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Friday, June 6, 2008

TriCaster 2.0 Upgrade Hands On Review

I've been using TriCaster 2.0 upgrade software on my TriCaster Studio for a week or so and I've got to say it's a nice update. NewTek has listened to the users and have tweaked a whole bunch of things. They haven't changed so much that users will need to be retrained but they've fix a lot of little bothersome things in the interface.

Little things: the misnamed VCRs are now DDRs Digital Disk Recorder, still misnamed (they don't record just play) but at least we don't have to explain that no there aren't any video cassettes involved. The record and stream buttons are larger and the labels are more legible and for the original TriCaster you get the record time counter that the rest of the TriCaster Line has had all along. The interface now sports a new Ext option for the overlay. This is primarily to support LiveText. I'll cover LiveText at a later date once I've got my hands on it.

You can also record the main output back to the hard drive but it now uses a high data rate MPEG2 format that is compatible with everything from Final Cut Pro to Sony Vegas. You also have the option of recording the Effects bus rather than the main out. This is to support the TimeWarp replay controller so you can do a camera iso.

TriCaster 2.0 includes the new Edit Text tab with a full blown Character Generator with which you can create titles for use in either the video editor or in a live switch. You can even create scrolls and crawls now. The CG is easy to use, it works just like the CG in VT[5] but the interface has been improved a little.

The editor has a lot of under-the-hood improvements. The big changes here include support for HD clips and color wheel color correction. You can render your project for use during live productions (with alpha channels even) of course but also for iPods, PSP, MPEG2 for DVDs, Flash and WMV.

The TriCaster 2.0 software also includes a standard VFW driver so you can use whatever third party streaming encoder you want so if you just must have RealMedia you can. It is also flexible about your monitor resolution, even supporting wide screen displays.

The Upgrade for the TriCaster Pro is priced higher than for the other models because you are getting upgraded to the equivalent of the ProFX with LiveSets and LiveMatte. The TriCaster 100 doesn't get the LiveSets or LiveMatte but gets almost all the other features though it still won't be able to stream and record at the same time.

All in all this is a good upgrade and well worth the money unless you just use a bare minimum of the TriCaster's features. The upgrade lists for $495 for The TC 100, ProFX and Studio and $995 for the TriCaster Pro. Call us for our price. (1-800-692-6442).

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