Of course, we’re going to have to wait a while for the full ramifications of Vizrt’s purchase of NewTek to work their way through, not to mention see any cross-pollination between the two company’s R&D departments. But the details of what is in this fourth version of the NDI protocol give some indication of which way the two companies — not to mention the rest of the industry — are heading when it comes to IP production.
Headline feature is undoubtedly the addition of multi-cam editing. NDI 4 offers the capability to record an unlimited number of NDI video channels with full synchronization, in any video or audio format. These are recorded without recompression, meaning that users can ISO-record as many channels as they can physically manage. Recordings are time-stamped and time-base corrected, ensuring that any number of channels on any number of machines are fully synchronized. All of which adds up to NDI now being a very viable option when it comes to producing any number of multi camera events, from studio recordings to gigs and more.
Elsewhere, NDI 4 includes improvements in video quality without an increase in bit-rate, support for a 16-bit video path, and introduces a discovery server to coordinate and connect all sources. It also adds support for the Unreal Engine, making it possible for apps created in Unreal to appear as NDI sources. Which could lead to some interesting developments.
The NDI 4 SDK and NDI Tools are both free downloads that will be available in Q2 2019.