TriCaster Mini is NewTek’s smallest, most affordable all-in-one live streaming and broadcast solution, which also means it’s incredibly flexible, whatever kind of presentation you’re looking to stream. But you might not have realised just how much you can do with it at once, so here I’ve explained how you can get the most from TriCaster Mini, and some of my top bundle deals too…
TriCaster Mini in media and entertainment
The term ‘multimedia’ seems quite outdated these days, but TriCaster Mini really is the quintessential tool for recording and delivering all kinds of media. It ticks so many boxes, but I’ve found it’s quite rare that it’s actually used to its full extent and capabilities (namely recording multiple channels, adding effects and delivering content all at the same time). It’s a bit like Photoshop in that sense – an incredibly deep and powerful tool that sometimes just gets used for cropping images or creating simple graphics, rather than the full extent of its functionality.
The five jobs of TriCaster Mini
To see the full extent of TriCaster Mini’s functionality, it’s best to split it into five distinct categories: video capture, streaming, effects, audio mixing and output. Of course, the fact that it packages all these jobs up into an incredibly easy to use and very portable package, which can even be controlled using an iOS app, is just the icing on the cake.
1. Video capture. In its most basic function, TriCaster Mini works as a video capture device, letting you capture up to four streams simultaneously into a choice of codecs/formats. You can also take in content from any computer screen to use, whether that’s a website, a Skype feed, video apps like iMovie and Premiere Pro or presentation apps like PowerPoint and Keynote. You’re even able to take direct streams from Apple AirPlay on any iOS device.
2. Streaming. One of the other main uses of TriCaster Mini is for streaming live events and HD performances to the internet. You can also record the stream at the same time to upload to your website for use as a pre-recorded stream.
3. Effects. TriCaster Mini is also ideal for easily adding effects to your presentation, with hardware chroma and greenscreening built in. The TransWarp effects engine lets you add full colour, animated transitions, and supports their Virtual Set Editor, so you can drop your presenter into a virtual environment.
4. Audio mixing. TriCaster even has an audio mixer, so with the addition of a low cost audio control surface, or even a mixer, you can plug in numerous microphones and mix within the production environment.
5. Output. TriCaster Mini also lets you output in a huge number of different formats, and publish direct to social media. For example, you can stream clips straight to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or over an FTP to help get it to as wide an audience as possible. Alternatively, TriCaster Mini is quite happy driving screens around offices, school sites and live events with content.
Example: TriCaster Mini on the red carpet
So how can you use all that functionality at once? One neat example is for live events, and especially something like an awards show. As well as capturing and recording everything coming in from cameras (presentations, speeches, live music performances etc), you can use it to play clips and graphics out at the same time for everyone watching in the audience (showreels, backgrounders and the like).
You essentially have two audiences – those in the room, watching third screen content, and those you’re cutting the show and streaming for. You can record, play content and stream footage, and have a separate programme streamed live to a website at the same time, using social media to drum up interest in your stream.
The great thing is, with multiple video feeds, you don’t miss any gems from around the room while you’re focused in on a closeup (audience reactions, or any little slip-ups or bloopers that add colour to your presentation). You can record three other inputs at the same time, bring the footage in and use it while recording. Just grab the clips, mark in and out points, and immediately upload to social media, while you’re still recording and streaming, adding effects and realtime titling.
Because it’s so portable, you can simply bundle TriCaster Mini up in a flight case, rock up to the event and you’re ready to go.
TriCaster Mini in education
We’ve been mainly talking about using TriCaster Mini in live broadcast and event situations so far, but it’s also a brilliant option for education, with applications across the curriculum. Creative subjects like English, music and drama are obvious candidates (think oral presentations, magazine pieces, plays and sitcoms, and music and dance videos), but it’s also great for science and humanities, helping put students in different global locations, and live events like sports days open evenings, where you can show off to prospective students.
One of the most interesting things I’ve seen schools doing with TriCaster is one of our customers, a mixed faith school. They were using TriCaster Mini to show different places of worship with hi-res photos, and reenacting the prayer routine, without having to bring students to the church or temple.
Your TriCaster Mini options
The most basic NewTek TriCaster Mini (base configuration) retails at Jigsaw24 for just £3995 ex VAT, or you can get the fully-featured version with screen and storage for £5495 ex VAT. However, I’ve also put together some budget bundles below (available while stocks last) that come with a few recommended extras like a switcher control surface and flight case that will really help you get the most out of your TriCaster workflow, and save you a few quid. Or you can go the whole hog and get all of that with added cameras too!
– Corporate streaming bundle. This great value entry bundle sees you essentially getting a GoPro Hero 4 camera, Joby GorillaPod tripod and Lastolite chroma kit completely free with your TriCaster Mini. Great for corporate use! – £3995 ex VAT.
– Fully featured streaming bundle. If you need more professional footage, this bundle comes with the fantastic Sony PXW-X70, rather than a GoPro, as well as the fully-featured TriCaster Mini, Lastolite chroma kit, E-Image EG03A2 tripod and NewTek boosted HDMI cable kit. – £6699 ex VAT.
– The ultimate education bundle. Designed specially to give schools or colleges everything they need to start using the TriCaster Mini to its full potential. With the Tricaster Mini you get a Canon Legria Camcorder so you can begin shooting, a Joby GorillaPod tripod and a RØDE microphone to get your audio recording off the ground, as well as a Lastolite pop-up greenscreen and stand to start using the chroma functions. – £6999 ex VAT.