NewTek releases NDI Tools 3.5 packed with new apps and features!
(The following was written-up by NewTek rep Kane Peterson and allowed to be posted at our website with his consent . . . thanks Kane!)
First, let’s explain what NDI Tools 3.5 isn’t. It doesn’t update your other NDI apps, so installing this will not affect anything else installed on your system. NDI Tools 3.5 is backwards compatible with previous versions of NDI, so not everything has to be updated to use it
As for what is new in NDI Tools 3.5, the new features on Window systems are a completely new NDI Scan Converter application, a major update to NDI Studio Monitor and a new VLC 3.x plugin. OSX users will find a new NDI Access Manager application.
If you do eSports, you want the new NDI Scan Converter. It is by far the best screen capture tool on the market. Read that last sentence again, very slowly. The new NDI Scan Converter will perform fluid tear free screen capture up to 60Hz. You can choose the refresh rate depending on the video format you work in, even if the screen is working at higher refresh rates. You can also capture video from the webcam of the computer as well and the audio included with the screen capture and the webcam is separate. In this one tool you have the game video/audio along with player video/audio, each as separate NDI channels. I know what you must be thinking, it must use a ton of CPU to do all of this. That is the best part of NDI Scan Converter, most of the code runs in the GPU. This new tool will use so little CPU and you will not notice it running on the system. If you don’t believe me, one of the beta testers for this new NDI Scan Converter is a major US game studio and they were floored by the performance! There are a few caveats to this new version, it does require Windows 8 or higher and it will not capture the mouse pointer. There is a workaround for mouse pointer, turn on pointer trails and setting the trail length to the shortest amount if you need to have it visible. Lastly, if your system has more than one GPU, you might need to force NDI Scan Converter to work on a specific GPU. On my laptop, with both an nVidia and Intel GPU, NDI Scan Converter must be set to the Intel GPU to get video. While at first this might not seem ideal, it is actually better! The game can run on the nVidia GPU while NDI Scan Converter is running on the Intel, now both GPUs are being leveraged together!
NDI Video Monitor is a powerful tool that has been improved with some great new features. There are some new options in the menus for audio and video settings, long with the ability to do real-time overlays. The overlay can either be full screen with the top layer being an NDI feed with an alpha channel or as a Picture-in-Picture. Finally, in the application menu you will see an option called Web Control with a URL displayed after it. Type this URL into the web browser on another system on the network and you can control NDI Studio Monitor from it (default username and password are “admin”). Change sources and the overlay, even control multiple copies of NDI Studio Monitor from the single browser interface. NDI Studio Monitor can now be used for digital signage or remote displays that are difficult to get to.
VLC Player version 3.x has been out for a few months, but the NDI plug-in with the previous version was not compatible. Now a VLC 3.x plug-in is included. The installer is smart enough to check your version of VLC and install the matching plug-in to go with it.
Some other tools are now included with the Window’s NDI Tools 3.5. NDI|HX drivers are included, no longer requiring a separate download. Also included is NDI Virtual Input, which was previously an HX only application, but now supports all NDI formats. Use NDI Virtual Input to send NDI signals into webcam applications like Skype, Google Hangouts or Webex.
If you are a Mac user there is a new version of NDI Tools as well. The major new addition in this version is NDI Access Manager. This tool will let you add your Mac system in NDI groups or access remote NDI sources that are on different subnets (and have routing to).
Hopefully you all find something in the new NDI Tools 3.5 that makes your lives easier. I’ve been using them in beta for months now and they should be ready for you to use in your productions today.