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  • Integration with NewTek NDI

    Hi folks,

    I have been looking at Graphite as a great solution for a production cart style setup I want to use. I have been experimenting with NewTek's NDI protocol and tools and I love that ecosystem, however I hate their switchers with a passion.

    Is there a way to either:

    1) Pull in NDI as a external video source
    2) Create a NDI router using NewTek's SDK to output to a BMD Decklink and input via the Mini-SDI on the back of the unit. (way more likely solution)

  • #2
    Newtek makes NDI software for Windows, Sienna makes the same or similar software for Mac.

    I use Macs, so I've been using NDI Outlet, which takes an NDI input and outputs it to SDI via a Blackmagic interface (I'm using an Ultrastudio 4k).

    I've also been using NDI Source, which does the opposite, it takes an SDI input and turns it to NDI on the network. I do both of these on the same Ultrastudio interface at the same time.

    I have had the software close out on me a couple of times, seemingly at random. I'm running it on a headless mac mini in my rack, so it's just been the situation where I've noticed I'm not getting the feed anymore and I have to open the software back up. That does give me cause for concern in using it for a live event, but I haven't pursued the issue too much yet.

    For a hardware solution, there is also this:
    https://www.newtek.com/connect/nc1-io/

    I haven't seen it in action yet though. And I'm with you, it's hard to beat a Ross Switcher! I've never used anything else as nice.

    Joseph

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by josephadams View Post
      Newtek makes NDI software for Windows, Sienna makes the same or similar software for Mac.

      I use Macs, so I've been using NDI Outlet, which takes an NDI input and outputs it to SDI via a Blackmagic interface (I'm using an Ultrastudio 4k).

      I've also been using NDI Source, which does the opposite, it takes an SDI input and turns it to NDI on the network. I do both of these on the same Ultrastudio interface at the same time.

      Joseph
      In case you are interested, there are also multichannel versions of both of these now available: NDI Source Multi and NDI Outlet Multi. Both support up to 8 channels of SDI Input or Output and convert between SDI and NDI.

      If you need fill & Key output, stick to the the single channel version of NDI Outlet, but for larger scale movement of SDI over NDI, these 2 apps are major enablers in this field, and offer a bridge to start leveraging IP Video for Ross vision mixers which don't currently offer a direct IP interface.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sienna View Post

        In case you are interested, there are also multichannel versions of both of these now available: NDI Source Multi and NDI Outlet Multi. Both support up to 8 channels of SDI Input or Output and convert between SDI and NDI.

        If you need fill & Key output, stick to the the single channel version of NDI Outlet, but for larger scale movement of SDI over NDI, these 2 apps are major enablers in this field, and offer a bridge to start leveraging IP Video for Ross vision mixers which don't currently offer a direct IP interface.

        So for 8 Channels -- what System Spec works well? Hardware + I/O. Since this is Mac Product that only works with BlackMagic Cards it's not as easy to just plug in a PCIe Card to a slot

        So what are you using Mac hardware but also I/O hardware? Also is that at 1080p59.94? What Bit rate would you be using per Stream?

        Comment


        • #5
          We have a Mac Pro (the trashcan version) that uses a Sonnet chassis for PCI cards with thunderbolt connection. We are using a BM Decklink Duo 2 but the Quad card supports 8 channels bi-directional.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lesoreilly View Post


            So for 8 Channels -- what System Spec works well? Hardware + I/O. Since this is Mac Product that only works with BlackMagic Cards it's not as easy to just plug in a PCIe Card to a slot

            So what are you using Mac hardware but also I/O hardware? Also is that at 1080p59.94? What Bit rate would you be using per Stream?
            Hi Les.

            The 2 PCIe cards of interest are the BMD Duo2 (4 channels) and the Quad 2 (8 channels). These work with older MacPros in the box, or with any modern mac via a low cost external Thunderbolt Chassis from Sonnet. The BMD Cards both support up to 1080p60, but this whole topic also extends to UHD.

            The data rate for (regular) NDI is defined by the codec, and it ranges around the 100mBit/sec for a 1080i50 stream. The NDI Outlet app also supports NDI HX which comes from specific devices (mostly professional PTZ Cameras) and also the NewTek spark converter (SDI to NDI HX). NDI HX uses H.264 compression between 8 and 20mBit/sec and is primarily there to support cameras with built in H.264 compression and for Wireless transmission applications.

            You can just about fit 8 channels of NDI into a Gigabit pipe, but all modern macs will support additional NICs via very low cost USB-C or Thunderbolt adaptors and NDI scales across NICs. No need to go to 10GBit unless you really want to.

            We have yet to establish some clear spec. metrics for 8 channels, but I am hopeful that a quad i7 MacBook Pro or iMac with an external Sonnet Chassis should cope. We plan to test that next week.
            Its possible that a top spec Dual i7 Mac Mini in a Sonnet 1U rack might work, but that needs testing to define the limits.

            Some recent testing done with older hardware showed that an early 2009 MacPro Tower (Dual Quad Xeon) was only using about 75% of one CPU per channel of NDI to SDI for 1080/50i. So, with 8/16 Hyperthread cores that machine would be capable of handling 8 channels of NDI to SDI even though its nearly 9 years old. Oh, and in case anyone wondered, these tests are done Post-meltdown/spectre patching :-)

            Clearly 60p is going to tax things a little more, but as you can see the efficiency of the NDI codec is really shining here, and 4-8 channels is well within scope even on fairly modest machines. Some of the new iMacs are really fast, and so they will work nicely. For most applications its *not* going to require an expensive trashcan MacPro.

            In time we may release Windows and Ubuntu versions of these apps and that will open things up a little on hardware.

            For not a lot of money, you can equip an SDI-only Ross Switcher with a compact subsystem to add 8 channels of NDI Input. That's got to be interesting to some folks I would imagine.
            Last edited by Sienna; 01-22-2018, 04:09 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sienna View Post

              Hi Les.

              The 2 PCIe cards of interest are the BMD Duo2 (4 channels) and the Quad 2 (8 channels). These work with older MacPros in the box, or with any modern mac via a low cost external Thunderbolt Chassis from Sonnet. The BMD Cards both support up to 1080p60, but this whole topic also extends to UHD.

              The data rate for (regular) NDI is defined by the codec, and it ranges around the 100mBit/sec for a 1080i50 stream. The NDI Outlet app also supports NDI HX which comes from specific devices (mostly professional PTZ Cameras) and also the NewTek spark converter (SDI to NDI HX). NDI HX uses H.264 compression between 8 and 20mBit/sec and is primarily there to support cameras with built in H.264 compression and for Wireless transmission applications.

              You can just about fit 8 channels of NDI into a Gigabit pipe, but all modern macs will support additional NICs via very low cost USB-C or Thunderbolt adaptors and NDI scales across NICs. No need to go to 10GBit unless you really want to.

              We have yet to establish some clear spec. metrics for 8 channels, but I am hopeful that a quad i7 MacBook Pro or iMac with an external Sonnet Chassis should cope. We plan to test that next week.
              Its possible that a top spec Dual i7 Mac Mini in a Sonnet 1U rack might work, but that needs testing to define the limits.

              Some recent testing done with older hardware showed that an early 2009 MacPro Tower (Dual Quad Xeon) was only using about 75% of one CPU per channel of NDI to SDI for 1080/50i. So, with 8/16 Hyperthread cores that machine would be capable of handling 8 channels of NDI to SDI even though its nearly 9 years old. Oh, and in case anyone wondered, these tests are done Post-meltdown/spectre patching :-)

              Clearly 60p is going to tax things a little more, but as you can see the efficiency of the NDI codec is really shining here, and 4-8 channels is well within scope even on fairly modest machines. Some of the new iMacs are really fast, and so they will work nicely. For most applications its *not* going to require an expensive trashcan MacPro.

              In time we may release Windows and Ubuntu versions of these apps and that will open things up a little on hardware.

              For not a lot of money, you can equip an SDI-only Ross Switcher with a compact subsystem to add 8 channels of NDI Input. That's got to be interesting to some folks I would imagine.
              Thanks A bunch (Mark???)


              Please feel free to keep us posted on the progress and performance testing of the platform. As a Mac Guy I am always interested in the Sienna offerings

              Les

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lesoreilly View Post

                Thanks A bunch (Mark???)

                Please feel free to keep us posted on the progress and performance testing of the platform. As a Mac Guy I am always interested in the Sienna offerings

                Les
                Hi Les.

                Update as requested: Sienna NDI Outlet Multi is shipping today ! Its in the Apple App Store ready to download

                Up to 8 Channels of NDI to SDI for your Hybrid IP Video workflow pleasure.....

                Cheers
                Mark

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lesoreilly View Post

                  Thanks A bunch (Mark???)


                  Please feel free to keep us posted on the progress and performance testing of the platform. As a Mac Guy I am always interested in the Sienna offerings

                  Les
                  Latest testing:

                  MacBook Pro 2016 : 2.7GHz Quad Core i7, 16GB Ram
                  Sonnet Echo Express SE1 Chassis with BlackMagic 8 Channel Quad 2 PCI Card.
                  Sienna NDI Outlet Multi

                  Results:
                  Testing shows that this configuration is comfortable in a 4 Channel output setup (might as well use the 4 channel Duo 2 card).
                  Most of the load is the NDI Decompression. It would just about do 5 Channels but probably pushing it a little.
                  There is no bottleneck on the Thunderbolt, or the SDI BMD side.

                  An older Quad i7 2.0 Ghz MacMini from 2011 seems to do 3 channels and 4 with care.

                  So for 8 Channels its going to take a faster machine, like one of the new iMac Pros, or a MacPro.
                  We have a top spec trashcan MacPro which we will test later this week to establish 8 Channel performance metrics.
                  We will also test SDI to NDI in the same configurations using Sienna NDI Source Multi,

                  In Summary, 4 Channels of NDI to SDI from a Laptop is pretty handy.

                  More news will be posted in the testing web page: http://www.sienna-tv.com/ndi/ndioutlettesting.html

                  Cheers
                  Mark.
                  Last edited by Sienna; 01-30-2018, 10:13 AM.

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