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iceycat25
12-26-2013, 11:12 AM
A few basics, overlay options for the following on program and preview output:

1. 16:9 and 4:3 title safe overlay guides
2. Center marker overlay
3. Count down or count up timer for video where we can set the size and color of the timer font (I know this is already on the DDR timeline but my producers can never see it enough to read it)

Also in DDR bins:

1. The ability to increase clip thumbnail size
2. Some other method of switching DDR bins, every time I click on a clip near the edge of the bin it wants to pull up the tabs, also when I try to manually drag the in point on a timeline clip it does the same thing and I have to go very slowly so it doesn't think I want to select a different bin tab. It's a constant fight when working with anything near the edge of the bin.
3. When choosing files to import into a DDR having the ability to have larger thumbnails would be nice here as well so it would be easier to distinguish between various clips or elements.

For hardware:

When a single connection has a bad lead it screws up all the other connections too. A single SDI connector starts to go bad and it makes EVERY other input start flaking out. We've had to restart production a few times or just air live "crap" when the Tricaster starts getting twitchy mics and cameras because a single connector somewhere is going bad. SDI connectors are notoriously fickle when they need to be frequently plugged and unplugged and having your entire production suddenly flake out is just unacceptable. We'll be doing a live 3 hour football game, one of the sideline cameras goes twitchy due to a bad SDI connector 2 hours into the production and the last hour looks like crap as mic and camera drop outs plague the rest of the production. You can't just not take the bad camera feed because you can't even tell which one is doing it. The fact that one bad feed makes ALL the feeds bad is just no good. Not only can you not troubleshoot where the problem lies but you can't do anything about it, we can't just take the Tricater offline 2 hours into a 3 hour live production to figure it out, and we can't just not take a certain camera since they all get the problem. There should be some kind of expansion slot or add on device you can introduce into the system so that you can split these devices up. A system designed with a single point of failure is poor design.

kanep
12-26-2013, 01:32 PM
What model TriCater are you using now (and what version software)? Some of the overlay features are already available in the current models. You can get a count-down/count-up timer with the LT Scoreboard plug-in for LiveText.

As far your SDI connection, what kind of cable are you using? My experience had been the opposite when it comes to SDI. I've found it to be a reliable connection, as long as you are using good quality cable that is within the length limits of SDI.

iceycat25
12-26-2013, 03:12 PM
TriCaster XD455. When you were here for training a few months ago I asked you about title safe overlays though and you said it couldn't. Has there been another update since? Our current build is 130912.01c As for the count down timer we have LT scoreboard, ut I find LiveText to be pretty klunky, I want something that acts as a count down timer from a DDR playout automatically, just wishing for a preview countdown overlay like the switcher at my old station had.

SDI I'm sure works fine when you don't mess with it, we find it fails all the time since we're constantly plugging and unplugging since our TriCaster is used both in studio and in the field. I don't know what kind of SDI cables our engineer uses, he says the problem is with the heads, not the cables though. The connection heads fail all the time, our engineer says this is due to the fact that SDI is just a crimped head and with such frequent unplugging and moving it pulls loose and needs to be re crimped. Also during a production last week one of our three control room monitors would glitch out and it caused everything else to glitch out with it, cameras, mics, everything in our record dropped out whenever it glitched and that was HDMI. We had to ask our guests to retape the segment and we just unplugged the monitor and from then on everything was fine since the single glitchy connection was removed. I don't understand why that would cause mic and camera drop outs but our engineer said it was because all the connections in the back go through a single board in the Tricaster so they all affect each other.

kanep
12-26-2013, 04:11 PM
I remember you guys!

For the TriCaster 455, that version itself doesn't have the overlay functions, but you should be able to upgrade your system to a TC460 which does offer this overlay functionally (along with adding a ton of other new features).

As for the SDI, perhaps it might be worth trying cables with strain relief boots on the ends to help with field use these cables see?

BTW, there is a newer software release for the TC455, it looks like you are on version 6b or 6c (is that when I installed it?), version 6e-131114 is the current release as of today.

iceycat25
12-27-2013, 10:43 AM
I'll have our engineer look into the strain relief boots, thanks for the tip. Still wish there wasn't a single point of failure though. As for the upgrade, I'm pretty sure a hardware upgrade would not be cost effective for us at this point in time. I would think that adding 16:9, 4:3 and center marker overlays would be pretty easy to add as a menu option to the software via an update. Would be great if that could be done down the road.

SBowie
12-27-2013, 11:40 AM
There should be some kind of expansion slot or add on device you can introduce into the system so that you can split these devices up. A system designed with a single point of failure is poor design.A couple of points on this topic:

First, as far as 'everything going through one board' - while this may seem logical at first hearing, it is really not valid. Pretty much every mixer on the market brings in multiple sources through a single board. This is true even of the old school systems we affectionately refer to as 'big iron' switchers. It's just a question of number. And they all inevitably process all inputs on another single board, a single cpu, etc., etc. And (as much as we encourage redundancy) every system has numerous 'single points of failure', internal and external. Even a redundant mixer installation leaves you dependent on the failover system.

This said, connectors are particularly subject to wear and tear, and strain relief might be wise at any time, not least when subjected to truly heavy use. In extreme cases, I might consider really doing a number on this, such as by preparing a little rack mount patch bay connected semi-permanently to TriCaster by short cables. Then the abuse would be one step removed from the critical component, and easier to repair/replace when necessary.

Finally, a flaky or intermittent SDI connection can potentially cause some aggravating timing problems as the system tries valiantly to handshake with it and display it. However, if you know which one it is, or if necessary with a bit of trail and error, you should hopefully to be able to resolve it without a great deal of bother. Temporarily switching an input to Component then back to SDI after the connection failure is resolved should sort things out.

kanep
12-27-2013, 02:46 PM
As for the upgrade, I'm pretty sure a hardware upgrade would not be cost effective for us at this point in time. I would think that adding 16:9, 4:3 and center marker overlays would be pretty easy to add as a menu option to the software via an update.

Is most cases, the upgrade to TriCaster 460, from a TriCaster 455, is just software. You can check with your dealer and they can verify.

PIZAZZ
12-29-2013, 03:15 PM
IF you are having that many problems with SDI cabling then you need to invest in some quality cabling or a better engineer. (or both) Sorry but what he is blaming the problems on is just not true. We use both fiber and SDI cabling for hundreds of shows and have never seen those kinds of problems on our TriCasters.

fbauer
01-03-2014, 03:57 PM
...with such frequent unplugging and moving it pulls loose and needs to be re crimped.

...invest in some quality cabling or a better engineer.
This really sounds like a mismatch between cable/connector/crimp tool. A proper crimp shouldn't pull loose, unless the cable isn't the correct size for the pin/connector, or isn't prepared/crimped properly. Crimp connectors are good enough for DOD and NASA, so they should be fine for SDI.

kltv
01-04-2014, 02:00 PM
I've never had those kinds of problems with SDI either. Once I had a camera at the maximum (maybe a little more) for my cables and had some dropouts but it never had any impact on the other inputs.

Kris