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NewTek Enables Creativity With Software-Based Storytelling

Jose Burgos has been able to utilize the NewTek TriCaster TC1 for remote productions during social distancing. (Image credit: Burgos FX)

MATAWAN, N.J.—My goal at Burgos FX is to help people be more creative with their live video productions. Among the services I offer are live production and training. And because of social distancing, these core competencies have become more challenging.

The tool helping me rise to the challenge? NewTek’s NDI KVM.

KNOWING THE SYSTEM

I’ve long been a NewTek believer. The company helped me build my business through its multiple live video solutions. In fact, the TriCaster line is such a key part of my workflow that I’ve worked hard to be recognized as one of the best trainers and operators of the device in the world. I am one of just three individuals to ever obtain the challenging certification of “NewTek Authorized Trainer.”

The invention of the free-to-use NDI protocol has been especially critical to my work. NDI is the network protocol allowing for a complete, end-to-end IP video production. It removes the need for legacy SDI components—and allows for KVM (keyboard, video monitor, mouse) capabilities across the TriCaster line. NDI empowers production systems at the software level. When we had to transition to distance production and distance training at our business, NDI KVM meant we were ready.

NDI KVM allows individuals to take control of the user interface on NewTek live production systems from anywhere on the network. Using NDI KVM, work is simultaneously output as an interactive NDI video source. This allows for anyone to take control of a production as is required, and—with some creativity—lets you craft a remote production workflow.

There are two ways I am personally utilizing NDI KVM right now. The first allows me to continue training. Even before remote work became common, if I couldn’t travel to a client, I was using NDI KVM with my local TriCaster and laptop. I then used computer sharing software to link up with those I train online. This continues today—in fact, with the growth of video conferencing software, the ability to provide this training tool has increasingly become the expectation.

The second use is in true production capabilities. I have had clients contact me for remote training. The working theory was that if I could offer this level of control in a training environment, I could also provide it during a live video environment. And because of NDI KVM, they’re right.

APPLYING LIVE

I continue to book clients for live video events and shows by crafting a remote setup with NDI KVM. We utilize the Skype integration of the TriCaster TC1 to bring on talent. An intercom system is built for the production team around Zoom and Microsoft Teams. With both of those video conferencing options I can offer directors and producers multiview access by sharing the NDI KVM output.

This sounds simple, but that’s the beauty of it. I achieved this capability without any extra hardware or a reduction in quality. It was a swift and effective pivot that kept business going.

These uses, admittedly, add some extra steps to KVM. However, they highlight the robustness and elegance of the NDI solution. If you use NDI KVM on a local network, you can have an incredible level of confidence it will perform for you there as well. I know this because I also utilize NDI KVM to bring web feeds into productions. It’s a less robust application, but it allows me to reduce the number of mice, keyboards and monitors I have to juggle, which can be a big deal for a lone content creator. So while that use alone will be a big deal to some, know that NDI KVM allows you to potentially get more creative than what you might expect.

I’m happy to report there are more productions on the horizon for my business. And I can say with confidence the NewTek TriCaster line of switchers with native NDI KVM components are the reason.

Jose Burgos is the owner of Burgos FX and an industry leader in live production and TriCaster. He can be contacted at joseburgos@burgosfx.com.

For more information, visit www.newtek.com