NewTek is shipping its award-winning TriCaster 850 Extreme a full quarter ahead of schedule. The new HD portable live production system blurs the lines between live and post production, writes David Fox.
The eight-channel, multi-format, multi-definition system can switch camera sources, mix audio, add graphics and special effects, and create virtual sets, “giving you the look of a large production facility in a very small production space.” For portable use it is claimed that it can be set up “in minutes.”
The most significant feature in the new release is its new proprietary IsoCorder multi-track recording technology that can record up to eight channels of video simultaneously from any input or output, with multi-format support (including QuickTime and H.264) and adjustable audio headroom. “IsoCorder is a true breakthrough for live production,” claimed Dr Andrew Cross, NewTek CTO (pictured). “After your show, not only have you the show you produced, but you also have all the source footage that was used to create it.”
“I can’t believe how TriCaster 850 Extreme has changed my approach to live production,” said Kris Gurrad, NewTek beta tester at ABC affiliate, KATU TV, Portland. “I have complete confidence that I have captured every single element of my live production – all of which can be re-purposed and re-edited so many ways in post production that I haven’t even begun to tap into all of the possibilities.”
Gurrad (pictured) sees much potential in the system’s Apple AirPlay support. “The ability to wirelessly stream video and audio from an iPad, and iPhone or even a laptop really opens up new production elements without tieing up my DDRs. With AirPlay support I can take video from YouTube or iTunes and bring it directly into my productions on the fly. And since it works with AirPlay, any app that supports it is already TriCaster compatible.” TriCaster can take two simultaneous AirPlay audio/video streams.
TriCaster allows users to simultaneously produce, live stream to the web, broadcast, project and record HD and SD network-style productions. A single operator or small team can switch between multiple cameras, virtual inputs and virtual sets, while inserting clips, titles and motion graphics with multi-channel effects. TriCaster is widely used by broadcasters, sports organizations, and others, particularly in the US.
Numerous workflow enhancements have been added to TriCaster 850 Extreme since the system was first introduced at NAB2011, including new recording formats, system browse capability, support for multi-bitrate streaming profiles, and audio crossfade improvements.
Other features: Animation Store transitions are full colour, motion video effects and audio, from up to 11 animation stores. It includes Animation Store Creator for custom transitions, using users preferred graphics software;
Web Stream Manager can configure, store and import favourite streaming set-ups as presets, with support for multi-bitrate streaming profiles. An integrated web browser allows users to access online CDN accounts to manage, test or view shows, even during live production;
An Advanced Audio Mixer provides every audio input and output with an integrated seven-band equalizer and compressor/limiter, with enhanced audio crossfade;
Its five media players have received performance enhancements, including adjustable audio level settings for each clip and improved file format compatibility;
Media compatability has been improved, with the ability to import a wider variety of media files, such as Apple ProRes, for use in TriCaster Media Players, with expanded file format compatibilities and quick batch processing;
Alpha Channel Output on the auxiliary video output for added flexibility;
Multi-Tiered Fail-Safe, with redundant hardware, and audio and video pass-through, ensures you always stay on-air;
Linear Timecode (LTC) support.
The TriCaster 850 Extreme costs £30,999, while existing TriCaster 850 customers can upgrade for £10,999.