Network Device Interface (NDI) is an IP network device interface protocol introduced by NewTek in 2015. It can transmit high-quality AV signals, metadata and control signals through LAN with ultra-low latency.
Features & Benefits of NDI
1. It has a very mature software and hardware ecosystem. NewTek provides a series of software tools such as NDI Connect Pro, NDI Scanner Convert and NDI Studio Monitor for end users; also free SDK for software developers. Many production software and plug-ins have also added support for NDI such as Sienna, vMix, Watchout, Magewell Bridge for NDI, etc.Camera manufacturers like Panasonic, Sony, PTZOptics, and converter manufacturers have also increased their support for NDI. Therefore NDI not only has a complete ecosystem in broadcasting and professional AV, but can also help users connect their existing infrastructure to NDI-enabled system.
2. It makes AV sharing much easier. Compared with other Internet-based transmission protocols, the sending and receiving of NDI-based IP streams are much easier, and there is no need to manually set complex IP addresses. In addition, NDI-based transmission in LAN has a lower latency than other network transmission protocols under the premise of ensuring picture quality, greatly simplifying and reducing the costs of wiring and maintenance.
3. It helps users make the most of their existing infrastructure. Users can rely on Gigabit switches to transmit 4K or multiple HD NDI streams, and they do not necessarily need to upgrade to 10 Gigabit switches. In addition, by using standalone NDI encoders, such as Magewell Pro Convert products, users can easily convert source signals, such as traditional cameras into cameras with NDI sending functions; or decode NDI streams into baseband signals for inputting into hardware switcher to achieve the use of IP streams in traditional production workflows.
Classic Application of NDI Use
Demand and Problem of Multi-Camera Live Production
For multi-camera live production, SDI cables are needed to connect the camera to the computer used for production, which will cost a lot of wiring work. Also the shooting range is greatly affected by the length of the SDI cable. When connecting the camera to a small-sized NDI video encoder, it can convert the camera's SDI or HDMI signals into NDI streams and then be captured by various production equipment.
Connect multiple cameras to the NDI encoder then the camera’s SDI signals can be converted into NDI streams. Thus producers can use LAN to perform live production. It will no longer be limited to the shooting range and meet the needs of multi-camera live production. Also the NDI-based video transmission has ultra-low latency, allowing program production to be effective in real time.