Those ProVideo Coalition readers who saw my First look at the TriCaster 40 will recall that I asked NewTek seven questions about topics not documented in the brochure or website. In this article, you’ll see the seven questions with their respective answers, of which some of them have induced me to write a few more articles.
Link to my first look at the sub-US$5000 TriCaster 40
Reordering of questions/answers
I have re-ordered the questions and answers due to the shocking response to one of them.
What QuickTime códec is used for recording HD video? What bit rate?
NewTek's response: NewTek has put much time and effort into looking at different formats, applications (even different versions of applications), and operating systems, continually tweaking file formats, even manually writing codecs in assembly, to get the results with the best possible quality. TriCaster 40 will record either H.264 at 3Mbit/s, ideal for web use, or QuickTime for high-quality, archival use. When recording QuickTime, TriCaster will record an MOV file with a high profile 4:2:2, 100Mbit/s I-Frame only MPEG-2 video stream, which should result in absolutely perfect image quality; and do this in such a way that it is readable both on the Mac (without requiring installation of any codecs) and PC (using custom QuickTime codecs supplied by NewTek). In addition to the recording formats and QuickTime codecs, NewTek provides custom SpeedHQ video codecs for both Mac and PC, which allows the user to write and read video files with alpha channel (in up to 4:4:4:4) that may be used inside the TriCaster as overlays, etc.
The MPEG2 file is -by definition- 8-bit. The SpeedHQ file is much higher bit.
Do you have a mode to set the recordings to Progressive when someone sends either 1080PsF29.97 over 59.94i or 1080PsF25 over 50i from the camera?
NewTek's response: TriCaster 40 will record program output in the format (1080i, 720p, SD) of the live production session. That said, this is indeed a great feature and is, in fact, supported by the higher-end TriCaster models. TriCaster 8000, TriCaster 855 and TriCaster 455, which allow you to ISO record the input from all cameras simultaneously, do support progressive file recording from PsF cameras over SDI.
I really hope that NewTek will add this capability to the TriCaster 40, and may write a workaround article if they don’t add it any time soon.
How are the internal media drives formatted: NTFS, HFS+ or something else? (I know that HFS+ would require the MacDrive utility.)
NewTek's response: The internal media drive is formatted in NTFS, and while NTFS is recommended for both the internal drive and external storage, technically, you are free to format the drive in any format of your choice.
I am very glad to hear that!
Are the recordings big (beyond 4GB each), or are they sequential 4GB files?
NewTek's response: TriCaster writes single, large files, without any file size limitations.
I am very glad to hear that!
Does the TriCaster 40 have an eSATA connection for recording externally? If so, what format is usable: NTFS, HFS+ or other? (I know that HFS+ would require the MacDrive utility.)
NewTek's response: TriCaster 40 includes two eSATA ports for connecting external drives. While NTFS is recommended for external storage, technically, you are free to format the drive in any format of your choice.
I am very glad to hear that! If I had to make recordings with the TriCaster 40 (or any other TriCaster) for later editing on a Mac, I’d add the MacDrive utility to the TriCaster 40 and use a RAID5 with an inboard hardware RAID controller (or possibly a Drobo with an inboard hardware controller) formatted as HFS+, connected via the eSATA port to facilitate sneakernet to the Mac after recording.
What types… and how many Ethernet ports does the TriCaster 40 have?
NewTek's response: TriCaster 40 includes a single Gigabit Ethernet port. If a user requires additional ports, a USB Ethernet adapter can easily be added to the system.
I’ll be publishing a workflow article about the use of iVGA with adjacent computer(s) for Skype sources over Gigbit Ethernet.
Have you removed the 7.5 ire marker on the waveform monitor graticule yet?
Although at first I received what appeared to be a very positive answer:
NewTek's response: TriCaster displays the 7.5 IRE marker for formats that need it. For formats that do not (e.g. PAL, NTSC-J, HD), there is no such marker. TriCaster also indicates color spot differences between BT.601 and BT.709 formats on the vectorscope.
When I wrote back to NewTek t request screen shots to illustrate this, I received the following shocking followup response:
Spoke with our engineers and the TriCaster 40 doesn’t have a waveform monitor/ v scope.
After further discussion, it became clear that the initial response was regarding all other TriCasters except the TriCaster 40. Rather than continuing about this here, if you’re interested, read my upcoming article: A TriCaster 40 without scopes is like an entry-level car without a speedometer.
Upcoming articles about the TriCasters in general, and the 40
- Why you should use Japanese NTSC with a TriCaster 40 if you use SD NTSC cameras, even in the Americas
- iVGA workflows for live digital Skype sources with your TriCaster
- NewTek's unwritten policy about multi-standard TriCasters in the USA
- A TriCaster 40 without scopes is like an entry-level car without a speedometer
To make sure you continue to see my upcoming articles, sign up to my mailing list here.
My latest ebook
I have just published an ebook in two languages.
The format is Kindle, but even if you don't have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Mac computers, Windows computers, some Blackberry phones and Windows 7 phones.
In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:
- At Amazon.com (for all of the Americas)
- Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)
- Amazon.de (Germany)
- Amazon.es (Spain, pero a lo mejor lo prefieres en castellano, a continuación)
- Amazon.fr (France)
- Amazon.it (Italy)
If you’re going to buy a Kindle book as a gift, you must do so via the Pan-American Amazon store (the first one listed above), regardless of where you live or where the recipient lives.
En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:
- Amazon.com (todas las Am©ricas)
- Amazon.co.uk (Reino Unido)
- Amazon.de (Alemania)
- Amazon.es (España)
- Amazon.fr (Francia)
- Amazon.it (Italia)
Si vas a comprar un libro Kindle como regalo, debes hacerlo vía la tienda panamericana de Amazon (la primera de la lista) sin importar donde vivas tú o donde viva la persona que recibirá el regalo.
Allan T©pper's books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs
Contact Allan T©pper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka “Spanish”) and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.
Disclosure, to comply with the FTC's rules
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan T©pper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted T©pper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan T©pper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.
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