Vickie Claiborne is a lighting and digital media designer and programmer, author of “Media Servers for Lighting Programmers,” and an educator who has trained thousands around the world in her chosen field. Her nearly 30-year career has ranged from working in a small theater in Branson, Missouri through head lighting programmer on the opening and closing ceremonies for the Sydney Olympics and on to hundreds of other major international shows and events. Writing for Professional Lights and Staging News (PLSN), she evaluated the state of the available options for video-over-IP with an eye to sending the output of a media server into a pre-visulization environment.
Some solutions for this use case have been on offer but suffer a variety of problems that limit their usefulness, or their availability for use. Many of the options to date have provided only low frame rates or low resolution over standard networks, or required high-bandwidth networks. Some recent solutions that otherwise seem to fit the bill require royalty fees. In contrast, NewTek’s bi-directional IP technology for transport of video, audio, metadata and communications is royalty free and delivers HD video at high quality, full frame rates and very low latency. NDI® is completely format independent, supporting streams of any resolution and frame rate to the limit of the available network bandwidth. Implemented in nearly 1,000 products, and with the announcement of Microsoft Skype integration, NDI now has a user base of more than 300 million people worldwide – by far the most widely adopted IP standard.
Claiborne observes, “In fact, several of the most popular media servers and lighting visualizers used in live entertainment applications today have added NDI support, including Watchout 5, Ai6, Hippotizer v4.37, resolume v68, and Capture9. And with many more media servers beta testing NDI support as well, it’s looking promising that NDI might just be the Video Over IP solution that opens the door widely to sharing video over a network between lighting consoles, media servers, and previsualization applications in our industry.”
“…the time is right for a solution that can capitalize on fast networking connectivity while delivering the HD resolution we expect; and I think NDI might just be the right one.”
See Claiborne’s infographic on NDI connectivity with live entertainment applications and read her complete analysis at PLSN: Video Over IP: Is NDI the Solution?