Technical Knowledge

Understanding NDI Technology and its Compression Options

Understanding NDI Technology and its Compression Options

Sep 26 2023

In the world of live streaming and audiovisual technology, Network Device Interface (NDI) has emerged as a groundbreaking solution for transmitting high-quality video and audio signals over networks. NDI offers several compression options tailored to different use cases, including Full NDI, NDI|HX, NDI|HX2, and NDI|HX3. In this article, we will explore NDI technology and dive into the differences and key features of each compression option, helping you make informed decisions for your AV needs.

Network Device Interface (NDI) is a royalty-free software specification designed to facilitate the transmission of high-definition video across computer networks. NDI enables precise, low-latency video streaming suitable for live production environments. It has gained widespread adoption across the AV and broadcast industries, making it compatible with a wide range of SDI and HDMI equipment through converters and bridging modules.

Key Features of NDI:

  • Supports HD video transmission over standard computer networks.
  • Low-latency and precise frame synchronization.
  • Compatibility with various AV and broadcasting equipment.
  • A mature ecosystem of hardware and software solutions.


Now, let's explore the different compression options within the NDI family:

  1. Full NDI:

    • Description: Full NDI is the original NDI compression option, offering lossless video transmission with the highest quality.
    • Ideal Use Cases: Best suited for high-end production studios, live broadcasts, and scenarios prioritizing top-notch video quality.
    • Network Requirement: Requires a high-speed network due to its bandwidth-intensive nature.
  2. NDI|HX:

    • Description: NDI|HX strikes a balance between image quality and network bandwidth by using H.264 video compression.
    • Ideal Use Cases: Suitable for remote production environments, education, corporate communications, and scenarios with limited bandwidth.
    • Network Requirement: Can operate on networks with less bandwidth, including WiFi, without excessive network traffic.
  3. NDI|HX2:

    • Description: NDI|HX2 is an enhancement over NDI|HX, offering cleaner and more reliable native NDI streams with low latency.
    • Ideal Use Cases: Provides high-quality video transmission with reliable and low-latency connections.
    • Network Requirement: Can operate on standard Gigabit Ethernet networks, making it versatile for various setups.
  4. NDI|HX3:

    • Description: NDI|HX3 is the latest compression option, featuring even greater compression efficiency and lower latency than NDI|HX2.
    • Ideal Use Cases: Suitable for scenarios with limited network bandwidth, offering high-quality video with improved efficiency.
    • Network Requirement: Compatible with networks with limited bandwidth, making it ideal for various applications.

In addition to its compression options, NDI technology includes the NDI Bridge, a vital component facilitating high-quality video and audio transmission across different networks and locations. NDI Bridge enhances remote collaboration, multicamera setups, and equipment integration, extending NDI's versatility beyond local networks.

Comparing NDI Compression Options:

Compression Option Video Quality Bandwidth Ideal Use Cases Network Requirement
Full NDI Highest High (Lossless) High-end studios, live broadcasts High-speed network
NDI HX Good Lowest Balanced Remote production, education, corporate comms
NDI HX2 Good Low Enhanced efficiency Reliable low-latency connections
NDI HX3 Great Medium Greater efficiency Limited bandwidth scenarios


Network Device Interface (NDI) technology revolutionizes video transmission in the AV industry, offering various compression options to suit diverse needs. Full NDI provides the utmost video quality but demands a high-speed network. NDI|HX, NDI|HX2, and NDI|HX3 balance quality and bandwidth efficiency, catering to scenarios with varying network constraints. Choosing the right compression option depends on your specific use case and network capabilities, ensuring seamless and high-quality AV experiences.


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