The Best Video Transmitter for the Price? We Review the Hollyland Pyro H

The Best Video Transmitter for the Price? We Review the Hollyland Pyro H

Hollyland’s latest wireless transmitter, the Pyro H, is now available. In this review, I go hands-on with this impressively-specced transmitter and see if it can fulfill everything that Hollyland promises.

Specs and Features

Compared to Hollyland’s previous transmitters, like the very popular Mars 400S Pro and 300 Pro, the Pyro H promises more of just about everything: more range, more resolution, and better latency.

The Pyro H supports 4K30 and 1080P60 video transmission over HDMI. There is an HDMI loopout port, and the unit also supports UVC streaming. Notably absent is SDI support. SDI support in this line is coming in a future announcement, so SDI users may want to wait for those models.

Power can be supplied via a few standards. Sony NP-F batteries are directly supported, with the battery mounting directly to the back of the unit. USB-C power from a 5V/2A source can also work. Lastly, the unit does support DC power input via a screw-compatible 2mm barrel plug, with support for a range of 6 to 16V. The transmitter draws less than 7w, while the receiver draws less than 4w.

The HDMI ports are 1.4b compatible, while the USB-C port supports 2.0 OTG.

The Pyro H can broadcast for 1300 feet in dual receiver mode and dual mobile device mode. It can still reach 650 feet in the full “Broadcast” mode, which covers four receivers. 

Latency is equally impressive, with Hollyland claiming 60ms of latency. The tradeoff between latency and image quality can be further refined by selecting Smooth Mode or HD Mode. Somewhat confusingly, HD Mode doesn’t knock you down to 1080P, but instead maintains a bitrate fo 8-12Mbps for up to 4K30, even at the full rated range of 1,300 feet. In contrast, the smooth mode automatically adjusts bitrate to maintain 60ms of latency at the full range. Put simply, Smooth Mode keeps your transmission the most stable at the cost of image quality, while HD Mode preserves image quality as much as possible.

The Mobile App

The Pyro H does support mobile phone pairing for monitoring. For both phone and tablet users, this could be a very nice way to get your transmission up on a high-quality screen — using an iPad Pro, for instance, could be a great way to show clients what’s actually being captured.

Pairing is easy enough, with the mobile device just needing to connect to a dedicated Wi-Fi network put out by the Pyro H. The app doesn’t require a separate user account but did prompt for location data — it worked with this disabled via iOS privacy controls.

In the monitoring view, users can also choose from a number of utilities, like scopes, waveforms, false color, 3D luts, and a focus assist. Screen recordings and screen captures can also be taken, and these are stored right on the device's photo-roll.

This app, which was apparently recently redesigned, is well executed. It looks good, functions well, and hits a trend that is really developing: tighter integration of existing mobile devices into video workflows.


While the listed ranges are line-of-sight ratings, I found them to be quite realistic. Even in a regular (non-ideal)  environment, I had a flawless connection for many hundreds of feet. The range will understandably drop off in a crowded RF environment, as the Pyro H uses 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies that are automatically selected at startup. However, I was unable to find an environment noisy enough to impact my use of the Pyro H.

Like any RF system, while a clear line of sight isn’t an absolute requirement, blocking transmission with water, concrete, metal, or even people can sap the range. As such, consider where you’re mounting the Pyro H on your rig - getting it up high and a little away from both the camera and the operator will ensure it has the best LOS to the receiver. 

A pair of standard SMA antenna connectors could also allow you to select different antennas if needed - Hollyland ships the units with 5 cylindrical antennas, but if their past products are an indicator, I expect alternate antennas will be a future accessory.

While you can manually select channels, and the Pyro H even has a smart channel scan to provide feedback on the capability of your chosen channel, I never found I needed to change this setting. This auto-selection may come at a small cost, however, as startup speeds aren’t blazing fast. It measured around 23 seconds to start up the transmitter. While I don’t expect you’d be cycling this product on and off mid-shoot, I’d love to see a future firmware update cut this time down.

The unit does have a small fan, but it was virtually impossible to hear in operation. It can manually be turned to low for the utmost noise control, too — this made it inaudible from about 6 inches away. The thermals are also likely aided by the construction, which makes ample use of metals and venting. It looks, feels, and sounds like it would belong on a high-end camera rig.

Overall, I really liked working with the Pyro H. Video transmitters are really products that either work or don’t. In the case of the Pyro H, everything works great. The range is solid, the image quality is quite good, thanks to support for 4K video, and the integrated features cover everything a regular user would need. Bonuses, like support for multi-receiver setups and USB-C support for power and video, ensure that this doesn’t feel like a device that was cut down to hit a price target.

I think the Pyro line has a bright future, particularly with upcoming models that are higher up in the product stack. The RX/TX monitor, along with a model that supports SDI, are both going to fill in areas where the HDMI-focused Pyro H is lacking.

If your workflow meshes with an emphasis on HDMI and USB-C video, the Pyro H is an easy recommendation. It’s available now for $479 as a set, with additional transmitters and receivers available for $239.

What I Liked

  • Excellent video quality, particularly compared to 1080P-only transmitters
  • Very long range support
  • Resilient to transmission issues like RF crowding
  • The mobile app and monitoring are well well-executed and don’t require an account

What Could Be Improved

  • Not backward compatible with the Mars ecosystem
  • Startup times for a cold-start feel a bit slow
Alex Coleman's picture

Alex Coleman is a travel and landscape photographer. He teaches workshops in the American Southwest, with an emphasis on blending the artistic and technical sides of photography.

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1 Comment

Interesting reading that. I learn something.