The Complete Guide on What is an NDI Camera

What is an NDI Camera?

NDI cameras are PTZ cameras that operate through NDI standard – a standard that allows the transmission and storage of high-quality images and videos easier through a single Ethernet cable. These devices connect to the Local Area Network (LAN) and are capable of interacting with a variety of software through the NDI.

PTZ stands for “pan, tilt, and zoom” which refers to the capabilities of the camera. NDI abbreviates to Network Device Interface – it is a set of protocols that make the sending and receiving of metadata signals over a network easier.

Two Types of NDI Cameras

NDI ptz camera 1
Source: Telycam

In general, there are two prominent types of NDI cameras – High Bandwidth NDI cameras and NDI HX cameras. Although there aren’t many significant differences, they vary in their latency rates and bandwidth levels.

NDI Camera - NDI cameras with high bandwidth can transmit high-quality videos and data over IP (Internet Protocol). The defining feature of a high bandwidth NDI camera is its ability to transmit high-quality videos with low latency levels through an IP. The minimal required bandwidth for transmission of data in this type of device is 125mbps, and a Standard 1-Gbps ethernet cable is perfect for this purpose.

NDI HX Camera - NDI HX camera differs from a high bandwidth NDI camera in the aspect that the former can transmit high-quality videos very efficiently even in limited bandwidth conditions. An HX camera requires a dedicated bandwidth of 4- 24mbps for streaming. Same as the NDI camera, a Standard 1-Gbps ethernet cable will be enough to transmit metadata effectively.

What is NDI?

NDI interface
Source: Unsplash

NDI, Network Device Interface, is all about a set pf network protocols that simplify the transmission of high-quality videos, images, and other forms of metadata over a network that is of low latency. This set of protocols created by NewTek has made the distribution of data over a network of NDI devices easy and quick.

 

The advantage of NDI technology is that it is designed to transmit high-quality, 4k videos with minimal amounts of latency – no frames are lost during the distribution of data in the network. Also, the NDI technology enables the connection of several NDI-compatible devices, like switchers, cameras, etc., in a single network.

What is NDI HX?

NDI HX, a type of NDI protocol, is designed specifically for devices that transmit data in a lower bandwidth range. The HX in NDI HX stands for high efficiency – if the user is using devices like smartphones to transmit video formats over an NDI network, then NDI HX will be the recommended choice. 

 

One thing to notice about the devices that use the NDI HX protocol is that they transmit videos and data in a compressed format, as the data is being distributed through a lower-bandwidth network. So, to prevent any latency-related problems in a situation where high-quality streaming is required, it is better to opt for the NDI protocol.

What is OBS NDI?

OBS Camera 2
Source: OBS Camera

We have seen that devices compatible with NDI are capable of streaming/broadcasting videos over an NDI network. Now, to make streaming, creating, and distributing videos over an NDI network easier, one can opt for software like OBS, which stands for Open Broadcaster Software. It is open-source software that supports video production, streaming, and transmission.

 

OBS is one of the most popular live-streaming software platforms, and a developer created a plugin for OBS that supports NDI. This plugin enables the user to access simple and complex features over IP. Another advantage of using OBS plugins is that they can transmit videos through NDI to other devices and systems.

What Does NDI Mean?

PTZ camera working principle
Source: Google

Live streaming and production of live events are now made easier with NDI-compatible PTZ cameras – with the Network Device Interface here to transmit, communicate, and produce videos, users can seamlessly experience high-quality videos.

 

This video-over-IP standard developed by NewTek allows the distribution of high-quality videos through various devices connected to an NDI network without losing latency.

What is NDI Technology Used for?

Houses of Worship
Source; Google

There are numerous uses for NDI and NDI-compatible devices – videos and other forms of data can be easily sent and received over IP through an NDI network. Also, this technology has played a crucial role in making the process of live streaming easier. Here we have mentioned the areas in which you can employ the technology.

Broadcast Television Studio - NDI PTZ cameras are the perfect choice for broadcast and live streaming television programs and events. Especially when equipped with the NDI technology, these IP-enabled PTZ cameras are the right fit for the buzzing reality TV shows and other television broadcasts. Also, through the NDI network, high-quality metadata can be transferred smoothly, so producers need not worry about latency problems.

Sporting and Event Production - Live sports telecast can be enhanced with the help of a 4k NDI camera - with unique angles and crystal clear quality, viewers will be able to watch their favorite stars in live-action. NDI PTZ cameras are also a great option for live event production gigs as the single ethernet cable of the network will be able to transmit top-quality videos, even in lower bandwidth situations.

eSports Live Stream - Gaming and eSports are delivered to their target audiences only when the real action and tension is captured seamlessly. For this, NDI PTZ cameras and other NDI devices step in as a perfect option. With several options like 20x and 30x optical zoom, streamers can record the emotions and intensity of the situation closely for a heightened effect.

Live Streaming for Education - With distance learning and e-learning becoming mainstream choices, the need for live streaming lectures has risen, and this is where these cameras come in handy. With their ability to live stream an event without any interruptions or latency issues, NDI PTZ cameras become the first choice for those who wish to record or live stream lectures and on-demand classes on a large scale.

Enterprise Live Streaming - Executive meetings and video conferences are done right when streaming through 4k NDI PTZ cameras - to conduct client meetings and other types of conferences, NDI cameras are very helpful. The ease of installation and use of these cameras, and the ability to control multiple cameras through a single network are some of the features that make these cameras a good choice for enterprise live streaming.

Houses of Worship - Now streaming events, celebrations, and religious festivals is easier with NDI PTZ cameras. In places of worship like Churches, Mosques, and Temples, often prayer sessions are live-streamed and are displayed on a wider screen, and these cameras are crucial in achieving these activities.

Theaters Streaming - With the ability of NDI PTZ cameras to record and live stream in a wide range of qualities ranging from 1080p to 2160p, these devices make a great contender for streaming live theater performances. Also, these devices' capability of transmitting data effectively helps in high-quality live videos.

Telemedicine Video Conferencing - Telehealth and telemedicine have recently become a prominent part of the medical industry. With the need for streaming medical sessions live increasing rapidly, a specialty 4k camera for video conference can be of immense use.

Politics Live Streaming - Real-time meetings and parliamentary sessions can be effectively streamed with the help of PTZ cameras connected through NDI. The telecast of meetings is made easier when there is no lagging or drop in the quality of the video. With the right placement of multiple cameras, all the proceedings of a session can be captured perfectly.

Courtroom Video Recording - The lawful functioning of the Judiciary system ensures that justice is severed. And the citizens of a country should be aware of the proceedings of a courtroom - this is delivered with the help of NDI PTZ cameras. The trials and the proceedings in a courtroom can be recorded smoothly with the help of these devices.

Features & Advantages of NDI Cameras

The reason why NDI cameras are widely employed in several industries is that it poses a wide range of advantages over their competitors. The NDI technology is unmatchable – the efficiency and the effectiveness delivered by NDI PTZ cameras are just superior. Don’t believe us?

 

Have a look at the following points to learn about the amazing characteristics and benefits of this technology.

4K Quality - The capability of NDI cameras to record and transmit videos in high quality including the 4k quality makes it unique and incredibly useful in regards to several fields. Besides, it includes new camera angles and vantage points according to your coverage, thus letting you add new dimensions to live broadcasts, webcasts, and presentations.

Control over Multiple Devices - Through a single Ethernet cable in an NDI network, a user can control multiple cameras at the same time. This opens up the opportunity to place multiple cameras for better recording and controlling them in one go.

Wide Applications - One of the main advantages of devices compatible with NDI is that they can be employed for several applications. Be it distributing or recording, a live streaming PTZ camera connected to an NDI network can accomplish it seamlessly. You can even operate this free tool in the latest version of Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Impressive Optical Zoom - Ranging from 20x to 40x optical zoom, these NDI cameras can be a great option for streaming several types of videos, ranging from classroom lectures to boardroom meetings. A PTZ 30x NDI can offer incredible clarity and accuracy, which is a necessity when telecasting events like live sports.

Ease of Use - One of the best things about NDI and cameras that operate on this technology is that it is very easy to operate these devices. Also, NDI is a free-source technology, so it can be accessed by anyone. It costs you nothing to upgrade a gadget to NDI by using the relevant official tools.

The NDI toolset allows a user to capture their screen and share the synced screen with other people. And if there are other NDI sources in the same network, they will get detected by the Studio Monitor and view them in real-time.

How Does a NDI Camera Work?

NDI Camera Working principle
Source: Google

The working of a NDI camera demands a few requirements, including a Standard 1-Gbps ethernet cable and a network router with built-in Wi-Fi and a network switch.

 

If required, multiple devices and computers can be connected to the same NDI network, but one should remember that the computers should be fast enough to handle the transmission of high-quality data that is distributed through the network.

 

Also, as per the needs of the user, the NDI-related tools can be installed. So, it is completely up to the demands of a user; whether they wish to connect a single device to the gadget or multiple. These cameras are equipped with the PTZ (Pan, Tilt and Zoom) functionality which utilizes the two-way communication capabilities of NDI.

 

So, it is possible to control them over the same single ethernet cable to transmit audio and video files.

How Do You Set Up an NDI Camera

It is very easy and straightforward to set up an NDI camera in almost any setting. Simply put, an NDI camera can be directly plugged into a Local Area Network (LAN) and configured with the related software on the computer or any other device. When an NDI camera has been plugged into an NDI network, the device will recognize it automatically.

 

Once a name has been assigned for the newly plugged camera, it will be ready to use and will be recognized whenever connected to the network. When you plug it into the network, it displays as an available source on your network. So, when you click on the ‘add NDI source’ option, the NDI name given to the camera will show up in any hardware solution or software.

How to Control an NDI camera?

NDI cameras and NDI PTZ cameras can be controlled through a variety of means including IR remote controller and software control.

IR Remote Control for ndi ptz camera
Source: Unsplash

IR emote Control - InfraRed (IR) remote controllers are one of the simplest and most popular options for controlling NDI cameras. They are easy to use and the webcam factory or manufacturer usually provides an IR remote with the camera.

Joystick Controller - For clear and precise movements of the NDI or NDI PTZ cameras, a joystick can be used. The sensitivity of the joystick controller and the buttons present in them help in the expert handling of these cameras.

Control Software - NDI PTZ cameras can be controlled through a computer with the help of a controlling software like OBS. By connecting the cameras with third-party technologies, these software types pave the way for the easy controlling of the devices.

Automatic Tours - A better way of controlling NDI PTZ cameras is to set an automatic tour. With measured and precise movements, the automated tour setting will control the cameras without any need for human intervention.

Hardware Controllers - Third-party devices or manufacturers’ own hardware controllers like remotes can be of great use when it comes to the control of NDI cameras. One of the advantages of using these controllers is that they can help in controlling multiple devices at the same time.

Third-Party Control - Third-party controllers, like the suite of available NDI tools, are a great option for a camera controller. These can be installed on a PC and can be further explored to manage the NDI cameras expertly.

How to Install an NDI camera?

If you could just mount a gadget on your wall or ceiling, it would take off so much tension off of your head because they are so delicate. It would surprise you to learn that with the newly launched NDI cameras, you can make that happen!

 

Highly flexible, NDI cameras can be placed in different positions in various settings, including tripods, poles, computers, and walls, so you don’t have to worry about them falling, breaking, or crushing. These cameras offer a great field of view from all angles and allow the owner to hang them in the following ways.

Wall Mounted - Easily mounted on walls, NDI cameras offer eye-level recordings when placed in this position. Using a junction box, or with any similar connector, one can easily install an NDI camera on a wall.

Ceiling Mounted - A PTZ 20x NDI camera installed on the ceiling of a room offers an undisturbed view of the proceedings of the whole space. Perfect for indoor recordings, ceiling mounting of these cameras can be achieved when there are perfect placements of power outlets and camera holders.

Pole Mounted - Using camera brackets, an NDI PTZ camera can be mounted on a pole. Mostly, PTZ cameras are mounted on poles when they serve the purpose of a surveillance camera. Observing crowds is made easier with the positioning of an NDI camera on a pole.

What is the Difference Between NDI and SDI?

NDI
Source: Pexels

SDI refers to Serial Digital Interface, a standard for transmitting uncompressed videos through a coaxial cable. The transfer rate in this interface is around 270 Mbps and the speed of transmission depends on the bit rate. SDI has been the standard for television broadcasting and is capable of distributing videos without any loss of quality.

 

One may even tag it as a traditional streaming video transmission approach, which requires a wired cable to connect a camcorder and video production system.

 

NDI, on the other hand, refers to Network Digital Interface, a set of protocols developed by NewTek to enable the transmission and distribution of video and other types of metadata over a network of several connected devices through Gigabit Ethernet, without any latency issues. Since it is based on internet infrastructure, it is lightweight.

 

If you are looking for efficient and convenient video production and streaming, NDI should be your go-to option. However, if you wish to preserve videos in high-quality, SDI cameras are always a better choice than NDI ones. But if you are tired of facing latency issues, we suggest you go for an NDI camera.

What is the Difference Between NDI and NDI HX Camera?

NDI HX camera
Source: Unsplash

While NDI and NDI HX are mostly similar, the difference lies in their ability to transmit data in given ranges of bandwidth. Standard NDI requires a minimum of 125mbps bandwidth to transmit videos in high-quality, without compressing the data or losing clarity.

 

On the other hand, NDI HX (HX stands for High Efficiency) makes the transmission of high-quality videos possible in lower-bandwidth devices like smartphones. By opting for compressed formats, this type of network avoids latency problems. In camera technology, there is always a tradeoff between latency and bandwidth.

 

While high bandwidth offers low latency, low bandwidth introduces high latency because it takes time to compress and decompress a video. So, the available bandwidth on existing network infrastructure plays a critical role.

Conclusion

NDI, an incredible technology developed by NewTek, has made the transmission of large videos of high quality through a network of multiple devices possible, without any hassle. NDI cameras are highly effective in several industries – from classrooms to courtrooms, they can be employed anywhere for recording high-quality content and transmitting it over standard computer networks.

 

Through this article, we have informed you about everything there is to the NDI technology. We hope now you know everything about NDI cameras and how they are different from the SDI version to make a better buying decision. For wholesale PTZ camera purchase, get in touch with us – the best webcam & PTZ camera manufacturer, Telycam!

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