What Is NDI?
NDI is a protocol that allows you to send NDI over your gigabit network, typically over ethernet. This type of output in ProPresenter is generally set up to send a ProPresenter output to another device on your same network subnet to receive this signal. A lot of times this other device is used for streaming with another program such as OBS or vMix. You may also have a camera input within ProPresenter that is being sent over NDI from the camera across your network to ProPresenter. In this article we are going to dive into steps for troubleshooting, should you either not see a signal on another computer or the signal isn't playing back properly, however that may look in your setup.
To start off, if you are not seeing your signal from one computer to another, you need to make sure that you are on the same network subnet. To do this, you need to view the IP address of the computer that ProPresenter is on, as well as the IP address of your streaming software, or in other cases, maybe a camera if you're trying to bring in a camera over NDI. To view the IP address of your ProPresenter computer, you can go into the network configuration of your System Preferences. Generally, these starts with 192.168.x.x, or 10.0.x.x. To get ProPresenter to communicate with this NDI device, ProPresenter needs to be on the same subnet, and you need to allow network discovery between these devices on your router. This means that the 3rd set of numbers in your IP address must match. For example, machine one on 192.168.125.30 and machine two on 192.168.125.76 will work, as they are on the same subnet. This is usually the first thing that we check, so making sure that they are able to communicate will always be a good first step. If they are not on the same subnet, or you are unsure about Network Discovery, you need to either reach out to the manufacturer of your network gear or talk to your network admin, if you have one, to get this set up.
If you can see the devices across the network, but it's glitchy or something isn't playing right, you will need to try and narrow down the source of the issue. Fortunately, to do this its actually very simple, and doesn't take long to do! To start off, you need to head over to NewTek's website to download their NDI Tools. This will require you to provide an email address and a link to download NDI Tools will be sent to you.
On Windows, you're going to use the NDI Studio Monitor, and on Mac you would use the NDI Video Monitor. These apps will serve as another way to view NDI. Our first step is to install this on the same computer as ProPresenter. The reason behind this is this will narrow the issue down to either ProPresenter or the network. A good rule of thumb here, is if you don't see the issue in ProPresenter, the issue is after we have sent the ProPresenter output to the graphics card. If you are not seeing playback issues within ProPresenter, but are seeing them in your streaming solution, you can use the NDI Studio Monitor/Video Monitor to view what is being sent out of ProPresenter. This test would allow you to see what we are sending to the network, but since your computer knows that the destination from ProPresenter is coming back to the same computer, the NDI output from ProPresenter hits the network card, and comes right back into the NDI Studio Monitor/Video Monitor, bypassing your network completely. This is a great test to see if your network is causing the playback issues. You can also use this method to test NDI camera feeds if they are not showing in ProPresenter or appear to have issues. If the playback is bad here as well, the issue is likely your network. If the playback is fine here, but within ProPresenter it looks bad, contact our Support Team. Some NDI cameras require firmware upgrades from the manufacture. Verify that you have the most recent software/firmware installed for the camera. NDI cameras and streaming programs also often have an option called "Low Bandwidth Mode" that reduces the quality of the signal. So if the signal is coming through but looks like the quality is really low, check for this option as well.
Should the playback look bad in the live streaming solution, but not in the NDI Studio Monitor/Video Monitor, the issue is likely the network, but it also could be the streaming app, or the other computer. You can install NDI Tools on the streaming computer to confirm if you see the playback behavior issues on the NDI Tools or the streaming solution. If it looks bad on both, it's likely the network, if it looks bad just in the streaming solution, contact the developer of the app.
If you have determined these issues to be with ProPresenter, don't hesitate to reach out to our team, but please note, if you have determined the issues to be your network, our recommendation would be to make sure your setup is a dedicated, hardwired (ethernet connection), gigabit network.