Existing problems

Low quality stream

The TriCaster's stream encoder isn't good! We stream to YouTube and complaints about "blocky" video are extremely common. Looking at the post-stream VODs myself, it's clear that the compression artifacts are so heavy that many details can be difficult to make out. The campus has a fiber connection and most of the school has 4K panels in the classroom. Test OBS streams running at 1080p do not experience quality issues, which leaves the TriCaster as the culprit.

Stream fails to start

This one is actually a somewhat recent problem. It basically consists of attempting to start the stream and TriCaster will display that it is streaming, but YouTube will show that it isn't receiving any data on their end. This bit me in the ass the first time it happened and we started the show over 15 minutes late trying to bugfix. We have a 30 minute slot to actually do the show.

Problematic video playback

Commonly we'll receive video files that the TriCaster cannot play back, even though they play fine on my laptop. If pre-production time is tight, we might've not noticed that a video file is corrupt until it's about to go on—leading to quite the panic as we try to smoothly transition to the following segment. Should time allow, the file has to be retranscoded on something like Handbrake to "fix" the file.

As of late (as well) segments have been freezing near the end of playback, transitioning back to the anchor desk earlier than expected. The transition is meant to be automatic, just not that early.

Multiple cameras difficult

Without tally lights, camera use has to be planned out and incorporated onto the paper script. Anchors will commonly forget where to look or when to look at a different camera during their script, leading to awkward moments where the anchor is looking in the wrong place.

Memorizing the script

We also happen to be missing teleprompters, so anchors fail to look natural while reading their lines or attempting to remember them. Rapid script changes are also extremely difficult to coordinate as it requires a synchronous edit of every paper copy with pencil.

Lack of communication between studio and control

Without an intercom system, things like camera adjustments SUCK to coordinate! Our talkback microphone can't be used while the studio is live since it broadcasts to the entire room via a speaker.