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NewTek announces TriCaster 2 Elite

Will Waters, head of global product management at NewTek, talks to TVBEurope about the new video production platform

NewTek has announced the launch of the TriCaster 2 Elite, which it describes as the “most powerful and complete live video production system on the planet.”

It enables studios, broadcasters, large scale campuses and enterprise facilities to harness nearly every major video calling application in use today, delivering a myriad of creative options. To further amplify the flexibility and scalability, both future-proofed video over IP and more traditional SDI are supported by the platform.

The TriCaster Elite 2 offers new core functionality supporting nearly every web conferencing tool including; Skype, MS Teams, Zoom Meetings, GoToMeeting as well as all IP video sources including NDI, SRT, RTMP, RTP, HTTP, SRC, and smartphones.

It has a high speed 60×45 video crosspoint that includes 32 external inputs, including 8 configurable outputs in HD or 2 in 4Kp60, that automatically determine video format and resolutions up to 4Kp60. Each input includes proc amp tools, independent keying and cropping for video, as well as triggers for automation.

Will Waters, head of global product management at NewTek, explained to TVBEurope the decision to limit the amount of 4K inputs: “The single 4K video stream is four times the bandwidth of a 1080 or 3G feed, so there is a physical limitation about how much data that can travel across the digital bus lanes. If you move into 4K it’s the same amount of bandwidth but you’re basically taking your eight lanes and reducing them to four.

“There’s a lot that we can certainly do on the input side, we can do some adaptive things to be able to handle all 32 inputs at 4K coming in via NDI. However, on the output side for the real time processing and everything we do have that physical limitation through the device.”

Waters added that, currently, the team are not looking to develop the technology further for 8K. “As a rule we try not to talk too much about future development. However, I can say that really is based off of the market need. From a software switching standpoint, within the Tricaster line in the codebase, it is format agnostic. So, we’re software driven meaning that really the level of resolution and frame rate is based off of the capabilities of whatever hardware they may be running on. Being able to do that at a price point that meets the needs of most of our customers is really the the determining factor.”

According to NewTek, the TriCaster control API and automation tools deliver creative video production and IP workflow solutions that are highly interoperable with existing equipment, such as control room systems, video walls, multiviewers, media platforms etc.

The NewTek team were developing the hardware before the global pandemic struck, explained Waters. “Video production is on computers, it’s driven by software, it talks and communicates over networks,” he said. “We have been working on some of these things for a while, but this is the wonderful thing about being in software development, we can be a bit agile and kind of change that focus based off of the market.

“It’s one of the hidden benefits of the Tricaster product, while it is turnkey and it’s built on a hardware chassis to be able to take advantage of integration, most of the feature set is really developed in the software.”