[00:00:00.00] Today we're talking about the HollyLand Tech MARS T1000. The T1000 is a wireless intercom system. This is designed so that you and your crew can be in communication during a live production and not interrupt the show.
[00:00:13.21] I’ve got this all spread out in front of me and it's kind of a mess right now because there's a lot of pieces that come with this. So let me start with an explanation of what this is. We'll talk about what it comes with and then we're going to get a close-up look at how each of these pieces work.
[00:00:25.23] in essence, the whole idea here is that it’s a communication system that your crew can slap on their heads, plug into one of these little packs here and all be in communication with each other. It's a single ear, so you've got one ear free to hear the world around you and then you've got a microphone to talk to everybody else on the crew.
[00:00:41.00] You have a little belt pack that you connect to the main system — the main system sitting here — and the main system also has its own headphone jack so that people can be connected to that as well.
[00:00:50.26] So the whole system comes with, starting off with the main pack itself… this is the base station if you will… the base station can be run off of AC or DC. So, I’ve got a battery on this right now, we're actually going to do the show today run totally wirelessly. And it comes with four of these transmitter/receivers, and five of the headsets. It also comes with a bag for the headsets for storage, the charging cables that you need to charge all of these, (they’re all rechargeable), an Ethernet cable for tethering two of these together, including a little dual Ethernet… I’ve never seen one of these! It's an Ethernet coupler so you can make a longer cable, I'm sure this is going to come in handy somewhere.
[00:01:24.25] But you can tether two of these together so you can have up to 10 people in communication with each other. It comes with the AC power adapter for the base station which we're not going to use… very nicely it also comes with additional earbuds, as these undoubtedly, invariably get worn down over time… and additional mouth-pop spit-guard so you don't have to be licking the spit of the other person before you who used it.
[00:01:45.28] Dual antennas plus an extra antenna — gotta love Hollyland, they always include an extra antenna in their kits which is super, super nice, so that if one breaks, you've got a backup there.
[00:01:53.29] Let's start off with a tour of the hardware. Starting with the base station itself, it is currently off but it's getting power from the built-in battery, so we'll turn that on in a moment. This display screen we'll see in a little bit and then some controls for this. We're not actually going to go through the menu system on this whole thing because the menu really are all about changing channels, reconnecting to different units and you'll see that everything comes paired out of the box ready to go. So, we're not going to dive into that menu system but if you need it, it's there.
[00:02:19.03] You have a button on here that is a remote mic kill, we will come to that, you have your headset input and you have a volume control for the headset that's plugged into here. On one side here you've got four USB ports. These are charging ports. This is to charge the individual packs. So, you've got, again, the charging cables, you can charge each of the packs off of this.
[00:02:39.14] The packs will last about eight hours on a charge, so, pretty good long time. What's cool though is that since these are USB-C connected, not only can you charge it off of here, you could also plug in a power pack, a little battery pack if you wanted to and just keep that next to this and run it for even longer or if this is not mobile, if you're just in a stationary location, you could plug this into a little iPhone type power adapter in the wall and run this indefinitely… that's pretty cool.
[00:03:04.14] The other USB port on here is simply for doing firmware updates to the unit itself. On the other side here we have two inputs; there is the AC power input as well as the Ethernet input which can nicely be covered and protected. On the back you see where the two antennas would plug into that… Again, these are removable which is quite nice so for storage you just take this guy out of here… there we go. So it stores up nice and easy, you don't worry about that snapping off in your bag.
[00:03:29.12] And on the top here you can see where the batteries go. So, I’ve got one battery in here but it does have dual battery ports which means you can actually hot swap these and you could be running indefinitely, really, off of battery power if you wanted to.
[00:03:41.26] So now let's power this thing up. I'm going to go ahead and start by turning on the main unit, let that go through its power cycle process and I’ll go ahead and turn on… actually going to turn on all of these mics. Let's just turn each one of these on here, wherever they all are.
[00:03:55.01] And so, as these come on, as the unit boots up, we're going to see them all automatically connect. And again, this comes completely pre-configured, you don't have to do any pairing when you first get this out of the box, you just turn everything on and everything works.
[00:04:07.26] All right, we're seeing the status on here, it starts off before it's reconnected by just showing me that those microphones are lost, this is of course very, very beneficial. If someone goes out of range and they do lose the connection, you at the base station will see that. You'll see that they have lost range.
[00:04:22.04] Speaking of range, range is advertised at a thousand feet. I haven't personally tested this. However, I did watch a video where someone did… They didn't get a thousand feet, they got somewhere between 500 and 750 feet… They then pointed out that maybe the thousand foot means thousand feet from one mic pack to the other with the base station in the middle which would be kind of legit, but that was their test; that test was probably over a year ago. I haven't tested it myself. However, what I will say is that I have actually used this in a live production and we had absolutely no problems with range within the theater where we're shooting in, so that is pretty good to know.
[00:04:58.29] We go back over here to the panel. You can see that all four are connected and all four mics are muted right now. We can see on here that we have a signal strength followed by the battery condition, so we know we can see all these are about half power; that number four down there looks like it's the lowest battery and again we see the status whether they're muted or on.
[00:05:16.01] Taking a look at the mic pack itself, you can see the status, again the signal strength of the battery, whether it's muted or not, what channel number you're on. The menu system in here will allow you to go through a variety of things including — I will show you one thing here that's kind of cool — you have under application the ability to choose between a quiet environment or a noisy environment, and that just adjusts the sensitivity of the microphone so that when you're communicating with your crew, they're hearing you and not all the stuff behind you.
[00:05:39.24] There's other things in here that we don't need to go through now, I’ll just go and leave this at quiet and exit out of here.
[00:05:45.15] On the side of this, you'll see a mute/talk button, the charging port and a tally plug… the tally plug actually allows you to — through a separate system, it's not included with this — it will allow you to see which camera is live via tally light that is connected to this.
[00:05:59.08] So, that's kind of cool if you're on a camera system where there's not a tally thing built into the main cameras, you can have a tally light on this that connects to your camera and then you'll know when you are on the air. Pretty neat little addition. I don't have that though…
[00:06:10.15] There is on the back a nice belt clip, nice and strong and clippy and uh, that's about it on the sides, on the top you've got your dual antennas on here as well as the power button which controls your volume and of course the place to plug in the headset.
[00:06:22.22] Now, let's go back to the mute thing because this is really quite interesting. Right now it is muted by default when you turn everything on. This is not a push-to-talk system, meaning you don't hold down a button to talk and then release it to stop talking. I kind of wish that it had that option but that's not what it's designed for and you'll see in a moment that that's pretty much okay once you see one of the really cool features of how easy this is to mute.
[00:06:47.25] The way to unmute this is to press and hold on the side button for a few seconds, and… there we go, now it's into talk mode, and then the way to mute it is to double tap on the side button. So, I tap that twice and immediately goes into mute. Now, that is one way to do it. But that's a little bit tedious if you're trying to do stuff and you gotta hold down for a couple of seconds; it's not ideal. But here's something that's really, really cool. This is not a documented feature but it's awesome…
[00:07:12.21] So, let's say I got this thing on… Now, this is designed to go over your left ear. Technically, you could put it over your right ear and then kind-of wrap this around because this is bendy so, it does work but then you wouldn't be able to do this. Let me go back to this way, put this into place, so I am — I can position this wherever I want here, right? Now when I want to mute quickly, I just flip that up.
[00:07:36.25] it's not just muted because the microphone is out of the way, it has actually muted the mic on the hardware side. The pack still says, (well, I muted it)… the pack still says that it's on. So, doing this does not officially mute it, it does not say that it's muted on the receiver but I actually hear in my ear a little solenoid click that will tell me once I’ve raised it far enough to mute it.
[00:07:58.19] So, this just mutes the mic very quickly, bring it back down and I'm good to go which is super, super handy. Now, let's go back to the control panel on here, to the main unit. You'll see on here that we've got… it tells me which ones are muted, which ones are not. So, let me go ahead and take number four… Which one's four? Here we go and I will unmute this guy… so a few seconds on that, that's now in talk mode, okay, so now you can see that on there… Let's just say that you are running the show and everybody's chattering too much, you just need silence on the set, silence on the crew, I can push a button here to remote mic kill.
[00:08:29.03] This just killed everybody's mic and you see everybody's mic got muted right now. At this point, when I'm ready to let them talk again, I push it again and it restores everybody back to the state that they were at. So, you see these two came back onto talk, these two are still on mute.
[00:08:42.08] So, that's just a very quick way as the controller, as the producer, or whoever's running this or whoever's sitting here to just shut everybody up for a minute and then bring them back on.
[00:08:50.29] But let's say that the producer mutes everybody, so let me go ahead and hit that to mute everybody, and now I'm over here on number three and I'm like “I really need to talk to you, how do I get your attention?”. Well, if I press and hold on the mute button for a couple seconds as if I was unmuting; doing the same thing… I can't hear the crew but you should be able to hear… [beep] a little tone in there… sounds like a telephone ringing? Notice over here that the remote mic kill light is now flashing. That's telling me that somebody is trying to get through.
[00:09:20.04] I can now let them through by pressing that and at this point it's actually going to unmute everybody's microphone at once. So, there we go, all four mics are unmuted and so this is a way for somebody on the crew who needs to get back on the communication to do that and that lets that happen, which is pretty cool.
[00:09:35.02] So, that's effectively this system. How does it sound? Well, how about I let you guys hear this… this is kind of interesting. I figured out a way to do this. Let's see how this works… I'm going to take this input into the mixer and I'm going to plug that into here, so I need to turn the volume up all the way and then down low… I'm going to turn that on, I'm now going to switch that audio on… and the other microphone off… and if I did this properly, you should be hearing through that system right now.
[00:10:06.13] Now, obviously, you're hearing it through the mixer not through this headphone, so it's not going to sound exactly like it would sound to you, but this is what it sounds like and in setting this up, I tested this and I go “yeah, that's pretty much what it sounded like when I was live on set using this system”. So, it's a nice clear system, this over-ear does a good job of isolating outside noise, but again leaving this one open you can still hear everything else going on around you.
[00:10:29.03] So, let's talk about price. What does this thing cost? Well, this is not cheap as a unit on its own but it is actually very affordable compared to comparable units. The price is about $1800, which if you've never seen one of these before, you might be going “are you kidding me? That's a whole lot of cash”.
[00:10:47.26] However, it really isn't because this is a comparable system from a competitive product and it is coming in at $3,000 and I’ve actually heard told that these things can be costing upwards of $10,000. So, this is not a cheap thing that you just buy for giggles but if it's a production thing that you need, this is doing it at a great value.
[00:11:06.27] If you need it, it's invaluable. As I said before, I have used this on a live production, of just a two camera operation but it was me and the other camera operator and then we had somebody on the production crew, the director, also on it. So, that we could all talk to each other and see what was going on and we can talk without interrupting the live show. It worked out really, really well. You don't have to talk loud, you can talk quite quietly into there and you can totally hear on the other side. Works out great, of course you have the volume control on your own side to turn it up if you need a little bit more volume on there but it totally works and it does what it says on the tin, as they say.
[00:11:38.29] So, there you go, there's the MARS T1000, let me know what you think of it in the comments down below. Don't forget to Like and Subscribe and all that good stuff and I’ll see you on the next show…
[00:11:47.06] All right, I guess that wasn't a total disaster, we'll see if I can edit that into something usable… I am going to now reverse my whole process of stopping everything, so let's see here, we'll stop… I’ve got one button to stop all re…