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StephenW
09-08-2005, 08:36 PM
The Telecaster featuring the TriCaster is a portable, mobile, 3 camera + switcher with graphics, audio and mini DV/ DVCam recording abilities in a 8 RU case plus an additional case for touch screen video control.

The mission statement is to provide as many necessary video production functions for a 3+ camera shoot in portable case(s) while keeping the equipment sized so one reasonably fit person could transport and lift each and every piece of equipment. This equipment is designed to travel short distances (locally) and is not designed for constant long distance travel.

The following are features of the Telecaster:
- 3+ camera operation (Cam 3 slot has a 4 channel RS switcher)
- Breakout boxes for each camera
- The breakout box to each camera contains:
- Video Signal
- Audio (single channel)
- Power for camera
- Headset Communications
- Tally light (currently not functional, TriCaster not able)
- 6 Channel Audio Mixer either XLR or 1/4 input, 1/4 output
- Talkback channel available on mixer to speak to talent
- 2RU 3 bank Marshall monitor to improve monitoring
- 4 channel Composite or Y/C output distribution amp
- A JVC MiniDV/DVCam recording/playback deck (monitored on the Marshall)

What is Missing?
- Tally Lights (Top priority for me, hopefully Newtek will address)
- A real Picture in Picture
- Lower 3rd motion grapics

What needs to be fixed?
- The assinine way custom lower thirds graphics have to be added
- TriCaster codec does not work properly with 3rd party programs
- No Push when streaming. I don't know what this is, but it went unanswered (directly to the question) from Newtek which I hate. Why can't you just say no if that is the way it is? Or, we will fix it by such and such date?
Link: http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=40134

Despite my and other complaints this computer is an amazing feat of technology. In fact, Newtek is up for an Emmy for the TriCaster (technical, so you won't see it on TV). I hope they win. It is a great idea.

My Telecaster case and others who will design their own cases would not be possible without the TriCaster. We have field tested the TriCaster on multiple occaisions, the longest bout was a 96 hour stint over 4 days - 6 hours were live each day, but the TriCaster stayed on cablecasting for the entire 96 hour period.

For a first generation the Tricaster gets an A+ in my book. Except for the Tally Lights, I would trade in my Toaster in a second (due to unstability & crashing) for the TriCaster which has actually proven very stable to me to this date.

Pictures to follow...

achuakh
09-21-2005, 08:53 AM
if you are game enuff to void your warranty on the control surface panel or risk frying it, you can make your own telelight break out.

understanding that each button is driven by a back lit LED. you can tap a parallel from the pcb to get a tiny electrical DC signal which can be fed to a relay which in turn can be fed to the CCU tele light driver. tuff luck if your tele lights are driven by GPI.

Quick and simple, but requires electronic knowledge.

Good luck!!

Blaine Holm
04-03-2006, 10:24 PM
I would trade in my Toaster in a second (due to unstability & crashing) for the TriCaster which has actually proven very stable to me to this date.




Yep, TriCaster is pretty sweet, but being in the know about your particular VT system, I don't think it's fair to bash VT[4]. I'd have traded yours in too, because it was never built correctly. I meet the guy who built it long after they went into VT, (remember he came up looking and spent half a day with me as I told him to do this correctly for free?) and although he was very knowledgeable in general about computers and a nice guy, he was clueless about computers built for editing. We have many happy customers using VT[4] in a correctly built configuration, as do many other dealers.

What do you think TriCaster is? It's a computer system built specifically for video editing. You bought a turnkey video system, not a kludged together system like your VT system was. If you'd had gone with a dealer built system, things would have been different.

TriCaster is awesome, VT[4] is even better, but please people do yourself a favor and go to a dealer to have your system built, so you don't have problems like Steve had if you decide to go with VT[4] or VT[5]. I can conclusively say that besides low audio in VT3, and CG crashes in VT3 (known VT3 bugs since resolved about the same time TriCaster came out) , Steve's VT system was not built correctly and was the cause of most of his problems.

Paul Lara
04-04-2006, 11:54 AM
- No Push when streaming. I don't know what this is, but it went unanswered (directly to the question) from Newtek which I hate. Why can't you just say no if that is the way it is? Or, we will fix it by such and such date?

My apologies.
Push streaming is something NewTek has been working on, but we don't have a release date at this time.


Pictures to follow...

So, did you ever take any photos? I'd be interested to see it.

Thanks for your warm words on how truly amazing TriCaster is !

StephenW
04-04-2006, 12:48 PM
Dear Blaine-

I wrote that last September. At that time I had a working TriCaster and a crashing Toaster.

The crashing Toaster had nothing to do with the computer we built. Many others had the same problem. A couple of months later NewTek came out with a patch with the new CG and everything with regard to the computer works fine.

All of this was caused because the audio level in VT3 was outputting at least 10db too low. We were informed that the VT4 software would fix it. We built a new computer to meet the specs required and were introduced to the VT4 crash. I was frustrated then and rightfully so. And I did not want to throw more money at the Toaster to resolve the audio problem. It is easier to stick a mixer on the output and boost it. I wish I had thought of that before I upgraded to VT4.

Obviously, we are not going to agree on the issue but calling someone "clueless" is unprofessional, especially when it is completely not true.

Blaine Holm
04-04-2006, 01:06 PM
Point taken, cluelesss was a bad word. A better way to state this would be:

He has limited knowledge of how configure a VT system. He can put together servers, MPEG encoders with the best of the them, because he does it all the time. I put together editing systems with the best of them, becuase we do it all the time. That maybe different now, but that's the way it was then. I also did not notice you had written that post in September, my apologies.

My point is that there is a lot more to just 'meeting the specs' of a workstation (including our specs) and actually making it work correctly. I don't mind being called clueless about building servers, because even though I could 'build' one, I would not know all of the tweaks to make it work at an optimum level.

How many people tweak the caches on their SCSI drives, disable NVIDIA helper service, make sure they are using an OHCI driver instead of the native one, remembering not to install packet writing software when installing your DVD Drive Suite. These are things that only affect editing systems, VT in particular.

All of these things are very important to an overall stable system, and I once again submit that one of the reasons the TriCaster is so great to you, is that you cannot just buy the software and install it yourself and you avoid the pitfalls of a do-it-yourself config. Remember, I'm not talking about assembling it, that's the easy part. I am referring to things like 'the use of that one video card that causes an issue', or that certain BIOS rev of the motherboard that is causing a problem. It's unlikely that you'll have archived version of the BIOS, or other components to see if it's a hardware or software issue.

If the 'newer' system you built is still around, do a clean install on it, I'll tell you what tweaks to do, install 4.6--- and I guarantee you'll be happy with it again.

Folks should not be afraid to assemble their own system, it can be done with ease. Steve's friend is very knowledgable in that respect and is very local to them, but people considering this route should enlist the help of a reseller, and maybe pay a small consulting fee to cover the costs helping to put together a system.

mehoz
04-27-2006, 11:32 AM
if you are game enuff to void your warranty on the control surface panel or risk frying it, you can make your own telelight break out.

understanding that each button is driven by a back lit LED. you can tap a parallel from the pcb to get a tiny electrical DC signal which can be fed to a relay which in turn can be fed to the CCU tele light driver. tuff luck if your tele lights are driven by GPI.

Quick and simple, but requires electronic knowledge.

Good luck!!


Has anyone tried this yet? If so any directions?

hazlnut
05-22-2006, 06:27 PM
The following are features of the Telecaster:
- 3+ camera operation (Cam 3 slot has a 4 channel RS switcher)
- Breakout boxes for each camera
- The breakout box to each camera contains:
- Video Signal
- Audio (single channel)
- Power for camera
- Headset Communications
- Tally light (currently not functional, TriCaster not able)
-
Pictures to follow...


What can you tell me about your breakout boxes? I've read the Markertek Catalog cover to cover and can find nothing like that.

I know you said you had them custom made, but what kind of cabling is that?

If I was going to have them custom made, what are the general spec.

And how do you get power to a camera from and XLR jack?

What size/type is the SKB rack case in your video?
Any more pics or video available?