Streaming Media

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Review: NewTek TriCaster 8000

NewTek's TriCaster 8000 is an extraordinarily capable live production and streaming solution that supports 8 simultaneous feeds and should be sufficient for all but the most complex live events, with a range of intriguing new features including powerful social media capabilities.

Social Media Support

Social media output works pretty much as you would expect: You configure in your credentials for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or a generic FTP account before the event. During the event, you choose frames and clips for uploading, adding comments if desired. If you’re streaming live, the TC8000 will prioritize the real time stream over the upload, so you don’t interrupt the live feed. You can choose the compression parameters for the video streams, and insert a watermark over the video or still image files.

Operationally, you drive the social media features from the Share panel, shown in Figure 2 (below). You click the Add button on the upper left, which opens a media browser for selecting media. The TC8000 has a frame grab button in the onscreen interface and control surface for grabbing frames. Remember that you can record up to eight output channels of video during your production; you can use an integrated trimmer to select in and out points for any of these feeds, creating your video clip. Once selected, you click the Upload button to upload the file.

Figure 2. The Share panel drives the new social media related features.

Note that you can configure still images to upload automatically once grabbed, but not video. Either way, it’s easy to see how this new features lets you continually feed your Twitter and Facebook pages with topical images and get a great head start on uploading clips to YouTube.

Eight Mix/Effect Buses with Re-Entry

Eight Mix or Effect (M/E) buses allow you to apply effects separately to up to eight different feeds. The re-entrant feature allows you to feed the edited stream back into the live production. The concept is easiest to understand in the context of the TC8000’s virtual sets.

With other TriCaster versions, you could insert multiple inputs into a virtual set, but the output of that feed was final. With re-entry, you can insert the output from one edited feed back into the production to create a video like that shown in Figure 3 (below), which wasn’t possible with other TriCasters, which could produce any single window, but not all four. Clearly, re-entrant M/E buses open a totally new range of possibilities for high-end productions.

Figure 3. Re-entrant M/E buses let you apply effects and then cycle the video back into the production.

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