Product Review: NewBlue FX

One of the biggest frustrations that I have when it comes to doing live events is graphics.

It drives me crazy to see a great production with mediocre or no graphics. I tested dozens of different solutions and just never found one that could do ALL that I imagined within the price and learning curve I have to offer.

When Telestream released the new Wirecast 7.0, I noticed a new (to me) product being marketed with the release. NewBlueFx Titler Live was said to work “well” with Wirecast 7.0 according to several reviewers but I beg to differ… If you are using Wirecast, NewTek, BlackMagic, or any other switching hardware or software and you are not using Titler Live, you are missing out.

NewBlue01 400My initial thoughts when I saw the interface was that it was too simple to give me the pro look I wanted. To get started, all you have to do is grab a template, drag it to the library, make the edits (color, text, position, scale, etc) you want, then go live with it. The software renders the graphics in no time - especially if you consider the fact that it’s cranking out 3d graphics with bevels, shadows, lights, and more! But you don’t have to tweak any of those things to create your custom look.

Getting started is extremely simple. Go through the hundreds of templates offered or purchase the additional templates drag the ones you want to use in your playlist, customize them, and you are good to go. If simply changing text, logos, and colors isn’t enough for you, all of the templates are editable in the design tool. You can dig down through the layers to get the exact look you want. The title design editor allows you to change the shapes, sizes, and 2d or 3d position for every element.

To get your work to the broadcast, you have several options. Seriously, there are a ton of ways you can make your shows shine. My switcher of choice as you may have figured out by now is the Telestream Wirecast 7.0 but I have tested Titler on a BlackMagic Design ATEM 1M/E and Tricaster as well. The native partnership with Wirecast 7.0 makes Titler Live an essential if you are doing live events. Titler Live sends signal to your switch in a variety of ways depending on the version you purchase.

There are currently Four versions of Titler Live. At $99, Titler Live Express is the entry point with 60 templatesNewBlue02 400 that can be edited to fit your brand and broadcast needs. Titler Live Express does not allow for the deep dive editing but the next step of Titler Live allows you to import PSDs and EPS files and use the timeline inside the Title Design editor to manipulate the timing of the transitions, lighting, and more. At $299, you have a great start to professional 2d and 3d animated graphics.

Titler Live Advance was what originally caught my eye. $499 for a live graphics software that allows me to have custom scoreboards as well as a ton of other graphics options… sign me up. Titler Live Advance adds HDMI output to the mix making any switcher with HDMI (or the right set of conversions from HDMI) a possible tool to use with Titler Live Advance. We obviously focus on live sports so the integrated scoreboard tool with Two time clocks was a gift to say the least. The sports template pack along with the kinetic and fluid motion packs allow for a variety of different looks. Again for $499, you have the chance to create custom animated 3d graphics and integrate them into your broadcasts with just a cable and about 15 minutes of training to get the basics.

I have had the most fun trying to “break” the templates to make them do what I want them to do. The timeline feels like after effects with the layered timeline and the use of lights and keyframes so if you have experience with after effects you will be comfortable with Titler Live’s editing window. I like that I can also bring in layered PSD or EPS files and animate them inside Titler Live and use them in a broadcast easily.

NewBlue03 400The premiere tier Titler Live product is the Titler Live Broadcast. The next thing I am going to tell you about, if you stop and think about the possibilities, you will need to make sure to take something to help you sleep because you will be up all night cranking through the possibilities. You can import csv files and generate complete playlists in minutes. For example, we produced a basketball tournament during the week of Thanksgiving and I imported every team’s roster with custom graphics, player name, position, and class in a matter of minutes (after grabbing the rosters from Maxpreps). We were able to create graphics for EVERY player in an Eight team tournament in a matter of about 30 minute total! Using the playlist feature, we selected the starting line ups and as the players were announced on the court, their graphic was shown on our broadcast.

Titler Live Broadcast also offers a larger variety of outputs including NewTek’s NDI. The amazing thing that I learned is that Wirecast 7.0 can receive NDI from Titler Live Broadcast. This is great because I can have a truly dedicated graphics persion but the REALLY amazing part is that I can create up to 16 playlists in Titler Live Broadcast and each of them can be a separate input in Wirecast 7.0. This means I could have a scoreboard in the top left corner and scroll scores in the lower 3rd while I show player details or stats. The Wirecast control of Titler Live is no more important than when using the NDI protocol because you can stage multiple graphics in Titler Live and Wirecast and upon making them live in Wirecast, Titler Live will fire them as well. In effect, you have cleanly switched animations that match the switch on the cameras.

In addition to all of the things that Titler Live can do, they also pair with Sportzcast’s Scorebot so you don’t NewBlue04 400have to worry about any of the scores, time, possession, etc being correct. Whatever is on the scoreboard is on your broadcast. Simply connection the scorebot and tell Titler Live the IP address and you are in business!

NewBlueFX is on to something with the Titler Live software and have set price points that I don’t think can be beat by anyone that offers something comparable. Dipping your toe in the pool is only $99 and creating a broadcast that I could arguably rival major networks will only set you back $1,499. At those prices, One or Two sponsors who you can make a part of the show with just a couple of clicks will not only pay for the software but will put a little extra change in your program’s account.

For more information about the entire suite of NewBlueFX Titler Live offerings, click here.