Where the use of NDI has traditionally been limited to specific applications around digital signage and displays, this technology is increasingly becoming the go-to for live broadcasting and video production.
NDI has the potential to provide faster and more efficient video delivery within creative environments and remove the reliance on physical infrastructure. However, the demands of this software in turn creates some specific technical requirements which can inform PC choice.
Firstly, what is NDI?
Otherwise known as Network Device Interface, NDI technology is a free software standard that was created to support the streaming of video over IP. Its role was to enable high-quality, low-latency, and frame-accurate distribution of live professional video across a local area network.
The beauty of NDI is in its simplicity. A single input and output over your network sees that there’s no reliance on capture cards, HDMI ports, or cabling. NDI carries video, multichannel uncompressed audio and metadata across your network, allowing multiple applications to access the same source at once without any impact on quality or availability, seeing that different users can work on the same video in real-time.
NDI requirements and the role of PC choice
As NDI software is designed to distribute video output via an IP protocol, this does create some unique hardware requirements.
A strong network with good availability of bandwidth is an absolute must, but beyond this there are some additional considerations for your PC.
With NDI essentially streaming live video over the internet, the encoding and decoding on any end device is very much CPU based. As such, this means that NDI applications require a huge amount of processing power, especially where multiple inputs are being accessed on the same device.
The flip side, however, is that the heavy CPU usage means there is no additional requirement for a high-powered graphics card. This sees that an NDI-ready host PC can be equipped with a powerful processor without needing to accommodate additional graphics components.
New demand for G2 PCs
We’ve already highlighted the significant uptake in PCs ready to support vMix video production software in a previous blog, but in addition to this we’ve also seen an increase in demand for versions of our PCs including powerful CPUs ready for NDI environments.
AMD’s powerful Threadripper Pro series, including the recently released 64 core 3995WX, is ideal for those looking to create PCs to support NDI applications, with these processors commonly paired with our 1U, 2U, and 3U PCs.
To learn more about the potential of NDI, advice on PC specifications, or to discuss our range of mini and rackmount PCs, get in touch with the team.