Expert Tips For Live Multicam Streaming with NewTek TriCaster Mini

Wondering what all you need to know for live streaming from a multicamera studio? Allan Tepper wrote this excellent article for NewTek to post on their blogs. This guide gives you an essential overview of the fundamentals and workflow for using the NewTek TriCaster Mini for your live multicamera productions.

What You Need to Know For Live Streaming From Your Multicam StudioWhat You Need to Know For Live Streaming From Your Multicam Studio

NewTek Blogs by Allan Tépper This article will cover details you need to know to plan for live streaming, whether from a standard TriCaster or one upgraded to include the TriCaster Advanced Edition. You’ll learn everything you need to know in terms of framerates, CDN (Content Distribution Networks), multi-tier fallback Internet connections, and how to reach more viewers and attract different audiences by live streaming to multiple platforms and services simultaneously, thanks to the optional TriCaster Advanced Edition. Live webcasting to the general public has expanded and transformed the world of television. Now a live video broadcast can be shared to worldwide audiences with a relatively tiny investment. The live webcasting market also brings us many creative and moneymaking opportunities. With its built-in encoder, the NewTek TriCaster acts as the first required element, but there are many other details to take into account, so I wrote this article to prepare you for them. Sections in this article
  • A very short course in television framerates
  • Fundamentals of live webcasting
  • What’s a CDN?
  • Why do I need a CDN?
  • Mitigating risks
  • How much bandwidth do you need to stream live?
  • Publish your highlight video clips to multiple social networks simultaneously with TriCaster Advanced Edition

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Mitigating risks

It’s highly recommended to have at least two alternate Internet connections available, in case the first one fails. Some experts recommend the use of up to five independent Internet connections to cover any possible scenario. Although the TriCaster has its own built-in encoder for web streaming, if you are going to connect with more than one ISP (Internet service provider) simultaneously, you should really have a separate encoder for each one. (Additional encoders are available from other manufacturers and vary greatly in price. They are available from companies with varying selling prices, from Elemental to Matrox and Teradek.) MatroxAbove is an example of the Matrox Monarch HDX streaming encoder, which accepts either HDMI or SDI input. It can also make an H.264 recording on an SDHC card, and that recording can be at a higher bitrate than the live streaming setting. This can be useful as a backup recording of the one made in your TriCaster. Some CDNs even allow you to initiate simultaneous connections with each encoder and ISP, with a fallback priority order assigned by you. Some ISP examples in the United States might be prioritized as follows:
  1. Comcast Xfinity
  2. T-Mobile
  3. Verizon
  4. Sprint
  5. AT&T
However, if you are willing to let your transmission go “off air” briefly during an emergency while you switch from one Internet provider to another and reconnect, you could get by using the TriCaster’s built-in encoder for all of your Internet providers. The built-in encoder in TriCasters is very good. However, one other reason to use an independent encoder is if you are planning to take advantage of the TriCaster feature called Video pass-through (available with the TriCaster 410, TriCaster 460 and TriCaster 8000), which ensures that as long as there is AC power, audio and video from input 4 on the TriCaster 410 (or input 8 on 8-input models) is instantly routed to output 1 in a case of a catastrophic software condition.
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