Are you looking to add a camera to your NewTek TriCaster setup, or build a broadcast and streaming solution from scratch? This quick guide will help you get the perfect camcorder for your needs, whether you’re working with TriCaster 40, 410, 460 or 860.
Our broadcast team have looked at which cameras are currently available (TriCaster will work with pretty much any camera, and any display too) and done plenty of hands-on research, looking at factors like portability, network integration and versatility, as well as the all-important price.
After extensive discussions, complicated equations and gallons of strong coffee, they’ve whittled the shortlist down to three camcorders that they think are ideal companions for your TriCaster setup. (If you’re still deliberating over which TriCaster is for you, have a read of this helpful article.)
What sets TriCaster apart from other similar broadcast solutions is the high-end functionality you get for a low price. It’s no coincidence then, that the three cameras the team chose all come from the JVC stable. JVC camcorders are similarly renowned for being incredibly affordable for the feature set you get with them, whether you’re after an entry-level camera or a solution for a professional studio.
For an entry-level, portable setup (TriCaster 40)
If you’re just getting started in live broadcast, or want a solution that’s perfect for education, you’ll need to be looking at TriCaster 40. The smallest and most portable model, it’s great if you need to move it round for various applications, or are working in a cramped space. TriCaster 40 only accepts component inputs, and you’re limited to four lower quality camera channels, and just one audio input, but it’s still delivering HD video at a great price, and is perfect if you’re mostly going to be working with VGA feeds.
To match those portability and affordability factors, the team suggest the JVC GY-HM150E. Small and lightweight, it also comes in at under £1400, so is ideal for a multicam HD setup with minimum outlay. Packed full of features such as JVC’s 3 chip 1/4″ progressive CCD, a 10x zoom Fujinon lens with a Rotary Optical Image Stabilizer and a 2.7″ LCD monitor, the HM150E really stands out compared to competitors in its class. We can even modify it for you with extras like pan controls and a viewfinder, making it a nifty budget studio camera.
We recommend: JVC GY-HM150E ProHD 1/4″ CCD 35Mbps 10x zoom SD and HD camcorder.
For more complex studio setups (TriCaster 410 and 460)
If you’re looking to create more complex broadcasts with multiple feeds and outputs, or deliver content to multiple locations at the same time, TriCaster 410 and 460 are for you. These can handle four cameras, accepting full HD video in both 1080i and 720p, along with SDI, Y/C, component and composite inputs, with the 460 supporting ISO recording too.
For a budget studio camera that delivers excellent image quality at a low price point, the team have plumped for the JVC GY-HM650 (at just over £3500). What’s really special about this camera is the network integration capability – you can tap into the camera’s internal settings (things like white balance and picture profiles) and control them from the backend, just as you would in a full-scale studio setup.
The HM650 also lets you stream data over IP point to point, to a server in your control room. Other notable features include the ability to control the camera using iPad, and the 23x zoom which makes it a very versatile option indeed. As with the 150, we’re also able to modify the HM650 to optimise it for your studio, with extras like HD monitors, thumb controls for zoom and more, as well as being able to help with the network setup.
We recommend: JVC GY-HM650 1/3″ ProHD CMOS camera with 23x zoom.
For a full-scale professional studio setup (TriCaster 860 and 8000)
Able to take up to eight camera feeds, TriCaster 860 and 8000 can handle everything a pro studio can throw at them. You essentially get the power of an OB truck, with the most diverse graphics and backdrops available, in a rackmountable box. The extra power does come at a cost, but for the calibre of content on offer, and pro features on offer such as frame sync for keeping all your cameras co-ordinated, it’s ideal for professional studio environments and delivering content to multiple sites (global news outlets use this kind of setup, as do our customer Staffordshire University).
Our team’s clear choice for the 860 and 8000 is JVC’s GY-HM790E. This modular HD camcorder comes with solid state recording capabilities as well as studio functionality, the highest level of HD picture quality in both 1080i and 720p formats, an MPEG2 codec capable of providing highly efficient compression of full HD 1920×1080 up to 35Mbps, and also SD recording, covering all the major signal formats.
The HM790 is a little more money, but for the price you get full control, with hardware backends, professional accessories and Fibre Channel connectivity, meaning fewer cables around the studio. It’s a system that works in the same way most broadcasting studios work, and matches TriCaster 860 and 8000 perfectly.
We recommend: JVC GY-HM790E ProHD media camcorder with Canon 14×4.4mm ENG lens.
Want to know more about TriCaster or the right camera for your setup? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and how-tos, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
By Shariff Ibrahim