TriCaster Switcher

May 14, 2009

I’m looking for an investor; someone who can invest about $25k in me. That will enable me to purchase some of the equipment I want need to enable me to do more video shoots and have them turned around much quicker than previously possible. I can almost guarantee I will have a good ROI in under 5 years.

Now let me explain why I need the investment: a NewTek TriCaster Live Production Studio (compare the B&H price to the Retail Price and you’ll see why I go back to B&H).

Mobile Video Recording Studio

Mobile Video Recording Studio

The Tricaster is a full fledged studio in a box, can work with most Camcorders on the market, is extremely versatile, and is so easy to use even a caveman rookie can operate it. It is a switcher, a video streamer, a titler, and an editor all in one. It weights maybe 6 pounds and is easy to transport.

A friend of mine purchased on a few years ago and has been singing it’s praises ever since but I haven’t had the opportunity to work with one until fairly recently. In fact I worked with it’s big brother (the NewTek VT5) before I worked with a TriCaster. The VT5 has more inputs and outputs and is more powerful but is not mobile. If you are developing a studio or have a large church/school and plan to use many camera then I would suggest a VT5. However, because my operation would be more mobile I would stick with a TriCaster.

As you can see from the TriCaster Comparison Page there are a few different model of TriCaster from the basic Duo to the monster Broadcast. Most recently I worked with the TriCaster Duo and trust me when I say it was just what we needed. It allowed flawless switching between our 3 cameras, allowed us to add titling, accepted graphics from a Laptop (using iVGA), allowed us to record the services in a number of different formats AND allows simultaneous streaming to Praizevision. Not bad for a box that you can’t build yourself  (I’ve been looking for a way to build it myself but I haven’t come up with anything yet). When you consider that a good analog switcher starts at ~$2000 and doesn’t include the ability to record, edit or stream then you can understand why a TriCaster is a good solution.

iVGA is great because it allows you to send your information from a PC without using an additional input on the TriCaster. It is VGA over ethernet; wonderful technology and very useful.

Some drawbacks? It doesn’t come with a monitor and only top of the line Broadcast model comes with a Previw Out. When I’m directing I like to see what will be going out before it goes out, just to ensure that it looks good. I also wish the tricaster had an additional VGA or monitor out to send video to the stage or some other location.

Another drawback is that as portable as the TriCaster is you will have to travel with a LOT of additional items; cabling, the previously mentioned monitor, keyboard and mouse… etc. Of course that could all change if we could effectively handle wireless HD from the camera to the unit… Hmmm…

Those minor gripes aside I think the TriCaster is a great product for a mobile setup. Now, won’t you help me get one of my very own??


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