NDI® Central Podcast - 2019 Ep. 9: AJT Systems
May 07, 2019 by Chuck Baker
AJT Systems brings over 20 years of experience to software and turnkey systems development for live-to-air full motion graphics rendering and video servers for broadcast. Their products are in use across the range of broadcast verticals around the world - news tickers, weather, and election coverage and more. However, products such as LiveBook GFX and LiveServer GFX combined with playout software SportsApp and Camino have made them particularly a leader in live sports broadcasting solutions. Clients include ESPN, CBS, NBATV and more.
AJT Systems is also among the many hundreds of companies that have integrated NewTek’s NDI® within their product line, making them a popular choice for use with TriCaster® and 3Play. NDI is a royalty free IP technology for bidirectional transport of video, audio and data over standard networks at very high quality, very low latency and full synchronization. NDI® Central Podcast host Chris Burgos interviewed Ron Linares, division manager of AJT Systems/Daktronics about their products and how NDI has impacted their product development.
Linares made this observation:
I can’t overstate it. It really enabled what we are able to do today, because we were able to come out with a very, very portable form factor. Our real niche is portable form factor. We have a laptop that has all the power of, previously it was racks of equipment for production and SDI…and now we’ve shrunk that all down. We have two channels of key and fill all coming out of a laptop. [NDI] really enabled the product.
Graphics and text is definitely an example of the degree of change that IP brings to video production. Previously broadcast had to use racks of expensive specialized equipment:
- Splitters or a router to receive signals from the cameras, duplicate them and send to both the switcher and any effects equipment
- One or more character generators (CGs) or graphics systems, used to create the text and graphics and encode them to a video signal
- One or more keyer systems to receive video signals from the cameras and from the text and graphics systems and blend them - there might be separate systems for keying by color (chroma) and by brightness (luma)
- A switcher
- Point-to-point video and audio cabling between all of these pieces of equipment in any direction a signal needs to go
With NDI-aware cameras and a switcher, and a simple laptop on the same local area network, NDI-aware software on a general purpose computing device, the laptop, does the same job that formerly required splitters/routers, dedicated character generators and dedicated luma and chroma key systems. Video from the cameras can be seen simultaneously by the application on the laptop and by the switcher. The application can create text and graphics in full 3D motion and blend it with the incoming video, and then send the new blended NDI stream to the network, where it is immediately seen by the switcher and can be used in the production. The result is tremendous cost savings, and a far more flexible production paradigm, since all network connections are two-way rather than one-way point-to-point.
We hope you’ll enjoy this podcast! We’ll have more for you soon.