Dr. Andrew Cross: NDI Spark FAQ

NewTek CTO Dr. Andrew Cross jumped on one fo the the NewTek NDI user forums to post this Q&A to address some of the misconceptions floating around the interwebs about NDI Spark and NDI HX technology. I've seen a few questions on different forums and thought I'd answer a few confusions here. Q. Does this require app XYZ to be upgraded to NDI v3.0. A. No. NDI Spark and the PTZ1 will work with NDI applications that where compiled with NDI V2 and later. I've personally tested it on most apps and have not found any that do not work (and we'll fix it if they do not). Q. Does this require some crazy wifi bandwidth. A. NDI Spark uses 10-15MBit/s in the high bandwidth mode. There are medium and low bandwidth modes that allow you to use less bandwidth if you want. You could use this for remote production on a wired connection as well. Using a PTZ1 camera you could get remote PTZ control with audio, video, tally. Q. Is wi-fi video important ? A. YES YES YES. Do you remember when your local network was all hard-wired ? Now you can carry your laptop and phone around without a wire attached. The moment you can do the same thing with video it changes everything. This might actually be the biggest revolution here actually ... wireless video into almost all computer production software. There are some risks and downsides of Wifi but having used it myself it is game changing. Your laptop is still faster wired than wireless, but the benefits of freedom to move are so big that most laptop vendors no longer even have a wired connection. Q. Is that uncompressed ? A. No, like NDI ... NDI|HX is compressed but uses long GOP compression to get much more bits into the same bandwidth. There is slightly higher latency (about 30ms higher) as a result, but the trade-off is the ability to use wireless and have remote production. The benefits of being able to move video on existing networks is so big that we believe that any product should take advantage of the incredibly compression advances made in the last 10 years to do more today. You can choose to do ~3 streams on 3G on a 10Ge connection (and require lots of expensive network equipment) or 10+ on 1Gbe ... NDI chooses the second and allows you to move video around your network and the world quickly and easily today. Lets be honest, if you want uncompressed video, use SDI ... the reason for using IP is the flexibility it gives you which simply cannot be underestimated; anyone who has used an NDI workflow will never go back. Another way to think about this, how many people's cameras capture uncompressed ... A 12MPixel camera (like the iPhone) would take 37Mb(!) an image, we all use compression and have about 3Mb an image which we can then email, save thousands of on drives, etc... Q. Can this record ? A1. Yes, NDI Spark can record to an SD or USB card (so its an in field recorder if you want). It has a web based control page so you can even set it up on your phone. A2. NDI Video monitor will also allow you to record to your local computer directly. This is controllable via the NDI V3 SDK so any app can implement ISO recording this way off any number of Spark devices. You can run 10 copies of Video Monitor and record them all on a PC if you want. (Oh and the new video monitor makes this much easier as well because it remembers the saved location of multiple copies allowing you to build your own "multiviewer layouts"). Q. How does tally work ? A. It will work with any NDI applications that send tally messages. All existing applications should work without change. I've tested quite a few of the ones out there and they work on both PTZ1 and the Spark. Q. Audio, Video, pass through. A. It supports digital and analog audio with pass through. It has video pass through as well. Q. Will this work with TriCaster systems that are not 3G A. Yes. Even if you connect a 3G signal to the Spark it will work with all TriCaster systems. The TC software will specially detect this and handle it efficiently. TriCaster has also been updated to support NDI PTZ cameras without any separate setup, if you select one on an input then it is controllable. Q. I see mention of Skype, Goto meeting, etc... A. All NDI|HX devices come with what is ultimately "NDI Transmit 2.0" which allows any of their sources to be fully integrated into any windows application that supports video cameras. This supports full 3G so your camera or HDMI input just became a full 1080p60 way to get video across Skype (etc...) Q. How does the image quality compare with "regular NDI" ? A. The image quality of NDI|HX is the same or better than "regular NDI". Our target as and remains that all versions of NDI are visually lossless and that in all cases any version is indistinguishable from the original. If there was a case in which this was not the case we would consider it as a bug and make sure we resolve it. Q. Does Spark support multicast ? A. Yes, Spark does. Think about the benefits with wireless !
Watch Videoguy's webinar to learn more about Newtek's revolutionary NDI | HX products including the Connect NDI Spark and NDIHX PTZ1 PTZ camera. We also talk about the new TriCaster TC-1 and other new NDI products coming soon from other vendors. The Fastest, Easiest Way to Get IP Video Into Your Show! Introducing a whole new way to bring IP video into your production. The NewTek NDI PTZ Camera and Connect Spark converters make it fast and easy. The NewTek NDI PTZ delivers video, audio, control, tally and power on ONE Ethernet cable. Or simply connect your existing camera or other video output to NewTek Connect Spark, and have instant sources for all your NDI compatible systems and software... WIRELESS.

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