SD TriCaster - Playback from USB and FireWire-based external drives

Problem Description

Can TriCaster record to or playback from external USB and FireWire-based drives?


It is recommended to always record to and play back from the TriCaster's internal D: drive partition whenever you can. However, it is usually safe to record or play back video from an external drive.
Here is some more information on using external drives with a TriCaster:

  • Differences between USB and FireWire drives
    USB has slightly faster transfer rates but FireWire is preferred given its ability over USB to utilize Sustained Transfer Rate (STR). This technology allows for a constant transfer which is important for video. USB uses whats called Burst/Interface Transfer Rate which collects data in a buffer before sending it across the bus to the device to be written. This method is great for file transfer, but is too inconsistent to sustain video.
  • What kind of external drive to purchase
    A lot of drives offer both USB and FireWire so you can get the most out of them. Some drives are also small and discrete, these use the 2.5" drive standard. While convenient and portable 3.5" drive should be used. The larger drives usually need to be plugged into an outlet but are faster and offer more space for less money.
  • What to know when you get an external drive
    Most drives write data to the drive in a format known as FAT32. This archaic format limits file sizes to only 4GB per file. On TriCaster that can be equal to only a fraction of an hour worth of recording.
  • The required drive format NTFS
    NTFS allows you to write files that can be as large as the drives available space if need be. This can equate to several hours of video in a single clip depending on the drive capacity.
  • Limitations of NTFS
    NTFS drives can be read and written to by any Windows 2000/Vista/XP/7 based PC. Macintosh OSX computers can read NTFS drives and copy files from them but are incapable of writing to them.
  • How to change FAT32 to NTFS for video
    Exit TriCaster to Admin Mode and then plug in your drive. Open My Computer and find the drive you plugged in; it will likely be the E: drive. Highlight the drive and go to File > Format, when the Format window comes up leave everything on default but make sure File system is set to NTFS.
    Formatting will ERASE all data on the drive, so make sure anything you already have on there is backed up as it cannot be recovered.
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