We all know that video is a great way of delivering content. We are now Netflix children, we expect high quality video wherever we are, whether it’s
a regular family catch up at the weekend, a quiz night with friends or a corporate all hands meeting.
In the enterprise world we’ve started to see things change, with Covid being a huge architect of that. Organisations are now moving away from big conference rooms and events towards multi-purpose spaces that can double up as studios and video streaming. As staff remain working from home or strike a hybrid work home balance, companies know that communication is paramount and getting all their employees in a room at the same time for a meeting just isn’t practical anymore.
At the same time we get to ask other questions. Do we want to be shipping people and equipment around the country or world? Are there better ways of doing things that are more eco-friendly and better for our wellbeing in general? Covid has reduced travel and forced the broadcast world to embrace remote production at pace to ensure large events can continue to be seen. Can we learn from their experiences, and is it useful to the corporate AV world?
NewTek certainly thinks so. It has been helping customers move to IP for over 5 years with its NDI (Network Device Interface) protocol which has grown from strength to strength. Indeed Microsoft has even added native support for the protocol in its Teams and Skype platforms. However the latest iteration, NDI 5, has seen it come of age and embrace secure remote production using a new, free option called NDI Bridge.
NDI Bridge allows you to securely connect two entirely different NDI networks – anywhere in the world with full management of all audio and video streams automatically, no matter how many sources. Using just one publicly available IP address as Host, any number of networks can connect and share sources; allowing teams of any size to connect from anywhere on the planet.
Take a large corporation that has a head office, two remote offices and a CEO with their own private island with a bunch of users with laptops and phones on the public internet. In this situation you might have your technical and creative teams based in the head office, where you would have a studio and control room complete with production facilities, with smaller multi-purpose rooms at the remote office with perhaps one or two cameras and a chroma key green screen. Perhaps this office also has a large auditorium for live events.
With NDI 5 it’s possible to run NDI Bridge at each site and allow the head office system to see the camera’s output at the remote offices as if they were local sources. In fact, not just the camera’s output. Head office could also receive the audio, control the camera positions, send tallies and autocue and even use talk back over the same public internet connection. A return feed of the video from the main studio could also be sent back to ensure the remote contributors can see the program output.
In this case NDI 5 utilises Reliable UDP for robust IP connectivity over the public internet and adds a layer of security with 256-bit AES encryption as standard. This would not only ensure the highest quality video from each remote office, it would also mean that the CEO could also address her organisation, from her private island, in the best quality possible over less than perfect internet connections.
In this example having your creative team and trained users in one location ensures the best utilisation of the system without having to move operators or participants around locations. Contributors can now be brought into virtual sets and mixed with high quality graphics by the production team giving the programme output a dynamic television-like feel with a much improved end product to keep the viewers engaged.
Centralising the production facility also makes it easier to distribute the content either live, or on demand via platforms such as Vimeo Enterprise. This way we can guarantee secure end-to-end outputs at qualities that would not be achievable using standard video conferencing platforms.
With hundreds of manufacturers creating entire NDI enabled eco systems and solutions this literally opens up the world to work in a new way. There’s no doubt that remote production is here to stay.
NDI Bridge is a free download from www.NDI.tv.