what is NDI – everything you need to know

NDI is a network protocol by which audio, video, and metadata signals can be transmitted over a standard network, all in real-time. This network has minimal latency and is therefore capable of fast video transmission, even at maximum resolutions of 4k. NDI is used in many professional areas including AV integration, but it can also be used by regular users to transmit games or anything else. In this article, we will cover key points about NDI to clarify its purpose and how it works.

History of NDI

Originally, NDI was created to reliably transmit broadcast-quality video to creatives. At the time NDI was just getting started, the broadcast industry was working with SDI cables. At the time they were a reliable option for serious productions, however, they were not suitable for large-scale control, rerouting, and transport, these cables had limitations that allowed only one signal at a time.

NDI was created to solve this problem, the idea behind it was to be able to move video signals without interruption and completely free of charge. so today, NDI can work even with a 1-gigabyte connection. In this way, all workflows in the digital realm have become much softer.

NDI also helps to save on video creation costs and makes access to high-performance features much easier.

Live Production Workflow

When looking at NDI in the professional realm, it is mostly paired with a system of real-life production and CCTV cameras. In the past, this network was only used in the field of live broadcasting, but today NDI is also used successfully in small businesses, or by individual users to create content.

In the standard NDI setup, there are several types of cameras: panoramic, zoom, and tilt cameras that are connected to the same network. Thanks to the live production feature, these cameras can be in completely different locations, yet successfully exchange data in real-time.

NDI management is quite simple, captured film can be put into play at the touch of a button, and it is easy for mobile devices to plug into the system and broadcast the video from the scene.

Other NDI features

You can take advantage of the free video production software process just by connecting NDI to OBS Studio. OBS Studio is a popular, free program that allows you to play screen recordings, capture and edit video, and design scenes.

With the free download of NDI Tools – and especially NDI Virtual Input – it is possible to connect to any NDI signal as an incoming signal to OBS.

NDI is also widely used in eSports and streaming. With the NDI Screen Capture HX application, users help the GPU do the screen capture work. So if your PC contains one of NVIDIA’s newer chip models then you get 4k screen expansion with the highest performance and lowest latency for free.

The need for remote meetings has increased dramatically since the pandemic, but many users may not be satisfied with the quality of their built-in video cameras. But this can be easily remedied, as the most popular video conferencing apps collaborate with NDI Webcam Input so your smartphone camera can be used as a webcam in the NDI mobile app.