor with a built-in battery.
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And here is another more expensive model that I use. Similar quality as the first monitor, but has HDMI and SDI connections, as well as video functions such as histogram, peaking, etc.

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23 thoughts on “DIY Wireless Video System”

  1. Just like you I am also a fan of wireless tech. I have selected Nyrius and DVDO air for my ceiling mounted projector. According to this post Nyrius wireless HDMI choose WHDI 5 ghz while DVDO air choose wireless HD 60 ghz. 5ghz can penetrate walls and 60ghz has no interference. It is not an easy decision.

  2. If I have GH4 with focus peaking can I get away with the cheaper monitor you recommend instead of the more expensive model you have?

  3. Hello, I bought all the items you suggested. The Nyrius Aries Pro and the Jockery 6000ma batteries…but I cant get it to power the reciever or the transmitter…any suggestions?

  4. Great set up! What if you wanted to monitor two separate cameras on the same set? If you bought two wireless Transmitter /Receiver Systems would they have there own unique frequency to monitor each camera separately?

  5. I have a question I am flying my dslr camera on a movi, how can I connect the monitor that’s on the movi to the camera and my wireless monitor what else do I have to purchase … I’m guessing like a splitter correct?

    1. A splitter or even better… get a monitor with a HDMI loop through like the Aputure VS-3 or Atomos Shogun (both of which I reviewed on my site) Attach one of those monitors on your MoVI and then plug the wireless video transmitter on the back of that monitor.

      1. Hi Tom, this link is broken… any other info? I have a SDI and HDMI output cameras, what kind of solution do you recommend me for both kind of signals?

  6. An absolutely fantastic solution to a very expensive problem.

    Currently building my one as we speak – to use on my Sony FS7. I’m constantly being asked by producers/directors to have monitor which in itself isn’t a problem, but they usually want to hang it off the back of the camera or have leads trailing all over the place!

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