NewTek NDI @ NAB2017
At NAB, NewTek had a lot to talk about beyond the new 4K-capable TriCaster TC1 announced recently. While an impressive piece of engineering, it is really just an evolution of the existing TriCaster product range. By comparison, NewTek NDI (Network Device Interface) probably lives up to their claim of it being “the new era of live production”. When announced, the technical capabilities and opportunities created were exciting to think about, but a new protocol is only useful if it is supported by the tools that you use. While a lot of manufacturers and developers vocalised support, it was only at NAB2017 that we got to see the broad industry integration that has taken place and recognise the true power of the platform.
What is NewTek NDI?
NewTek NDI is an open, software protocol established to enable bi-directional video, audio, control and data transfer between hardware devices connected to a standard network. Anything with a connection to the network that has NDI technology enabled is able to communicate with the others, accessing and sharing any and all sources of content and data that are available. The incredible efficiency of NDI allows for it to be utilised over standard Ethernet networks and deliver numerous stream counts while maintaining high quality, low latency and frame synchronisation.
As a single Ethernet cable is able to carry all content and communication data, as well as power (PoE – Power over Ethernet), the infrastructure requirements for IP=based production environments can be significantly reduced. Similarly, the bidirectional nature of Ethernet communication further reduces cabling requirements, as well as enabling vastly improved control and communication between all elements of a production set or facility.
NewTek NDI offers an ideal bridging technology for those wishing to migrate from traditional SDI broadcast infrastructure to powerful, new IP workflows, without losing existing investment or having to commit considerable resources to network upgrades.
“NewTek NDI™ Creates Interoperability Throughout the 2017 NAB Show Floor”
More than 40 manufacturers had NDI enabled technology on display at NAB, many of which were connected into the show local area network and, as such, were able to share bi-directional video and audio. This was a powerful example of how flexible the protocol can be and how widely adopted it has become. Below are a few key examples of how NDI technology can be integrated into your existing environment to improve workflow flexibility and efficiency.
In this video, watch as Kiki Stockhammer from Newtek and Karl Soule from Adobe discuss sending live video output from Adobe CC Premiere, After Effects and Character Animator to the screen of any computer, or production system on your network that is NewTek NDI enabled. Easily review/approve edits without leaving your seat; Collaborate with colleagues anywhere in the facility with network access; Remote monitoring of your entire teams progress; Render-free, high quality play out direct from the time line into live production or public display. NewTek NDI for Adobe Creative Cloud offers incredible applications for many environments and is available in the NDI Tools download from NewTek.
The camera mounted BirdDog Studio NDI converts your SDI/HDMI camera to NewTek Network Device Interface (NDI), allowing you to seamlessly migrate to an IP video production workflow and make your broadcast video signals available to anyone attached to the network. It also includes tally display and is powered over Ethernet (PoE) to further simplify your cabling and accessory requirements. With HDMI/SDI loop through and conversion, you also have added flexibility for your local monitoring options on set and in the field.
The powerful and freely available collection of NewTek NDI Tools allow you to start using NDI in your production immediately with great effect. NDI for Adobe CC is discussed above, but also included are:
NDI Scan Converter: An evolution of the iVGA tool, Scan Converter shares your desktop, application windows and webcams with production systems, or any other NDI monitor on the network, for live production or simply for sharing.
NDI Video Monitor: What it says on the tin – Any laptop or workstation on the network can view any NDI source in your production or facility.
NDI VLC Plugin: VLC plays almost anything and with this plugin, it can play almost anything into your live production or to an NDI Video Monitor on the network.
NDI Test Patterns: Maintain video and audio calibration across all your NDI enabled production systems with this test pattern and tone generator.
NDI Access Manager: Manage your NDI enabled devices on your network by organising them into groups and controlling visibility and access.
NewTek NDI Connect Pro
NewTek NDI Connect Pro is a multi-channel ‘video translation solution’ that allows for inter-connectivity between NDI enabled systems and your other IP video sources and traditional broadcast video interfaces. Take video files, IP camera sources or inputs from video hardware on your workstation and deliver them across the network as NDI sources. Similarly, take NDI streams from the network and output them over SDI or HDMI using your broadcast video outputs.
- Up to 4 channels, each configurable as input or output, for any combination of supported sources with built-in standards conversion
- Supports interoperability between common IP standards to include NDI, ASPEN, and SMPTE 2022*
- Support for common IP cameras to include models from JVC, Panasonic, PTZ Optics, Sony, and Vaddio
- Support for capture devices from manufacturers that include AJA, Blackmagic Design, BlueFish444, Matrox, Teradek, and others, including key and fill pairing on input and output for appropriate video cards; DirectShow devices, webcams, USB3 capture devices, and more
- Support for a range of video over IP sources, including RTMP, RTSP, and HTTP streams
- Support for input of compatible devices and software via Apple AirPlay
- Support for common audio capture and output devices including professional audio cards, AES67, and Dante*
- 4 channels of integrated media playback, with support for all common media files and still images (including alpha channel), and Auto-play on NDI tally.
- High-quality still image grab from any source, with motion-adaptive dei-interlacing.
- NDI Connect Webserver for remote viewing of NDI sources from a web browser of any networked device, including iOS and Android devices.
- 8-channel audio, with per-channel level control and headphone monitoring
- Fully configurable colour correction settings, including white balance, proc amp controls, and automatic colour correction
- Integrated Waveform and Vector-scope for real-time signal monitoring and adjustment
- Full field-rate, de-interlaced multi-view monitoring with supplemental NDI program return monitor
- Configurable work-spaces, including support for dual displays and optional graticule overlays, including VU meters, title safe, 4:3 safe, alpha channel checker board, and centre cross
- Frame-rate and resolution cross conversion, frame sync and audio re-clocking on all inputs, with adjustable per-channel A/V sync
Broadcast Bruce is a trained and certified NewTek TriCaster Operator as well as a trainer and systems integrator. I am experienced with the range of NewTek technologies and equally, with a number of the NDI enabled tools and products discussed. If you have any questions, are interested in understanding more, or in building an integrated, live production system that leverages NDI, please GET IN TOUCH.
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