Streaming Media

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Upcoming Industry Conferences
Streaming Media West [2-3 November 2017]
Live Streaming Summit [2-3 November 2017]
Streaming Forum [27 February 2018]
Past Conferences
Streaming Media East 2017 [16-17 May 2017]
Live Streaming Summit [16-17 May 2017]

First Look: NewTek TriCaster TC1

NewTek's Will Waters gives Streaming Media Producer's Shawn Lam a close-up look at NewTek's new NDI-equipped, 4K/60p-capable, dual-streaming encoder TriCaster TC1.

Shawn: It's Shawn Lam here for Streaming Media Producer at NAB 2017. I'm at the NewTek booth with Will and we'll be talking about the NewTek TriCaster TC1. Now you have two models: a $14,995, entry level model that's a high-end 4K switcher and then, an additional model for another $5,000, 16 inputs. What can you tell me about this switcher?

Will: There's a lot to talk about on that but first let me just say your TriCaster, this is a new entry into the TriCaster model line, which is pretty familiar to a lot of streaming professionals because, it has integrated streaming all together there for quite some time. So we're really proud of the TriCaster TC1 and, like you said, two models. Basically, physical difference in 2RU or 3RU, redundant power being the main difference here. But, both models deliver up to 16 inputs. Now, this is a true IP-based switching system, allowing you to bring in all types of sources. What you see behind me here are all these different 16 sources being able to draw in all connected via the internet.

So, we're connected by other pods here in the booth, as well as up to 40 other manufacturers and vendors right here in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bringing in content directly from those booths over the existing IP network. You mentioned 4K, this is one of the things that NewTek ... There's a lot of buzz about 4K and especially in the streaming side because there's a legitimate way to deliver 4K content directly to television set-top boxes, what have you. So, we wanted to be able to bring a product to that streaming producer that, could not only do 4K, but could do 4K at 60 frames per second. So, each one of these 16 inputs has the ability to bring in 4K as well as DVR playback for a beautiful 4K pictures and smooth motion at 60 frames per second.

All that together ... I know I'm throwing a lot here at ya ... but one of the things, especially for the streaming side of this, and TriCaster's been known for streaming, we've added a second streaming encoder directly within the TriCaster. So there's this whole thing you know, a lot of us have mobile phones and, one of the things about it is, people tend to watch it very much because it's easy to hold this way. So, you can have a streaming encode, effectively, that gives you your standard rectangle for your standard TV production. But you may want to have a square video or 9 x 16, if you will. You can do that simultaneously directly off the TriCaster TC1.

Shawn: I tell you, I don't want to be watching my video with vertical video but I know that a lot of users do. It's a-

Will: Yeah, I mean it's one of those things. I guess it's just easy so, convenience sometimes wins over. I'm like you but hey, it's a big need. If we think about all of this viewing and demand for content, it's a really important thing.

Shawn: Let's talk about IP workflow in and out. Let's first clarify, other than IP, do you have traditional digital inputs SDI, HDMI?

Will: Yes, yes, of course. mean, NewTek is very much the leader in IP video production right now. But, the ... We have to interface with other video equipment, SDI, various flavors of IP formats, maybe HDMI. For that we actually have a new product line we call NewTek Connect. And that's here right behind me as well. This allows you to, basically add the IO as necessary. So, this particular box is eight channels of HD SDI, you can combine those four to quad split for 4K and that runs about $10,000 U.S. And you can add that as necessary or, you can do a hardware capture card with our Connect product. We have a four input model. There's really whatever flavor and format you want to work with, you can then bring into this IP world.

Shawn: And in terms of getting anything into the IP workflow, it's really anything that would support the NDI protocol. Is that accurate to say that?

Will: That's very accurate. NDI is something that NewTek brought to the market really to enable ... We see the future of video production being in IP. And so, we wanted to have that freely available so there's a just ... It's hard to keep track of the number of manufacturers that have signed on or made some announcement about products that they're going to be bringing in the market. I would think we're connected to 40 other vendors here at the show. All bring NDI sources to NewTek, we're delivering back to them. So actually, there's a big inter-operability experiment test going on right here at NAV live, right behind, you right now.

Shawn: Exciting stuff. Now in terms of a traditional workflow, if we didn't want to go for the add-on unit down here, each individual camera that has an SDI or HMI output, there's little converter boxes available right HDMI or SDI to-

Will: Well, yeah. As of today, there's a lot of work going again for bringing that very cheaply and easily. So, it's very important to watch the industry. Especially in the upcoming months here. But, we have options. NewTek delivers software-driven production. So we do have a product we call NewTek Connect Pro that delivers four channels that you can put with any type of capture card, Magewell, Blackmagic, AJA, Deltacast, Bluefish, there's a lot of influence that you're going to, your favorite option. We even provide a free version of that software for one or two channels if you want to work with that, and get it going quickly and easily.

Shawn: Fantastic, Will. Let's have a look at some of the features here in the workflow on this panel.

Will: So taking a closer look at the TriCaster TC1, as you can see with our multiviewer here, we have 16 inputs that are being brought directly within to the production switcher. And some of these are combined HD SDI. For instance, we have a live 4K camera, that is quad linked 3G SDI. But that's also combined with other format and content that's being delivered from other pods around the booth here. But, with NDI and this live production workflow, let's go ahead and take a look at that. What you can see is that, there are just a tremendous number of sources available on the network. And this is not just here within the NewTek booth, but also at other booths such as Deltacast. This is coming directly from those sources. And, of course, you would be able to bring those in directly.

Now one of the other things about this, from a source standpoint, are two very unique sources right over here. This is actually a Skype TX client that's built right into the production switcher. So, if you can see I have the two Skype callers that we can work with. And, right down over here you can see that I'm doing a very quick Skype call, where we have a return video feed. And if I bring that on air, you could see that we actually have tally and talk back that we can work with as well. Now, forgive me, because at a trade show sometimes it's hard to get good internet bandwidth for Skype on the outside. But, you can see that it's definitely working directly within the video switcher so, that's something that we're really excited about.

Of course, 4K capabilities mix and match any formats and, the ability to bring in very, very complex looks and controls. Even doing things like multiple video formats and changing out those compositions. So being able to change and move those around dynamically up dating all of the particular content based off of your creative direction. And, from a streaming stand point, we have added a second streaming encoder. And this can be streamed to the common flavors, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Microsoft Azure, the Media DS. But what's fantastic here is, that you can deliver that resolution and change that as necessary. Force 4K streaming directly right off of the TriCaster TC1 making that live production available today.

Shawn: Thank you very much Will. This has been a look at the NewTek TriCaster TC1 at NAB 2017. My name is Shawn Lam for Streaming Media Producer.

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