Friday, September 14, 2007

TriCaster Studio Unpacked!

Alrighty, so we finally got the TriCaster Studio unpacked and set up. There were no warranty stickers on the case, so we of course had to get a quick look at the internals. Here are a ton of pictures, complete with descriptions:

The TriCaster! Much smaller than we expected.

The backside of the unit. Complete with a myriad of connections, including a Firewire connection which wasn't mentioned anywhere. Will it accept a camera input? We'll have to try.

Notice that there are extra connections that are screwed closed. What are these for?

The business side of the unit. Here we have six video inputs, four audio inputs, various audio outputs, and two video outputs. There's also four USB ports and one more Firewire on the front.

Here's the TriCaster VM, as it was called on the website, but that name doesn't appear anywhere. Instead, the unit is called the NewTek RS-8. It's interesting that we didn't see any model numbers until the units arrived.

The box of included cables, connections, and wires.

And here's the ultra quality keyboard and mouse they sent us. Notice the expensive PS2 connection.
...yeah, that mouse will be the first thing replaced. The keyboard actually isn't half bad. The unique layout of the keys is surprisingly easy on the hands.

Ah, what you've been waiting for. This is the TriCaster Studio with the case removed. Notice the extra PCI slot and the cables hot-glued into place. :-)

The view from the other side. Here we have what appears to be a dual-core processor along with two 512MB RAM chips. Notice, too, the hard drive to the left with that NTSC sticker. Those thin blue ribbons at the top are what connect the front inputs and outputs to their controller card.

And here's a close up of said controller card. This is the card with the two screwed shut VGA ports.

It's all fired up! We have 3 cameras in our studio, but we've only hooked two up so far. That lone audio input is for our wireless microphone.

The computer interface. Amazingly smooth and responsive. And the chroma keying is unbelievable. It keyed almost perfectly on our first try with no tweaking.
The virtual sets look very good. Oh, and yes, it's running XP. You can access the OS by clicking the X in the top corner, then clicking Admin.
The first thing we did was install Firefox. Get that Internet Exploder off the desktop!

The glowing buttons on the, I mean, the RS-8.

Yes, I know it's a blurry picture, but it's simply meant to point out the piercingly bright blue LEDs on the front. Sigh...looks like some electrical tape is in order.

Another reason to replace the mouse. It glows blue, too! Yikes!
So there you have it. My first impression? Wow. This unit is unbelievable. It looks like it'll be able to do everything we need and then some. The greenscreen effects are amazing and there's even an option to create your own virtual sets from straight picture files. The system is very fast and all the outputs work in beautiful real time. The VM RS-8 is very nice, too. It works almost as smoothly as the FSR Eagle 200 Controller I'm used to. I can't wait to spend some quality time with the TriCaster and see what it's really capable of! I'll post a further review as soon as I can. Oh, and I think some shots of our mostly completed studio are in order at some point as well. :-)


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