I'm looking for feedback on the Newtek Tricaster TCXD300 switcher. User and customer service experiences would be very helpful.
We are preparing to remodel our 12X12 control room and making some other upgrades. This includes a third JVC GY-HM700U camera and one JVC GY-HM100U camera. Any experiences you can share on this equipment would also be appreciated.
Any advice on where else I might post this?
Metro Community College
I've seen some discussion on dvinfo.net forums about the TriCaster line. We used an earlier model once at an event. I had sat through many of the demos at NAB(yes...Kiki)and that was actually enough training to be able to use it in a very basic way right out of the box. Waaay out of our price league to own, but they are easily rented in most large market areas.
The greatest thing since sliced bread? Maybe. Especially compared to a Videonics MX-1 or a Datavideo SE-500, both of which we have owned.
We know folks who have one (Tricaster) and love it. We have a Toaster in-house, and our opinions are a mixed bag. All the folks I talk to with Toasters and Tricasters have a story or two, and what they seem to boil down to, particularly with Toasters (which are configured by a VAR)is: don't get one thru the lowest bidder.
We did that, and our Toaster spends half the year in the shop getting repaired or upgraded. It is great - when it is working. I can't blame Newtek for this, I blame the guy that configured the system.
Meanwhile my friends across the street that have a Tricaster say they have no issues ever; rock-solid. But they don't push it to it's limits, they use it conservatively, but they DO stream with it while live-switching a couple cameras. I don't think they push the Cg or effects very hard for the kind of work they do, so that may help with reliability. I think the reason the Tricasters perform perhaps in more stable fashion is because the Tricasters all come from one place that has figured out how to build them, and build them for "road" use. Toasters are more capable, perhaps, but each one is put together with it's attendant PC by a VAR and some of these guys cut corners in order to bring their price down. When the thing goes "Tango Uniform" halfway thru your most important live gig of the year, it is little comfort to tell everyone: "Bbb-but they got us the lowest bid!"
So I would say Tricaster over Toaster, and get yours from people that know their business, not necessarily the cheapest bidders, and you will be happy. And get the extended warranty/support coverage.