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Thread: Trying to Update Firmware on Tricaster Mini

  1. #1
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    Trying to Update Firmware on Tricaster Mini

    Greetings,

    I last updated my Tricaster Mini well over a year ago. Recently it's starting having stuttering video on one of the HDMI inputs from a camera so I want to update the firmware again. However, I've completely forgotten how to do it and it appears that Newtek has removed the how-to page. So...

    1. Has there even been an update in the last year or so? I saw the Advanced update that you have to pay for which is a big crock of you-know-what. Imagine if any other piece of electronics tried to charge for a firmware update. Has there been a free update?

    2. If so, which update should I download and install? Is it the Tricaster 40 update?

    3. How do I install it? I remember the last time I updated the firmware it was a crazy, convoluted process.

    Thanks for any help you can give me. It's much appreciated.

  2. #2
    You can check the version of your TriCaster Mini by going to the 'Help' icon on the start screen, then clicking on 'About TriCaster'. At the top of the window it will list your version number. Compare this to the version number found at http://new.tk/dl

    You want to look at the 'TriCaster Standard Edition' (since you haven't upgraded to Advanced Edition software) you can find as the top right most option on this page. The latest update for these system is 2-6-170817. The last six digits make a date (year/month/day), so this build is from August 8, 2017. If you haven't update in the last year, it looks like there is free update waiting for you. Just download and install.
    Kane Peterson
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    NewTek, Inc.

  3. #3
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    "I saw the Advanced update that you have to pay for which is a big crock of you-know-what."

    Advanced Edition is a paid upgrade for TriCasters that adds 100+ amazing, power-user features that experienced operators would greatly appreciate and benefit from. If ALL TriCasters came with AE features as "standard" many users would simply be completely overwhelmed. Think of church volunteers, grade-school kids, renters that just need basic switching and titling, etc. that are using these systems. As a reseller that works with a lot of customers doing training and follow ups, a majority of my clients are not even scratching the surface of using all the available features in their standard TriCasters - what the heck would they do with AE features, other than get confused by it all?

    When you buy a new car, you can go with the basics, or you can get all the bells and whistles, your choice. An AE upgrade is great because it feels like you have an entirely new TriCaster...without having to get a new TriCaster!

    Please check out the AE specs at these links and you might reshape your opinion of a "paid" upgrade ;-)

    https://www.newtek.com/tricaster/advanced-edition/

    https://www.newtek.com/tricaster/adv...tion/in-depth/

    Thank you

    Jeff
    Jeff Pulera
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    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
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    Regarding the Standard Edition software updates for Mini, the way that I update any of my systems is to first DOWNLOAD the update, rather than choosing an auto-installation. I'll usually do this on another PC, though you can certainly do the same from Windows in TriCaster. Download and RUN the updater, and it will ask if you want to Download, or Download and Install. I choose just Download. And you can check which parts to download. For instance, you should not need CONTENT which is all the demo clips and stills and is a large download, so you can skip that since you should already have that stuff (balloon clip, etc.)

    The download by default goes to a folder called C:\TriCasterBuild

    I will change the name of that folder to include the VERSION number so I know what's in the folder. I then copy that folder to my custom SAVE folder on the TriCaster D: drive. I use the D: drive since that is NOT erased like the C: drive when and if you have to do a RESTORE. That way, I always have the UPDATE ready to reinstall if I should need to Restore the system. no need to download it all again. A life-saver in the field!

    That's just how I like to do it. You can use whatever methods you want, but it doesn't have to be a difficult process. Sorry if you've not had a good experience in the past, but I find updates to be pretty painless really.

    Thanks

    Jeff
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: Newtek NDIHX-PTZ1

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPulera View Post
    "I saw the Advanced update that you have to pay for which is a big crock of you-know-what."

    Advanced Edition is a paid upgrade for TriCasters that adds 100+ amazing, power-user features that experienced operators would greatly appreciate and benefit from. If ALL TriCasters came with AE features as "standard" many users would simply be completely overwhelmed. Think of church volunteers, grade-school kids, renters that just need basic switching and titling, etc. that are using these systems. As a reseller that works with a lot of customers doing training and follow ups, a majority of my clients are not even scratching the surface of using all the available features in their standard TriCasters - what the heck would they do with AE features, other than get confused by it all?

    When you buy a new car, you can go with the basics, or you can get all the bells and whistles, your choice. An AE upgrade is great because it feels like you have an entirely new TriCaster...without having to get a new TriCaster!

    Please check out the AE specs at these links and you might reshape your opinion of a "paid" upgrade ;-)

    https://www.newtek.com/tricaster/advanced-edition/

    https://www.newtek.com/tricaster/adv...tion/in-depth/

    Thank you

    Jeff
    Come on now. Overwhelmed with features? Does anyone say that when Apple releases a big update for iOS? Charging for firmware updates in 2018 is insane. It's akin to car manufacturers charging $600 to update the navigation system by inserting a CD into the car's stereo. Making my Tricaster Mini feel like a new Tricaster would be adding 1080p support, not adding bells and whistles. If they charged a nominal fee for 1080p support then I would pay it.

    Really appreciate your reply and help, though.
    Last edited by slgshane; 01-04-2018 at 11:06 AM.

  6. #6
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    AE is a lot more than a simple firmware update. The latter are issued for free from time to time. In contrast, AE is a massive upgrade, arguably like jumping from an early iPhone to the latest model. Except that Apple would just create an entirely new model instead, and you would have to start from scratch, rather than being able to upgrade in software only.

    P.s., Mini (any model) is an astounding power house already, but there are limits. It can't handle 1080/p60, or AE would have supported it. That said, there are a number of individual features in AE that many feel justify the full cost all by themselves. In any case, no-one is forcing anyone to buy it. The standard edition continues to get free updates as necessary.
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    I don't think we're on the same page...AE is not an "update". MAJOR UPGRADE. Once you have purchased the AE UPGRADE, then all "updates" for AE are FREE just as they are with SE updates. No one is charging anyone for any "updates". When you purchase AE Upgrade, your machine actually gets an entirely new serial number! And a new lease on life.

    For hardware reasons, 1080p60 cannot be added to current models. But your Mini will go from 4 inputs to 8...1 NDI output to 4...advanced Matrix audio routing, TONS of automation features, and so on. Things that benefit my workflows like you wouldn't believe and that I would never want to work without again.

    I have OLD TriCaster 455 hardware, that was upgraded (paid) to a 460, and later upgraded (paid) to AE. The current capabilities are equal to buying a new 460 with AE. Light-years ahead of the capabilities that old 455 ever dreamed of. On 6-year-old hardware. But without buying a new machine for $15000. I don't see how a paid UPGRADE is a bad thing...

    Thanks

    Jeff
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: Newtek NDIHX-PTZ1

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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    AE is a lot more than a simple firmware update. The latter are issued for free from time to time. In contrast, AE is a massive upgrade, arguably like jumping from an early iPhone to the latest model. Except that Apple would just create an entirely new model instead, and you would have to start from scratch, rather than being able to upgrade in software only.

    P.s., Mini (any model) is an astounding power house already, but there are limits. It can't handle 1080/p60, or AE would have supported it. That said, there are a number of individual features in AE that many feel justify the full cost all by themselves. In any case, no-one is forcing anyone to buy it. The standard edition continues to get free updates as necessary.
    I don't believe that the hardware inside the Tricaster Mini can't handle switching 1080p signals. There are other (much cheaper and weaker) options that handle it just fine. Newtek does this so that you have to pay out the nose for their 1080p models. At the very least it should be able to record one camera source at 1080p. Instead I have to break down our gear and insert cards into our cameras for 1080p recording or completely create a new setup to stream in 1080p with a device that costs $150!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by slgshane View Post
    Newtek does this so that you have to pay out the nose for their 1080p models.
    Actually, the TC1 sells for the same price as the TC460 which it replaces. In fact, you could say that it is cheaper since it also includes Advanced Edition functionally which was an additional purchase on TC460.

    The video I/O hardware in the Mini (or other pre-TC1 systems) cannot support 1080p60, the TC1 (and IP Series) systems have entirely new video I/O hardware that supports 3G-SDI video formats.
    Last edited by kanep; 01-04-2018 at 03:17 PM.
    Kane Peterson
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    Quote Originally Posted by kanep View Post
    Actually, the TC1 sells for the same price as the TC460 which it replaces. In fact, you could say that it is cheaper since it also includes Advanced Edition functionally which was an additional purchase on TC460.

    The video I/O hardware in the Mini (or other pre-TC1 systems) cannot support 1080p60, the TC1 (and IP Series) systems have entirely new video I/O hardware that supports 3G-SDI video formats.
    I can stream in 1080p with a camera overlay and a mortise using a device that costs $150 and is the size of a wallet. There's no excuse for the Tricaster Mini to not support that functionality.

  11. #11
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slgshane View Post
    I can stream in 1080p with a camera overlay and a mortise using a device that costs $150 and is the size of a wallet. There's no excuse for the Tricaster Mini to not support that functionality.
    You haven't been here very long, so you may not realize it would be taken as rather rude to basically call both me and Kane liars. So I'm going to let it slide this time, despite your being mistaken.

    Obviously 1080/p60 requires double the bandwidth internally compared to 1080i, which is why it generally uses different connector classes, and also requires a lot more processing power. Mini can't cope with it. If you can find a less expensive device that does what your Mini does but with 1080/p60, I strongly recommend you not only buy it, but invest in the company.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    You haven't been here very long, so you may not realize it would be taken as rather rude to basically call both me and Kane liars. So I'm going to let it slide this time, despite your being mistaken.

    Obviously 1080/p60 requires double the bandwidth internally compared to 1080i, which is why it generally also user different connector classes, and also requires a lot more processing power. Mini can't cope with it. If you can find a less expensive device that does what your Mini does but with 1080/p60, I strongly recommend you not only buy it, but invest in the company.

    I've been coming to this forum ever since I bought my Mini several years ago. Why would you retaliate against me for pointing out that the Tricaster Mini has fallen behind the most simple and cheap streaming options? This costs $160:

    https://www.amazon.com/AVerMedia-Ext...+gamer+extreme

    It will live stream a 1080p video signal mixed with a 1080p camera and an alpha overlay. I can't do that with my Tricaster Mini that cost me $6000. Switching three 1080p cameras with B Roll may not be possible on the Mini (I still have my doubts about that), but it should be able to do what a $160 piece of equipment can do. No one is buying a Mini to create professional broadcasts. TV networks buy the much higher models for that. The Mini is used for semi-pro projects like church services and live streaming. In my opinion the Mini is loaded with stuff that most people will never use and lacks the most commonly-used functionality for streamers and baseline output/recording resolution (1080p). The virtual sets are a nice parlor trick, but they look like public access TV. I use it as a joke. Newtek needs to focus on what the vast majority of people are really using low-range switchers for--Twitch/podcast applications. Just my two cents from someone who spent a lot of money on the Mini and is disappointed at the focus of its updates and its overall functionality.

    Thanks for your help with the update. It was much easier than last time.
    Last edited by slgshane; 01-04-2018 at 11:10 PM.

  13. #13
    It all depends on what you need. For a church, school, corporation or mutli-camera live streamers (common customers for a TriCaster Mini models) 1080p60 isn't a requirement. It sounds like you are looking for streaming video games. Honesty, if all you need to do is the one task of streaming a game to Twitch or YouTube, that AverMedia is probably what you should use. It doesn't matter if the Mini had 1080p60 in this case, 99.9% of the game streamers out there aren't going to purchase a $6000 full production system to stream a video game output with a webcam overlay. Heck if it is a PC game you can do this for free using OBS Studio.

    Now went it comes to producing eSports events, which might be what you are looking to do, our TC1 or IP Series system are a fantastic solutions. Twitch.tv has an IP Series and TC1 systems just to do that. I can also tell you that many other large eSport companies and game studios are also looking (or already have) our products. NDI is becoming a big force in the eSports world. Don't think that NewTek isn't all in for this market, it is a big focus. However this market isn't that the TC Mini was targeted for.

    I'm not sure what happened with the update. What I do is use the download only option, then after that has completed I run the installers manually. In my case, I do this because I have multiple systems to update, but I also like to keep a copy of the current and previous versions of software. While I've rarely needed it, I always want the ability to go back to a previous version. I recommend trying this method, download only then install.

    As for future software updates, even though Advanced Edition is out, free updates have continued for systems running the Standard version of software. If you get to a point where Advanced Edition is something you need, it is an option. It sounds like you don't need it and that is fine. It was the entire reason it was made a separate paid update. Instead of stopping development on Standard Edition and forcing everyone to get AE to stay current, everyone has a choice and either way you are still getting updates.
    Last edited by kanep; 01-04-2018 at 11:18 PM.
    Kane Peterson
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    If you are just looking for a device to stream something at 1080p you will find a bunch of solutions much cheaper than the MINI. The MINI is much more than a streaming and encoding machine however. You are probably correct that most people doing TV are going to use a higher solution (like the TC1) but the MINI certainly serves its purpose streaming online at 1080i. You have to consider that the small frame on AE can do the following:

    8 Cameras or NDI inputs in HD
    2 DDRs
    2 Layers of graphics
    15 Frame buffers
    4 MEs
    4 Replay Angles
    Stream to multiple desinations
    Multiple channels of incoming and outgoing audio
    Archive both video and audio files
    4 Independent Outputs (Plus NDI Out)
    Advanced Macro options

    Add in several AE options not listed above and you really have a very powerful machine that can fit in a standard backpack.

    Some people seem to get confused and consider the MINI to be a full scale production truck solution. I purchased mine to have a very small footprint. I use a 3 machine system with a Mac Mini, and a laptop. Those 3 machines fit between one very small case and my laptop bag.

    If you are in to buying and building your own machine there are now several options both PC and Mac that includes NDI features. Just be aware that they are not plug and play like a Tricaster. Converting signals to get them in to your machine gets very costly real quick. Just look at the price of one quad SDI or HDMI capture card.
    Last edited by Radio_TVPat1982; 01-05-2018 at 07:33 AM.

  15. #15
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slgshane View Post
    Why would you retaliate against me for pointing out that the Tricaster Mini has fallen behind the most simple and cheap streaming ooptions?
    Since you ask, you may want to consider the tone of your comments. You implied that both Kane and I lied when responding to your remarks. You feel free to make negative (and wrong) assertions about NewTek's business and development strategies, based on the absence of exactly one specific feature in a product that has been on the market for quite a few years now.

    As Kane pointed out, when Mini shipped, 1080/p60 in the real world was virtually non-existent, and it wasn't designed for it. And - despite it's only relatively recently starting to gain importance for some niche applications in streaming contexts, it's still relatively rare in broadcast. Still, and unsurprisingly, our most recent models do support 1080/p60 (also 4k at p60). Both their price and performance has become all the more attractive due to advancing technology.

    I've little doubt that, in the fullness of time, we will see NewTek products that more specifically address advances in the lower mid-range, but Mini continues to be a strong product, and a top seller ... despite the existence of $160 'competition'. Presumably this is because someone out there finds it attractive, even if you feel differently. There were plenty of "simple and cheap streaming options" on the market when Mini was first launched, yet it has done very well. I don't think it aims at the same market, nor frankly does it seem likely we will be spending a lot of engineering time to complete with current or future sub-$1k switching/streaming products.

    Again, whatever validity there may be to any point you wish to make, most of your assertions are incorrect, and the manner of your making them is insulting. Perhaps you need to give a little thought to how you communicate what is essentially a feature request.
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