One of the multiple NDI use cases for Socialive applies to when you want to capture video content that is being streamed through social media such as Facebook Live or YouTube and bring it as part of your live video production. Currently, this use case is being handled by OBS (Open Broadcast Software), which is a very resource-intensive application.

This article provides the steps to use NDI's Screen Capture and Scan Converter tools to capture a portion of your screen and use it as a Live Source in Socialive.

Prerequisites

For this use case, you'll need the following:

  • Have a Windows PC, and either another Windows PC or a Mac computer.

  • Have NDI Tools installed on both your computers (available for both Windows and Mac computers)

  • Be a Socialive Administrator in your Socialive account.


Process

The NDI suite of tools includes NDI Screen Capture (only available on Windows), which provides the same functionality as the OBS "screen scraping" capability but is much less resource-intensive, easier to use, and it natively plugs into Socialive Studio. The Mac version of NDI Tools includes the NDI Scan Converter, which does not offer the ability to capture a specific region of a screen, so the window controls also show on the screen-captured content.

Step 1: Setting Up Your NDI Network

  1. Open NDI and launch the Screen Capture app. The app will launch and appear in the system tray on the bottom-left corner of your Window's screen.

  2. From the tray, right-click on the blue NDI Screen Capture icon to open the dialog box.

  3. Hover over Capture Settings and click to select Region of Interest and Configure Rol. A pop-up window labeled NDI Region of Interest will appear.

  4. Open your YouTube tab or the tab that contains the content you want to capture.

  5. Position the Region of Interest window on top of the content you want to capture and resize it as needed to cover any portion of the screen. For a YouTube video, you want to make sure that the Region of Interest window only covers the video region, without the player controls. Only the content within the Region of Interest will be scraped and streamed to a computer on the network running an instance of NDI.

  6. On your Mac computer, open NDI and launch the Virtual Input app.

  7. On your top toolbar, click NDI. This will list the computers that are running NDI on your network. Select the Windows PC using the Screen Capture app, and then select the relevant output. You can use the NDI Video Monitor app to confirm if it's the correct output.


    Note: On the screenshot above, you can see a number of NDI sources. Each source corresponds to the number of displays connected to the PC, with two sources for each display, in this case. The display that contains the NDI Region of Interest window is the one you should select.

Now we have an NDI network set up with a Windows PC acting as the Screen Server and a Mac computer as the NDI Client.


Workflow #1 - Direct NDI Connection

In this workflow, the NDI Source is directly connected to Socialive Studio. The disadvantage of this workflow is that both the NDI Screen Server and the NDI Client need to be on the same local area network to achieve greater performance.

  1. In Socialive Studio, under the Live Sources tab, you will see the NDI Video source with the video captured from the NDI Screen Server.

  2. Drag the NDI Video source into a Scene, as you would with any other source.

  3. If you want the audio to be included in your broadcast, click the drop-down under the NDI Video source and select NDI Audio (Virtual).


Workflow #2 - Guest NDI Connection

In this workflow, a guest in the Green Room selects NewTek NDI Video as their camera source. The two major advantages of this workflow are that the NDI Screen Server does not need to be on the same local area network as the NDI Client (can be a remote location), and the ISO recording of the screen capture will be automatically produced.

  1. Once a guest is already in the Green Room, they need to click on Switch Cam and select NewTek NDI Video as their camera source.

  2. In Socialive Studio, you will see the guest's live source displaying the video captured from the NDI Screen Server. Drag their video source in a Scene, as you would with any other source.


Workflow #3 - Using VLC

NDI Tools also includes the NDI for VLC app, a tool that allows VLC output through NDI. VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files, and supports various streaming protocols. Download VLC here.

VLC Supports output to NDI in Windows, so any content that is added to VLC for playback will be redirected from the VLC window to NDI. Therefore, it may be received by any NDI Client on the local area network. VLC will also play media from YouTube and other network streams.

Step A: Setting Up VLC

  1. Open VLC on the Windows PC (the NDI Screen Server).

  2. On the toolbar, click Tools > Preferences.

  3. The Preferences pop-up window will appear.

    1. Select the Audio tab. For Output Module, select NDI audio output.

    2. Select the Video tab. For Output, select NDI video output.

  4. Click Save.

  5. If the content you want to share is a YouTube video, find the video on YouTube, right-click anywhere on the video playback screen and select Copy Video URL.

  6. Back on VLC, click on Media > Open Network Stream.

  7. In the pop-up window that appears, paste the YouTube video's URL on the network URL field and click Play. The video will load and start playing. You can pause it so you can prepare the Scene in Socialive Studio.

Step B: Setting Up the NDI Virtual Input

  1. Go back to the Mac you're using as the NDI Client. On your top toolbar, click NDI. This will list the computers that are running NDI on your network. Select the Windows PC using the NDI for VLC app, and then select the relevant output. You can use the NDI Video Monitor app to confirm if it's the correct output.

  2. In Socialive Studio, under the Live Sources tab, you will see the NDI Video source with the video captured from the NDI Screen Server.

  3. Drag the NDI Video source into a Scene, as you would with any other source.

  4. If you want the audio to be included in your broadcast, click the drop-down under the NDI Video source and select NDI Audio (Virtual).


Still, looking for an answer?

Contact Socialive Support via live chat or email at support@socialive.us.

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