How to get the most out of TriCaster Mini

How to get the most out of TriCaster Mini

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The term ‘multimedia’ seems quite outdated these days, but TriCaster Mini really is the quintessential tool for recording and delivering all kinds of media.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.

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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 bundleThis 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.

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Fully featured streaming bundleIf 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.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

NewTek news roundup: Say hello to TriCaster Mini and TalkShow

NewTek news roundup: Say hello to TriCaster Mini and TalkShow
Say hello to TriCaster Mini

Not content with stealing headlines at IBC with TalkShow, NewTek have announced a new addition to their industry leading TriCaster range: the TriCaster Mini. 

The TriCaster Mini is designed to bridge the gap between online presentation services like Adobe Connect and the existing TriCaster range by allowing you to stream multimedia presentations. It’s portable and will work with pretty standard-issue AV equipment (including consumer camcorders), so you can get started using kit you’ve already got. The best bit? You can set it up and start recording in five minutes flat.

The all-in-one approach

TriCaster Mini gives you everything you need to start streaming multimedia presentations in one box. Not got Photoshop? Not a problem, there are plenty of title templates. Don’t know how to edit clips? Just cut between channels with TriCaster’s built-in switcher.

The Mini even includes NewTek’s TransWarp effects engine, so you can add full colour, animated transitions, and supports their Virtual Set Editor, so you can drop your presenter into a virtual new room. You can even take a picture with your camera or smartphone and convert it into a holographic virtual set, so it looks like you’re presenting from a real location.

Everything happens within the TriCaster Mini, so you can avoid splurging on expensive creative software or hardware that has functionality you’ll never need. Just stick to the TriCaster Mini interface, and you’ll be able to start out simple and build up your presentations as you get more confident. NewTek have even produced a control surface specifically for the TriCaster Mini, so you can have every function at your fingertips while you’re making your presentation. And if you decide to up your game and move to a TriCaster 410, the control surface will work with that, too.

Another accessory worth looking out for is NewTek’s set of qualified 100 foot HDMI cables. Typically HDMI cables max out at 10 or 15 metres, so you, your camera and your TriCaster would have to be in pretty close quarters to get anything done. These new cables don’t have that problem, meaning you can have your cameras far further away – great if you’re trying to cover a sports match or live event from multiple angles.

NewTek have also made the Mini live up to its name – the entire thing will fit in a backpack, so you can take it with you to events, move it between locations, and tuck it away unobtrusively when it’s not being used.

Connectivity

For the subset of our readers who are just here for the specs, the TriCaster Mini is the proud owner of:

– 4 HDMI camera inputs.

– 2 HDMI outputs.

– A 16 channel switcher.

– 4 M/Es.

– 15 still and title buffers.

– Built-in streaming capabilities.

– Social media publishing.

Pricing and availability

The TriCaster Mini will be shipping this month. We only have US pricing so far, but the unit will be coming in two versions: The TriCaster Mini HD-4i, a lush $7995 version with an integrated screen and enough storage space for 45 hours of HD video, and the Mini HD-4, a $5995 version with no screen and space for 15 hours of footage. (As a general rule, go for the 4i if you want to handle on-demand video, and the 4 if you’re just mixing live footage.)

The control surface will be $2495, while a set of four qualified 100ft HDMI cables will cost a very reasonable $495.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

IBC 2014: NewTek unveils TalkShow

NewTek today unveiled TalkShow VS-100, a video calling production system designed specifically for television studios and live video producers. With TalkShow, any television or live video producer can easily reach 300 million monthly connected Skype users and incorporate them as guest speakers into live programs with full-frame Skype video calls. Attendees at the 2014 IBC Convention in Amsterdam from September 12-16 can be the first to see the new TalkShow system at the NewTek stand 7.K11.

 

The turnkey TalkShow system builds upon Skype TX software from Microsoft for initiating, receiving, monitoring and managing video calls, with a unique set of live production tools not found in other video calling systems. With TalkShow, users have access to customizable settings for fully colour correcting live video calls (including features for automatic colour balancing) as well as SDI-embedded audio, and compressor/limiter, equalisation, and adjustable head-room controls for further improving audio quality. These tools allow producers to deliver enhanced video/audio experiences that are critical when producing credible, high-quality broadcast programming and are simply not possible with standard desktop video messaging products. Additionally, producers using TalkShow with TriCaster multi-camera video production systems will be able to route Skype video calls directly to and from a TriCaster over a network connection without tying up an additional HD-SDI input.

“Almost every live TV and video programme includes a conversation between people-whether it’s a news or entertainment show, a sporting event, or even a corporate meeting,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO of NewTek. “While there’s been a growing trend to incorporate social media – such as live Twitter feeds – directly into these programmes, integrating a two-way dialogue over Skype dramatically shifts the experience to a more engaging and participatory event. TalkShow truly breaks down the fourth-wall in traditional live television. It’s a fast, easy, low-cost way to reach anyone in any location with a simple Skype video call and to enrich program content with immediate access to the fresh perspective, analysis and opinions that only a guest speaker can deliver.”

Angie Hill, general manager for Audience Marketing from Skype added, “Skype TX is an important part of our offering to media, so we’re delighted to welcome NewTek to the Skype family. We’re now able to bring new dimensions to broadcasters’ productions and inspire a brand new generation of media moments.”

TalkShow: Make, Receive, Monitor and Adjust Skype Video Calls

TalkShow is the only production system for live video calls that enables broadcasters to manage all aspects of a live Skype video call in the control room like any other video source – and adjust the visual and audio quality of each call. The low cost, integrated hardware and software solution is broadcast ready, offering dual channel Ethernet connectivity, two channels (1 in, 1 out) of HD-SDI I/O that includes reference signal, professional XLR audio support, Tally support and more. The 1RU system allows producers to easily incorporate TalkShow into any live production or studio environment and:

– Access anyone they can reach online including the rapidly growing audience of 300 million monthly connected Skype users worldwide, to include more expert analysis and perspective in their shows, without specialized networking tools, ENG clients or proprietary software to call into a live broadcast or event.

– Transform any Skype video call initiated to or from a desktop, laptop, X-Box gaming system, Skype enabled TV, or mobile device into full-frame video, with automatic aspect ratio conversions and balanced audio. TalkShow operators can work free of audio/visual distractions such as secondary call notifications and advertisements.

– Colour balance video images with full proc-amp controls and automatic color correction to adjust image attributes for any lighting environment, enabling video calls with poor lighting and contrast to appear with far higher quality.

– Deliver reliable broadcast audio signal quality with SDI-embedded audio, and built-in compressor/limiter tools that keep call volumes at consistent levels and prevent audio clipping. Additionally, producers who often wrestle with scratchy audio and nasal-like midrange tone that results from small telephonic microphones can adjust overall tonality and background noise of any Skype call using the onboard graphic equaliser.

– Actively monitor live Skype video calls with full Tally support that allows operators to see when TalkShow Skype feeds are currently live in a programme.

– Easily manage multiple, simultaneous Skype calls within a single, user-friendly interface that offers operator previews, continuous call quality monitoring, and automatic fallback to custom still images when unforeseen bandwidth constraints occur.

Pricing and Availability

The TalkShow VS-100 model is expected to ship in Q4 2014 and is available to order now at a special introductory price of $3,995 USMSRP, which will remain in effect through November 26, 2014. International pricing will vary.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest IBC news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.