As announced last year, NewTek today launched Network Device Interface (NDI), an enabling technology for live production IP workflows over Ethernet networks. NDI is available now as a royalty-free SDK (software development kit) for anyone wanting to enable IP workflows in their facilities, or in production devices and systems they manufacture. In addition to more than 200 developers working with NewTek on IP product integrations, NDI is also backwards compatible with a large number of devices from top competing manufacturers and developers already using NewTek’s previous technology allowing IP connectivity between devices. This will extend support for NDI to well over 100,000 compatible systems already deployed worldwide, making it the lingua franca of IP video transfer method in the production market. This number is expected to grow substantially as more products become available from more than 200 companies that have signed on as NDI developers.
NDI is an end-to-end solution with broad industry support. NewTek is also offering a suite of free NDI software tools designed to leverage the unique capabilities made possible by NDI and IP-based workflows.
NDI allows multiple video systems to identify and communicate with one another over IP, and to encode, transmit and receive many streams of high quality, low latency, frame-accurate video and audio in real time. This benefits any network-connected video device, including video mixers, graphics systems, capture cards, and many other production devices. This makes it possible to exponentially increase the number of sources available for live production switching, without directly attaching to devices, changing locations, or investing in expensive, high-bandwidth networks that simply replace SDI-based workflows.
“Our mission at NewTek has always been to make it easy for anyone to produce a great show. That’s why we created NDI, to provide the industry a toolset for building the next generation of live production solutions that innovate and change the way we work. We have made NDI accessible to everyone by making it easy to use, free of charge and built to work on existing networking technology,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, NewTek’s president and CTO. “Since we demonstrated NDI at IBC 2015, and released beta versions of the SDK for developers, the response from third party manufacturers has exceeded our highest expectations. NDI works with applications from almost every major vendor and virtually every I/O card on the market. There is no doubt that this move to IP-based production is fundamentally transforming our industry.”
NDI’s superb performance over standard GigE networks makes it possible to transition facilities to an incredibly versatile IP video production pipeline without negating existing investments in SDI cameras and infrastructure, or costly new high-speed network infrastructures.
Typically, SDI systems and other IP workflows that utilize point-to-point network connections are heavily dependent on expensive high-speed infrastructures. In contrast, NDI is a bi-directional standard that can operate over a GigE local area network, with many video streams on a shared connection. The way that we transport video over the network is entirely resolution and frame-rate independent, supporting 4K (and beyond) along with 16 channels (and more) of floating-point audio, making it powerful today and ready for any technology in the future. The protocol also includes tools that implement video access grouping, bi-direction metadata, tally support and IP commands.
Unlike expensive, dual–10Gbps Ethernet networks typical of emerging IP workflows, a standard GigE LAN infrastructure can accommodate NewTek’s efficient, multi-source live IP video switching. NewTek’s experience and expertise in developing IT-based multi-camera production systems provides far-reaching and immediate benefits. Not only does it drastically reduce initial network infrastructure investment, NDI-enabled IP workflows can also:
- Deliver 10x increase in capacity of video signals in an IP infrastructure vs. SDI
- Natively encode video of any resolution or format with pristine quality virtually indiscernible from the signal viewed directly from the camera
- Enable low-latency, multi-channel frame-accurate video streams, with or without alpha channel, with no buffering
- Simplify IT configuration, relieve MIS burden, avoid common IP configuration issues
- Minimize network component costs
- Eliminate logistical problem-solving and physical limitations by making a source in one location usable in a production elsewhere
- Eliminate concerns about the limited number of physical inputs on a switcher when an additional live video source is needed–just find a network connection on the LAN to plug it into
- Raise the ceiling for video source proliferation
- Demolish constraints caused by distance, walls and miles of coax
The NewTek SDK for NDI, which is available now license-free allowing anyone to use it, can be downloaded by visiting ndi.newtek.com.
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No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above (including NewTek) have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine.