HD using HDMI vs SDI vs NDI vs ?

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
rknelson
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 2:13 pm
Location: Oregon

HD using HDMI vs SDI vs NDI vs ?

Postby rknelson » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:28 pm

For webcasting stake conference we currently use 3 PTZ cameras, but they are SD. We acquired our current setup with a mixer/preview monitors, text overlay, projectors, cabling and so on over a period of several years. About once a year I spend some time considering a switch to HD and weighing the cost vs. benefit. It seems like SDI is being replaced by NDI which allows a PTZ camera to run with a single gigabit Ethernet POE cable for power, control, and video delivery. NDI PTZ cameras are available from several vendors and run about $1500 for 10x zoom or $2300 for 20x zoom. Mixing can be done with inexpensive software (vMix at $60 for the version that appears to have every feature we would use) on a (pretty hefty, $$) computer but with no special interfaces since the video comes in from camera on gigabit Ethernet, and goes out on gigabit Ethernet. An NDI to HDMI output device (~$400) sits on the gigabit Ethernet network and gets you to HDMI, which still needs to be routed to a few places in the building plus the Vidiu. Obviously a gigabit Ethernet POE switch would be needed for these devices. (Our FM group is in the loop, but we install cabling and buy the equipment.)

I know these costs are high, but NDI seems to be the way industry is going. I’m not ready to make the jump yet, but keep considering it. Has anyone considered or used NDI (and NDI|HX)? What are the pros/cons compared to SDI or HDMI camera outputs?

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