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Review: Teradek Wave

Anthony Burokas reviews the new Teradek Wave, which combines bonding, encoding, streaming, recording, and monitoring in a single compact devices that users control using Teradek's handy streaming app on its 7" touchscreen.

Setup, Recording, and Streaming

On the main screen of the Wave app, you’ll see a row of icons across the top. The first one (starting at the far left) is power. It’s green in Figure 6 because we have power coming in. Tap on that and it will also show how many batteries you have attached on the back panel. The next icon is Connections, which shows how you’re connecting and how many connections you’re using. Tap it and the Wave app will show a list of them. Continuing to the right, you’ll see your stream destination (“Test2” in the cloud in Figure 6, below). Tap it, and it will show you the current data rate, resolution, and audio bitrate settings for your stream.

Figure 6. The Wave app status panel along the top of the screen

Next are the audio meters. Tapping on the meters shows whether the audio input is HDMI or analog. You can change the audio level by touch-dragging this onscreen slider (Figure 7, below). If it’s a little quiet coming in, you can easily push it to the right to boost the audio levels. There’s a headphone volume slider as well.

Figure 7. You can make on-the-fly audio adjustments here.

Next, you’ll see two icons for recording and streaming. If you tap the Record icon, the Wave will start recording. Same with the Stream icon. At the bottom right of the screen is a “hamburger” icon that brings up some configuration windows. Clicking this will give you access to setting up the event, checking stream quality status, adjusting monitor brightness, and changing general system settings. When you’re actually streaming, the icons for general settings and stream setup are grayed out.

I currently have the Wave set to push through Teradek’s Sharelink cloud platform. There are always two halves to bonding. The first half is the device that’s splitting up the data across multiple connections. Those packets of video need to be reassembled on the other end, because the packets going by cellular are not going to be as fast as the packets going by ethernet landline. On the receiving end, something has to reassemble all these packets back into the proper order. The receiving device puts them in the proper order and rebuilds the stream that you had sent. Then it sends that rebuilt stream out to the destination(s) that you’ve pre-set. That’s what Sharelink does. It receives all of my video packets from the different pathways and rebuilds my video stream, and then sends it to whatever my preset destinations are—in this case, to Facebook and YouTube (Figure 8, below).

Figure 8. Monitoring a bonded stream in the Wave app

To record the stream you’re delivering via the Wave, you insert an SD card, enable recording, and select a drive. I recommend changing the recording format from the default MKV to MP4, and keeping Auto-record enabled. This means when you push the button to start to stream, the Wave will automatically start recording as well.

There Teradek Wave includes only a single encoder, so the recording and stream will be identical, including the same bitrate.

Catch the Wave

Monitoring, bonding, encoding, recording, and streaming—this is what the Teradek Wave does in this compact package. It’s compact as it could be with two big batteries on the back. If you don’t need the big batteries for a power backup, you can still record and streaming with the USB power on the bottom, and run the device a little leaner. All in all, the Wave is a worthy addition to Teradek’s line, a beautiful monitor and bonding-capable streaming encoder all in one.

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