NewTek NDI workflow options are amazing

Recently, Mike McCarthy from Tech with Mike First wrote up an amazing article about many of the great ways NDI can be used as a tool. 

Videoguys has been a loud advocate for NDI ever since its official announcement back in 2016. We even did an entire month dedicated to workflows, applications, and more called "NDI November." 

NDI was really designed to replace SDI cables. SDI is still used a lot of the time to connect cameras, monitors, computers, etc. " The vision was to replace all of that coaxial cabling infrastructure with IP based ethernet packets, running on the same networks and cabling that were already needed to support the data networks," Mike wrote. 

NDI is a compressed alternative to SMTPE 2022 and 2110. This was the standard protocol for video feeds routing over 10GbE. NDI creators made their own protocol which compresses video to about 15:1 which means video can simply be sent over gigabit networks readily installed already. 

NDI/HX is also available for even more compression but with a bit of lag. You can learn more about this here!

Many companies like NewTek, PTZOptics, BirdDog, and Panasonic have jumped on the bandwagon making cameras, converters, and more all dedicated to utilizing NDI. But there is also software available to help improve workflows tremendously. 

NDI Studio Monitor

This is a way to monitor, and even record, all available NDI streams on the network. NDI Studio Monitor can easily be used to process and display all NDI feeds coming in over the network. 

NDI Screen Capture

This software captures screens like that of a desktop and outputs it as an NDI feed. This also allows for KVM control (only for Windows) for remote workflows. 

NDI Screen Capture HX

This does the same as NDI Screen Capture but further compresses the signal to NDI|HX. This allows for an ease on the network and also uses GPU based NVENC for better performance. 

NDI Virtual Input

This is great for virtual conferences like Zoom or Teams. This lets you take any NDI input and use it as a webcam. 

NDI for Adobe Creative Cloud

This software is great for remote workflows with editors. This lets you output Premiere Pro, After Effects, or Character Animator and transmit the screens over NDI. 


These programs are all available at 

As you can see, these offer an assortment of possibilities be it remote workflows, or just people working by themselves. The versatility of NDI is astonishing. 

Marc writes, "This makes it much easier to generate high end tutorials and other screen capture content, combined in real time for streaming, instead of editing them together in post.  You can easily switch between the application UI and the program output when demonstrating a software function, or using Character Animator to generate an avatar of your webcam input, for gaming streamers."

The following images are what Marc took to show off some of NDI's awesome capabilities. 

NDI also has apps that can bring in other devices. For example, they have HX Capture and HX Camera which can be used on an iPhone. These can take either the phone's screen or the camera feed and transmit an NDI signal over WiFi. There is also NDI Monitor TV which can be used with an Apple TV 4K. 

As you can see, there is a wide spread support for NDI now. What might not work with one program, such as a camera, can now easily be brought in or vice versa opening endless possibilities. 

NewTek has been leading the way for NDI workflows. They have made an assortment of products like their Spark series, and even have built their TriCaster units with NDI specifically in mind. Other companies like Telestream have built their Wirecast software to utilize NDI as well. 

OBS even supports NDI with a simple plugin. You can also output your stream via NDI. 

"I do very little work in real-time, but used to use SDI to capture NLE output for quick encodes, and could use NDI for real-time encodes of my Character Animator projects," Marc wrote. "Setting NDI as the output in Mercury Transit, and recording that stream in NDI Studio Monitor allows real-time recording of anything you can play back in real time in Premiere Pro, After Effects, or Character Animator, with alpha channel support." 

For this example, he overlayed the output from a program over another. In this case it was his Lego puppet composited with a screen capture of premiere Pro. All in real time. 

The pandemic has resulted in many editors working from home. Sometimes for editors, that's no problem. People like Marc, and even myself, often pass projects back and further despite being miles upon miles apart. Which this takes time to upload the project, send it out, and also can lead to files going missing. Thus things CAN get messy. 

NDI has cleared this up tremendously! Now my boss can see me editing in real time instead of having to wait for me to upload the project for him to view. This saves time and money. This can be done via Skype, Teams, Zoom, and just about any video conferencing software!

Marc makes a lot of tutorials. What he's done is use NDI to bring in a capture to OBS and streams everything out in real time. He uses a Lego Puppet to represent him, and he can animate it in real time using Character Animator, and output that feed via NDI to Virtual Camera. This becomes one of their sources for Skype or Zoom. 

But that's not all! 

Marc often uses region of interest not to capture a full screen with NDI, but merely a part of it adding even more customization via an NDI workflow. "I can then composite those two sources in Studio Monitor, or OBS for more flexibility, and stream or record the result," writes Marc. 

Pretty sweet!

Marc provided some great screen grabs to show you the different software that can utilize NDI. He proves just how reliable, furture proof, and easy NDI is to use and improve upong the workflows you have in place. 

As Gary from Videoguys often says, "NDI is the future!" He's absolutely right! 

Read the original Article by Marc here!

Learn more about NDI here!

Learn more about NewTek here!


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