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NewTek’s tiny OB looks Smart

NewTek has created the world’s smallest HD live television production vehicle, which is currently doing a US tour to show off the capabilities of its newly launched TriCaster 850 Extreme and 3Play 820 systems.

NewTek has created the world’s smallest HD live television production vehicle, which is currently doing a US tour to show off the capabilities of its newly launched TriCaster 850 Extreme and 3Play 820 systems, writes David Fox.

The car is being shown this week in San Francisco (June 1), Los Angeles (June 2) and Dallas (June 6) as part of the NewTek Take Control tour, and was built to spotlight the small footprint, portability and ease of use of its products.

The TriCaster 850 Extreme allows users to simultaneously produce, live stream, broadcast, project and record HD and SD network-style productions. A single operator or small team can switch between multiple cameras, virtual inputs and live virtual sets, while inserting clips, titles and motion graphics with multi-channel effects.

Features include: NewTek’s new, proprietary IsoCorder technology for multi-track, multi-format recording, which can record up to eight channels of video from either inputs or outputs; an advanced audio mixer with an integrated seven-channel EQ and compressor/limiter on every audio input and output; customisable animation store transitions from 11 animation stores; and direct support for any Apple AirPlay-enabled app or device for streaming wireless video direct from an iPhone or iPad (two simultaneously) into a live production.

“Rather than create a custom App that links to the TriCaster, we have ensured that we work with all Apps that support the Apple AirPlay protocols. This means that as App developers continue to innovate for AirPlay, TriCaster can immediately take advantage of the new capabilities,” explained its Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Cross.

The 850 Extreme also: lets users configure, store and import favourite streaming set-ups as presets, and use the integrated web browser to access online CDN accounts to manage, test or view shows, even during live production; the ability to work with many different file formats whether from the web or professional formats such as Apple ProRes; alpha channel output; multi-tiered systems and redundant hardware for audio and video pass-through, to ensure you stay on air; and linear timecode (LTC) support.

“TriCaster 850 Extreme is a groundbreaking product; a quantum leap as large as any other innovative product that NewTek has introduced,” said Cross. “We have overcome the technical challenge of recording eight channels of HD video, simultaneously with HD virtual sets and HD streaming in one system, which was previously thought unrealistic in the live production market.”

The existing TriCaster is used by sports organizations, broadcasters and others to produce extended programming. The latest 850 Extreme version will cost about $40,000, and should ship in the Autumn – it is available as an upgrade to existing TriCaster systems.

The 3Play 820 is a 10-channel (8-in, 2-out), HD/SD slow motion replay system. It supports simultaneous, continuous recording from up to eight sources (using the IsoCorder), with two fully independent playout channels. The “world-class, interpolated slow motion delivers smooth playback, and ensures still frames are free of ghosting or blurring,” it claims. The 3Play 820 supports multiple playlists, including transitions and sound tracks, and can capture content from live video inputs to any destination drives including writing a single channel to two simultaneous drives for redundancy.

Its 4U rack-mount design includes always on-air, multi-tiered systems and redundant hardware, and it comes with a full-featured hardware control surface. It will cost about $40,000 and existing 3Play systems will be upgradeable when it ships in the Autumn.

“These new products blur the lines between live and post production,” said Michael Kornet, NewTek’s chief marketing officer, who hoped that the current tour will provoke producers to “look at live production in a whole new light.”