TriCaster Mini Comes Up Big for OaheTV

PIERRE, S.D.—I like the TriCaster Mini for reasons that will resonate with anyone who produces video content.

It’s compact and lightweight, which makes it incredibly easy to transport. It can be set up quickly, transforming a dark conference room into a broadcast-ready set in less than five minutes.

I can also attest to the fact that it’s easy to use and even easier to learn. I run Lifewrx Media, a video production company that produces content for OaheTV, the public, education and government channel here in Pierre. I’m a one-man operation so I often work with other production companies. I’ve worked with organizations that have dozens of staff, many of whom I’ve watched teach themselves to use the Mini in two or three minutes.

NewTek’s TriCaster Mini
One of the greatest things about NewTek’s TriCaster Mini is that it integrates easily with so many other products.

I put the TriCaster Mini’s compatibility to the test the first time I used it earlier this year to broadcast South Dakota’s Quasquicentennial Statehood Celebration, not only across OaheTV, but to viewers across the state. The celebration featured a performance by the South Dakota State Symphony and speeches by numerous dignitaries, including the governor, lieutenant governor and state Supreme Court justice.

Of all the events I’ve produced, it was important that every component worked together seamlessly for this one—which they did.

With HDMI cable, we pulled three camera positions back to the TriCaster Mini, which acted as the on-air live switch. The HDMI-based TriCaster Mini was routed via a Blackmagic HDMI converter to an SDIbased Leightronix Incode X One, which connected directly to a wired cable modem and public Internet connection.

For close-up shots we used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 70-200 f2.8L lens next to the C100. For wide crowd shots we used the Canon XA10. A Panasonic AG-AC7 AVCHD captured the moment the building’s painstakingly restored stained glass was lit for the first time.

At the heart of the equipment rack was the Ultra Nexus video server and PEG Stream encoder. Packages used included Leightronix PEGvault, Total Info and PEG Central.

I had only learned of the TriCaster Mini two weeks before the event, which made the Quasquicentennial a “trial by fire.” But based on the experiences I’ve had with NewTek products for more than 15 years I was confident the Mini would exceed expectations.

I’m happy to report it did. It made it easy for us to switch cameras throughout the event. It also provided ISO recording capabilities thanks to its ability to record individual cameras through external hard drives. In turn, the flexibility of ISO recording allowed for timing changes in post-production editing.

I felt comfortable using the TriCaster Mini for the first time during such a high-profile event because it’s a NewTek product. I know firsthand that NewTek prioritizes simplicity, affordability and ease of use in order to level the playing field for small operations like mine. Even though I haven’t had problems, it’s reassuring to know that customer support is there if we need help.

NewTek was critical to our success with the anniversary event, which we completed within budget. NewTek helped us raise the expectations of OaheTV viewers, who definitely liked what they saw. Moving forward, the rest is up to us.

Patrick Callahan founded Lifewrx Media LLC in 1997, and started as General Manager of OaheTV the same year. He can be contacted

For additional information, contact NewTek at 210-370-8000, or