NewTek Wants Game Broadcasters to Adopt NDI

By Jeff Grubb The gaming world has been growing and growing in the past few years and one revelation that has become a snowball effect is gaming entertainment, not necessarily playing the games yourself, but watching other users playing via live streaming. With this new entertainment outlet and more than most others, wires and cabling have been a huge factor. Fixing an issue where tracking down cables is part of the solution is time consuming and can possibly effect the broadcast. Implementing something like NewTek's NDI technology could remedy that, and actually has been implemented already. Still in it's early stages there are some platforms like Twitch are currently using NDI technology. With this endorsement NewTek is looking to be the lead network provider integrating their NDI technology for all gaming broadcasts.

NDI is something that Twitch already uses for its own in-house productions. It enables that company’s on-screen personalities to play games in one room while the producers edit the live feed in another room without having to run any extra cables beyond the existing Cat6 Ethernet in the walls.

“Before we got the Newtek hardware, we were running SDI cables through the ceilings and over the walls in order to just get video feeds from the computer gaming room we had down the hall,” Twitch video production manager Adam Contini told GamesBeat. “Now that we no longer need all that stuff, we’re just plugging those computers into the network using the Ethernet jacks in the wall. Our control room is on that same network. We get the signal feeds without running additional cabling anymore.”

For people like Contini, NewTek has established itself as the go-to vendor for television-quality broadcasting equipment. It hasn’t, however, made the same inroads with consumers or prosumers who are using tools like XSplit or OBS Studio to send their live feeds to Twitch, YouTube, or Mixer. But the company sees an opportunity to do exactly that.

“With NDI, it still remains just an Ethernet cable,” said Contini. “If they’re both on the network, the conversion to your stream resolution and framerate just happens in XSplit or OBS. It’s all you need. You don’t have to start worrying about, ‘is my HDMI input card capable of accepting this 1440p 144 signal that I’m sending out from my 3D card?'”

This setup gives broadcasters the benefits of a two-PC setup without sharing the same room or a complicated cable rigging. I’ve tried it, and I’m surprised at how well it works. I even tried it with one of my PCs on Wi-Fi. NewTek doesn’t explicitly recommend this, but it seemed like my wireless-AC connection was robust enough to handle the signal. But I would have to do more testing before I’d recommend that.

But I do want to incorporate NDI into my livestreaming workflow, and I think this is something a lot of people will want ot take advantage of. That’s exactly what NewTek is going for.

“The real opportunity is in how people use that and how the disruption,” said Waters. “And that really comes in the way that people adopt and can take advantage and evolve their particular space, as opposed to being locked into particular silos of technology for the sake of being in a particular ecosystem.”

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