Hey filmmakers this is my Budget VTR or Playback monitor setup. This setup mainly records a wireless video feed so we can watch a playback without the camera. As cameras might be mounted in a way where it is hard to press the playback button or the camera is being used to set up the next shot. Also certain cameras record very large files and need to switch cards quite often, while this recorder records smaller files and enables it to record multiple days onto the ssd drive and allow it to look back at older playbacks to spot continuity issues, especially if you are filming one scene over multiple days.

VTR / Playback Monitor setup
VTR / Playback Monitor setup

The person on set who operates this is the video assist or vt operator, though this role is uncommon on smaller film sets and often relies on camera assistants to set it up and have the script supervisor operate it. But if the film set does not even have a script supervisor, then the Playback monitor could double as a focus station and 1st AC would need to operate it.

VTR / Playback Monitor setup
VTR / Playback Monitor setup

Let’s go through all the elements of this setup. First the receiver, I am using Accsoon Cineview Quad, the reason for this is the quick setup without needing to screw on the antennas. But also it outputs on both the SDI and HDMI at the same time, which is important. As I have the SDI goes into the large 13.3inch Seetec Monitor and the HDMI goes into the Atomos Ninja V recorder, but it also outputs into the Seetec Monitor. The Ninja V records the wireless video feed to a 1TB Western Digital Blue SSD and I am recording in Prores LT to keep the file sizes small.


But what is great about using the Ninja V is that it is quite easy to scroll through a video compared to watching playbacks on certain cameras. Which often has a fast forward button, but not every camera has an easy scroll feature to quickly get to the point you want to see.

The obvious reason why we have a HDMI out of the Ninja V to the Seetec monitor is so we can view the playback on a much larger 13.3 inch screen instead of the 5 inch on the Ninja V. This way we can easily spot better small details for continuity.

VTR / Playback Monitor setup
VTR / Playback Monitor setup

But the reason why there is also an SDI from the receiver to the Seetec Monitor, is that we could get a correct live feed when this Monitor also doubles as the Focus Station for the Focus Puller. As there is a noticeable quality difference in the signal when watching the HDMI compared to the SDI. And if LUTs are applied onto the Ninja V there is also an added delay. And we can easily switch between HDMI and SDI with the buttons on the Seetec monitor.

Parts used:
Seetec 13.3 inch Monitor – https://amzn.to/3mTstvz
Atomos Ninja V – https://amzn.to/408OyEA
Accsoon Cineview quad – https://amzn.to/3JJm92M
Smallrig v-mount plate – https://amzn.to/3FSkvtt
Smallrig baseplate – https://amzn.to/3JLIEnC
Smallrig Rods – https://amzn.to/3LwFmpE
Smallrig 15mm Clamp – https://amzn.to/3FwsYlP
Smallrig Monitor Mount – https://amzn.to/3yGyNJD
Dtap to DC cable – https://amzn.to/3TumWYI
DC to DC cable – https://amzn.to/40iHHZD
SDI Cable – https://amzn.to/40iHHZD
190wh v mount – https://amzn.to/3lnasFq

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Budget VTR / Playback Monitor setup

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