Video over IP in WATCHOUT using NDI

Live IP production (video-over-IP) is enabled in WATCHOUT 6.2 using the free NDI® protocol developed by NewTek™.

As the future of video moves towards more network-based distribution solutions, adding features like NDI is a natural move. NDI allows multiple video streams on a shared connection and supports high quality, low latency, frame-accurate video over standard Ethernet networks. 

This document will cover the following topics:

  • Key benefits by using NDI
  • How does NDI work with WATCHOUT?
  • Which NDI formats are supported by WATCHOUT?

Key benefits by using NDI

For users of WATCHOUT, the addition of NDI enables a wide range of benefits and increased flexibility. 

  • Removed routing constraints
  • Reduced cost and deployment time
  • Enhanced flexibility

Remove Routing Constraints

Produce your WATCHOUT shows in a completely new way using sources from all over your network. You are no longer limited to what’s physically connected to your video capture card. This greatly enhances the flexibility of the Dataton small and compact media servers without built-in capture cards, such as WATCHPAX 2, WATCHPAX 20 and WATCHPAX 4 – but also adds value to the WATCHMAX media servers with built-in capture cards.

Compared to capture from traditional capture cards, NDI supports transparency which is valuable when blending multiple layers in WATCHOUT.

Reduce cost and deployment time

NDI allows you to utilize the standard Ethernet-based LAN infrastructure, so there is no need to invest in new signal distribution infrastructure. With NDI’s unprecedented encoding efficiency and performance, your network can accommodate multiple simultaneous, high-quality, ultra-low latency video streams – for high quality playback through WATCHOUT.

How does NDI work?

NDI can operate over a local area network with many video streams on a shared connection. Any NDI-enabled device on the network can be captured in WATCHOUT, allowing more sources than ever before to be used for live production.

Once WATCHOUT has discovered NDI devices on the network, video can be passed from the sending device to WATCHOUT. The NDI sending device opens a session to WATCHOUT, and you can use the NDI stream in your WATCHOUT production as any other media. 

Each NDI media in WATCHOUT can be connected to two NDI streams; one primary and one secondary which may be used as backup.

Dynamic Image Server now uses NDI instead of RTSP which increases the performance and frame-rate.

Currently Audio input using NDI is not supported in WATCHOUT. This is because version 6 uses audio input as timecode. 

What kind of NDI-supported equipment is available?

NDI is supported by a wide range of manufacturers which means user can benefit from any network-connected video device, including video mixers, graphics systems, capture cards, and many other production devices. 

NDI Formats

NDI supports all resolutions, frame rates and video streams, with and without alpha channel.

The most common implementations are expected to utilize 8-bit UYVY and RGBA video, however support for 10-bit and 16-bit is available. The internal pipeline of the codec is maintained entirely at 16-bit or better.

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