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Friday, March 22, 2019

Big Changes

This is kind of an 'Inside Baseball' post but I always do a pre-NAB speculative thing so here's this year's. And as always I have no actual inside knowledge I've  just have been observing NewTek for 29 years but they often surprise me so don't make any life-altering decisions based on anything here.

There have been big changes to the NewTek TriCaster and 3Play lineup and as we run up to this year's NAB show I'm predicting even more.

NewTek has over the last few months discontinued (they call it end-of-sales) the TC410, TC460, TC8000, 3Play 440 and 3Play Mini. This leaves three variants of the TC Mini Advanced and two versions (and several bundles) of the TC1 along with the 3P1, 3P 4800 and the 3P 425. NewTek also still has the IP Series VMC1 and associated modules at the high end.

The TC-1 (2U) easily replaces both the TC460 and the TC8000 in the lineup. A TC1 has four inputs like the 460 and a TC1 plus an NC1 I/O module has up to twelve. Both configurations are at the exact same price points as the two older models. So I'm pretty sure there won't be any big changes with the TC1.

I think NewTek will continue the 'rationalization' of their product line with the introduction of a new mid-range machine to replace the TC410. Probably, like the 410, it will have fewer overlays and probably a maximum of eight NDI inputs rather than the 3P1's sixteen. And possibly less analog audio I/O.

I figure there's about a 50% chance we will see either a replacement for the Mini or an even less expensive machine. Complete speculation/wishful thinking follows:

A way for NewTek to hit a lower price point would be to completely 'virtualize' the low end machine. They could have just a small processing box with no I/O and move all the video inputs and outputs to pure NDI. If you have non-NDI cameras you could use any of the various NDI conversion boxes that NewTek and other vendors sell. Let's call this the TriCaster Micro.

Heck the machine could be completely controlled with a web interface ala LivePanel and eliminate the need for anything but a power connector and an Ethernet port on the box.

As a reseller I'd like to see a 1U half rack form factor along with an optional 1U half rack, four input/ two output plus stereo audio to NDI I/O box. This combo could both replace the current Minis and offer a new lower cost entry level machine. This TC Micro could also be used as an M/E in a box as an add-on to larger TriCasters.

On the 3Play front I'd like to see new replacements for both the 3P4800 (eight inputs) and the lower end 3P 425 with full NDI I/O like the 3P1. The lower end machine could be cost reduced using the same virtualized I/O as my proposed TC Micro.

So bottom line I think we'll see a new mid-range TriCaster and maybe some sort of entry level machine at NAB. New 3Plays will happen, I think, but possibly not at NAB, those may have to wait until IBC.

I guess we will find out if I'm right and if my fevered dreams come true on April 7th at the NewTek event in Vegas.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

2019 NAB Code & NewTek Event

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