Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TriCaster

I had a really informative demo at CVP. I'm normally quite dismissive of all-in-one solutions that promise the Earth for a low-low sub-ten-grand price. I've seen NewTek's boxes demo'ed at trade shows for a decade but never seen them in a television facility or an OB truck. I always assumed that it was a very clever demo that avoided all the hard stuff (have you ever done that at a trade show?!). The expression Graham uses is 'suspiciously cheap'! Anyhow - I had a Bruce Springsteen moment when I got to spend an afternoon playing around with the TriCaster.



Now not suggesting you build an LE studio around it but it does include everything a small studio would need - six component video inputs, two virtual VTRs (with a rundown scheduler), eight input switcher (re-syncs all i/p's), DVE, keyers, mattes, caption generator/graphics subsystem and a virtual studio model.
When you design your set you tell it how things are scaled and if you then cut a real camera between three virtual positions it re-sizes the talent accordingly so - with only three cameras you can cut between maybe nine virtual shots and it really works - it seems like you have three cameras looking at each shot. It records an AVI to it's internal drive as the safety record and the virtual set knows all about plasmas etc (so you can play in as if it really was an in-shot monitor) - an in-set monitor is one of the things you can have in the model of a studio and you assign it as a destination and cut live feeds (cameras, VTs) or virtual sources (GFX, Virtual VT sources) to it and if there are any 'shiny' surfaces in the set - table tops, glasses of water etc. they pick up reflections of cameras sources, plasmas etc.
iVGA is another unique feature where the system can take a real-time VGA feed over the network. It will scale or follow the mouse for presentations and the quality was superb. I can't think of another gadget that allows you to do that without using a scaler.
I was blown away - I kept looking for the SGI workstation behind the demo booth!

I'm hoping to base a little three-camera web-casting studio around one in the next couple of months.

1 comment:

Philip Nelson said...

Glad to hear your comments on TriCaster! Please let me know if you ever have any questions!

See Ya,
Philip Nelson
NewTek