【ProAV Lab】introNDI#06 - IP Video Production and the NDI Ecosystem

By Kieron Seth & Isaac Chen, Lumens

April 22, 2022 15606


NDI is an open-source protocol for two-way network video and audio signal transmission. The NDI ecosystem makes it easier to instantly connect every device such as PTZ cameras, media processors, and software-based switcher. With NDI technology, you can send high-quality and low latency videos across Ethernet networks and simplify your video production workflow. It's perfect to use in broadcast production and ProAV solutions.


NDI Ecosystem

NDI's original vision was to make video production easy for everybody, from program makers to congregations. Dr. Andrew Cross, the creator of NDI, said, "The future of NDI is that anybody anywhere should be able to work with anyone else using videos." The basic concept of NDI was to transport high quality video streams over IP networks in a way that made it simple to add and control video devices on a network. NDI now supports a massive and diverse range of audio and video tools (hardware and software). We call this the "NDI Ecosystem."

What is NDI Ecosystem?

We can break down the NDI Ecosystem into three categories, NDI Transmission Protocol, NDI Tools, and NDI Compatible devices. Both NDI Transmission Protocol and NDI Tools are freely available from NDI. 

● NDI Transmission Protocol

NDI is an open-source protocol for two-way network video and audio signal transmission. NDI allows multiple audio and video devices to: 
•    Transmit audio and video to each other in both directions through an IP communication protocol
•    Communicate across a local area network
•    Transmit and receive multiple real-time input and output signals simultaneously. 

NDI is available in two main formats – NDI|HX and NDI High Bandwidth. They differ mainly in terms of bandwidth consumption. The HX high-efficiency format operates at low data rates, while High Bandwidth is data-heavy and requires a high-performance network. We will discuss this in more detail in a later chapter.

● NDI Tools

NDI® Tools is a suite of applications offered at no cost by NDI. You can download it here: https://www.ndi.tv/tools/
NDI® Tools make connecting, monitoring, and sharing NDI sources easier. It makes it simpler to transmit and receive real-time video to and from any location in real-time. NDI version 5.0 includes incredibly powerful tools, such as NDI Bridge, NDI Remote, and NDI Audio Direct. We'll talk more about how each tool work to ease your workflow.


● NDI Compatible Devices

Many manufacturers and developers have joined the NDI family, including Adobe, AJA, Brainstorm, Birddog, CasparCG, EasyWorkship, LiveU, Lumens, Magewell, Marshall, NewTek, OBS, Panasonic, ProPresenter, SONY, Teradek, Vizrt, VMix, Wasp3D, DELTACAST and Wowza. These systems, devices, and applications form the largest ecosystem of IP products for any audio and video producer who wants to create an IP production and broadcasting environment. Broadly, products can be divided into four categories: 
1.    Cameras
2.    Live production systems (hardware and software) 
3.    Routing systems
4.    Graphics & video effects


*NDI® is a registered trademark of the Vizrt Group.

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