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nomski  
#1 Posted : Friday, May 22, 2020 11:21:35 PM(UTC)
nomski

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Hi all. We keep having very varied success with NDI. Sometimes it's absolutely reliable and sometimes it really isn't! It seems pretty random and we've done all kinds of testing but to no avail. The issues are hard to repeat and when they are there, they're impossible to resolve. The number one symptom we have I would describe as dropped frames. It stutters and slows down and sometimes as badly as down to 2-3 frames per second.

When it's at it's simplest, we've seen this issue on a gigabit network between to very well specified PC's playing back a video in vMix being viewed on Studio Monitor on a second PC. The only two device on the network were the PC's, it wasn't plugged into the WAN and wifi was off.

So really what I'm wondering, does anyone have a bombproof setup that you use regularly (and intensely, lots of cameras/feeds etc.). If so, could you share some of the hardware and settings information with us so we can try and get something working properly. I'm starting to wonder if it's the Mikrotik switches that we use or the settings but we followed all the Newtek advice but with no success.

Any help is much appreciated!
mjgraves  
#2 Posted : Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:04:39 AM(UTC)
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I've produced conferences using NDI for a few years. No issues at all. Most recently:

2 x BirdDog P200 PTZ cameras connected over NDI
2 x BirdDog Studio capturing presenter laptops
1 x BirdDog Studio Mini capturing a utility laptop (remote presenters and interstitial show)
2 x SFF PC running Studio Monitor to projectors
1 x vMix 4k system, locally record the line cut and stream to YouTube.
1 x Ubiquiti POE+ switch
1 x Ubiquiti Security gateway as router/DHCP server
1 x utility laptop running Studio Monitor for PTZ remote control
1 x Kiloview N2 wireless NDI-HX encoder for a mobile camera over Wi-Fi

Unicast
All devices DHCP with MAC reservations
All production devices on their own subnet
My vMix host (i7-5775C) was not quite happy running at 1080p60...perfectly happy at 1080p30.
It has two NICs, so I have dual gigabit connections to the vMix server
csobsidian  
#3 Posted : Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:42:37 PM(UTC)
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I've created several small NDI productions, mostly without issue. Theres no such thing as bombproof as every setup has it's own requirements. I've gotten NDI to work quite well with just a laptop from 5 years ago using on-board intel graphics.

Tell us what you have and what you want to do with as much specificity as possible and we might be able to help you out.
nomski  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 7:36:47 PM(UTC)
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Thanks guys. I'm going to do some testing this week and see where I get to and then update you. Really we just want the flexibility of using NDI when we need it. A commentary monitor, large LCD screens, camera inputs etc. but almost without fail we get sketchy results. We had a commentary monitor drop down to about 3 frames a second so we've gone back to SDI for now for reliability.
mavik  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 12:18:41 AM(UTC)
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I can tell from my experiences that it's worth to take a look at the switch. Even more carefully when using PoE.
I found that some switches don't provide enough constant power leading to freezes. On one the CPU was exhausted wit hthe amount of data. So it is essential to check if all ports have wirespeed L2 switching and that each port is able to provide the power needed.

You might end up with more costly switches from netgear, cisco, hp that fulfill the specs.

The P200 needs PoE+, even though my switch specs say that it provides it and the power consumption is within specs the cam has interruptions. The Studios need a bit lower power specs. But running all cams and studios on the same switch just draw too much power from it.

Advice #1. Check if issues stay with NDI encoder AC powered
Advice #2. Exchange the switch

What I also noticed is that opening studio monitor at the same time as ingested into vmix (although on the same computer) causes twice the bandwidth. A P200 is about 200mbps, a Studio about 180mbps. Haven 2x P200 and 2x Studio equals to 600mbps. If you then open studio monitor for reference checking and maybe recording with newtek iso recorder you might exhaust your network card very easily.

Hopefully I find some time to do a video with my findings.
DVSDirect  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 24, 2020 11:58:17 PM(UTC)
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You are correct each NDI stream will use up the same bandwidth each time you open an input in vmix, Studio monitor, record ect. unless you have setup to use multicast on your network. One other thing to check is make sure your network type is not setup as public which is the default when you hook up the PC to the network the first time. This may block some resources on the network . One other thing. NDI will take advantage of dual NIC's if you have them as long as they are the same speed so you can double the bandwidth into the PC .

Jim Davis.
giroudf  
#7 Posted : Thursday, June 25, 2020 5:18:45 AM(UTC)
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you have also to check on what interrupt or pcie lane your network card is working.
sometimes card is shared with USB3 or SATA or a PCIe slot.
if one device start to be busy, your network card could possibly be queued.
nakedeye  
#8 Posted : Thursday, June 25, 2020 1:15:42 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: mjgraves Go to Quoted Post

2 x BirdDog P200 PTZ cameras connected over NDI


Off topic so sorry for that!

Would you be willing to share your thoughts and experience on the P200 PTZ? For example: Are the pre-programmed camera moves and zooms, re-frames etc usable on the live output?

Any info appreciated. Thankyou!
mjgraves  
#9 Posted : Friday, June 26, 2020 1:10:25 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: nakedeye Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: mjgraves Go to Quoted Post

2 x BirdDog P200 PTZ cameras connected over NDI


Off topic so sorry for that!

Would you be willing to share your thoughts and experience on the P200 PTZ? For example: Are the pre-programmed camera moves and zooms, re-frames etc usable on the live output?

Any info appreciated. Thankyou!


I did not make significant use of PTZ control via vMix. This was largely because my project does not lend itself to using many presets.

Instead, I used NDI Studio Monitor. I did use its preset controls.

If you want good control I'd suggest the Birddog PTZ controller...or Skarhoj.
mavik  
#10 Posted : Friday, June 26, 2020 9:54:12 PM(UTC)
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I have done the recent town halls with a P200 and Studio. I use vmix exclusively. The way I use the PTZ is with virtual inputs. Before the show I create all the positions I need. Lecture, mayor, guest speakers etc.
Additionally I make use of the color grouping in vmix. Only the shots I need are visible. With a stream deck I position the PTZ by bringing it up in the preview. With another button I cut betwenn the cams.
For the lecture I have the issue that people are differently tall. So I adjust the position either before the shot goes live or even during live. If you set the speed to very slow you get a soft and smooth movement. Again, everything controled out of vMix.

Lately I updated my network to 10G. With the unicast nature of NDI I was slowly reaching the limit of a 1G network. So I thought in perspective of even bigger productions it's wise to make the move. I use a 16 port SFP+ switch that connects to my computer and does the long throw from FOH to stage. That brings me a 10G fibre connection between stage and FOH. At the stage I use a switch that distributes the network into the truss or rig for the cams. Stage switch to Studios is copper 1G. With this setup I can go as far the 1G connection gets me and don't have to worry about bandwidth for transfer.

The stage switch is a SDVoE compliant one. So with delivering video to big on stage LED screens you get the zero latency advantage of SDVoE.
thanks 1 user thanked mavik for this useful post.
mjgraves on 6/27/2020(UTC)
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