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Importing Media Files into TriCaster®

July 03, 2018 by Kane Peterson

With the multitude of different media file formats and codecs available in the industry, it is not hard to understand why there are so many questions around what is considered the ‘best’ format for the playback of video clips on TriCaster®. While TriCaster can playback many different formats, that doesn’t mean that all media formats are equal. Clips you make can have different needs. In some cases, just video playback is all that is needed while in other cases features like an alpha channel might be required. This document will help you figure out what are the best settings to use for media creation should be.

Workflows are included for many popular applications along with suggestions for video clips specs and general operation. Using this guide should help you create media that looks good and plays without issue for live productions. This guide focusses mainly on high definition media creation, but the same rules apply to 4K/UHD video as well.

General Guidelines


NewTek has an Import feature in the TriCaster system. It supports many video file format and codecs. Beyond converting media into compatible DDR playable clips, it will also copy media from its current location onto TriCaster’s local internal storage and perform a file integrity check. The Import tool also creates a proxy clip and indexing information with the files that it creates, which is further reason for adopting this workflow.

The recommendation is that you always use the Import Media tool to bring in HD media. If time permits, this will always be the safest most compatible way to get media into the system. If the user wants to load media directly into the DDR’s of a TriCaster, this is also possible, but it is up to the person exporting the material to create media files that operate correctly.

If you are looking to load clips directly into TriCaster’s media players, the specs below are the best settings for a media file.

Recommended HD media format specs:

Media Format QuickTime/MOV or AVI
CODEC SpeedHQ 4:2:2 or SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 (DCT Alpha)
Frame Size 1920x1080 or 1280x720
Frame Rate NTSC: 29.97fps or 59.94fps PAL: 25fps or 50fps
Audio Sample Rate 48kHz
Audio Bit Depth 16 bits

 

Exporting workflows for major applications


Detailed in this document are tested export settings for major editing and graphics applications. Not all export settings will create native media for playback in the DDRs and will require using TriCaster’s Import Media feature. In the workflow steps listed, the expectation is to create a high-quality HD format video file that would compare with the SpeedHQ codec in image quality that is created by the Import Media tool.

It is understandable, that in some cases, turn around time might be limited and files that can be played directly in TriCaster’s media players are required. In those cases, exporting a file in a MPEG-2 or MPEG-4/H.264 format will be your next best option. Most editing systems do support exporting one of these formats and in the majority of cases will playback in a TriCaster media player when directly loaded. Always test the export settings from a system before you use the video files in a live production.

The closer the video format gets to 4K/UHD resolution, the more performance benefit by using the import tool.

Formato de vídeo Import Media usage
4K/UHD (3840x2160) Required for all media formats
HD 1080p50/60fps Highly Recommended
HD 1080i/720p Recommended
SD Not required for compatible media formats

 

Media files with an alpha channel


The Import Media tool will handle conversion for media that contains an alpha channel for certain formats. Namely, QuickTime files created using uncompressed or animation codecs. When these files are imported, the resulting file will be an AVI/SpeedHQ media file with an alpha channel.

For workflows listed below that directly create an AVI/SpeedHQ with alpha channel, load these files directly in the media player, using the Import Media tool is not needed.

On TriCaster TC1 and NewTek IP Series VMC1 systems, media with an alpha channel will appear with the transcode icon when displayed in a media player. While you are not prevented from transcoding this media, you should not perform this operation. The media file will playback correctly without transcoding.

Alpha channel is not supported with MPEG-2 or MPEG-4/H.264 formats, when using graphics systems where alpha channel is required, using the workflows described below is going to be the best solution. Alpha channel enabled codecs are limited to a few choices in many applications and the described workflows are tested solutions.

In the editing system export workflows, the output file assumes a media clip without an alpha channel. Some editing system do support alpha channel export and if this required you can change to a codec that supports alpha channel (SpeedHQ 4:2:2 to SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 or ProRes LT to an Uncompressed/Animation codec).

For graphic and compositing systems, the workflows assume that an alpha channel is required. If you do not need alpha channel, then change to a codec that does not have an alpha channel (SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 to SpeedHQ 4:2:2 or Uncompressed/Animation to ProRes LT).

With the NewTek SpeedHQ codec, the determination if it supports alpha is by the number of digits displayed for the color space settings. If the name displays three color space digits (4:2:2) then it does not support an alpha channel. If the codec name displays four color space digits (4:2:2:4 or 4:4:4:4) then it does support an alpha channel.

Adobe Premiere v12.1 on Windows:

================================

Target format: AVI/SpeedHQ 4:2:2

Make sure the NewTek codec has been installed on this system. The NewTek codec can be installed with NDI Tools.

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. From the ‘File’ menu, choose ‘Export’ then ‘Media…’

  2. In the window that opens, at the top right side, under format choose ‘AVI’.

  3. Now select the tab called ‘Video’.

  4. For the Video Codec, choose ‘NewTek SpeedHQ 4:2:2’.

  5. Under ‘Basic Video Settings’, set the following:

    1. Correct image width and height for export.

    2. The Frame Rate for the media.

    3. The correct Field Order (if working with interlaced video) or progressive.

    4. The Aspect ratio for the pixels, typically for HD this should be ‘Square Pixels (1.0)’

  6. Under the Audio tab

    1. Audio codec should uncompressed

    2. Sample rate: 48000Hz

    3. Channels: Stereo

    4. Sample Size: 16 bit

  7. Choose the output file name.

  8. Click the Export button.

  9. When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster.

    It is recommended to use the Import Media tool to ingest the file, but this file will play natively in the media players of a TriCaster.

Adobe Premiere v12.1 on Macintosh:

==================================

Target format: QuickTime/ProRes LT

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. From the ‘File’ menu, choose ‘Export’ then ‘Media…’

  2. In the window that opens, at the top right side, under format choose ‘QuickTime’.

  3. Now select the tab called ‘Video’.

  4. For the Video Codec, choose ‘Apple ProRes 422 LT’.

  5. Under ‘Basic Video Settings’, set the following:

    1. Correct image width and height for export.

    2. The Frame Rate for the media.

    3. The correct Field Order (if working with interlaced video) or progressive.

    4. The Aspect ratio for the pixels, typically for HD this should be ‘Square Pixels (1.0)’

    5. The ‘Match Source’ button will typically set this all correctly.

  6. Under the Audio tab

    1. Audio codec should uncompressed

    2. Sample rate: 48000Hz

    3. Channels: Stereo

    4. Sample Size: 16 bit

  7. Choose the output file name.

  8. Click the Export button.

  9. When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster and use the Import Media tool to ingest the file.

    The Import Media tool is required to play this file.

Adobe After Effects on Windows:

===============================

Target format: AVI/SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 (DCT Alpha)

Make sure the NewTek codec has been installed on this system. The NewTek codec can be installed with NDI Tools.

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. From the ‘Composition’ menu choose ‘Add to Render Queue’

  2. At the bottom of the screen, click the blue text next to ‘Output Module’.

  3. For the Format choose ‘AVI’.

  4. In the window that opens, choose the following options in the ‘Video Output’ area.

    1. Channels: ‘RGB + Alpha’

    2. Depth: ‘Millions of Color+’

    3. Color: ‘Premultiplied (Matted)’

  5. Click the ‘Format Options’ button

In the AVI Options window that appears, choose ‘NewTek SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 (DCT Alpha)’ as the Video Codec.

  1. Click ‘Ok’

  2. Choose a location to save the file using the ‘Output To’ option.

  3. Click the ‘Render’ button.

  4. When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster. This file will play natively in the media players of a TriCaster, it does not have to be imported using the Import Media tool.

Adobe After Effects on Macintosh:

=================================

Target format: QuickTime/Animation

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. From the ‘Composition’ menu choose ‘Add to Render Queue’

  2. At the bottom of the screen, click the blue text next to ‘Output Module’.

  3. For the Format choose ‘QuickTime’.

  4. In the window that opens, choose the following options in the ‘Video Output’ area.

    1. Channels: ‘RGB + Alpha’

    2. Depth: ‘Millions of Color+’

    3. Color: ‘Premultiplied (Matted)’

  5. Click the ‘Format Options’ button

  6. In the QuickTime Options window that appears, choose ‘Animation’ as the Video Codec.

  7. Click ‘Ok’

  8. Choose a location to save the file using the ‘Output To’ option.

  9. Click the ‘Render’ button.

  10. When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster and use the Import Media tool to ingest the file.

The Import Media tool is required to play this file.

DaVinci Resolve v14.3 on Windows:

=================================

Target format: QuickTime/DNxHD

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. Click the ‘Deliver’ button at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Choose ‘Custom’ in the Render Settings panel.

  3. Set the location for your export files.

  4. On the video tab, the following settings

    1. Format: QuickTime

    2. Codec: DNxHD in the matching video format at 100mbit data rate

    3. Set frame rate to match the video settings

  5. On the audio tab, use the following settings

    1. Codec: Linear PCM

    2. Bit depth: 16

  6. On the file tab, choose the filename the exported file.

  7. Click the ‘Add to Render Queue’ button

  8. In the Render Queue, click the ‘Start Render’ button

  9. When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster.

    The Import Media tool is required to ingest this file.

DaVinci Resolve v14.3 on Macintosh:

===================================

Target format: QuickTime/ProRes LT

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. Click the ‘Deliver’ button at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Choose ‘Custom’ in the Render Settings panel.

  3. Set the location for your export files.

  4. On the video tab, the following settings

    1. Format: QuickTime

    2. Codec: Apple ProRes 422 LT

    3. Set frame rate to match the video settings

  5. On the audio tab, use the following settings

    1. Codec: Linear PCM

    2. Bit depth: 16

  6. On the file tab, choose the filename the exported file.

  7. Click the ‘Add to Render Queue’ button

  8. In the Render Queue, click the ‘Start Render’ button

When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster and use the Import Media tool to ingest the file.

The Import Media tool is required to play this file.

Fusion v9.02 on Windows:

========================

Target format: AVI/SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 (DCT Alpha)

Make sure the NewTek codec has been installed on this system. The NewTek codec can be installed with NDI Tools.

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. Add a Saver to the flow.

  2. In the ‘File’ tab choose the export path and filename.
    (It is important that the filename ends with the ‘.avi’ extension)

  3. In the ‘Legal’ tab, choose the correct video type.

  4. In the ‘Format’ tab, choose ‘NewTek SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 (DCT Alpha)’ as the Compression.

  5. Check the ‘Attempt to Save Alpha’ option.

  6. Render the flow.

When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster. This file will play natively in the media players of a TriCaster, it does not have to be imported using the Import Media tool.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fusion v9.02 on Macintosh:

==========================

Target format: QuickTime/Uncompressed BGRA

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. Add a Saver to the flow.

  2. In the ‘File’ tab choose the export path and filename.
    (It is important that the filename ends with the ‘.mov’ extension)

  3. In the ‘Legal’ tab, choose the correct video type.

  4. In the ‘Format’ tab, choose ‘Uncompressed BGRA 8-bit’ as the Compression.

  5. Render the flow.

When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster and use the Import Media tool to ingest the file.

The Import Media tool is required to play this file.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Cut Pro X v10.4.2 on Macintosh:

=====================================

Target format: QuickTime/ProRes LT

Create an export preset (do this once):

  1. From the ‘File’ menu, choose ‘Share’ then ‘Add Destination…’

  2. In the window that opens, double click on the ‘Export File’ icon.

  3. A new preset is created on the left side list, select it.

  4. In the right side of the window, choose the following settings.

    1. Format: ‘Video and Audio’

    2. Video codec: ‘Apple ProRes 422 LT’

    3. Uncheck ‘Include chapter markets’

    4. Open with: ‘No nothing’

  5. Click on the name of your preset and name it to ‘TriCaster Export’.

  6. Close the window.

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. From the ‘File’ menu, choose ‘Share’ then ‘TriCaster Export’

  2. A window will appear, click the ‘Next’ button

  3. Choose a destination and name for your file, click ‘Save’

  4. When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster and use the Import Media tool to ingest the file.

    The Import Media tool is required to play this file.

Avid Media Composer v2018.4 on Windows:

=======================================

Target format: QuickTime/SpeedHQ 4:2:2

Make sure the NewTek codec has been installed on this system. The NewTek codec can be installed with NDI Tools.

Create an export preset (do this once):

  1. From the ‘File’ menu, choose ‘Output’ then ‘Export to File…’

  2. In the window that appears, click on the ‘Options…’ button.

  3. At the top of the new window, select ‘QuickTime Movie’ as the Export As selection.

  4. Select ‘Custom’

  5. Click ‘Format Options…’

  6. In the Movie Settings window, select the following options.

    1. Click ‘Settings’ in the video section

    2. For the Compression Type, choose ‘NewTek SpeedHQ (4:2:2)’

    3. Click the ‘Settings’ in the audio section

    4. For the Rate choose ‘48.000’ kHz

    5. Uncheck the ‘Prepare for Internet Streaming’ option. Click ‘OK’

  7. Set the correct Width and Height for the exported file.

  8. Click the ‘Save As…’ button in the lower right corner of the window.

  9. Give you setting a name like ‘TriCaster Export’.

  10. Click ‘OK’, then click the ‘Save’ button the main window to save your new export preset.

After you have created the preset, use the steps on the next page to export a media file.

Exporting a file to TriCaster using Media Composer:

  1. Select the timeline or clip you want to export.

  2. From the ‘File’ menu, choose ‘Output’ then ‘Export a File…’

  3. In the window that appears, choose a destination and file name for the exported file.

  4. At the bottom of the Window where is asks for the ‘Export Settings’, choose the preset you created above (example, ‘TriCaster Export’).

  5. Click the ‘Save’ button.

  6. When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster.

    It is recommended to use the Import Media tool to ingest the file, but this file will play natively in the media players of a TriCaster.

LightWave 2018 on Windows:

==========================

Target format: AVI/SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 (DCT Alpha)

Make sure the NewTek codec has been installed on this system. The NewTek codec can be installed with NDI Tools.

Exporting a file to TriCaster:

  1. In the ‘Render’ tab, choose ‘Render Properties’ on the left side [shortcut: Control + P].

  2. In the window that opens, select the ‘Output’ tab.

  3. Make sure the follow options are checked: Final_Render, Alpha, Animation.

  4. Select the ‘Animation’ row.

  5. For the file format, choose ‘AVI’.

  6. Click the ‘Encoding Options’ button.

  7. In the window the appears, choose ‘NewTek SpeedHQ 4:2:2:4 (DCT Alpha)’ from the list of codecs. Click ‘OK’.

  8. Set the ‘Base Save Path’ and ‘Base Filename’.

  9. Close the Render Properties window.

  10. Click the Render Scene button [shortcut: F10].

When the file has finished exporting, transfer it to the TriCaster. This file will play natively in the media players of a TriCaster, it does not have to be imported using the Import Media tool.

 

 

Learn more about:

TriCaster Tips, TriCaster Page, NewTek IP Series Tips, NewTek IP Series Page,

TriCaster TC1, TriCaster, NewTek IP Series, LightWave 3D, SpeedHQ, NewTek IsoCorder™, QuickTime, Adobe, Adobe Premiere, Avid, Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, Apple, Final Cut Pro, Fusion, VLC Media Player, AVI, MPEG, UHD, HD,


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