www.newtek.com • Retail Price: TriCaster 40: $4,995; NewTek Control Surface for TriCaster 40 $1,995
TriCaster 40 is an all-in-one, live production and streaming system that lets you publish live media. It provides a solution for a physical studio by creating a virtual recording studio in a single box. It also delivers switching, streaming, and recording demand in one compact system. The addition of the Control Surface feature provides physical buttons and controls for running the digital system.
Quality and Effectiveness: Short of building an actual television studio, there is likely no better way to record and produce a high-end, live video broadcast than using technology like the TriCaster 40. For the price of a high-end computer, you can put your students in a virtual studio environment by using a camera and a green screen. By simply using basic consumer equipment, you can get a professional recording environment.
Ease of Use: The TriCaster 40 is easy to jump into for the basic functions, and it will allow more experienced users to get a depth of learning. Novices and professionals will find features that they need and can use for high-end video production. The TriCaster 40 is a plug and play system, with recording devices that are simple to get up and running. The software is intuitive, easy to work with, and feels like an appliance. Adding the control surface gives you the true feel of a live production studio. This is a device that students could start to use at any point while they are operating cameras or computers.
Creative Use of Technology: This device allows the user to build a virtual set out of individual virtual components. You can snap together your television studio—including set pieces, additional monitors, and backdrops, using the software and green screens. Students then immerse themselves in the virtual studio via a green screen and can broadcast live in their personalized environment. When using this system, students are learning to build professional quality broadcasts and developing real-life skills that are transferable to industry. There is even a certification program whereby students can demonstrate their proficiency in using this system and gain a long-term life skill.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: Regardless of how you use the TriCaster 40 system, whether it’s for a television studio or for broadcasting live sporting events, school board meetings, daily announcements, or fine arts, this is the device that will help you put a fine edge on any production. Students will learn production skills while creating work they can honestly be proud of. It is an engaging platform that will allow easy entry into producing and will continue to challenge students and teachers with advanced features well into the future. Literally a virtual studio in a box, this system will let schools create a studio anywhere one is needed, using preexisting equipment.
• Reasonable price point for what it delivers.
• Can replace a physical studio in any space you can fit a green screen.
• Makes the studio portable.
• Offers an opportunity to teach valuable, job-ready skills that are used in production studios.
• Helps students prepare for the future of production.
OVERALL RATING:For the price, it delivers far more than you would expect. At this basic level, its features are impressive and if you are looking for more features, there are higher-end NewTek TriCaster models available. However, most students, teachers, and parents will be delighted by what can be created using this tool. Taking a test drive of the TriCaster is worth your time and will leave you shocked by what can be done today in a virtual environment.