Review: NewTek TriCaster Mini--Small Package, Big Potential

Steaming Media by Tim Siglin 104241-tcm8-ORGCompany's newest TriCaster fits in a backpack, assembles quickly When I met up with Philip Nelson, NewTek’s Chief Relationship Officer, late last year for a demonstration of the NewTek TriCaster Mini, it was in a nondescript space in the company’s headquarters, a sort of break room/gathering area that’s used sporadically for intra-company events. Not exactly the glitzy training room NewTek uses to demonstrate its upper-end TriCasters, which can run in to the multiple tens of thousands of dollars. But that was sort of the point. The TriCaster Mini is a return to the roots for a company that made its bank on being able to provide a video mixing product at a price point that other video mixing or video switcher companies wouldn’t even consider high enough for an accessory add-on to their much more expensive solutions. In this nondescript space, sitting a folding table, Nelson made a promise: that I would be impressed by how fast the TriCaster Mini, his two cameras, a USB-based external monitor, and even a green screen—all of which fit into a semi-luggable backpack—would be set up and ready for production. Less than five minutes later, according to the timer run by NewTek PR head Scott Carroll, I was convinced. Philip was ready to begin recording, complete with two small lights and a tripod for one camera—the other camera was mounted on the tabletop, next to the TriCaster mini and the external USB monitor. It was like watching a future version of the run-and-gun production techniques many of us use, but complete with lower-thirds graphics and even a virtual set. By now, as we approach next month’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) tradeshow, you’ve probably read a review or two of the TriCaster Mini, touting its outsized capabilities for such a diminutive device. read more...

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