How to send video between systems for less than $100

NDI is developed by NewTek and it’s literally magic. It’s so simple to set up because there really isn’t anything to set up…

So what is it?

NDI stands for Network Device Interface and is used to send video, audio, and control over a gigabit network. It allows anything that supports NDI on a network to be a source and an output. So far from my testing, it can do pretty well over wi-fi, but I would recommend everything be hardwired.

Here’s how NewTek describes it:

NDI®, NewTek’s innovative Network Device Interface technology, is a royalty free standard enabling IP video workflows across Ethernet networks. NDI is a bi-directional standard that allows video systems to identify and communicate with one another over IP. Enabling them to encode, transmit, and receive multiple streams of broadcast-quality, low latency, frame-accurate video and audio in real time. The NDI encoding algorithm is resolution and frame rate independent. It supports up to 4K and beyond, as well as multi-channel, floating-point audio up to 16 channels and beyond. NDI also includes tools to implement video access and grouping, bi-directional metadata, tally, and more.

NewTek

This changes everything…

Another really amazing feature is alpha channel support. If you aren’t familiar with what an alpha channel is let me explain. A video signal has Red, Green, and Blue channels that control the color values. It also has a luminance channel that controls the darkness and brightness of different areas in the video. Lastly, there is the alpha channel which controls what parts of the video are transparent or see-through.

This is huge for churches, especially those streaming their services. Why? Because most churches want to overlay song lyrics or sermon notes onto their stream or in house screens. Pro Presenter does have an alpha key module which would allow this but you need expensive hardware and a video switcher that supports an alpha channel to do that. That’s just a crazy expense for most churches.

The other method most switchers support is luma key or chroma key. Meaning you have your words on a black background with white text and the switcher takes out the black. Or a solid color background (usually green or blue) for chroma key. The problem with this method is that in most cases the edges of the text looks terrible because there are leftover artifacts from the black or green color. There’s also no anti-aliasing so it isn’t smooth. This method also doesn’t allow for gradients. No Gradients means you can’t have any nice shadow or outer glow on the text to better separate it from the background video.

With NDI and the Pro Presenter module described below, you can send a Pro Presenter output with no background over the network! With shadows and everything!! (That’s very exciting)



How Pro Presenter 6 integrates with NDI

The free way:

Pro Presenter 6 on OSX has support for a technology called Syphon which allows applications on the mac to share video streams. In this case, the output from Pro Presenter. There is another program called NDISyphon which takes the Syphon output of Pro Presenter and converts it into an NDI stream. Now you can simply select the mac as an NDI source in your switcher and boom! (This method doesn’t support an alpha channel)

This way doesn’t look as nice, there can be digital artifacts which make it look kinda bad. However, I would definitely give it a try though and see how it works for you! I mean its free so there’s nothing to loose.

By the way there’s a great free switcher software called OBS you should check out! It also streams and records which is nice.

The $99 Way:

This way works on Windows and OSX and supports an alpha channel. Just buy the SDI/NDI Module for Pro Presenter. Set your preferences and start broadcasting the output to whatever supports NDI on your network!

How does this work with the Multiscreen Module?

It’s even cooler! The NDI stream’s resolution is two or three screens wide depending on your Matrox device set up.

After more testing, I discovered that the above statement is true for the free way, but the $99 way doesn’t work the same.

Once you purchase the SDI/NDI module you’ll need to head over to your display settings to pick which output you want to send over NDI. Unfortunately, you can only send one. If you are using a Dulahead2go that only has two outputs, you’ll click the left or right arrows shown circled above. For the 1st output click the left arrow and for the 2nd click the right. If you are using a Tripplehead2go you’ll use the left, right, and middle square buttons. Left is output 1, the square is output 2, right is output 3. I will say this way is much higher quality and it supports transparency.

Back to the free way though… In OBS for example all you need to do is scale the Pro Presenter NDI layer so that it matches the height of the scene frame. Then shift it left and right to show the part of the multiscreen output you want to show. The even even cooler part is that you can use the same NDI source multiple times! That means you can have all three of the multiscreen outputs as different layers on the same scene or other scenes.

Ok, this is all cool but I want it to do more.

It does more!! There are PTZ cameras that support ndi natively. (PTZ Stands for Pan Tilt Zoom) With only a single network cable connected to each one of these cameras it gets:

1.) Power (POE) 
2.) Video Signal 
3.) Audio Signal (Which you probably wouldn’t need)
4.) Tally Light (The little red light that shows which camera is live)
5.) Pan, Tilt, and Zoom control

That’s magic!

Check out these two NDI supported cameras, they are both really cool!

Already have a camera you like?

If you already have a camera and would like it to use NDI no problem! This device will covert hdmi or sdi to an NDI stream. It even has a red bar that lights up when the camera is the source currently being used by your switcher hardware or software (It’s called a Tally Light). That can help your subject know which camera to look at.

Let me know what you think!

Please comment below if you have any questions. I’m pretty excited about this so there might be some info left out. If you’ve used NDI and I was totally wrong about something let me know. Got any tips?

Also if you wouldn’t mind, hit me up on our social pages! Thanks!

intro to pro presenter

An intro to Pro Presenter

Picking a new presentation software can be pretty daunting! There are so many options available, the question becomes which one will be best for me? The answer is definitely Renewed VisionsPro Presenter. Pro Presenter is easily the best multimedia presentation software available, and it’s not just for worship lyrics.

You can get started using Pro Presenter by checking out the video above.

What it offers

Pro Presenter allows you to easily add songs and change backgrounds on the fly. It’s very easy and intuitive to use for beginners, but also offers some very powerful advanced feature for pros.

Check out some of our freely available backgrounds in the free stuff section

12 Steps to an Easy Weekly Sermon Bumper

At the church I work at, we like to have the sermon graphic, message title, and scripture at the beginning of our online sermon videos. This isn’t difficult, but it does take a lot of time to re-render the sermon bumper for each week’s sermon title. It can take an hour or more to render the video, and if it’s a five or six-week series, you’re looking at five to six hours of render time just to make the message title unique each week. In this article, you will learn how to make an easily editable sermon bumper with no rendering!

There is a way to save on all that sermon bumper render time! All you need to do is follow this short tutorial on a technique I’ve created in ProPresenter, it makes life so much easier, trust me!

Here’s an example..


Sermon Bumper Step 1:

To create an easily editable sermon bumper, open up ProPresenter and create a new presentation. Name it however you’d like to. I like to name it after the series, and the date it will be used.


Step 2:

Now Import your Bumper files. You’ll need your bumper video, a still of the background without the title in it, and a still of the logo (It’s best to have the final frame of your bumper video).


Step 3:

Drag the bumper video into the first slide of your new presentation. This is the only slide you will click to show the bumper video once we are all finished.


Step 4:

Next, create a new slide and drag the bumper background still on to it. This creates a nicer transition to the week’s message title. It makes it look more like it’s one cohesive video instead of separate slides in a presentation.


Step 5:

Create another new slide and drag the bumper background still on it. On this new slide type the text for the current week’s message title. Then type the Scripture reference below, you can format this text however you would like. I like to make the title bold and have the scripture be a smaller point size with a regular font weight.


 Step 6:

Now create another slide and drag the bumper background on it. We will use this as another transition slide.


 Step 7Step 7:

Once that’s done, drag the still image of the logo next to the slide we previously created. This will be the final slide, and where our easy edit bumper will stop.


Step 8Step 8:

It’s transition time! Well more accurately, “Go to Next Timer” time! Right click the first slide we made and select “Go to Next Timer”.


Step 9Step 9:

A window will pop up with two options, for this tutorial we are only going to use the “Duration” option. Change it from 5s to 0s. What this means is once the video finishes playing, it will go to the next slide after 0 seconds, basically, it switches to the next slide as soon as the video finishes.


Step 10Step 10:

Right click the second slide we created and choose “Go to Next Timer” again. This time change the “Duration” from 5s to 1s. Feel free to play around with these durations to create the transition timing you’re looking for!


Step 11Step 11:

Follow the last few steps on the third slide, except this time, leave the “Duration” at 5s. Of course, you can make this shorter or longer depending on your needs.


Step 12Step 12:

Finally, repeat the last few step on the fourth slide, changing the “Duration” from 5s to 1s.


That’s it! Click on the first slide and watch the bumper play with each week’s title seamlessly added with no extra render time! You can copy this presentation and edit for each week, or like I like to do, just edit this presentation each week. Another great part of this technique is that you can start all the sermon notes in the next slide as the presentation will stop automatically progressing once it gets to the bumper logo still. Then you can click to show the first sermon note slide when you’re ready.

If you found this article helpful be sure and let us know in the comments below. We would also love it if you shared this article with other church techies, and invite them to our site! Thanks!

Don’t have ProPresenter? Go grab a copy on Amazon!