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NewTek Studio | Interactive Demo

2 Minute Tutorial: Making a Countdown

October 18, 2016 by Chuck Baker


When you are going to stream live with your TriCaster, it is desirable to put up a countdown so people know they are connected to the stream, it is working, and when your event will start. TriCaster Advanced Edition makes this easy. We can use DataLink along with the TriCaster production clock to accomplish this task.

Click to enlarge.

First, we’ll go into our production clock and set a start time for the event. Our event is set to start in eight minutes in this example.

  • Click on the gear in the timecode portion of the top control bar to open the Timecode Configuration panel.
  • Click on Start to activate a start time for the event.
  • Adjust the time entry for Start to the correct time that the event is to begin.
  • Close the panel. “Start” in the Timecode display in the top bar is now active instead of ghosted, and the production clock is running a countdown to the production start time.

Click to enlarge.

We then go to our Frame Buffers for a title template that we have previously placed in one of the buffers, and we use the template to create the graphic display for the countdown.

  • Click the gear in the frame buffer that has the template loaded, to open the template editor panel.
  • Click on Line 1 of the template, and enter “Stream Starts IN”

Click to enlarge.

  • Click on Line Two.
  • Hit the percent key, which brings up the listings of all the variables for DataLink.
  • We want to use one of the time-based variables, so let’s type t for time. This instantly brings up all of the time-based variables.
  • Select “Time Until Next Event”.

When we engage this variable, we see that this uses the time that is being displayed in the production clock. Let’s go ahead and close the template editor down.

In our example, we have put the template in the second downstream keyer. Let’s go ahead and bring it up as an overlay. You can now see we have an active countdown. The text is a little small so let’s open the Positioner panel for this keyer and just go ahead and size this up and then reposition it, and we have our countdown.

Click to enlarge.

Just as a final note on setting up a pre-event countdown for a live-streamed production, it’s also good practice to put some sort of light easy-listening music in the background so your audience can also hear the audio as they log on to the stream, and know they have active audio and video even before the event starts.

We hope this video has been helpful to you and if you have suggestions for other topics you would like covered in a two-minute tutorial, please send us a message.

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