TriCaster Tips & Tricks - Live

How can I send audio from TriCaster and at the same time record the presentation to my TriCaster Hard Drive?

  1. Use TriCaster’s headphone output (stereo mini) to feed to stage mixer
  2. Set TriCaster mixer to SOLO on VCR only!
  3. If you want, you can also MUTE VCR all the time, while it still goes to mixer, (get it back from stage mix)

So now, nothing from stage mixer, passing through the TriCaster, goes back to the mixer for feedback. The stage mixer only ever gets VCR playback, and you can record everything still.

My recording levels via TriCaster mic inputs seems a little low? Can I change this?

Yes. There is a preference that can be changed to give you a little more head-room. Open Preferences panel via Ctrl-Alt-p (TriCaster original) or Ctrl-Shift-p-2 (TriCaster 0905 patch) and under Audio Mixer | Audio Mixer Mono dip change it from –6 dB Dip to –3 and you will gain some extra volume.

What do I need to know about bandwidth and iVGA?

Only changing images take bandwidth, so stills would take near zero. But, when the image changes, there would be a momentary burst. The amount depends on the complexity of the image, with organic/photos taking much more than gradient or CG style backgrounds. The more complex the image, or the slower the source video card, or the lower the speed of the connection, the longer the latency.

Typically, the bottleneck are peoples graphics addapters more than the network bandwidth available (with the exception of wireless). A modern VGA adapter (ti4200 or better) will provide very good results, and a new VGA adapter (ti6200 or better, ATI X300 or better) will provide fantastic results. Embedded graphics adapters using shared memory will only provide acceptable results for stills or lower resolutions.

802.11b (11mb) will only provide acceptable results for stills at lower resolutions. 802.11g (54mb) will do MUCH better, but there will still be some latency. Wired will obviously provide the best results.

Can I use TriCaster to demo TriCaster?

As you already know, TriCaster can bypass the scan-converter and send a full XGA signal through the scaler to the projector. What you may not know is that TriCaster can send its own screen to the projector without having to clone displays; here’s how:

  • Exit TriCaster interface to Admin mode
  • Launch TriCaster by holding down shift when you click on the Launch icon on desktop (this allows you to task-swap between windows apps)
  • Press windows-d key to minimize TriCaster and reveal desktop
  • Navigate to C:\TriCaster\TriCaster iVGA\ and launch NewTek iVGA.exe
  • Now, alt-tab back to TriCaster, and you will see on the VGA tab that your own interface is available for projection output.

You can then display the interface and change Input Sources on the VGA tab to also show the external laptop’s PowerPoint display!

Where can I learn more about streaming?

You can learn a lot from this Microsoft site.

Can I select a random DVE?

Yes! If you wish to grab a DVE from the switcher effects bin, press Alt + /

Is there an affordable dolly, crane or jib?

Yes. You can make your own rigs for not a lot of money:

TriCaster Audio Tips

Here are some tips that will help reduce TriCaster noise on the microphone inputs:

Use software amplification as a last resort

When the volume knobs are turned past the index mark on the user interface, added signal amplification is done in software. If the input and output volume knobs are turned up all the way this adds about 20db of software amplification, and so any noise that is present gets boosted 20db too. Generally speaking, the volume knobs should be set at the index marks (hold down shift key while double clicking the audio control knobs) on the user interface, then the input signal level should be checked with the TriCaster VU meter.

For best performance, the loudest sounds coming into the audio inputs should show the maximum reading on the VU meter. If the incoming audio level is not in this range, an attempt should be made to get it into this range by feeding in a stronger signal first, followed by using the trim control then as a last resort, by turning the volume controls past the index marks.

Mute unused audio inputs

Any anused audio inputs should be muted to reduce overall noise.

Configure MIC Balance controls properly

The default position of the MIC balance controls is in the center, which means that plugging a signal into one MIC channel also sends the signal to the other channel via software. While this is the desired effect when using a mono microphone and outputting stereo, it will cause added noise if left in this position when both MIC channels are enabled. So if the MIC inputs are both enabled, setting the balance control on the left channel all the way to the left, and the balance control on the right channel all the way to the right will reduce noise.

Use FireWire as iVGA TriCaster connection to improve bandwidth

As you may know, TriCaster uses a 10Ombit network connection due to the limitations of the motherboard chipset. Well, a NewTek reseller was looking to get better quality iVGA images and thought, "Why not use the existing Firewire connection to network the 2 computers?"

So they did.

After enabling Firewire networking and sharing the drives. They made sure they could see from each computer to the other. Transfered a couple files back and forth. Turned on the IVGA on the second computer. Started TriCaster and works!!!

Pizazz reported that it looked better with the larger network pipe. The coolest thing is getting GigaBit speeds without a Gigabit network card.

Can I modify TriCasters streaming options?

Yes. TriCaster is using Windows Media Encoder profiles (*.prx) that are stored in the TriCaster folder

C:\TriCaster\User Data\Default User\Stream Profiles\

If you use the Windows Media Encoding Wizard to create a customized profile, and save it with a unique name (such as MyCustomStream.prx) then it will be saved in the folder

C:\Program Files\windows Media Components\Encoder\Profiles\

Copy your customized profile from this folder to TriCaster, and it will appear in TriCaster's Streaming Profile drop-down.

Is it possible to utilize Serial Digital I/O with TriCaster?

While you cannot use the NewTek SX-SDI switcher as an I/O replacement for TriCaster, it would be possible to add some Miranda converters in-line to go back and forth from component to Serial Digital.

Where can I get the TriCaster iVGA client?

You can download the iVGA from the registration system where you registered your TriCaster.

There is also a copy of the iVGA application stored on your TriCaster in the C:\TriCaster\TriCaster iVGA folder.

I work in Final Cut Pro. What is the best video format to export for DDR playback?

In Final Cut, export to either DV or DVCPro .avi format. You can also export to .mov format using the DV Type 2 codec inside.

Can I run apps like GoTo Meeting on my TriCaster?

Running other applications on a TriCaster while it is functioning is not recommended and will cause performance and stability issues. There is also no way the operator can run TriCaster while still maintaining full access to windows at the same time.

All applications that capture the screen are going to very dramatically degrade TriCaster performance, and in the case of TCXD300, may degrade performance where it is unlikely to be able to process HD video in real-time.

How do I add a streaming profile to TriCaster 300?

Here is a quick tip for anyone wanting to make it easier to copy and paste your streaming information into an TriCaster 300:

  • Save your stream ID and location into a text
  • Open a new session and launch Live Text
  • Click File Open > .txt file type drop down
  • Import text file and save page for live
  • Open Live Production and copy information from the CG page

How do I export MPEG clips from Adobe Premiere to TriCaster?

A TriCaster 300 customer reports that Adobe Media Encoder defaults to MPEG-1, Layer II for audio format. His solution was to change the Audio Layer setting to MPEG-1, Layer I within the Adobe Media Encoder's menu during export, at which point the clips played in TriCaster.

Best Streaming Output

In productions where TriCaster is used for streaming, it is strongly recommend that you run the TriCaster in Progressive session format since you will then avoid any of the fielding artifacts that can occur when converting fielded video to progressive video for streaming. You should generally find that the quality is noticeably better.

Using TriCaster Video in Final Cut Pro

Video Captured from the LIVE desktop:

  • Load captured footage into the TriCaster Editor
  • Render clip as AVI
  • Send to final cut.

Video Captured from Capture Tab:

This video is captured as a DV .AVI which should load directly into Final Cut.

Video Edited in TriCaster Edit:

Save/Render your project as DV .AVI

When would I use the TriCaster flip video utility?

Here’s a great use of the LiveSet capability to flip video:

For people with ceiling or wall-mounted robotic cameras, you can flip a switch on the camera to flip the image, but that also introduces another couple frames of delay in that camera’s output. Instead, use NewTek LiveSet Utility to flip that video in real-time, without any additional latency.