The next generation of NDI® technology, NDI 4

NDI 4, released for IBC2019, delivers enormous quality improvements, fundamentally game–changing recording capabilities and unprecedented power to visual storytellers across the globe, enabling anyone to build software–based IP workflows

“Our mission is to make video accessible to everyone and fun to use. It is clear that software–defined video is changing the way that video is produced. The fourth generation of NDI® technologies look to use IP video to bridge the gap between live and post–production and thus create new workflows that have been previously impossible. With billions of devices worldwide, it should be clear that the mobile devices which connect the world today will play a huge role in the future of video production, which is why we are pushing NDI® technology to seamlessly work on these devices making many already operate as wireless, high quality 4K cameras”

Dr. Andrew Cross, president of R&D for Vizrt Group, parent brand of NDI®
NewTek NDI

NDI 4 boasts increased efficiencies across many areas that include improvements in video quality without an increase in bitrate. Other great additions impact discovery, transport, tools, and a major leap in media acquisition, capture, and recording.

NDI 4 merges live video and post–production together with the revolutionary ability to record almost unlimited NDI® video channels, making IP–based multi–camera editing truly accessible for the first time. Continuous recordings are readily available for editing and instant replay without stopping video capture. Time–stamped recordings are seamlessly imported as synchronised files into Adobe® Creative Cloud® with full synchronisation in any video or audio format, including 4K UHD and above.

With NDI 4 is a new tool that utilises high–bandwidth NDI® over a WiFi connection in resolutions up to 4K UHD, from an iOS–based mobile device. The aspect ratio, frame rate and resolution independent nature of NDI® not only enables the use of mobile devices as sources but permits other NDI®–enabled systems including production switchers to deliver content ready for viewing on mobile devices.

NDI® version 4 extends NDI® significantly to allow:

  • High quality video, with support for alpha channel and a full 16bit data path. Fully resolution and frame–rate independent, with full support for UHD and beyond
  • Full support for audio, with support for more than 64 channels of floating point audio, at all sample–rates
  • Support for extensible meta–data and time–stamps
  • Fully integrated high efficiency integrated audio and video codecs allowing use within remote and wireless environments
  • Support for plug–and–play device discovery or the use of a discovery server
  • Unicast and multicast support, allowing use on local networks or cloud environments. Multi–path modes allow bandwidth to be spread across parallel network connections
  • Record virtually unlimited numbers of channels of NDI® with negligible CPU usage, including full support for 16bpp support, alpha channel and unlimited audio channels. All recordings are full synchronised – even across machines – to allow easy multi-camera editing
  • Full suite of tools, including video source monitoring, recording, desktop capture, full IP based KVM, test pattern generation, and many more
  • New iOS apps that transform these devices into full frame–rate, wireless UHD cameras
  • Downloadable, free, cross platform SDK that allows use within software applications. SDK for embedded devices that includes sample FPGA designs for encoding and decoding streams


Why NDI?

It isn’t simply that the technology is powerful, delivering impressive quality, low latency, simplicity and scale-ability for IP-based live production and broadcast over standard networks. What is more impressive is how accessible it has become. It is a technology that on its own when announced sounded nice, but offered little to most people. If you didn’t have a TriCaster, there wasn’t a lot you could do with it. Now, it has been adopted and integrated by literally thousands manufacturers and developers into a broad array of affordable software and hardware tools. Whether you’re streaming small corporate presentations, managing a house of worship or producing the biggest esports events for millions of viewers, it is highly probable there is an NDI tool in your arsenal. It is also likely that, if there is, you are looking to add more.

NDI simplifies the real-time movement of content by not just enabling bi-directional audio and video transmission, but also integrating simultaneous exchange of most other data including control, tally and comms over a single network cable. Where cameras, especially in studio environments, traditionally needed multiple (or multi-core) cables to deliver all the signals required back and forth, NDI provides the opportunity to reduce that, in some cases, to a single Gigabit Ethernet cable. Further, any device on a network instantly becomes both a source and a destination to every other. Whether it is screen sharing for presentations and gaming, or multi-channel 4K video playback and recording – a simple software install may be all that is required, rather than multiples of expensive hardware tools. No network port? No problem! NDI bridging tools exist that allow for encoding and decoding of NDI to and from traditional broadcast and consumer equipment – such as TV’s and monitors, consoles and media players, switchers and routers – anything with a video input or output.

A small selection of NDI-Enabled Tools

Want to know more? Broadcast Bruce specialises in bridging the worlds of traditional production and broadcast with the latest IT- and IP-based technologies. You do not need to go ‘all in’ and you do not need to throw away your existing investment. In most cases, a few key improvements will get you ready to start a gradual journey of integration and augmentation across your environment. An NDI-enhanced workflow will ultimately simplify the movement and management of your content, accelerating the delivery of higher quality productions, reducing stress in the production team and increasing client satisfaction.

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