Previously, I have covered NewTek’s NDI standard which I call the new lingua franca among broadcast brands. Today, NewTek has officially unveiled NDI version 3.0, together with a US$2799 PTZ worldcam camera with native NDI communication. To facilitate connecting legacy cameras and other sources via NDI, NewTek has also unveiled two NDI converter boxes, one for HDMI (non-HDCP) devices, and another for SDI. NewTek’s mission to eliminate the need for BNC & SDI connections and coax cable between multiple brands which support the free NDI protocol is now becoming a complete reality. Details ahead.
NewTek reference PTZ worldcam with native NDI
With built-in NDI functionality, this new IP video camera transmits up to 1080p59.94 video directly to NDI-compatible products across a standard network. The NewTek NDI camera connects to the network and delivers video and audio, as well as tally, PTZ control, and power all over a single Ethernet cable.
Once connected to the network, the camera is visible to all compatible systems running the latest version of NDI including: LiveStream Studio, SplitmediaLabs XSplit, Streamstar, OBS Studio, StudioCoast vMix, Telestream Wirecast, NewTek TriCaster, and hundreds more. More sources become available immediately with the addition of NDI cameras to the network. Once available on the network, the NewTek NDI camera is also automatically recognized by applications like GoToMeeting, Skype, Skype for Business, Zoom Media and many others.
“There have been a few inflection points in the broadcast industry that have delivered profound benefits, such as the transition to nonlinear editing from cutting tape. The move to IP-based production is one of those unique moments in our industry,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO for NewTek. “The transition is happening fast because it is being driven by customer demand. Producers recognize this technology simplifies their work, while expanding their opportunity to create more and better shows. With the availability of NDI cameras, from NewTek and others that are sure to follow, IP-based production is truly here.”
“StudioXperience is a Waskul.TV broadcast venue that travels to events around the world. NewTek’s NDI technology has made it possible for us to expand our capabilities while minimizing resources and studio setup time,” said Steve Waskul, CEO at Waskul Entertainment. “The NewTek NDI PTZ cameras are a great addition to our IP video workflow. They can be set anywhere in the environment and through the magic of NDI they immediately appear on our network and can be accessed and controlled remotely.”
Sensor and optics
Although not included in the press release or presentation I attended yesterday via telephone, NewTek later confirmed that the new camera has a 1/2.8” CMOS. The zoom has a focal length of 4.7-94mm and a maximum aperture: f/1.6-f/3.5.
Truly a worldcam
Although not included in the press release or presentation I attended yesterday via telephone, NewTek later confirmed that the new camera indeed supports the following framerates, and also includes the appropriate shutter speeds to achieve a 180 degree shutter, i.e.:
- 25p and 1/50 shutter speed
- 29.97p and 1/60 shutter speed
- 50p and 1/100 shutter speed
- 59.94p and 1/120 shutter speed
Please note that the connected TriCaster or other brand of video mixer (“switcher”) must also accept 25p/50p to work in those framerates. Many TriCaster units sold in the US have not included those framerates.
Pricing and availability of the camera
Orders for the NewTek NDI PTZ camera are being accepted now and units will begin shipping on August 1 for US$2799 (B&H link) in the US.
NewTek NDI converters for HDMI (non HDCP) and SDI sources
NewTek today introduced the NewTek Connect Spark, a portable device designed to deliver SDI or HDMI video to a computer and/or an IP network, wirelessly (dual-band WiFi 802.11ac/a/b/g/n). NewTek Connect Spark products are IP video converters, with built-in NDI functionality. The units deliver video as an IP source to any standard network via WiFi or standard Ethernet cable. Connect Spark also records directly on the unit to SD cards or USB drives, controllable from a web interface.
NewTek Connect Spark works with all NDI compatible devices and applications in use by millions of customers including NDI computer-based live production systems from: CombiTech VidBlaster, Livestream Studio, OBS, Splitmedia Labs XSplit, Streamstar, StudioCoast vMix, Telestream Gameshow, Telestream Wirecast, NewTek TriCaster, and many more. Additionally, NewTek Connect Spark delivers video to popular desktop video applications including Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Skype, Skype for Business, WebEx, Zoom, and others.
“We believe that the future is one in which video is transferred easily and efficiently over IP, making it possible to have vast number of video sources readily available for production,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO for NewTek. “NewTek Connect Spark makes that future a reality today by easily converting HDMI and SDI signals into IP signals. It’s as easy as plugging your video source into the device and turning on a WiFi connection. At that point, any compatible system on the network can see it.”
NewTek Connect Spark devices provide 3G SDI or HDMI conversion up to 1080p59.94 with loop through. In addition to video conversion to IP, the devices provide tally support, and remotely record MP4 to an SD card or USB drive. Recording is controlled through a web interface available for devices including mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
I asked whether (like TriCaster) the Spark converter boxes include reverse PsF and reverse telecine for those nasty cameras that won’t deliver a native progressive signal over HDMI or SDI. The response was that the Spark converter boxes deliver the signal as is, and if reverse PsF and reverse telecine is required, it can be set as such in the TriCaster or other video mixer. That makes complete sense. However, to my knowledge, at publication time of this article, TriCaster are the only video mixers which offer these two capabilities. If any other NDI-compliant video mixer manufacturer offers this feature (reverse PsF and reverse telecine) as TriCaster does, please contact me and I will gladly cover it here in ProVideo Coalition magazine.
NewTek also confirmed that the included power supply with the converter boxes is multi-voltage.
Pricing and availability for converter boxes
Orders for the NewTek Connect Spark NCS (HDMI version) and NCS-S (SDI version) are being accepted now and units will begin shipping August 1 starting at US$499 (B&H link) for the HDMI version and US$795 (B&H link) for SDI in the US.
I am glad to see NewTek offering these reference versions of NDI products. It reminds me how Google has done the same with reference versions of Nexus mobile phones, and more recently with Pixel phones, both of which I have used. Expect many other manufacturers to offer cameras and interface boxes, including Panasonic.
NewTek as already announced several NDI 3.0 partners, including BirdDog, Bluefish444, Broadcast Pix, Microsoft Skype, NewBlueFX, OBS, Panasonic, PTZOptics, SplitmediaLabs – XSplit, Ross Video, Telestream Wirecast and Gameshow, vMix, and many hundreds of others.
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