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Red Carpet Interview: Philip Nelson, NewTek

Streaming Media Producer editor Steve Nathans-Kelly interviews NewTek SVP on the red carpet at Streaming Media West regarding the NewTek TriCaster 40 and the present and future of affordable, accessible live production and webcasting.

Steve Nathans-Kelly: Hi, I'm Steve Nathans-Kelly here on the Red Carpet of Streaming Media West with Philip Nelson, SVP of Artist & Media Relations—A & R man—at NewTek.

Philip Nelson:
It's great to be here. Having fun at Streaming Media West.

Democratizing Live Production

Steve: So, the big news out of NewTek recently is the release of the TriCaster 40, which oddly enough is being called the TriCaster for the rest of us-ironic, since TriCaster has always been TV and streaming production for the rest of us, you know, but this is the one that really takes you back to your roots.

Philip: Back in the '80s, when NewTek was pioneering desktop video with the Video Toaster, our founder and owner of NewTek, Tim Jenison, was quoted as saying, "In 20 years, your favorite TV show will be made by you or someone you know." We were way ahead of our time back then because even back in those days there was still a gatekeeper. I could make a TV show, but how could I get it out to the world? You had to go to a TV station or a cable network or videotape.

But fast-forward to today, and there is no gatekeeper. With streaming media, anybody can now make a TV show and distribute that show. And so, the concept of TriCaster was to really democratize live TV. We wanted anyone to be able to produce a broadcast-quality live TV show and now distribute it to the Web. So, there really is no gatekeeper and the best ideas win.

As the TriCaster grew up since 2005, it got a little more expensive and a little more expensive. And so, we've announced the TriCaster 40, which brings that TriCaster back to under $5,000. So it really is now accessible to anyone.

TriCaster 40 Initial Takeup

Steve: I know you're always out in the field, out on the gigs, you know, seeing people doing this and that with the product. So, where do you see the TriCaster 40 going so far? What's the take up and where's it happening? 

Philip: In the higher-end TriCasters, we've seen deployment into the NBA, in the NHL and NFL, and Miss Universe and MTV, but there's a lot of high schools and a lot of churches and a lot of corporate video departments that don't want to spend $20,000. And so, what we're seeing with the TriCaster 40 is those clients now have a solution that gives them the broadcast-quality, multi-camera production with graphics and roll-ins and virtual sets at under $5,000. High schools, churches, enterprise, corporate AV have all been very successful early deployments of TriCaster 40.

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