I rounded up video transmitters recently. There were a few that I left out, and one that I have to admit I totally got wrong.
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I showed you the Unify HV and Unify Pro 5G8, but I didn't touch on the Unify HV Race. This transmitter is only $30 and has all of the features of the Unify HV, except that it tops out at 200 mW. If you're racing, you won't use more than 200 mW anyway, and even if you fly freestyle, 200 mW is more than enough for most environments.
The Rush vTX is pretty impressive. It's $30. It has a built in microphone with noise cancelling for great audio. And it has specially tuned 20 MHz bandwidth, to reduce interference with other pilots. Finally, it's got an MMCX connector, which is far more robust than the IPEX connector used on many other vTX's. I could certainly see someone choosing the Rush over the Matek vTX-HV, especially if they didn't care about SmartAudio and wanted to use the on-board microphone on the Rush.
People really hated my choice of the MI200 as the budget option! This is the one that I think I got wrong, because people showed me a few MUCH BETTER transmitters that I just didn't think of when I was making the list.
The first one is the Eachine VTX03. This is an ultra-small, ultra-light vTX intended for micro quads, but with output power up to 200 mW, many people are apparently using it on big quads too. It costs $14.
But the real rock-star of the show was the EWRF e7086TM3, which costs $17, goes up to 600 mW, and... SUPPORTS SMART-AUDIO!!! Finally, a Chinese vendor made a cheap vTX that supports Smart-Audio!!!!
And I would like to remind anybody out there who doesn't know it that Smart-Audio is an open protocol, free for anyone to implement without any licensing requirement. This is consistent with the laws of (at least) the U.S. and the EU. In addition, Betaflight would not have implemented Smart-Audio at all if it had not been released as an open protocol. So anybody who claims that a license is required to implement Smart-Audio is confused on several fronts.
Thanks to the commenters who helped me find these video transmitters, especially the EWRF. I've been looking for a cheap transmitter that does Smart-audio forever and now I've found it!