Production

NewTek TriCaster Mini (2019) video mixer goes NDI-only

As when Apple eliminated the iPhone’s headphone jack but initially included an adapter, NewTek is initially including HDMI converters to NDI.

Imagine a video mixer (“switcher”) without any traditional camera inputs: no inboard HDMI or SDI inputs at all. That’s what the new TriCaster Mini (2019) has done, which instead has all RJ-45 Ethernet connections for NDI, a royalty-free software standard developed by NewTek for use among multiple brands. That’s why I first called NDI “the new lingua franca for pro video interconnections” when I first covered it in 2016. However, just as when Apple eliminated the headphone jack in iPhones but initially included an adapter, NewTek is initially including HDMI converters to NDI, for use with more traditional cameras designed without NDI output from the factory. The new TriCaster Mini (2019) is also the first version of the TriCaster Mini to support up to 4K UHD, in addition to 1080p and 720p for local recording or live streaming to popular platforms. Ahead find more information from me and the official press release.

PoE

The new TriCaster Mini (2019) features PoE, an acronym for Power over Ethernet. It can power NDI cameras made to accept power this way, as well as some of the NDI converters that accept HDMI or SDI and send them as NDI over Ethernet cable.

Tough decision, but good decision

Eliminating the traditional SDI or HDMI ports was a tough decision, similar to when Apple was the first company to eliminate the floppy drive in all of its computers (in perspective, a good thing), the headphone jack on most iPhones (a debatable decision) or when Apple removed the Ethernet port from all laptops (a poor decision, in my opinion). I believe that NewTek did the right thing when deciding to eliminate the SDI or HDMI inputs, given the trends of new cameras with NDI outputs… and the capability of iPhones to broadcast live via NDI using either a third-party app or the new one being announced by NewTek to an NDI-capable video mixer (“switcher”).

Screenshot of NDICam, a ≈US$10 iOS app from GallerySienna.

You can broadcast live NDI from an iOS device (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) to an NDI-capable video mixer of any manufacturer, either via wifi or Ethernet, using a Lightning/Ethernet converter which also allows you to continually power/charge the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.

In fact, this one from Belkin (Amazon link) even powers the iOS device from PoE from the TriCaster Mini (2019).

 

Is your 1080p camera

I underline my opinion about eliminating the HDMI or SDI inputs, given the existence of HDMI or SDI converters from both NewTek and third parties, as I covered in Is your HD camera “shy” in 1080p mode? in 2017 (illustrated above, graphic credit courtesy of NewTek’s design department.

Hidden wifi and Bluetooth

Although not mentioned by NewTek, the new TriCaster Mini also includes wifi and Bluetooth. If you buy one, consult NewTek to find out how to activate these hidden features, if desired.

Pending software questions

I have asked NewTek several detailed questions about the software features in this new TriCaster Mini model compared to other TriCaster models. I will be covering those answers in a future article, since many are yet to be clarified.

Prior NewTek articles and white papers

Click here to find my prior NewTek articles and white papers.

From the original press release

SAN ANTONIO, TX—November 7, 2019—Today NewTek introduced the next generation TriCaster Mini, the newest addition to the TriCaster product line and the world’s most complete and compact video production system. The plug-and-play setup of TriCaster Mini allows new video producers to get started quickly, and easily work their way up to creating more sophisticated programs, in resolutions up to 4K UHD, for delivery to all of today’s screens. Also included are hundreds of entry-level and advanced production tools like built-in virtual sets, amazing animated transition effects, replay for sporting events, streaming, recording, projecting, one-touch social media publishing, and much more.

Everyone has amazing stories to tell, and video is the most powerful way to deliver your message. That’s why we strive to make it fun and exciting to create,

said Dr. Andrew Cross, president of R&D for Vizrt Group, parent brand of NewTek and NDI

Whether you’re a student, a corporate communications manager, or a seasoned video professional, TriCaster Mini has everything to get you going and make broadcast quality shows you can stream to all your favorite social media outlets.”

 

Pricing and Availability

NewTek TriCaster Mini will be available this month with packages starting from US$8995 MSRP. International pricing will vary.

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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