Rascular Embraces NewTek's NDI IP Protocol with New RouteMaster Lite
As NewTek says, “NewTek NDI is a royalty free standard anyone can implement to connect video equipment across a network.” In essence, it’s a compressed IP format that allows the use of a standard Ethernet network. It’s already clear that there’s a considerable range of NDI-compliant products on the market. Newtek says, “It’s a bi-directional standard, not only enabling you to share video and audio over IP, but to send and receive multiple input and output signals between devices on your network—making a completely connected facility entirely possible”.
Rascular’s first product to embrace the protocol is RouteMaster Lite, a standalone, PC-based, single licence application. This is based on Rascular’s powerful RouteMaster technology and is designed to provide comprehensive router control for NDI sources up to maximum 20x20 router size.
Particularly applicable in the production sector, with OB units a prime example, RouteMaster Lite works in three key ways to present operators working in an NDI environment with familiar, and therefore easy-to-use, router control interfaces. It: virtualises the NDI source and destination devices (the IP addresses) in the system making them sources and destinations on a virtual NDI router; it then allows full router source/destination control via a web panel that will be familiar to operators; and it also provides control via hardware router control panels (AJA Kumo and BlackMagic).
Roddy Pratt, Technical Director with Rascular, says, “NDI is a powerful compressed video-over-IP protocol with a strong product ecosystem developing around it. But what’s crucial for operators working in a pressurised production environment is that they are presented with a familiar, easy-to-use, router control/tally interface – be that hardware or software-based – that they can use to select sources and destinations in the heat of the moment. That’s what RouteMaster Lite allows. They don’t want to be looking at IP addresses or web pages. Of course, we are developing additional products that also embrace NDI.”
Software designers Rascular create PC-based video playout control and media management systems. Bespoke or off-the-shelf, its applications work across SDI and IP technologies. This provides media companies with cost-effective control and management across hybrid playout environments. User-defined screen layouts allow precision access to on-air and off-air third-party technologies. This gives operators crucial touch-of-a-button control of manual and automated media preparation and channel playout, be that IP or SDI. Rascular’s technology is deployed by broadcasters and playout providers globally including Discovery Communications Europe, BSkyB, Red Bee Media, M-Net, Sky Italia and ARD.