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Skype® for Content Creators NDI® Q & A

January 04, 2019 by Chuck Baker

Ross Brand of Brand on Broadcasting conducted a wide-ranging question-and-answer session on the NDI® capabilities of Skype for Content Creators with Microsoft Senior Product Manager Aaron Linne, who oversees Skype® consumer products as well as the Skype TX professional broadcast product line. The podcast is chock full of expert information and tips on using Skype, NDI and your preferred production tools together.

NewTek’s NDI is a royalty free bi-directional IP technology for transport of video, audio and data over standard networks, with very high quality and very low latency. NDI is by far the leading standard for video production over IP, now implemented in thousands of products in the hands of millions of users. NDI has been a part of Skype TX products, hardware and software designed to integrate Skype calling with the quality and control required for professional broadcast, since their inception (NewTek TalkShow VS 100 and VS 4000). Linne notes that Skype for Content Creators now brings a portion of this NDI capability to Skype consumer products, to allow them to be used with the wide array of NDI-aware production tools for personal, prosumer and professional video production.

For broadcasters using Skype TX products, NDI in the consumer product can help provide better quality video from the sources. In addition, Skype for Content Creators can work in conjunction with applications such as NewTek’s free NDI Virtual Input to allow Skype users the easy use of NDI cameras in place of web cams, for better imaging at better frame rates. Check that out in our tutorial: Using NDI® in Skype

Left: Image from the laptop camera with the screen angled for best readability by the caller. Only part of the caller’s face is in view, the image is fuzzy and not well lit. Right: Image from a mobile phone using NewTek NDI Camera application over wireless, and NDI Virtual Input to provide the video to Skype on the same laptop. The camera can be located and angled conveniently for the subject, and the image is better quality. Nothing in the environment lighting was changed.

While the title of the video cites Wirecast, the questions cover many popular applications. Among production software and systems that support NDI are Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), vMix, VidBlaster, XSplit, OvrStream, ProPresenter, and Ecamm. There are also a host of graphics production packages, sports stat applications, automated playback systems, teleprompters, shared storage systems and more that support NDI. Naturally, NewTek TriCaster, VMC1 and 3Play 3P1 production systems plus a variety of NewTek software tools, both free and commercial, support NDI.

One thing to note with respect to the discussion of NDI-aware applications: Adobe® production applications are provided NDI support via a free plugin from NewTek, NDI for Adobe Creative Cloud in the NDI Tools Pack, which allows NDI output of the timeline from Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. The capability can streamline the creative review process - the artist activates NDI, plays the timeline, and any NDI-aware system or application on the same network can view the stream. Lengthy rendering time and file transfers are no longer required. This ability also enables the use of these applications in live production - turn on NDI, play the timeline, and any NDI-aware live production software or system can use the NDI stream in real-time as a video source, complete with alpha channel for keying and layering with other sources. Graphics and effects can be built and used on the fly during production.

We hope you enjoy this video!

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