Surgical Live Switching with the Newtek TriCaster

Surgical Live Switching with the Newtek TriCaster

Kelly first reached out to me to request an in-studio TriCaster demonstration. When he came in, we talked more about his production needs. He had been shooting surgical video for Dr. Tony Mangubat for 12 years, but they were ready to step up the quantity and quality of their videos. The requirements were as follows:

  • Live switch a surgery with two cameras
  • Iso record each camera, plus the switch
  • Capture up to four separate wireless mic tracks with the video
  • Minimize post production as much as possible, while getting high quality documentation of surgical procedures, and come away with excellent training material.

One of the challenges is the operating room environment. There is no space to set up a live switching equipment rack. And then there is the roving camera. Definitely need to be wireless on that one. The last thing you want is a surgeon tripping over an SDI cable in the middle of surgery! Two Teradek Bolt 500's fit the bill for transmitting the two camera feeds to the TriCaster in the makeshift control room down the hall.

We originally talked about the TriCaster Mini, but eventually settled on the TriCaster 410, which is essentially a Mini in a 2U rackmount form factor. Having everything in a portable flypack was very appealing to Kelly and Dr. Mangubat. And the four analog audio inputs on the back of the 410 were perfect for feeding in the four wireless mics.

We needed some nice brick batteries that could power the Teradeks through long surgeries. I think these Hyper Core 150's will do quite nicely!

I recommended using Sony X-70 cameras, because of their SDI output. You just don't want to mess around with HDMI cables that could get pulled out during a shoot.

Kelly Covey and Dr. Mangubat prepping for surgery!

If you have any questions about the tech setup, or need some help setting up your own live switching system, reach out to me at, or leave a comment here!

30th Apr 2017 Jason Jenkins

Recent Posts