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Thread: More PIP's Please!

  1. #1
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    More PIP's Please!

    One of the major factors that has us looking at TC Studio rather than TC Pro is having six video inputs available rather than just three. This (among other things) differentiates you from all of the competitive products we've seen in a similar price range. (Most of which are limited to 4 inputs.)

    However, your limit of only two picture-in-picture (PIP) video elements is problematic for our application. We are streaming video from multiple remote sites via the internet as inputs that we need to aggregate together.

    For example, a two-by-two matrix showing four participants involved in a political discussion - or two talking heads streaming simultaneously with a PowerPoint presentation - or having three background monitors showing live feeds in a virtual studio (a la Fox News).

    The extra power and flexibility provided by TC Studio's (and TC Broadcast's) six inputs is being stifled by this limitation.

    I respectfully suggest that TC Studio and TC Broadcast both warrant the ability to have at least three, and preferably four, video elements captured in one composite. Especially, considering that there are competitive products out there with that capability - but have nowhere near the sophistication or robustness of your solution in any other way.

    I appreciate the opportunity to submit this suggestion to you. I have been favorably impressed with your product, your people and your policies. I hope this feedback will be of value to you.

  2. #2
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grappler View Post
    For example, a two-by-two matrix showing four participants involved in a political discussion - or two talking heads streaming simultaneously with a PowerPoint presentation - or having three background monitors showing live feeds in a virtual studio (a la Fox News).
    Actually, none of the existing TC models allows more than 3 live camera sources to appear simultaneously . This is dictated by the hardware design (and is why you need to switch Studio and Broadcast to 3 camera mode if you want to have dedicated ISO monitoring).

    So, while it is entirely possible using existing LiveSet technology to put 4 sources into a virtual scene, at least one of them will not be a live camera. I'm sorry to say then, that this means that the only one of your suggestions above that is currently possible is the one using the PowerPoint presentation (which would be an iVGA source).

    About the only way I can think of to sidestep that is if you dedicated one of the TC inputs to a multiplexer, and created a LiveSet that split that signal into quads and redistributed it in the LiveSet. This might work in a few cases where the video from the quads could work at 1/4 res, as on virtual background monitors.
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    Steve,

    Did I understand you correctly:

    • We can simultaneously display 3 live camera feeds?
    • We can simultaneously display 3 live camera feeds and 1 iVGA feed?
    If that's the case, then I can work with that.

    How do we build the backgrounds to support 3 or 4 elements?

    Thanks
    Rick

  4. #4
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    sorry, didn't see this until after I answered your PM on the topic, Rick.
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  5. #5
    LiveSet Making Machine joseburgos's Avatar
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    I don't have a TC so I have a question.
    What inputs are available on the overlay (DSK)?
    DDR's, i-VGA, etc?

    You could, using LiveSet, have two live feeds in windows plus a third window with a i-VGA feed.
    If i-VGA can be used in overlay, then you could have your four box (2x2) matrix with three getting live feeds (main, effects & preview) and the fourth feed by overlay.

    The LiveSet is not the problem, it would be in it's ability to be used in a production.
    Reason being, you can't use preview anymore in it's traditional way since it is feeding the LiveSet.
    If all three pip windows of live feeds are always the same (example 1=TL, 2=TR & 3=BL) then a operation plan could be devised to allow for a production.

    A simple, not knowing your production, plan would be this;
    Tricaster;
    Input 1=camera one, Input 2=camera two, Input 3=camera three, Input 4=camera one (video feed is split before Tricaster).
    Switcher;
    1=LiveSet enabled with four box set. Input Setup would have Preview follow turned off.
    Production;
    Shows fades form black to 4 (main actor/host) using traditional BLK main and preview 4 and use a auto fade transition.
    Switcher operator now does effects bus would have 2, preview bus would have 3 and overlay would have i-VGA.
    When ready, switcher is taken to main 1 but not using "take" button. Just press 1 one main.
    Since main 1 has the LiveSet enabled on it, and the switcher has all the video feeds selected, you would get three live feeds and a i-VGA feed all at the same time.

    Again not knowing you shows production but this is a setup that would work.
    Not easy to pull off because you switcher operator needs to remember the mapping of the switcher to make no mistakes.
    Practice would be very important.

    FYI: I make LiveSets and if your interested in this design, please feel free to contact me.
    [email protected]

    Take care,
    Jose Burgos
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  6. #6
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joseburgos View Post
    I don't have a TC so I have a question.
    What inputs are available on the overlay (DSK)? DDR's, i-VGA, etc?

    You could, using LiveSet, have two live feeds in windows plus a third window with a i-VGA feed. If i-VGA can be used in overlay, then you could have your four box (2x2) matrix with three getting live feeds (main, effects & preview) and the fourth feed by overlay.
    The Overlay options in TC are similar to VT's DSK, José. It varies a bit by model, but Studio and Broadcast both support EXT (which can be iVGA or LiveText), TXT (the Text template module output), and DDR1 and 2.

    As I wrote, though, this doesn't quite fulfill the "two-by-two matrix showing four participants involved in a political discussion" (I doubt feeding one live participant in from another computer on a network via iVGA->Overlay is practical). I agree with all your other points though - esp. as respects recommending your custom LiveSet skills.
    --
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  7. #7
    LiveSet Making Machine joseburgos's Avatar
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    Thanks, as always, for the kind words.

    But if the overlay in TC is similar to VT's DSK, then why can't you use DV as a feed in TC Overlay?
    This is why I asked what are it's inputs.
    If one of the cameras has firewire out, then it could be used as the forth feed via Overlay/DSK and he can get the four live feeds in a 2x2 box arrangement he is looking for.

    Unless DV is not available as a feed through Overlay.

    What do you say (holding breath hoping you say it does allow DV)?
    Jose Burgos
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  8. #8
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joseburgos View Post
    What do you say (holding breath hoping you say it does allow DV)?
    Exhale - it's not. To be honest, I'd forgotten that it is available for VT's DSK. I never use it as a live source (nor do I think many others would, given the latency). I'm sure you knew that, just saying ..
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  9. #9
    LiveSet Making Machine joseburgos's Avatar
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    Yeah I know it lags but figured it is better than using i-VGA with a camera connected to a lap top since the video quality would be better.

    Wonder how well a stream from a video camera through firewire, full screen on a laptop then i-VGA out to Overlay would look since the box is scaled down?
    Will have to test that to see if the quality holds up.

    Anyway, thanks for the info O'wise one.
    Jose Burgos
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  10. #10
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    Could not find anything on this.,..

    Quote Originally Posted by Grappler View Post
    Steve,

    Did I understand you correctly:

    • We can simultaneously display 3 live camera feeds?
    • We can simultaneously display 3 live camera feeds and 1 iVGA feed?
    If that's the case, then I can work with that.

    How do we build the backgrounds to support 3 or 4 elements?

    Thanks
    Rick

    Could I please also get this info?? I have a Tricaster Studio fully updated.

  11. #11
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    There are CCTV style boxes out there that can split a signal into 4 (but with no configuration) - we've used those successfully if you just want 4 quarters in a screen. Otherwise you are looking at outside mixers such as an Edirol V4 which you can plug in up or downstream. Hope this helps a little

  12. #12
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lcipir View Post
    Could I please also get this info?? I have a Tricaster Studio fully updated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grappler View Post
    Steve,

    Did I understand you correctly:

    • 1. We can simultaneously display 3 live camera feeds?
    • 2. We can simultaneously display 3 live camera feeds and 1 iVGA feed?
    If that's the case, then I can work with that.

    3. How do we build the backgrounds to support 3 or 4 elements?

    Thanks
    Rick
    I've taken the liberty of numbering the items in the original post.

    1. Yes. There would be several approaches to this. The simplest would be a 'doublebox' LiveSet with 2 live video sources and another displayed on top using the Overlay/DSK channel is possible. Otherwise, a custom LiveSet can be created (not without a significant learning curve, using Aura or one of its software siblings) with three live video sources is possible. You would probably use the Live, Preview and Effects row sources for this LiveSet.

    2. This is essentially the same as the second option above - a custom Liveset - but in this case it would also use the DSK (which can be assigned to Ext, for an iVGA source) as an input, making a total of 4.

    3. If you have Aura, you would use the free LiveSet plugins for it to create the custom LiveSet (I should add that some of the newer Bauhaus/TVP products did not seem to produce LiveSets that had the same sharpness as Aura. José pointed this out first, and I don't think we ever got to the bottom of it). If you don't have Aura, or find it unfamiliar (as most do), there are those who make a little pocket money offering this service.
    --
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  13. #13
    LiveSet Making Machine joseburgos's Avatar
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    Steve is correct, of course in that Mirage (not sure about TV Paint but stands to reason it too) adds some kind of Anti-Aliasing (my assumption) to the output making the video feeds look slightly blurred and this has never been corrected. This means that the Aura plug-in should only be used with Aura.
    He is also correct about needing a custom set but I will add that I have made such multi-input sets for the SD Line of TriCasters with three inputs being the most popular as people like to retain there Overlay capability. I also have started creating a three input set for the HD TriCaster line as well

    PS I am one of those people who make a little pocket money offering custom LiveSets.

    Take care,
    Jose Burgos
    NewTek Certified Trainer
    NewTek Certified on all TriCaster's
    NewTek Training & Certification Testing
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