If there was any doubt that IP was going to be one of the major themes of the upcoming IBC, NewTek’s announcement of the mobile-friendly NDI version 2 should lay that to rest.
NDI version 2 is scheduled to be available in Q4 2016 and is heralded by the company as the first software IP video production standard to fully embrace the mobile market. The company explains that it uses about 1/15th of the bandwidth of other IP standards, which is an impressive enough stat in itself, and that allows it to run on existing mobile network infrastructure in the here and now.
NewTek says that NDI version 2 will include a high performance codec that is resolution independent and supports alpha channel and bit-depths up to 16bits per pixel. It is also generationally lossless (i.e. loss only occurs in the first generation of video and all subsequent re-compression steps are lossless) and some of the benchmark tests seem pretty impressive. On an Intel i7 CPU, NDI version 2 will encode 1080p at 2200 frames per second, 4K at 780fps, and 8K at 210fps. It will also include 16 or more channels of floating point audio at any sample rate, bi-directional communication with up-stream and down-stream metadata support, and support for mobile devices in addition to shipping an SDK for iOS.
And talking of SDKs, NewTek says the royalty-free NDI SDK has been downloaded more than 1000 times since it was introduced a year ago with "hundreds" of companies integrating NDI into their commercial products, with full interoperability between all products guaranteed.
IP production is, of course, becoming a rapidly crowded area, with both manufacturer-led approaches and standards bodies active in developing the field. But, with a second generation system already available, some impressive future-proofing (8K at 210fps is very much above and beyond what is required) and a level of interest from the wider industry that the company says consistently has been "beyond expectations", NewTek currently seems well placed to handle any competition.