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NewTek Intros TriCaster 410 for "Entry-Level Professionals"

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NewTek announced a number of new TriCaster units last week, including a quad HD-SDI unit that brings the promise of full digital workflows to the sub $10,000 market.

"We're bringing many functionalities from our $39,995 unit down to our $9995 unit," said Carter Holland, NewTek's chief marketing officer, "so that someone just getting started has the same level of capability on a limited number of inputs and within a more limited budget."

Holland was joined on the interview call by Ellen Camloh, NewTek's senior director of product marketing.

"I describe the new product line, which includes the 410, 460, and 860, as more of everything," said Camloh. "We heard from our customers that they wanted access to so much more media content in and out."

"On the input side, we've vastly expanded the network sources, including IP cameras and video from the cloud," said Camloh. "On the output side, we're offering more than just the physical HD-SDI outputs, offering the ability to do secondary feeds via a macro-based auxiliary out."

"Customers consistently tell us that they are concerned about the number of simultaneous outputs," added Holland, "including social media and the like. That option is now all available on the 410."

A large portion of the interview was taken up by our questions about the difference in price points, functionality, and market positioning of the analog-only TriCaster 40 as well as the newer SDI-focused 410. Holland said the 40 fit a need, just as the 410 is fitting a need.

"We see a distinct line between the 40, as the entry-level TriCaster, and the 410 as the entry-level professional TriCaster," said Holland. "From the production standpoint, we see the 410 for those who have a professional background."

"When we looked at shipping the TriCaster 40, we wanted to allow the non-professional to use the cameras they already have," said Holland, "so that they can do a full HD show. We felt—and still feel—that component is much better than HDMI in terms of cable length and other issues that those who are doing a live show with legacy equipment will encounter."

"We don't expect the 410 to cannibalize sales of the 40," he added, responding to our question about the narrowed price difference between the 410 and 40 units. "The 40 sells very well for us, and we focus on target segments."

Holland noted, as an example, the Central and Latin America (CALAM) markets, adding that customer feedback drives much of what they do.

"We see there are a number of markets and geographies that will continue to be attracted to the 40 because of their legacy infrastructure," said Holland, "be it cameras or even the broadcast infrastructure. One such big market for us is CALAM."

The difference between a TriCaster 410 and TriCaster 40 is approximately $4,000. Adding on the optional TC40CS control surface price bumps the $5995 price of the TriCaster 40 to approximately $7990, while adding the TC460CS control surface to the 410 pushes the $9995 entry price up to approximately $16,990. The 410 itself works with either the 40 control surface ($1995) or the 460 control surface ($6995) but NewTek recommends the TC460CS due to its one-to-one mapping of control surface keys between the 460 and 410.

Holland said the price point of sub-$10,000 for the TriCaster 410 is intentional to fill in a pricing and functionality gap.

"We recognized that, prior to the 410 that there was an opportunity between the 40 and the next closest TriCaster unit," said Holland, "so we wanted to meet the opportunity as the next closest unit—the TriCaster 455—was priced at $14,995. We were able to effectively cut the price difference in half by introducing the 410."

Holland then noted several key features of the 410, including virtual set enhancements—a trickle down from the 8000, which gives a much more polished experience, especially when coupled with better control of camera moves—and added control and automation functions. From an automation standpoint, this allows users to program control surface keys and even MIDI commands to automate everything from an environment's lighting and public-address audio installations.

"We're bringing many functionalities from our $39,995 unit down to our $9995 unit," said Holland, "so that someone just getting started has the same level of functionality at a more limited number of inputs."

And he added an opportunity exists for those with earlier TriCaster units to receive an upgrade credit.

"For those who already have a TriCaster," said Holland, "including the original ones that first rolled off the line years ago, they can contact resellers or NewTek directly to find out how much of a credit can be applied towards the purchase of a new model. We think we're unique in the industry from this perspective, by protecting our existing customers' previous investments."

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