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What is NDI and Why is It Useful?

What is NDI?

NDI (Network Device Interface) is a network protocol that allows you to supply video sources through your network as if they were locally connected to your computer. With NDI, you no longer need to connect countless devices directly to your computer. As long as the video source is connected to the same network, you can access it with NDI.

NDI allows you to control devices like cameras, capture video feeds directly from the network, and stream to any software that supports NDI. NDI is friendly to software applications delivering high-quality video. Socialive supports NDI, and an NDI option is available as a Live Source in Socialive Studio.


 Here are some examples of things you can do with NDI and Socialive:


  • Bring any type of audio/video feed into a Socialive live broadcast or recording

  • Capture portions of any screen from any computer or device on the network to use as a live source in Socialive

  • Stream content directly from VLC (a multimedia player) into Socialive

  • Transmit your Socialive broadcast into Zoom, or any videoconferencing app as an NDI source

  • Bring your NDI-enabled cameras, Skype, Teams, and Zoom calls into Socialive as an NDI source


We will explore other use cases in this article and suggest different workflows to implement. But first, follow the instructions in the support article to install NDI Tools.

Why Use NDI?

  • NDI is free to use.

  • NDI does not require configuration.

  • NDI is bi-directional, has low latency, and can transmit video up to 4K and beyond. 

  • It is used in some of the largest broadcast environments in the world and many professional audio/video integrations, as well as by individual users for video presentations or game streaming.

  • You can access NDI and its features immediately using tools you already have, like Socialive. 

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 Facebook Live or YouTube and bring it as part of live video production.


Read more about this use case and the 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 can stream to RTMP. However, Zoom does not currently support RTMP endpoints but does support a Virtual Camera Input, which can be any NDI source available on the network. For this to work, you’ll need the software RTMPMiniServer (available for download) to convert the Socialive RTMP broadcast into an NDI stream to bring into Zoom.


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 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 Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts.


After you set up your Socialive broadcast into an NDI stream, select NDI as your camera input and audio output in the conference platform you’re using (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc.).


Use Case #4 - SIP to Socialive

NDI also allows for a workflow for SIP to Socialive. 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:

Still, looking for an answer?

Contact Socialive Support via live chat, email at support@socialive.us, or submit a support ticket.

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