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Thursday, April 14, 2011

More Thoughts on the TriCaster 850 Extreme

Browsing around on the web you'd think that the biggest new feature of the 850 Extreme is the Apple AirPlay support. Now don't get me wrong AirPlay is cool but the Extreme can record 8 streams of HD at once! While doing everything else it does.

I think this is a great feature. You can obviously use it to record camera isos for posting later or as backups. But think about it, you can record several different versions of you main switch: HD and SD versions, 1080i and 720p, with and without overlay graphics. This will save hours of time re-rendering productions just to repackage them for different uses.

The next most useful features are the improvements in the audio section of the 850 Extreme. I carried around a mixer just so I could use it to insert compressor/limiters in the signal path. With the 850 Extreme's built in compressor/limiters I can eliminate the mixer, the compressors and a whole bunch of cable failure points. If you are doing music events that require complex mixing you'll probably still want the mixer but for sports and meeting type projects you can reduce the amount of equipment you drag around quite a bit.

The audio grouping in conjunction with the audio follows video will make it easy to manage mic muting during commercial playback and the like. In the original 850 it had the audio follow feature but without the grouping it wasn't really all that useful in most situations.

Color transitions with sound effects are de rigueur for sports production and the 850 Extreme delivers. It looks like it will be easy to import animation sequences and audio clips an compile custom transition.

I also like the new streaming configuration panel. Presets for all the major CDNs will eliminate a lot of the cutting and pasting that was necessary to get the streaming configured. And the built in browser eliminates needing to carry around a lap top just to confirm your stream.

TriCaster 850 Extreme is a cool piece of kit.

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