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Sunday, September 9, 2012

TriCaster 40 vs TriCaster 455

So the number one question we're getting on the phone is what's the difference between the 40 and the 455?

While the TriCaster 40 and the TriCaster 455 both have four video inputs there are a number of differences between the two units. In general the TC 40 is targeted to a different type of user then the TC 455. The user interface has been simplified somewhat and some features have been left out to keep the cost down.

Video I/O
The TC 455 has composite, S-Video (via two BNCs), component and serial digital (SDI) inputs. The component and SDI inputs support High Def video. The TriCaster 40 doesn't have SDI inputs so your HD cameras need to connect via the component inputs. The TriCaster 40′s component, composite or S-Video inputs can be used for SD cameras.

Both units have composite, S-Video and component outputs but the TC 455 also has SDI outs. The main output is at the resolution and frame rate of the current session. The TC 40 also has a dedicated SD program output. The TriCaster 455 has a configurable ‘aux’ output. This can be set to output a camera iso, program, preview, the source selected on the Aux bus, the FX bus or a clean program output (no overlays) all at a selectable resolution.

The TC 455 also has a dedicated HDMI output that carries the program audio and video signals.

Audio I/O
The TC 40 has very simple audio I/O. The inputs are stereo pair of RCA jacks and a single ¼” microphone jack along with an RCA pair for the output and a ¼” headphone jack.

The TC 455 sports a pair of XLR jacks that can be configured as either mic or line level inputs along with three pairs of ¼” jacks for additional inputs. The main output is a pair of XLR jacks. The TC 455 also has an a pair of ¼” jacks as an ‘aux’ audio output that can be configured with various sources in the software.

The 455 can also except embedded SDI audio on it’s SDI inputs and embeds the program audio in the SDI outputs. The TC 40 lacks the compressor/limiters, graphic eq and audio grouping found on the TC 455.

Multiview
On the TC 40 you can use the multiview output (either VGA, DVI or HDMI selectable*) for Program, Preview of FX bus output. The multiview output on the TC 455 is DVI and can be configured as a true multiviewer and display multiple sources and previews in several different configurations.


Media Players
The TC 455 has two DDRs that can play video, audio, still and Title pages. The 40 only has one.
The 455 has two GFX players that can play stills or titles and a dedicated audio player. The 40 also has two GFX players that can play audio as well, but no dedicated audio player.
On the TC 455 the various media players have quick preset buttons that can load an entire playlist almost instantly the feature is missing in the 40.
 
The 455 has ‘frame buffers’ that let each virtual input and the main switcher have an individual graphic loaded that can be dynamically updated over the network.

The 455 can use ‘Animation Store’ transitions. These are transitions that have an animated element and sound effects. The 455 also includes the Animation Store Editor.

Other Features
The TC 40 supports standard def (480i) in both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios and both 720p and 1080i HD. The TC 455 also supports 1080p and 24 frame video.

The TriCaster 40 can record your program back to the hard drive in either Quicktime or H.264 format. The TC 455 can record four streams of video in various different formats and codecs using the Isocorder function. Select your four streams from program, an iso’ed input, the Aux bus etc.

TriCaster 455 also includes an integrated title page editor (LiveText) and a SpeedEDIT license. The stand-alone versions of both are available to the TC 40 owner to purchase**.

Although neither machine requires genlocked cameras the TC 455 has a genlock input so that it can be locked to house sync.

So if your on a tight budget the TriCaster 40 isn’t so stripped down that it can’t do the job and can give your productions a polished look; you'll just need to live within certain limitations. While the TriCaster 455 has all the features you need to push your production to the next level and of course the TriCaster 855 offers more inputs if you need them.

*The TC 40 has three connectors on it’s video card a 15 pin VGA, a DVI and an HDMI. You can use any two of them, one for the user interface the other for the multiview.
**Educational units include a free copy of LiveText

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