NewTek TCI Tricaster enables low-cost 4K production
NewTek, a company whose production tools have played a key role in streaming productions, is now getting into the UHD game with the TriCaster TC1, a new system that supports 16 4K 60p inputs thanks to the company’s NDI technology that powers IP-based workflows. “The future of sports production and a lot of other events is 4K production and one of the biggest impediments has been the input counts on the production switchers,” says Will Waters, NewTek, director of product marketing. “So, this delivers some good news for the sports production market.”
With built-in video servers, macro automation, advanced chroma-keying, ISO-recording, replay, and more, TriCaster TC1 ideally suits broadcasters, sports, esports, event producers and digital video teams looking to get the most production power with high-quality content delivery in a single system.
Key features include switching, streaming, and recording in 4K UHD, with support for video formats up to 2160p60, along with 3G, HD, and SD resolutions; 16 external inputs with any combination of SDI, NDI, IP, or Skype TX; 4 Mix/Effects busses supporting separate mixes, keying layers, virtual sets, compositing, and more.
“The two on-board video servers record up to four sources,” says Waters. “The concept comes down to this: there is a demand for more content in more places and there is also the demand to do that without breaking the bank.”
TriCaster TC1 in a 2RU chassis is priced at $14,995 and in a 3RU redundant version for $19,995. Customers have the option of a 2RU unit ($15,995) or a 3RU ($19,995) unit with redundant power and a choice of two control panels providing complete command of the advanced capabilities and functionality of TriCaster TC1. TC1LP and TC1SP control panels are priced at $11,995 and $6,995 respectively.
It also offers multi-channel ISO recording to full-resolution QuickTime and H.264 files for VOD, post-production, and archive. And dual-channel live streaming to Facebook Live, Microsoft Azure, Twitch, Twitter, YouTube Live, and more makes it easier than ever for NewTek customers to meet their social media needs. There is also real-time export for social media sharing to Facebook, Imgur, LinkedIn, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, and more.
The system could be a boon to those who deliver content via OTT as those services are often for a sport that has a smaller niche audience. And the ability to do 4K is a differentiator that can drive engagement.
“They can use a platform like YouTube Live to deliver 4K streaming and that is why we think this will be a big game changer,” says Waters.
NewTek’s software-driven, IP-native approach to 4K eliminates the need for conversion to and from baseband video, allowing all integrated features including video playback, mix/effect busses, keying layers, and streaming to be 4K-capable without limiting the number of available resources. TriCaster TC1 has 16 inputs available, regardless of video resolution, and NewTek’s top of the line IP Series now offers 44 external inputs in 4K UHD without sacrificing functionality.
“Working with IP video makes you feel like you are living in the future, today,” adds Dr. Andrew Cross, NewTek’s president and CTO. “Once you have it, you can’t imagine going back. It enables so many new ways of working and greatly simplifies infrastructure. It also makes things like live streaming even easier.”
A new feature with TriCaster TC1 and IP Series is integrated multi-channel Skype TX integration. NewTek is the only company to offer this functionality in a live production system in the world. Any one of the TriCaster TC1’s 16 external inputs can be designated for live, broadcast-quality Skype video calling, giving producers the capability to reach any one of the 300 million monthly active users of Skype and deliver a pristine HD video call with balanced audio. With studio-ready call control from an external laptop or workstation running the Skype TX controller application, calls can be configured and monitored without impacting the TriCaster TC1 operator’s workflow. Other active call channels from NewTek TalkShow systems can be managed from the controller for additional call capacity and streamlined management.
In addition to TriCaster TC1’s onboard SDI I/O, customers have the option to configure the number of physical SDI connections based on need with the NewTek Connect line of connectivity and productivity products. With versatile functionality ranging from SDI to IP video conversion and I/O channel expansion, to 4K UHD connectivity and IP interoperability, along with video recording, monitoring, and scopes, NewTek Connect solutions seamlessly integrate with TriCaster TC1 and IP Series to deliver the workflow required.
“The Connect line allows the producer and engineer to set up the I/O channels with the gear they have available,” adds Waters. “That means seamless integration into their existing workflows.”