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How to Connect the NewTek TriCaster Mini with Joystick Controllers

admin • April 13, 2023
Congratulations on your switch to the wonderful world of NDI broadcasting! NDI is a network protocol that enables audio, video, and metadata signals to be sent over networks in real-time. This means there is finally a simpler way to integrate AV products into your broadcasting environment. Power, audio, video, and control can all be transmitted over a single category cable greatly reducing set-up complexity. NewTek, the creators of NDI, have also developed a popular compact production and broadcasting solution known as the TriCaster Mini. Using just ethernet cables, users can connect their NDI enabled cameras to one of the TriCaster’s 6 networking ports and begin producing professional video broadcasts. But what if you want to control your NDI enabled PTZ cameras and use the TriCaster Mini? Many users make the incorrect assumption that they can simply connect all of their cameras and joystick controllers to the TriCaster Mini so they will communicate with one another. Unfortunately, this is where the simple broadcasting solution becomes not so simple. In a normal networking environment, if each device is connected to a network switch, assigned a static IP address in the same subnet (such as 192.168.1.#), then the devices will be able to communicate with each other. The TriCaster Mini is an interesting device in that it creates its own networks per NDI port and assigns connected devices a unique IP address via DHCP. This means there are actually up to 6 different networks running on the TriCaster Mini. The built-in DHCP server assigns the first interface an address of 172.16.0.x, the second 172.16.1.x, and so on. This segregates the network traffic and prevents connected devices from communicating with one another even if the connected devices have their IP addresses statically assigned. The solution to this problem is to add a network switch that all of the cameras, controllers, and TriCaster Mini can connect with.
  1. 1. Connect the PTZ cameras and controller to a network switch.
  2. 2. Set each device connected to the switch to DHCP.
  3. 3. Connect the switch to a single NDI port on the TriCaster Mini.
  4. 4. The connected devices will be given addresses in the same IP range and will now be able to communicate with each other and with the TriCaster Mini in this configuration.
    1. a. The first network interface will assign 172.16.0.x, the second interface will assign 172.16.1.x and so on.
    2. b. When the IP addresses are assigned take note of them.
  5. 5. Once the devices have had their IP addresses assigned, you will be able to turn off DHCP and statically assign them to the devices so they do not change in the future.
    1. a. So long as the switch is always plugged into the same port on the TriCaster, the devices will talk to one another and the TriCaster.
Using the local network instead of the TriCaster:
  1. 1. If you wish to access the connected devices via the local Wi-Fi network or using another device other than the TriCaster, connect the network switch to the local network and it will be able to assign IP addresses to each device instead if a DHCP server is present.
    1. a. If the TriCaster detects a DHCP server on the connected network switch, it will disable the DHCP server feature on the TriCaster (i.e. use the local network).
    2. b. The TriCaster must be turned on after the switch has already established a connection to the network for this to work.
    3. c. In this manner cameras should be accessible from the local network as well as the TriCaster.
For more information see this NewTech Help Article.        
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