NDI® – Here’s What You Need to Know

NDI is a great tool to send easily send video across your network, but have you ever found yourself overwhelmed thinking about all the different NDI variations, compatibilities, and what they mean for your system? Z Systems is here to help!

NDI Connectivity Chart
NewTek’s NDI

What is NDI®?

NDI stands for Network Device Interface. NDI® is a software technology, developed by NewTek, for sending high quality, low latency video over a 1Gb Ethernet network. This software technology is royalty free. Meaning they have an open API for other companies to integrate NDI® technology into their own products. As a result, there are thousands of companies that have adopted this technology making it an industry standard for IP video transmission.

NDI® | HX Comparison Chart

NDI has been constantly evolving since its introduction in 2016. Because of this, the terminology and nomenclature can be confusing. We worked with the engineers at NewTek to come up with this reference. Please note all data rates are approximate.

ProtocolAliasesData Rate Range
Data Rate
108030p w/ stereo audio
CodecsLatencyBit DepthResolutionsYear Introduced
NDIHigh Bandwidth75-315 100 SHQ0/SHQ2/SHQ31 field/frame8 to 16 bitUnrestrictedNDI 1.0 / 2016
NDI HX 1HX11-1515 H.264Device Dependent8 bitUp to 1080pNDI 3.0 / 2017
NDI HX 2HX21-5015 H.264/H.265Device Dependent8 bitTypical max UHDNDI 4.0 / 2019
NDI HX 3HX365-8065 H.264/HEVC<100ms8 bitTypical max UHDNDI 5.5 / 2022
NDI Chart

What is NDI®|HX?

NDI®|HX is a low bandwidth version of NDI® that uses video codecs to compress the video signal. You can carry multiple signals through one Ethernet cable. NDI®|HX technology is integrated with a numerous amount PTZ cameras.

NDI® has released NDI®|HX 2 and NDI®|HX 3. Some of the main differences in these versions are quality, bandwidth, and latency. Please see comparison chart below. NDI®|HX 3 offers great quality, medium bandwidth usage, while maintaining low latency transmission.

What it can carry:

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Tally
  • PTZ Control

NDI® Software Versions

Along with HX versions there are also NDI software versions. Be sure that your HX device is compatible with the NDI software your computer is using. Please see chart below. The software version you are running will determine the type of NDI Tools you have access to and also what HX devices will be compatible with your current NDI software.

NDI 3.0 and aboveRequired for all NDI | HX along with the installation of the NDI HX1 Driver (included with NDI Tools)
NDI 4.0 and above Required for NDI | HX 2 devices.
NDI 5.0 and aboveRequired for NDI | HX 3 devices. Some HX3 devices are backwards compatible and can act has HX 2 devices
NDI Software Compatibility

NDI® Tools

NDI® has a library of tools that gives you additional functionality to your system. To download and learn more about NDI® Tools please visit the their website. Here you will find a lot of great resources like videos, NDI® Tools downloads, and system requirements.

  • NDI® Webcam Input
  • NDI® Test Patterns
  • NDI® Audio Direct
  • NDI® for Premiere Pro
  • NDI® Studio Monitor
  • NDI® Access Manager
  • NDI® Remote
  • NDI® for VLC
  • NDI® Screen Capture
  • NDI® Bridge
  • NDI® for After Effects

Common NDI Cameras

Make / ModelMax ResolutionNDI Full BandwithNDI | HXNDI | HX 2NDI | HX 3LIST PRICE
Panasonic PTZs      
AW-UE40 4K/30pOptional$3,150
AW-HE145Full HDOptionalOptional$10,500
Birddog PTZs      
NewTek PTZs      
Sony PTZs      
Canon PTZs      
PTZ Optics PTZs      
NDI Camera Chart

What’s New: NDI®5

NDI®5 is the latest release of NDI®. This new version has increased reliability by switching its communication type from Multi-TCP to Reliable UDP technology. Reliable UDP multiplexes the data from your application and sends it over one large transmission. This type of communication reduces the amount of connection points in the network ensuring that your data makes it efficiently and reliably to all devices. Along with this communication change, NDI has included some really useful tools.

NDI®5 New Features

  • NDI® Bridge – Securely transfer and share any and all network sources between remote sites.
  • NDI® Audio Direct – Gateway between NDI® and other audio over IP plugins.
  • NDI® Remote – Securely connect to any remote contributor to receive there video and audio through a share link.
  • NDI® Router – Virtually route NDI® audio and video sources to a variety of destinations.
  • Reliable UDP – High performance transmission protocol to move audio and video over the network.
NDI®5 Under The Hood

Why NDI®?

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you may want to switch from traditional SDI video transmission to NDI®.

  • Flexibility – NDI® gives you the ability to easily send video over the network. This is ideal for remote workflows and facilities where you need to send video from building to building. Sources like video conferencing feeds, websites, and graphics are now much easier to get into your system. NDI® also makes it easy for your team members to utilize web applications for graphics, score keeping, and more!
  • Extendable – IP is much more adaptable to changes and upgrades. Ethernet cable is capable of carrying multiple channels of bidirectional information. This allows for simple software upgrades to unlock new features and functionality without swapping out expensive hardware or cabling.
  • Cost – With NDI®, you do not need expensive video routers to send and receive video. A standard 1Gb network switch is now your video router. A network switch is much more cost friendly and easier to source. You will also save money on cabling with the ability to send multiple channels of video over a single Ethernet cable.
  • Compatibility – Multiple types of communication protocols can be supported on a single Ethernet cable. This allows for new systems to talk to older ones. This type of compatibility also ensures you will not be pigeon holed into a single product eco system.
  • Time – Spend less time on install and setup with NDI®. You can significantly reduce the amount of resources you need to get your production up and running. Alleviating the labor of running a cable for every single signal can save you a lot of time and money.
NDI is Freedom

How is the Video Quality?

NDI® looks like SDI video. If you have watched television recently, you have more than likely seen NDI® and haven’t even known! 4K 60fps has never been so easy to distribute.

NDI® It is All Possible

You Don’t Need a Masters In Computer Networking

NDI® has made it very easy for users to connect devices to their network. It can be as simple as plugging your device into an Ethernet port on your switch. NDI® will discover and register your device automatically. To make this happen, NDI® uses Multicast (mDNS) technology. If your network is more complicated and has certain features like Multicast blocked, NDI has a tool for configuring and discovering your devices called NDI® Access Manager.

For more information please call us at Z Systems 952-974-3140