NewTek TriCaster 40 Tutorials (Parts 1 & 2) from Videoguys & Streaming Media & Streaming Media Producer Team Up to present a Special Tutorial Series on the
NewTek TriCaster™ 40 version 2

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Tutorial: How to Produce Broadcast-Quality Events with the NewTek TriCaster 40, Part 1

Click here to watch the Video, Part 1

In two tutorials, Jan Ozer of Streaming Media Producer, will be showing you you how to create broadcast-quality live production with the NewTek TriCaster TC40. In this first installment, you'll learn how to select and configure the inputs. In the second, you'll learn how to mix and stream the show itself.

During these tutorials you'll see only a fraction of the TC40’s overall functionality, but we're sure you’ll be convinced that if you’ve got a live production planned, the TC40 should be on your shortlist of live video switchers.

The definition of broadcast quality is admittedly pretty vague. In the example used in this tutorial Jan is producing a webinar that will include full-screen video, picture-in-picture video, PowerPoint slides from a separate computer, full screen and lower-third graphics, disk-based videos, pre- and post-show advertising and credits, transitions for all elements and, of course, audio.

Navigating the TC40 Interface

Let’s start with a quick tour of the relevant portions of the TriCaster 40 (TC40) interface.

Figure 1. The TC40 interface, showing all the components of the webinar we’re producing: full-screen video, PiP, PowerPoint slides, full-screen graphics and lower thirds, disk-based videos, bumpers and credits, transitions, and audio.

The TC40 has 14 switchable input channels, all reflected in the program and preview buttons.

There are four video inputs (represented by the first 4 buttons on the left. I’ll use two: one cropped to 4:3 for the picture-in-picture and the other at native 16:9 for the full-screen view.

Fifth and sixth from the left in the buttons panels are two network inputs that can accept audio and video from any Mac or Windows computer on the same network as the TC40 or from any Apple device via AirPlay. Just to the right of the network inputs is a digital disk recorder (DDR) that we’ll use for opening and closing credits and to play a short tutorial video. Immediately to the right of the DDR are two graphics inputs, which are being used for my full-screen and lower-third titles.

The TC40 also supports four virtual inputs that let you combine content from different sources (last 4 buttons on the right).

Note that Jan customized some of the names of these three rows. For example, the first two video inputs would be 1 and 2, but he changed that to Full and Crop by right-clicking the button and entering the new name. The first network input would be Net1, but he changed that to PPT for PowerPoint. Similarly, the first virtual input would be V1, but he changed that to PiP. All this makes it simpler to choose the right button during the live event.

All of the external and graphics inputs have their own preview windows, which are up at the top of the interface, above the Program and Preview rows of buttons. On the right, the Program Monitor shows the input currently playing, while the preview window shows the input cued to appear when triggered via the Transition bar (T-bar) with the equivalent keystroke or command on the control surface.

To take any input live, just click the input in the Program row. To cue input that’s being previewed, just click the Take or Auto button, or drag the T-bar. This will be covered in more detail in the second tutorial video.

Configuring Video Inputs

Now let’s configure the inputs. Configuring the cameras is simple. You just plug them into the input port and turn them on.

You can adjust the incoming video with the ProcAmp controls.

The TC40 comes with 24 virtual sets that I won't use for this presentation, but where you would insert and adjust the key. This tab is also where you crop the input from this camera to make it fit better as a picture-in-picture within the PowerPoint slides.

To add the input from a Mac or Windows computer on the same LAN as the TC40 you just download and install a free application from the NewTek site. Once the TC40 senses the network input, you can click the menu to select it.

For graphics you can use your own files, or you can start with some of the template families that NewTek provides. In the tutorial, Jan has a full-screen title in Graphics 1 and a lower third in Graphics 2. To add a new title just click Add, at the bottom of the interface, then navigate to the desired template. Then you can customize the content as needed.

The DDR contains the still image and video files that we’ll use at the start and end of the webinar and also the tutorial file that we’ll play during the webinar. Off to the side are multiple playlists: one labeled Intro, the other Ending. Each contains the files that should be played at that time. To add files to the playlist just select it, click Add and navigate to your files.

At the lower right of the UI you can deselect Single so that all files play sequentially. With Single selected they would play one at a time. You can also enable AutoPlay so that the files start to play as soon as DDR is selected during the live event. Note that you can use the handles to set the In and Out points for any content in the DDR. That makes it simple to cue portions of the video files during the live event.

Now let’s look at the virtual inputs mentioned earlier. These let you combine multiple inputs into a single visual input.

Inputs A and B work as layers--B on the bottom, A on top. During the live event when you're ready to switch to the PowerPoint input with picture-in-picture you just click PIP. To show just the PowerPoint slides, just click the Network 1 input labeled PPT.

Configuring Audio Inputs

The TC40 has two external audio inputs, one stereo Line level input and one Microphone input. Jan is using the Microphone input for this presentation.

In the Audio Mixer, the stereo connector is Input 1; the mic Input 2. Next come inputs for the two network inputs, PPT and Net 2, plus inputs from the DDR and Graphics tracks. You can enable and disable all inputs.

Note that the microphone has a trim control that lets you set levels for different microphones. Then you can adjust gain with the slider. By default, the microphone input is sent to both stereo channels for broadcast and streaming. The Talk checkbox lowers all other inputs by 20 dB when the Microphone channel is enabled, allowing the narration to take priority. The Follow checkbox fades out the sound when that input is not live. The Solo checkbox directs audio to the headphone port when the source isn’t currently selected.

This is useful for previewing audio before taking an input live. On the extreme right, the master output outputs all live audio outputs. The streaming output can output all sources as well, but can also output these discrete tracks or all solo tracks. This makes it possible to create one audio mix for broadcast and archiving and another for streaming.

All of our inputs are configured and we’re ready to go live. You'll learn how in the next tutorial.

NewTek TriCaster 40 version 2

Version 2 of TriCaster 40 gives students, schools, corporate video departments, small organizations and communities, video bloggers, and independent producers unprecedented access to the same production capabilities used by major networks – including customizable animated transitions, network-style titles and graphics, improved file interoperability and much more.


NewTek TriCaster 40 version 2 with TriCaster 40 Control Surface

TriCaster 40 gives students, schools, corporate video departments, small organizations and communities, video bloggers, and independent producers unprecedented access to the same production capabilities used by major networks – including customizable animated transitions, network-style titles and graphics, improved file interoperability and much more.

With a broad range of new production capabilities, TriCaster 40 now enables video producers to create stunning HD television-style video broadcasts.

Exclusively for the TriCaster 40 system, add the TriCaster 40 Control Surface for fast, full access to hardware operation of all live-production functions – and still keep your small desktop footprint. Or augment your crew with an additional operator, and split the production tasks between console and user interface.

NewTek TriCaster 40v2
with Control Surface


TriCaster 40 Educational Bundle!

NewTek TriCaster 40 Educational with LiveText and Curriculum

The NewTek TriCaster 40 Educational costs the same price as a standard TriCaster 40 but includes LiveText - an external, Windows-based CG software plus a curriculum for educators to teach video production. The educational edition is available to all accredited educators and institutions.

NewTek TriCaster 40 v2 Educational with LiveText


What’s New in the TriCaster 40
version 2 Software:

With a broad range of new production capabilities, TriCaster 40 now enables video producers to create stunning HD television-style video broadcasts. Users can look forward to:

  • Creating more engaging content with network-style, highly designed visuals that deliver a polished, post-production look to live productions, in real time;
  • Creating and customizing transitions and effects, using the now included Animation Store Creator to produce full color full motion overlays, audio for both directions and even warped video mapped against any 3D surface for the highest-impact presentations possible;
  • Adding a dedicated title station inside the TriCaster, with the included LiveText application onboard for creating unique HD titles and graphics with hundreds of pre-loaded templates, displaying real-time data, and using vector-based drawing tools and extensive text options for designing custom graphics;
  • Enhancing the viewing experience with new video formats, recording options and session resolutions to reach more viewers on the platforms they watch;
  • Maximizing production efficiency and minimizing disruptions with new workflows for capturing to disk and exporting to external applications for the smoothest content creation; and,
  • Improving visual quality and consistency, correcting for variances in the video signal on every input, and tightly calibrating white, black and color levels for every source to broadcast-acceptable standards with preview scopes.

ATTN TriCaster 40 Owners: Upgrade to version 2
Now $995.00

Tutorial: Part 2 How to Mix and Stream Your Live Production

Click here to watch the Video, Part 2

This is the second of two tutorials demonstrating how to create a broadcast-quality live event with the NewTek TriCaster TC40, which was provided by this video’s sponsor, In the first tutorial, you learned how to select and configure the input. In this tutorial, you learn how to mix and stream the show itself.

The webinar I’m producing includes the following elements: full-screen video, picture-in-picture video, PowerPoint slides from a separate computer, full-screen and lower-third graphics, disk-based videos, pre- and post-show advertising and credits, transitions for all elements, and audio. In this tutorial, we’ll cover a few more interface elements and then run the show. Again, for more detail on the controls described here and how to configure them, see part 1 of this tutorial series on the TC40.

How to Switch the Show

During the show, I’ll switch between three primary elements: The full-screen video in Video 1, the picture-in-picture video in Virtual Input 1, and the PowerPoint video in Network Input 1 (Figure 1, below). (To see any of the images in this article at full size, just click on the image.)

Figure 1. The primary visual elements of our live show: full-screen video, PiP, and the PowerPoint.

I can switch via direct cut by clicking the input in the Program row (Figure 2, below), or by using the appropriate keyboard shortcut or key on the control surface.

Figure 2. Switching by clicking the desired input in the Program row.

Inserting, Configuring, and Customizing Transitions

I can insert transitions between the inputs by selecting the target input in the Preview row and pressing either Take or Auto, or dragging the T-bar (Figure 3, below).

Figure 3. Inserting a transition by dragging the T-bar.

I select my transition and transition duration in the row shown in Figure 4 (below), with BKGD standing for background. More on that in a moment.

Figure 4. Selecting a transition and a transition duration.

I set transition duration with the menu shown in Figure 4, or by dragging the duration number shown in Figure 4 to the desired duration.

I can choose any transition in the row shown in Figure 4, or search for others in the media browser shown in Figure 5 (below). I use mostly fast fades in my events, but if you want a more distinctive look, as you can see in Figure 5, you’ve got lots and lots of options.

Figure 5. Transition options available in the media browser.

Once you’ve selected a transition, you choose your customization options in the dialog shown in Figure 6 (below).

Figure 6. Transition customization options.

Imposing Titles and Graphics

Back to the background layer (BKGD) mentioned earlier. It contains the inputs configured over on the left side of the interface in the rows shown in Figure 2. On top of these layers, you have 3 downstream keys (DSK 1 and DSK 2 are shown in Figure 7, below), which you can use to superimpose any of the 14 inputs over the background videos.

Figure 7. Two of your three downstream keys (DSKs), which you can superimpose over the videos with titles and graphics.

For example, Graphics Input 2 has the lower-third title. I can insert that over the full-screen video by choosing Graphics Input 2 in DSK 1 and clicking Take or Auto (Figure 8, below). I can choose the transition and transition duration for that tile with these controls. To remove the title, I just click Take or Auto again.

Figure 8. Adding the lower-thirds via Graphics Input 2.

I can also load a separate overlay in DSK 2, but I don’t need that for this video. The third downstream key is FTB (Fade to Black), which I access just to the right of the T-bar, as shown in Figure 9 (below), at the end of the show.

Figure 9. Fading to black at the end of the show.

Choosing Your Streaming Targets

Now we know all the production basics. Let’s set up our streaming target. You can transmit via the connection types shown in Figure 10 (below), to any of the preconfigured targets shown in Figure 11 (below Figure 10), or you can configure your own target.

Figure 10. Connection type options.

Figure 11. Preconfigured streaming target options.

You can also record a stream to disk using any of the inputs shown in Figure 12 (below).

Figure 12. Options for recording a stream to disk.

Producing the Live Event

To produce the live event, I’ve created a script that includes both how the various controls should be configured before the event and how I’ll switch them during the event.

Here’s how it will work. Pre-show. I want the full-screen title running with DDR cued to Intro in Preview. I want the lower-third title ready in DSK 1. I’ll press Stream (bottom center of Figure 13, below) to start streaming 15 minutes before the show to make sure that’s going smoothly. A minute before the show, I’ll press Record (bottom left of Figure 13, below) to start the archive function.

Figure 13. Press Start (bottom, center) to start delivering the stream; press Record (bottom, left) to start archiving it.

To start the show, I’ll press Auto to transition to the introductory advertisement in the DDR (Figure 14, below). Then I’ll set Full to Preview, so the full-screen video will transition in once the short advertisement is complete.

Figure 14. Transitioning to the opening ad.

While talking, I’ll transition in the title, then remove it once done. Once the intro is done, I’ll transition to virtual input one for the PiP discussion. If I’m talking and producing, I’ll click over directly, since it’s one click instead of two. Then I’ll click over to PPT for the bulk of the presentation, where I won’t be on screen.

During this short break, I’ll load the ending playlist into the DDR. Once the presentation is complete, I’ll transition back to full-screen to take any questions, and place DDR in the Preview. Once I’m done answering questions, I’ll transition to the DDR for credits. Then press I’ll FTB (Fade To Black) to end the presentation.

Obviously it’s simpler if you have a producer running the show separately, but producing the show and serving as the on-screen talent are manageable with the TC40.

As a live production tool, the TC40 incorporates all the elements necessary for a broadcast-quality presentation in a robust platform to let you stream live and save a full-quality broadcast version. The TC40 has all the required bells and whistles with an interface you can learn in about 15 minutes. If you’re looking for a live event production tool, the TC40 should definitely be on the top of your short list.

Watch Streaming Media Producer's "How to Produce Broadcast-Quality Events with the NewTek TriCaster 40" - Sponsored by

Click here to watch the Video, Part 1

Click here to watch the Video, Part 2

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