Livestreaming Workflow: Tricaster, NDI and PTZ

ndiFrom Paul Schmutzler with Streaming Media

Production practices and technologies for in-studio work is constantly evolving and at a rapid rate. It sometimes might seem that daily there's a new device or innovation coming in to the fold and staffers and crew members are at the foot of it learning new things. These advancement are meant to make their lives easier of course and most often do. NewTek has been developing next-level equipment for the live video industry for years and now with live streaming being the fastest way to get your show out to the masses, they've brought us all Network Device Interface (NDI).

NDI-compatible equipment is available from a wide array of manufacturers, although NewTek offers the most options. The company sells cameras, converters, live production systems (such as the TriCaster series), graphics packages, and other tools and accessories. Many other manufacturers including PTZOptics, Streambox, Panopto, Magewell, vMix, Panasonic, and Marshall all offer a range of NDI gear such as cameras and converters. Converters such as the NewTek Connect Spark ensure that even existing or older camera systems don’t have to be replaced in order to take advantage of NDI. Producers can convert HDMI, SDI, and even 4K UHD cameras at the camera and add them to the list of available sources on the network.

NDI is wireless transmission of video over IP. What this means is now NDI capable live production systems and cameras can communicate without a direct cable connection between them. Since NewTek has given NDI away for free for other companies to use and implement into their products, new NDI products are being developed and released all the time.


NDI-capable live production systems like NewTek's TriCaster systems are perhaps the most prevalent. NewTek also made their first camera an NDI PTZ camera and an NDI converter called the Connect Spark can convert SDI or HDMI cameras to NDI allowing producers to be able to continue to use some of the equipment they've been currently using.

The most important aspect of NDI is that it is available to anyone with a royalty-free license. NewTek even maintains an SDK that’s compatible with mobile, Windows, Linux, and macOS. Software developers and hardware manufacturers can integrate NDI into their products at zero up-front or ongoing cost.

Users professional and novice alike have taken to NDI quite easily. With just some IP configurations needed and firmware updates all around, you can expand your production's capabilities immensely. No matter how big or small your production is, see how NDI can improve it today.

Quite possibly the biggest reason that NDI has taken off in adoption is the ease of setup. The entire technology has been built with the intention of making interconnecting devices for complex, multicamera setups as painless as possible. NDI has taken what used to be a laborious multihour, or even multiday, process of setting up a production infrastructure for an event and turned it into a simple plug-and-play process. That’s not to say that there’s nothing to it. Producers should still take certain considerations into account before buying a truck full of NDI-compatible gear....[continue reading]

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