ProMax Readies NDI Previewer For Release

The new tool controls NDI stream recording to shared storage, supports cut-only editing without tying up workstation and network resources
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ProMax Systems sees demand for NDI support growing among its customers as the IP replacement for SDI and has responded with a new product to control recording of NDI streams to shared storage and even perform frame-accurate cuts, without tying up a workstation or unnecessarily burdening a facility’s network.

As a supplier of advanced shared storage solutions for those creating film and video content, ProMax has tracked the rise of interest in NDI among the creative community for the past few years.

Some customers of ProMax, which offers an integrated, turnkey shared storage solution with asset management, backup and archiving software, have begun asking, in Cooper’s words, “for proper media management within an NDI environment.”

In response, the company recently released a beta version of its new NDI Previewer software and expects to offer a market-ready version within three months, says ProMax COO Nathaniel Cooper. To put the new product into perspective, Cooper compares NDI Previewer to NewTek’s Isocorder, an application for ISO capture of IP video sources via NDI.

“With [NewTek’s] Isocorder Pro, you can through a workstation record an incoming feed to shared storage,” he says. “That’s not a bad way to do it, but it eats up a workstation and that workstation’s resources,” Cooper explains.

There’s also a downside from a network perspective. “It creates about double the traffic. What is happening is NDI traffic is passing through the network to the workstation, which captures the data and passing it back through the network to shared storage,” says Cooper.

With NDI Previewer, it’s possible to preview NDI streams, trigger records to ProMax shared storage and even use the Chop feature to do frame-accurate cuts in a file to give editors immediate access to content without tying up the processor cycles of an expensive workstation or creating extra network traffic.

“None of that traffic is actually going through the workstation itself,” explains Cooper. “It’s a clever thing we can do now that NDI exists.” It’s even possible to run NDI Previewer on a laptop connected to a network via Wi-Fi or from home on a laptop connected via a VPN, adds Coopers.

NDI Previewer is a gateway to the other features offered by ProMax’ shared storage solution, such as automatic capture of feeds, automatic backup, automatic file replication and automatic addition of metadata tags to power future asset management and searches.

“There’s a whole media management ecosystem we’ve created,” says Cooper. “Once you start piping files into that, it’s now utilizing all of that media management capability.”

The company chief operating officer adds that ProMax has had “a very good experience” working with NewTek’s “well-organized team” and credits the strong documentation provided in NewTek’s NDI software development kit (SDK) with making NDI Previewer development relatively fast and easy.

(Editor’s note: This is the first in a continuing series of @NDICentral blogs. We welcome your comments and active discussion.)

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