Skype TX and Live Sports
When you simply can’t get a camera where
you need to, the TC1 offers a creative solution
to bringing in remote video to your workflow.
Skype TX [see Jan Ozer’s “Roundup: Simple and
Affordable Conferencing Solutions” on pp. 80-
88] is a new feature from the Microsoft-owned
property that allows you to maintain a call with
multiple individuals simultaneously. It also supports HD quality.
The TC1 has Skype TX integration built in.
This allows you to pull from any of your connected Skype calls and use them in your program. One potential is getting unique on-field
coverage from a reporter or camera operator
that otherwise couldn’t take a large camera on
location. You could also pipe in callers from remote locations to provide color commentary or
reactions to your event.
The TC1 doesn’t just win sports production
competitions with a strong spec list and extensive I/O (Figure 3). A speedy processor capable of floating point YCbCr +A 4:4:4: 4 video
processing and floating-point 96 kHz audio processing keeps the feeds running smoothly even
with dozens of inputs being fed simultaneously.
Two built-in 3TB hard drives can store the colossal amount of data from the 4K sources. After a shoot, program output and ISO recordings
can be exported for further editing.
Since a TriCaster is basically a turbocharged
PC with some specially engineered hardware,
it can be completely controlled with just a sim-
ple keyboard and mouse. It’s not ideal for com-
plex multisource productions, but it’s a good
option to have in a pinch.
The real elegance of the TC1
comes out when it’s paired
with one of NewTek’s hard-
Keyboard shortcuts make
the keyboard/mouse interface
painless to use with the TC1,
but there’s no comparison to
having a dedicated switcher
with buttons labeled and assigned individually to each
function of the software. When
the fast action of sports changes in milliseconds, you can’t
waste time hunting and pecking for just the right button. And since sports
productions are often in a rotating list of locations, it’s helpful to keep as few cables as possible in the mix. This is another area where NDI
is the MVP.
4K Over NDI
New Tek’s NDI is a fascinating development
about 2 years in the making. I asked New Tek’s
Scott Carroll and Chris Burgos to tell me more
about this IP protocol and how it differs from
what other companies are doing with video over
IP. Here’s what Carroll had to say about NDI:
NDI is a protocol or enabling technol-
ogy to move video bi-directionally over
IP in real time. New Tek developed NDI,
and we continue to add features and
improve performance. But we’ve also
made it royalty-free to anyone in the in-
dustry who wants to use it. To date, sev-
eral hundred other manufacturers have
implemented NDI into their products.
What that amounts to is that any NDI-
enabled device on a network will be able
to share video sources over that network.
It doesn’t have to be a New Tek product.
Chris Burgos expanded on Carroll’s comments about NDI being available to any device
manufacturer or developer.
NewTek now has over 400 third-party companies with NDI in their currently selling products, with over a million devices that support NDI. This is
another key differentiator that many
I/O on the TC1’s