NewTek TriCaster 40 video input and output

Sept. 22nd, 2012: At first glance, compared to NewTek's other HD TriCasters, the TriCaster 40 appears to be missing some video connectors. The TriCaster has five rows of BNC connectors mounted vertically for bringing-in and taking-out HD component video plus SD component, composite and Y/C video, but no SDI I/O connectors or HDMI output. Which begs the question, how do you connect the video output from your SDI or HDMI video cameras and use them as video sources with the TriCaster 40?  

Most, it not all, HD video cameras with HDMI or HD-SDI output also output HD or SD component video. You may have to use the camera's AV breakout cable to take component video (or even SD composite or Y/C video) out of the camera and into the TriCaster 40, but it can be done. You use all three vertically-mounted BNC connectors per input on the TriCaster 40 to bring the cameras' component video into the TriCaster 40. Or use the top BNC connector for SD composite video and the bottom two BNC connectors for Y/C (or S-video) video into the TriCaster 40.

What if you don't want to run triple-channel component video cables from your video cameras to the TriCaster 40 because of their cost and weight? Not a problem . . . . Using the HD-SDI output from your video camera, run a single and less-costly SDI cable to an under-$300.00 Blackmagic SDI to Analog converter, run a short component cable from the Blackmagic converter to the TriCaster 40's component video input, and you're good to go. I have several of these converters in my shop and they work just great for bringing SDI video into the TriCaster 40.

Sending the HDMI output from your video cameras to the TriCaster 40 is the same process . . . run an inexpensive, single HDMI cable from the camera to a converter that splits the HDMI into a triple-channel component signal. Then connect a short component cable from the converter to the TriCaster 40. I have worked with the following HDMI converters (and yes, we also sell them!):

1) MonoPrice HDMI to Component video and RCA audio converter, part # MYCH01, about $40.00 . . . image-quality for such an affordable product is surprisingly good, but might not be good enough for higher-end productions. MonoPrice also sells a Component video to HDMI converter, part # HD320, again about $40.00, which allows you to convert the TriCaster 40's HD component output into HDMI for connecting to a monitor or projector, etc.

2) For under $200.00 Atlona has their AT-HD420 HDMI to VGA/component converter, which does a very good job of converting HDMI into component video that can be used with the TriCaster 40. You can output component video for the TriCaster 40, or flip the switch on the converter and send out VGA instead (for an older monitor or projector that only accepts VGA). The box includes a breakout cable with three RCA video connectors, which means you'll need RCA to BNC adapters to work with the TriCaster 40 inputs. I used the AT-HD420  converter with a customer's Sony NX5 HD video camera at a recent open-house demo and everyone was very pleased with the results.

3) For under $300.00 TV One has their 1T-FC-326 HDMI to component video format converter which allows you to connect two different HDMI sources to the box and send out one of them as component video. The box outputs a very clean signal to the TriCaster 40.

If you are seeking an alternative to using NewTek's iVGA for sending a computer's DVI output to the TriCaster 40, the AtlonaAT-PC530 component scaler with DVI loop-out works very well and costs a little over $300.00. Because the AT-PC530 does scaling, the unit supports different computer HD resolutions and generates HD component output that works with the TriCaster 40. 

Of course, you can spend a lot more money on SDI/HDMI/DVI conversion to HD/SD SDI and component analog video. A good example is the Matrox Convert DVI at $995.00 and the Matrox Convert DVI Plus at $1,495.00. Both models offer real-time scaling, positioning and cropping of a computer's DVI (or HDMI via a simple HDMI to DVI adapter) output. The scaling is extremely clean, resulting in pristine video that can be connected to your TriCaster 40's HD component input. The Plus version adds a region-of-interest feature, which allows you to pick a targeted (smaller) area of the screen for conversion and ingnoring the rest of the display. This is ideal for bringing a YouTube video into your TriCaster. Because the Convert DVI/Plus models also outputs standard-def composite, Y/C and component video (as well as SD-SDI), you can use the unit's output with your TriCaster 100, PRO, STUDIO and other standard-def TriCaster models an an alternative to using NewTek's iVGA software.

What about taking digital video out of the TriCaster 40? You already have an HDMI output on the back of the TriCaster 40 which allows you to send out the live switch or the preview or FX busses. Optionally, you can add a Blackmagic Analog to SDI converter (under $300.00) and encode the TriCaster 40's HD component output into an HD-SDI signal.

FYI, we tried all of the above products with our demo TriCaster 40 and know that they work with the system. DigiTek Systems sells all of the above converters and scalers . . . please contact us for our special low pricing on each product. 

What about bringing S-video from your SD video camera or playback device into the TriCaster 40? Maybe you already have a cable that breaks-out S-video into a pair of video cables with male BNC connectors that will work with the TriCaster 40. Then again, maybe you don't. What you really want is a short adapter cable with a female S-video connector on one end that splits out into a pair of male BNC connectors that attach to the TriCaster 40. That way you can use your existing S-video cabling with the TriCaster 40. You can also use this adapter cable to send S-video out of the TriCaster 40 to monitors, DVD recorders, etc.

Having problems finding such a S-video to dual-BNC cable? No sweat, DigiTek Systems has them for $17.98 each. If you need some of these cables, please contact Matt Drabick at or call 919 790 5488.

Read our overview of the new TriCaster 410, TriCaster 460 and TriCaster 860 . . . .