This article discusses the workflows and use cases that leverage NDI to extend the functionality of Socialive.


What is NDI?

NDI or Network Device Interface is a protocol developed by NewTek that is designed to allow the distribution of live professional video over existing IP infrastructure. It is free to download on Windows and Mac and is also available on a limited basis for iOS.

Socialive currently supports NDI and an NDI option is available as a Live Source in Socialive Studio. One simple use case is to make available a webcam that is connected to another computer on the network as a local Live Source while preserving video quality and minimizing latency. We will explore other uses cases in this article and suggest different workflows to implement.

But first, follow the instructions in the support article to install NDI Tools.

Use Cases and Workflows

Use Case #1 - Streaming a Network URL (YouTube, Facebook) on Socialive

The first use case applies to when you need to capture video content that is being streamed through social media such as FacebookLive or YouTube and bring it as part of live video production. Currently, this use case is being handled by OBS (Open Broadcast Software), which is a very resource-intensive application.

Read more about this use case and three available workflows to implement this use case in your broadcasts.

Use Case #2 - Socialive Broadcast to Zoom

This use case applies when you need your Socialive broadcast to feed into Zoom. Socialive provides streaming output using RTMP. However, Zoom does not currently support RTMP endpoints but does support a Virtual Camera Input. Using NDI, a Virtual Cam input can be any NDI source that is available on the local area network - so the missing piece here is a means to convert an RTMP stream to an NDI stream. This is achieved with a tool that is available for download, called RTMPMiniServer, which was developed by Garanin Apps.

Read more about this use case and the workflow to input your Socialive broadcast into Zoom.

Use Case #3 - Socialive Broadcast to NDI

The previous use case, broadcasting into Zoom, is just as a specialized case of the more generic broadcast to NDI briefly discussed here. The only difference is the final step in the workflow. Once the RTMPMiniServerNDI output is exposed on the local area network, the stream is available to input into any application that supports NDI inputs or virtual cameras including BlueJeans and Google Hangouts.

Refer to the user guides for the specific application to set up an NDI or virtual camera input.

Use Case #4 - SIP to Socialive

While we await native SIP support on Socialive, we can still provide a means of including participation in Socialive via phone dial-in.

Various conferencing applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype provide NDI output support which is directly available as an NDI source on Socialive.

Refer to the following articles for:

Use Case #5 - Remote Guest into a Hybrid Event

This use case applies to when you want to provide a video monitor of a remote guest when the Green Room setting combines virtual as well as in-person guests, a so-called hybrid setting. In this use case, a guest in the Green Room is physically present in front of an audience and interacts with another Green Room guest who is remote. This setup usually requires the remote guest to appear on a large video display, so that both the (physically present) guest and the audience are able to see and hear them.

Read more about this use case and the workflow to make a remote guest appear on a large video display at an in-person event.

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