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Last Updated · November 22, 2023

A Full Guide on What is NDI Camera

ndi camera

NDI (Network Device Interface) cameras are a game-changer in the world of live streaming. They empower creators to amplify their content with high-quality video, minimal latency, and cost-effective setups. From studio to outdoor shoots, an NDI PTZ camera revolutionizes live streaming with its new, flexible, and budget-friendly solution.

Read on to know more about NDI Camera and unlock a new era of live-streaming excellence in the following sections.

Part 1: What is NDI?

NDI stands for Network Device Interface. It is a protocol developed by NewTek that allows video and audio data to be transmitted over IP networks. NDI enables seamless integration of cameras, computers, and other devices into a network, simplifying video production and live streaming processes.

With NDI, content creators can easily transmit high-quality video and audio signals over existing network infrastructures without the need for specialized hardware or complicated setups. This technology has revolutionized the way media professionals capture, produce, and distribute content, offering flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness in various industries such as broadcasting, esports, education, and more.

Part 2: What is an NDI Camera?

An NDI camera is a type of camera that is designed to seamlessly integrate into existing network setups for live streaming and video production purposes. Unlike traditional cameras, an NDI camera uses the NDI protocol to transmit audio and video data through a single Ethernet cable. These cameras connect to the Local Area Network (LAN) and seamlessly interact with various software applications using NDI technology.

This allows content creators to stream high-quality video with minimal latency and without the need for additional hardware or complex setups. NDI cameras are known for their flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use, making them a popular choice for professionals and enthusiasts in the live-streaming industry.

There are two distinct NDI camera types:

1. NDI Camera with High Bandwidth

It features minimal latency when sending high-quality videos through an IP connection. It demands a minimum bandwidth of 125mbps for effective data transmission, which a standard 1-Gbps Ethernet cable can accommodate.

2. NDI HX Camera

In contrast, the NDI HX camera efficiently delivers high-quality videos even under limited bandwidth conditions. This camera needs a dedicated bandwidth of 4 to 24mbps for seamless streaming. Like its counterpart, a Standard 1-Gbps Ethernet cable is suitable for transmitting metadata effectively.

NDI cameras include two prominent types, each tailored to specific bandwidth needs, offering creators versatile solutions for producing and transmitting top-notch live content.

Part 3: How Can NDI Cameras Benefit Live Streaming

In old times, connecting a camera to a live production switcher required many different cables. Each cable had a specific job: sending video, controlling the camera, sending audio, and combining everything. These cables only sent signals in one direction.

But now, there's NDI. You don't need to do any unique setup. Even though more than six years old, it can arrange and manage multiple cameras for the visual dynamics of your live stream without complexity.

Here are a few other advantages of using NDI cameras in live streaming:

1. Effortless High-Quality Video

Transmit top-notch video over standard Ethernet networks with NDI 4K. No need for costly, bulky dedicated video cables – your existing network infrastructure does the job seamlessly.

2. Swift and Seamless

NDI ensures low-latency video transmission, often under one millisecond. This near-instant transfer is perfect for scenarios where precise video synchronization is paramount.

3. Simplicity and Integration

Integrating NDI into your current setup is a breeze. Link multiple video devices like cameras, switchers, and monitors without intricate and expensive hardware, streamlining your workflow.

4. Adaptability and Scalability

NDI camera scales easily on standard Ethernet networks and expands for larger, complex setups. Ideal for vast events like concerts and conferences.

5. Versatile and Dynamic

NDI broadcast accommodates various video formats and resolutions, making it flexible for different applications. Adapt it to diverse environments, from live events to broadcasting studios.

6. Cost-Effective Solution

Sidestep the need for specialized cabling and elaborate setups. NDI's integration with existing networks offers a cost-effective alternative without compromising quality.

7. Real-Time Interaction

NDI allows real-time communication and immediate interactions between streamers and their audience through comments, chats, and Q&A sessions.
So, with an NDI PTZ camera, improve your live streaming capabilities, and enjoy exceptional quality, real-time engagement, and seamless integration.

Part 4: The Best NDI Camera You Should Know

Now, let me introduce you to the best and cheapest NDI camera. Yes. I am talking about the newly launched OBSBOT Tail Air Streaming Camera. Watch as AI technology effortlessly tracks humans, pets, and objects, ensuring you capture every vibrant moment of your daily activities. The OBSBOT Tail Air's advanced camera system, expertly crafted optics, and meticulously designed lens configuration, guarantee exceptional 4K streaming performance.

Key Features:

  1. NDI HX3 Support: Achieve high-quality, low-latency live streaming via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or USB-C/micro HDMI/Power over Ethernet (PoE) cables.
  2. AI Director Grids: Divide your video into different grids and select anyone to broadcast for more precision and quality of your live stream.
  3. Real-time Mobile Device Video Signal: Wirelessly view and control your OBSBOT Tail Air's video signal on your mobile device for stunning shots from multiple angles.
  4. Low-Light Performance: Experience superior low-light video quality, reduced noise, and exceptional image performance with the enhanced true 2μm large pixel size and ƒ1.8 aperture.
  5. Intuitive Gesture Control: Control your OBSBOT Tail Air with intuitive gestures, like dynamic zoom adjustments, for seamless and accurate video shooting.

So, expand your viewer base with the OBSBOT Tail Air – where AI-driven tracking, remarkable optics, and quick connectivity combine for an exceptional live streaming experience.

Part 5: How do I Connect My Camera to NDI?

Are you ready to understand the power of NDI for seamless camera connectivity? Follow these simple steps to connect your camera to NDI and elevate your live streaming experience:

Step 1: Determine Camera Compatibility

Check if your camera features HDMI or SDI outputs. While NDI is increasingly available on PTZ cameras, other camcorders may need an NDI encoder for connection.

Step 2: Choose the Right NDI Encoder

Select an NDI encoder based on your camera's output. Manufacturers like Magewell and NewTek offer options to capture HDMI and convert signals to NDI.

Step 3: Connect and Power the Encoder

Plug your camera's HDMI output into the NDI encoder for HDMI cameras. Most NDI encoders use Power Over Ethernet (PoE), which can come from a PoE switch. Alternatively, some encoders can get power via USB.

Step 4: Configure and Stream

Access the encoder's administrative panel through a web browser using the device's IP address. Adjust settings, including brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue. Now your camera is ready for NDI streaming.

Step 5: Integrate with NDI®-Enabled Software

Utilize NDI-compatible software like OBS, Livestream Studio, Wirecast, or vMix to integrate your camera's NDI signal. Enjoy the stability, reliability, and reduced latency that NDI brings.

Step 6: Explore PTZ Cameras (Optional)

Explore PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras with built-in NDI support if you want more control. These cameras offer broadcast-quality video and robotic controls compatible with NDI systems.

Congratulations, you've successfully connected your camera to NDI, opening up a world of possibilities for your live-streaming bids. Whether it's crisp video quality, reduced latency, or simplified setups, NDI has transformed how cameras connect and communicate.

Part 6: FAQs about NDI Camera

Q1: What is the difference between NDI and SDI?

SDI, Serial Digital Interface, is a cable system that transmits uncompressed video across long distances. NDI represents a newer technology of advanced video compression techniques for high-quality video transmission and reception over standard computer networks.

The critical distinction between SDI and NDI lies in their transport layers. NDI is a low-latency, high-performance transport layer primarily for video transmission over the Internet. While NDI is common in platforms like Zoom and PTZ cameras, it is better for high-bandwidth applications.

Q2. Is NDI as good as SDI?

Both SDI and NDI are here to help us with great videos and clear sound. SDI has been around since the 1980s as a digital video standard. However, NDI is becoming more popular as the preferred way to send videos over networks.

NDI camera is a better choice because it gives us faster and better quality images, even up to 4K, and improves sound quality. SDI cameras are becoming less common because they're tough to move around and don't have Power over Ethernet (PoE) like NDI. NDI is great because it works well with different devices like controllers, mixers, and PTZ cameras.

Ultimately, NDI is the digital way of the future for streaming and communicating through videos.

Q3. Does NDI need a router?

As you become more interested in using NDI, get a special network switch box to connect many things to your network. You'll connect this box to a router using a special cable.

If you plan to power cameras and stuff with cables, you'll need a network switch. It's called Power Over Ethernet (PoE).


PTZ camera with NDI provides high-quality video output and offers streamlined control via a single ethernet connection. Their integration with NDI tools simplifies video productions and more engaging content creation. In short, NDI empowers multiple cameras as the future of video communication today.