NewTek Tally Options

What is tally?

In a multi-camera live video production, it is helpful to know what camera is currently active. This can be accomplished by putting a small light on the camera (also called a tally lamp) that will illuminate red when the camera is on-air. Some setups will use a green light when a camera is on preview, this way the people on set and the camera operators will know which camera is going to be the next live camera.

Tally lights can be built into cameras or available as an add on. There are tally systems you can purchase that can work with many products. Connecting tally gear can be complex at times, this document can help provide solutions.

Please note! The concept of tally is standard in the industry, however, the methods used for connections between systems together are not. There is not a 100% universal tally solution. Pins outs will vary between tally interfaces from different manufacturers and connection methods can require adapters. The tally port on the TriCaster uses a voltage level for output, while many tally solutions use a contact closure method. If you are not familiar with wiring electronic circuits, you should consider a turn key tally solution or find someone that has electronics experience. It is possible to damage equipment if tally is wired incorrectly!

Hardware tally ports

The following NewTek hardware models have hardware tally output connection ports.

• TriCaster TC1, 8000, 860, 460, 410
• IP Series VMC1
• Connect NC1 IN

The tally port is a HD15 pin connector found on the back of the unit. Pin connection are as follows.


The tally port makes it easy to connect an LED to the correct pins that will illuminate when the matching video input is currently selected on the Switchers Program row.

• Pins 1-(4 or 8) are ‘hot’ when the LED should be illuminated.
• Each LED pin 1 (4 or 8) has a 200 ohm current limiting resistor inside TriCaster.                                        • With no load (open circuit) the LED pins can reach 5V. With a typical LED load, they can be expected to reach about 3V.
• GPI stands for General Purpose Interface. Pins 11 and 12 are assigned for possible future use as GPI1 and GPI2 connections, but support for GPI triggers has not been implemented in TriCaster at this time.)
• To prevent damage to TriCaster’s components when making external connections to the tally light jacks, care should be taken that connection to Pins designated GND (Ground) are always at ground potential.

Information about the tally port can also be found in the User Guide. Products like NewTek TalkShow have tally input interfaces. Check the user manual to see how these ports are wired if you want them to respond to tally from external systems.

NDI Tally

Program and preview tally information is carried by NDI. The configuration is typically automatic, software applications like NDI Studio Monitor can display tally information of sources on the user interface. The following hardware products have lights that can display the NDI tally status. The list is not exhaustive and intended as a convenient reference. 

• NewTek PTZ1 camera
• NewTek Connect Spark HDMI
• NewTek Connect Spark SDI
• NewTek Connect Spark Pro
• BirdDog Studio NDI
• BirdDog Mini
• Panasonic PTZ cameras with NDI support
• Lumens PTZ cameras with NDI support
• Marshall PTZ cameras with NDI support
• Sony PTZ cameras with NDI support. eg. BRC-X400, SRG-X400, SRG-XP1, SRG-XB25


Third Party Tally Solutions

There are many reasons to use a third-party tally solution.

• A TriCaster without a hardware tally interface (like a TriCaster Mini or TriCaster 40).
• Expansion of the tally interface allowing more cameras or devices to be connected.
• A turn key solution for equipment doesn’t have a tally light.
• Equipment with a tally light is available but requires an interface to connect it to the TriCaster.
• Program and Preview tally lights are desired for the workflow.

A good place to start with any third-party tally solution is your NewTek reseller. Many have the knowledge to wire a tally solution between a TriCaster and existing tally system. Before purchasing any system listed below, make sure you speak with the manufacture to determine if it will work as you need. Verify it is compatible with your NewTek system and version of software. Do not make assumptions!

• Wired or wireless tally system

• Wireless tally system

DTE Labs
• TriCaster HD15 tally interface
• Tally lights

Henry Engineering
• Logic converter (convert voltage level connections to contact closure)

• Tally application for Android devices

JL Cooper eBox
• GPIO interface (ProServe is recommended, this solution will require macro programming)

• Wireless tally system

• USB tally interface

• USB tally interface
• TriCaster HD15 tally interface
• Tally lights

• NDI Router system, includes ability to translate tally to TSL_UMC messages

• Hardware tally interface
• Tally lights

• USB tally interface
• TriCaster HD15 tally interface
• Tally lights

TSL Products
• Tallyman control system

Tally Technologies
• Hardware tally interface
• Tally lights

Unity Intercom
• Intercom solution with tally support on client application

• Free tally application that runs in a web browser


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