Both the NewTek Connect Spark and BirdDog Studio are on-camera NDI encoders that turn the HDMI or SDI output of your HD camcorder into an NDI signal. Now you can connect your camcorder to your TriCaster or any other NDI enabled mixer / switcher via your standard GigE network or even Wi-Fi! This is so cool! NO more hassles of long SDI runs or HDMI cables getting pulled out. No more limits to where you can place your camera because of the wiring limits. Now let’s go into some of the specifics about these products.
Click here to watch the video on YouTube.The NewTek Connect Sparks come in two different flavors, HDMI for $499 and SDI for $699. They use a subset of NDI technology call NDI HX that delivers NDI connectivity at a lower cost, with slightly lower quality and some additional latency. Don't fret, the video images look fantastic. For the bulk of our customers, the lower cost and added features more than compensate for this. They allow you to use Wi-Fi connectivity into your NDI switcher. Being wire free gives you an enormous amount of flexibility for camera placement and movement. Just be aware of any dark spots in your coverage to avoid dropped signals. The BirdDog Studio is a more expensive product ($895) based on NDI technology that supports both SDI and HDMI with cross conversion and loop out, tally light, V-Mount and Anton Bauer mounting options, and has almost zero latency. These features make it a more professional product. It does not support WiFi.