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Thread: When failure is not an option

  1. #1
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    When failure is not an option

    I just came back from recording a 5 day event - about 6 hours each day with the Tricaster XD300. I am disappointed with the preformance of the Tricaster.

    On the first day, in the middle of the shoot, as I was doing a dissolve between 2 cameras, the tricaster software shut down and back at the windows screen. I restarted the tricaster program and lost about a minutes.

    On the fourth day, when I was doing a live stream to ustream, it did it again! Because with Ustream and the 300 you need another computer to connect and start the broadcast, I lost about 15 minutes of the stream! Plus I had to totally reboot the Tricaster computer to get it working again. Extremely disappointing, especially since I had another potential client viewing the stream. He was happy with what he was seeing, except for the crash.

    On the fifth day it shut down again.

    It additional to those major crashes, about 15% of the time when I would do a dissolve half way in the dissolve it would freeze and then I would have to hit disolve again to take fully take the dissolve.

    so I have a $15,000 that is not reliable!!! Failure is not a option. A device that constantly crashes will not work for me.

    Very frustrated. James

  2. #2
    Las Vegas Toaster
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    sad to say but I have had much much worst experience with other switchers that cost 4x the price. With any technology you may run into problems the best you can do is plan for them and have back-ups in place...

    for your example I would put in a hard bang switcher that if the XD crashes you can hard switch to a safe video feed (like your center camera) On the other crash do the same but feed your program out to a sperate computer that is doing the stream.

    Also you do not need a second computer to start your UStream broadcast... just remove the "offair" at the end of the stream id and then as soon as you hit stream it will be live.

    I always say plan for the worst hope for the best
    Brett Beanan

  3. #3
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Las Vegas Toaster
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    Another option which I know of many installs that did this is to put in 2 TriCasters and a A/B switch if one goes down you jump over to the back-up... granted it cost twice the price but it will then provide you the failure is not an option...
    Brett Beanan

  5. #5
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    Brett, Not in my budget to have 2 Tricasters...

    But what I am thinking is like you said, take the output from the main camera, feed that into the laptop that starts the broadcast stream and it would ask if the Tricaster stream is lost, do I want to use either the webcam or the video camera input. I would also have the audio from my mixer input the laptop too. Then it should quickly pick up where the tricaster ended.

    Over the next week or so I will test this - as if the Tricaster was failing and see how fast I can continue the stream.

    Brett, in this scenario, do you know what I would need to do to let the Tricaster pick up the stream again?

    Thanks for your help and suggestions! James

  6. #6
    NewTek System Integrator PIZAZZ's Avatar
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    If failure is not an option then I highly suggest you devise a better backup plan.

    A router in front of the TriCaster or at least DA the inputs into a Video Switch like Brett said. Take the output of the Video Switch into another computer to do the encoding. Since you are using a XD300 then I would go all SD/HDSDI. IF you use SDI then you will not see a major difference between encoding on the XD300 or another machine. Now you have the TriCaster available to be your streaming backup for the encoder. The Encoder and the router/switch is your backup for the TriCaster.

    Either that or like Brett said, buy another TriCaster for backup.
    Jef Kethley
    PIZAZZ
    www.pizazz.com

    Using:
    All models of TriCasters + 3Play, IPSeries
    Panasonic UB300 4k cams
    Tactical Fiber/converters, SDI2NDI converters, NDI-Viewfinder, and NDI2HDMI

  7. #7
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    With what you are saying you wouldn't you would want a A/B switch and always be encoding on a seperate computer. If the TriCaster fails you switch to "B" all there is a glitch in the video then but you are still good to go. Same idea as having 2 Tricaster

    like I said remove the "offair" from the end of the stream id and as soon as you hit stream it will be live... unless you have another stream hitting it first then ytou would have to select switch to FME stream in the UStream window
    Brett Beanan

  8. #8
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    Jef and Brett,

    Thanks for your insights and recommendations. I will now figure out what equipment I need to do a full a/b switch without a second tricaster. To have a backup plan in place so in a matters of seconds I can be back on the air. And hopefully when the newer version of the tricaster software comes out, that will solve whatever problem I had.

    Thanks again! James

  9. #9
    Las Vegas Toaster
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    There is no such thing as a system that is 100% reliable you always need a back up plan in place... that is a mjaor reason thework stations spend millinons on their systems 50% of the cost is the back up system

    what you will need a an a/b switch and a second computer with a capture card
    Brett Beanan

  10. #10
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    Another Jeff, but with two f's, chiming in about this.

    One of the first things I questioned when my company was gearing up to buy the 850 was the number of routers included in the system. Why not directly connect to the Tricaster and use its streaming capabilities exclusively?

    Then a wise engineer asked me, "What's your backup?" and I saw the light. If you route everything everywhere, and use external encoders, you are set for most potential catastrophes.

    In our mobile setup (and we are one of those customers anxiously awaiting our 850 because we have about 30 webcasts scheduled between now and the end of the year), we are feeding cameras, Aja KiPros, presentation feeds, et. al into an Extron HD-SDI router, which then feeds into a couple Canopus encoders. That way if the Tricaster goes down, it's just two button presses to feed video directly from a camera to the encoders.

  11. #11
    NewTek System Integrator PIZAZZ's Avatar
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    agreed and agreed some more


    http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/videohub/

    pic one. As low as $1995. Problem solved as long as you are using SDI as your backbone.
    Jef Kethley
    PIZAZZ
    www.pizazz.com

    Using:
    All models of TriCasters + 3Play, IPSeries
    Panasonic UB300 4k cams
    Tactical Fiber/converters, SDI2NDI converters, NDI-Viewfinder, and NDI2HDMI

  12. #12
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    We have the BlackMagic StudioHub in place and it works great for this scenario. We use it to send feeds to a separate encoder as well as to the 3-Play and back.

  13. #13
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    ViaMedia Productions is located in Cave Springs with two Tricasters and two VT boxes, perhaps we can help.

    Ramey

  14. #14
    Technical Account Manager - Channel Support
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    Note the newest update to XD300 adds the capability to continue pass live video incase of a crash to the launcher. It also improves reliability overall.
    Zane Condren
    Product and Vertical Market Manager - Digital Broadcast
    NewTek Inc.
    new.tk/call

  15. #15
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    Update:

    I've been testing the new version of the Tricaster for the past several days. I am happy to report I ran the program for 48 hours straight and did not have one crash. So as best I can tell, the 3 crashes I experience over 5 days is fixed with the latest update.

    I will report again when I'm recording another live event (it always is different in real life situations).

    And I will have in place back up systems in case I have problems.

    All the best, James

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