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Tutorial: NewTek TriCaster Mini Turnkey HDMI Production Studio

In this tutorial, Jan Ozer demonstrates how the NewTek TriCaster Mini delivers portable, affordable, and full-featured live production to producers using HDMI cameras.

Cost-Effective HDMI Live Production

The advantage of using HDMI camera gear, rather than SDI, models, is total cost. Now you can create professional, multi-camera, HD live events and streams with inexpensive, off-the-shelf HDMI cameras, including GoPro models.

For best results I recommend using matching HDMI cameras for your main cameras so the look and feel of your shots is consistent.

If you’re producing in a large venue, you’ll also appreciate this cable option available with the TriCaster Mini, which includes four 100-foot HDMI cables.

The Mini also includes a locking mechanism (Figure 5, below) that you can use to ensure that the cables don’t slip out during your production.

Figure 5. The TriCaster Mini’s locking option will keep your HDMI cables securely in place.

TriCaster Software

The software included with the Mini is the same full-featured software offered on higher-end TriCaster models such as the TriCaster 460. This means it has features like PTZ camera control, ISO recording, and macros (Figure 6, below).

Figure 6. The TriCaster software included with the Mini. Click the image to see it at full size.

If you’re not familiar with the TriCaster’s capabilities, here’s a quick overview. CAMERA 1 and CAMERA 2 in Figure 6 are two HDMI inputs coming in from the connectors shown in Figure 1. NET 1 and NET 2 (also in Figure 6) are two network inputs, which can be from sources like computers on the same LAN or Apple Devices via AirPlay. The NET 2 video shown in Figure 6 comes from from an iPad; the source for NET 2 is a PowerPoint presentation from a notebook on my network.

There are two digital disk recorders (DDR 1 and DDR 2, immediately to the right of NET 1 and NET 2 in Figure 6) that you can use to play back disk-based video, two graphics buses (GFX and GFX 2) you can use for full-screen or lower-third overlays, plus 15 still and title buffers (Figure 7, below) you can easily access during your productions. As you can see on the top row in Figure 6, just to the right of CAMERA 2, I’ve got the Buffer queued for production.

Figure 7. TriCaster gives you 15 still and title buffers for use in your productions. Click the image to see it at full size.

There are 4 Mix/Effect Buses (M/E 1-4 in Figure 6) that you can use for video mixing and chromakey. In this production, I’m using two, having combined video from CAMERA 2 with a PowerPoint slide coming in from my notebook for a nice two-shot. I’ve also composited a greenscreen on-demand video into a virtual set.

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