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Monday, April 20, 2009

NAB Coolness From NewTek

NAB day one. The whole show seems a little lower key then it has in the past, it's definitely not as crowded. This makes it a little easier to get around and check stuff out. NewTek's booth though was busy all day which was a good sign.

NewTek is featuring three products at this years show: The Tricaster Broadcast, The 3Play and the TriCaster XD300. The XD300 isn't scheduled to ship until fourth quarter so they were calling it a product preview. I'll get to some details in a bit.

Nothing new with the TriCaster Broadcast other than the v 2.5 update that shipped a few weeks ago. NewTek is running the Spring Stream special which gets you with any TriCaster Pro, Studio or Broadcast purchase The Live Set pack, 3D Arsenal and SpeedEDIT plus 1 month of Watershed, Ustream's new corporate streaming service. All this is a $2264 value. The promotion runs through May 27.

3Plays are officially shipping. The 3Play is, in case you didn't know a three input HD/SD instant replay box with a pretty slick workflow. The list price is $21.995 which is a heck of deal as it's easily one third the price of any other three channel HD replay unit. My favorite bit is the interpolated slow motion. No matter how slow you go the video has a nice smooth motion. You'd expect at this price point to see a slide show when you set the speed too slow but not with the 3Play. NewTek's 3Play tag line is "Get In The Game". Now professional level instant replay and slow motion are available at a real world price point.

The TriCaster XD300 is the long awaited HD switcher. It is similar to the current TriCaster Pro in that it has three input channels, CG overlays, live streaming and virtual sets. But every facet has been improved, some on a massive scale. So the XD300 is a lot more than a TriCaster HD

The highlights:
Two independent, sizable, positionable down stream keys. And you can bring these on and off with fancy transitions. Oh and you can use any source with these keys, your no longer limited to titles and pre-recorded clips. I think those un-used joysticks on the LC-11 controller will come in handy here.

Positionable sources in virtual sets. If your camera shot isn't quite positioned or zoomed correctly you can reposition or resize that source right in the LiveSet panel.

Live zooms in LiveSets. Want a tighter shot, no problem just zoom in, you can even do this while the shot is live.

Up stream keys on all inputs. In addition to the down stream keys you can assign an individual key to each input.

Virtual inputs. NewTek has come up with an ingenious way to manage all these virtual sets, upstream keys etc. The switcher has the normal complement of inputs: 3 camera, DDR, Still store, iVGA etc. but it also has five virtual inputs that can be any combination of virtual set with two live sources and an upstream key. This makes it very easy to set up. So with the two down stream keys we're talking five HD sources on screen at once.

Mix HD, SD, 4:3, 16:9 inputs. Output SD, HD and a stream at the same time. Everything is uprezzed or down converted as necessary on the fly. You can also color correct all sources and the SD, HD and stream outputs individually.

The user interface has been carefully thought out so it looks like it's a breeze to use. The XD300 has a full complement of ins and outs including composite, Y/C, component and SDI. It's just a complete category killer, NewTek has redefined what is possible with a portable unit like this. Oh and before I forget it's only $14,995!

This thing is going to be a lot of fun demoing because it's just going to cause jaws to drop, I can't wait to get my hands on one.

I'll get some pictures up ASAP.

Online Demo

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