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Radio_TVPat1982
01-11-2017, 06:41 AM
Hi forum. I'm looking to add 3-4 cameras over NDI by the start of football season this fall. Here is a little info on my setup. I used a Mini (HDMI) with AE2. I mostly produce sports events and every piece of equipment is mobile, meaning I do not have this located in a production truck or van. Small footprint is important here.

I have had recent success using a HDMI to CAT 5/6 converter and a 100ft HDMI Cable from Monoprice. This allows me up to 500ft of HDMI signal from the Camera to the Tricaster. With this option I can now use NDI for cameras closer to the Tricaster all connected to one NDI source like a laptop or desktop. That being said, I am debating whether I should use a desktop or laptop to bring in NDI signals. Also I dont mind if one or 2 of 8 cameras are in SD if needed. I normally use a clock cam and maybe would not care if a cut away shot to layer graphics over was in SD as well. So looking to add at least 2 HD Cameras.

Last issue is whether to do Connect pro, VMIX HD edition or both. Here are my options:

Laptop Setup
Connect 2 Magewell or similar HDMI to USB3 capture boxes
Connect one SD Capture device
Purchase either NDI Connect Pro or VMIX HD Edition

Pros: I can use an existing laptop. The price would be a little cheaper with this option. If I purchase a VMIX copy I could now have a second system I could do production work on if I needed to cover 2 small events instead of one large one. Smaller amount of space used not having to haul a desktop.

Cons: Though all the processing is supposed to be done in the capture boxes, I still suspect using a desktop built for this specifically would run smoother. I would also be using the laptop for other things like graphics so sharing resources on that machine. Also this is only a 7 source setup with one source in SD.

Desktop Setup
Build a decent Desktop with a Magewell or similar 4 HDMI input capture card
Purchase either NDI Connect Pro or VMIX HD Edition

Pros: Likely the ideal setup. This would give me a total of 8 HD cameras.

Cons: Cost! This would probably cost 3 to 4 times more than just purchasing a couple Magewell converters. Space, this means I would need to take my TC, Laptop and a desktop on the road. Also would likely need a to carry an additional monitor with it for confidence.

Does anyone use a setup similar to these? Does anyone see any potential problems with these setups?

SBowie
01-11-2017, 07:17 AM
I won't comment on the Connect vs. VMix decision (I can see your reasoning there, and it's going to be a personal decision). I would like to add remarks about a couple of other aspects of this question.

First, I have used the Monoprice solutions, as well as similar but more expensive and higher quality HDBaseT solutions. I found the former somewhat disappointing, although I still use it for some things. The Monoprice HDMI extender has been unreliable, and imho particularly subject to failing due to interference (such as from fluorescent light fixtures, and perhaps nearby A/C cabling. The more expensive solution (Atlona) has been a lot better, although it still blacks out once in awhile.

Second, looking at your setup, I find myself wondering if - rather than cobbling together a DIY 'crossover' system using HDMI adapters and software on either a laptop or desktop system - you might not be better off to add another Mini to your arsenal ... just a thought.

Radio_TVPat1982
01-11-2017, 07:56 AM
Steve, personally I would love to have another Mini. That's a bit more than my budget would allow right now though. I think that building a crossover system on a desktop all said and done would come closer to the price of buying a Mini but still I think it would likely be only half the price of a new Mini. Not to mention, would I have to have AE on each Mini?

With building my own I could also gain a second machine to do production on. Only reason I would consider VMIX but the more I think about it I probably would need VMIX and Connect pro. So a 2 for 1 kind of solution there. A steaming PC would allow for both a standalone and a extension through NDI.

I know there was a small mention about it recently but does Newtek ever plan to offer just a straight crossover box that would be lower than the price of the Mini. Something scaled down but can take HDMI/SDI and covert it to NDI. I think there is a market considering that the one HDMI/SDI to NDI converter I saw was near $1,000.

I know the Streaming Engine boxes are already out and they look great but if I am not mistaken they are more than a Mini.


As for the HDMI converting. I am in luck for now. I am not using the Mono Price Converter. I got the J-Tech one recommended here on the forum and it works great! I am however using the Monoprice 100ft HDMI cable though. Just purchased it a couple weeks ago. I have only used it twice but so far so good.

On that note, my original thought for NDI was to be able to take a camera say across an arena or stadium with a near by connection and convert it to NDI. While it can be done, it appears that converting one camera at a time from long distances is still not ideal. Not sure even with an additional Mini that I would be able to accomplish getting say a 400-500 ft signal back from a camera with all the conversions. Still in the same boat.

SBowie
01-11-2017, 08:04 AM
Steve, personally I would love to have another Mini. That's a bit more than my budget would allow right now though. I think that building a crossover system on a desktop all said and done would come closer to the price of buying a Mini but still I think it would likely be only half the price of a new Mini.Maybe, just something to keep in mind as a comparison. A used Mini might be a bargain.


Not to mention, would I have to have AE on each Mini?I guess that would depend on how many NDI outputs you needed. Without it, you'd only get one.

JonCrowe
01-12-2017, 07:57 AM
My experience (so far) with a laptop and NDI connect hasn't been great. On my machine (win7 pro64 core i7 using BlackMagic UltraStudio SDI) I'm having some issues making sure the Nvidia GPU is used instead of the integrated Intel. At the moment, when I'm able to get past that issue, I'm experiencing a 2 second delay on NDI sources from that laptop (there is a thread about this issue in the NDI discussion area). I can move the same setup over to a desktop machine and it works perfectly. So, it might just be my specific laptop that is troublesome, however I haven't had the chance to try it on other laptops. I would be very interested to hear from anyone that has used NDI connect successfully with a laptop, specifically what that setup looks like from a hardware/software standpoint.

Jon

PIZAZZ
01-12-2017, 08:12 AM
My experience (so far) with a laptop and NDI connect hasn't been great. On my machine (win7 pro64 core i7 using BlackMagic UltraStudio SDI) I'm having some issues making sure the Nvidia GPU is used instead of the integrated Intel. At the moment, when I'm able to get past that issue, I'm experiencing a 2 second delay on NDI sources from that laptop (there is a thread about this issue in the NDI discussion area). I can move the same setup over to a desktop machine and it works perfectly. So, it might just be my specific laptop that is troublesome, however I haven't had the chance to try it on other laptops. I would be very interested to hear from anyone that has used NDI connect successfully with a laptop, specifically what that setup looks like from a hardware/software standpoint.

Jon

We have had great success with NDI connect on multiple laptop hardware configurations. 4 different PCs, 2 MacBooks, and a MacMini as Mac and PC.

joseburgos
01-12-2017, 08:15 AM
If you did not need it to be an alternative video production system, I'd suggest considering IP Series Input Module.
But addressing the exact question, desktop maybe 1 or 2 RU server case so it travels well

Radio_TVPat1982
01-12-2017, 09:32 AM
Thanks for the input guys. Kind of a mixed bag of good and bad so far which is somewhat what I was expecting.

Jon- I have only used my laptop for a NDI clock cam in SD but I did not run in to any delay issues. Obviously any delay at all would be a problem. Hopefully I wont run in to that issue when trying HD.

Jef-Please tell me a little more about your laptop NDI setup! What are you using to convert the video from the camera to the laptop? Converting SDI or HDMI? What kind of network switch/router are you using?

Jose-Space is probably second on the list of concerns now. I think cost is first. I would love to had one of those nice IP Series Input Modules but still would limit me to having to setup that unit close by to my Tricaster. Then relying on conversions for cameras at any distance say end zones in football or outfield shot in baseball.

I guess it would not hurt to buy a couple HDMI to USB3 boxes, test them over a weekend, then return them if it just is not going to work out.

PIZAZZ
01-12-2017, 09:55 AM
Jef-Please tell me a little more about your laptop NDI setup! What are you using to convert the video from the camera to the laptop? Converting SDI or HDMI? What kind of network switch/router are you using?

Jose-Space is probably second on the list of concerns now. I think cost is first. I would love to had one of those nice IP Series Input Modules but still would limit me to having to setup that unit close by to my Tricaster. Then relying on conversions for cameras at any distance say end zones in football or outfield shot in baseball.

We have used quad core i7 3 yr old MacBookPro's successfully with Thunderbolt into those units in either Mac or PC mode. The other laptops where traditional PCs from HP. All quad core i7 using Magewell HDMI or SDI USB3.0 input units. Sometimes Blackmagic USB3.0 capture boxes but I prefer the Magewells. Cisco SG-300 series switches in BOB and the Truck. Moving away from those now to higher end 10G capable switches. Just a note we almost always use the NDI over and through TPLink Ethernet to Fiber converters in our network topology. We never did more than 2 inputs though on a Laptop. USB buses are too hard to isolate on laptop designs and too easy to oversaturate.

Regarding a desktop, the cost of a rackmount computer is not much more and would be much longer lasting out on the road. Multiple inputs are easier to accomplish with a rackmount PC versus a Laptop.

You mentioned -- I would love to had one of those nice IP Series Input Modules but still would limit me to having to setup that unit close by to my Tricaster.

Why is that? With just a straight network cable you could place the Input Module up to 300' away. Add a gigabit switch at the 300' mark and you could go another 300' before having to reclock again. Put the Input Module up in the Press Box or down on the field even if properly cased and protected. That is the beauty of IP. The input devices do not have to be ANYWHERE close to the switcher.

Radio_TVPat1982
01-12-2017, 11:20 AM
Yeah Jef, it make sense to consider splitting the difference but the only problem I think I may run in to is having to hope for a well placed location to place some NDI machine. It would obviously need to be relatively close to power and somewhat centered.

Just thinking in terms of football I know the high school team I cover locally has a junction box located right behind the 50 yard line that includes Ethernet ports, XLR audio ports, and power. With the setup you mention would I just need to run say a high end zone, low end zone and sideline cam to that junction box and just have the HDMI converted to NDI via a Magewell or similar converter then Laptop or desktop connected to the schools network at the junction box?

Example
Camera ---> HDMI Cable ---> Magewell HDMI to USB 3 Converter ---> USB 3 Cable ---> PC---> Ethernet cord ---> Schools Network (field) ----> Schools network (booth) ---> Ethernet ---> Switch ---> TC Mini

I know that seems like a lot but this includes every cable involved.

I tested a SD signal last season and was able to get it from the field back to the box and show in my Mini. Would just be a case of keeping the signal HD.