Tutorial: How to Stream Live Events with PTZOptics Cameras and the NewTek TriCaster Mini
This tutorial will demonstrate how to use PTZOptics robotic cameras for live productions with the NewTek TriCaster Mini. Pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras are having a renaissance right now with the advent of smaller, more sensitive HD imaging sensors, and PTZOptics is riding that wave with some of the best and most affordable PTZ cameras on the market.In this tutorial I’ll demonstrate how, with just a few PTZOptics cameras and a NewTek TriCaster Mini, you can get your live event onto the internet with ease. The PTZOptics cameras also integrate easily with Wirecast, vMix, and other popular streaming solutions, such as the Epiphan Pearl.
Real-World Application: Church ProductionTo demonstrate this workflow in real-world use, I took the gear to a local church that already has a great broadcast setup. This system consists of a TriCaster Mini, two PTZOptics Full HD cameras, and a PTZOptics Hardware Controller. The beauty of having a TriCaster in the system is that the TriCaster software can control the PTZ cameras in case you don't have the optional hardware controller.
Camera PositioningFor this setup, I placed one camera about 50 feet from the TriCaster. The other camera was mounted near the back of house. NewTek offers an HDMI cable that will run a rock-solid signal up to 100 feet.
Controlling the CamerasControlling the PTZOptics cameras is as straightforward as it gets. There’s a standard joystick for moving the camera. In the center of the controller, you can use optional buttons to operate iris, focus and zoom. There are additional buttons for functions and programmable presets . If you opt to control the cameras with the TriCaster, simply select the gear icon on the camera feed, navigate to the PTZ tab, and choose the appropriate input for your cameras. The PTZOptics cameras use the Sony RS232 configuration. Now you can use the PTZ tab in the TriCaster interface to set up preset camera positions that can be quickly accessed by a single operator.
Going LiveOnce you’re operational with both cameras, you’re ready to start switching and go live. The TriCaster is compatible with many streaming services, but sometimes you want to stream to multiple services simultaneously, such as YouTube Live, Ustream, and (for worship productions like the one we’re doing here) churchstreaming.tv. This is where a service like Joicaster comes in. Joicaster allows you to stream all of your live web content to multiple video platforms and channels simultaneously by managing the distribution to multiple CDNs or OBPs. Set up a Joicaster account and then link your platform accounts to it. Once that’s done, the complication of setting up a live stream is taken care of once and for all, so you can concentrate on making your production look great Alternatively, the TriCaster advanced software enables you to set up and stream to multiple CDNs as well. PTZOptics cameras are available in HDMI and USB versions, like the one shown in this tutorial, or with HD-SDI, which is perfect for larger churches, event centers, and large venues. The cameras start at just $1599, and special bundles are available with the controller and the streaming solution of your choice, like the NewTek TriCaster Mini.
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