How to use NDI to control addressable pixel LEDs?

NDI stands for Network Device Interface. It’s a free software specification by NewTek, which allows transfer of high-definition video transfer over computer network (Ethernet). You can find more information about it on NewTek web and Wikipedia. It’s practical for big shows, where you need to use e.g. media server to play the video content. LED Strip Studio software in this case is used just as a mapping-software. The software converts incoming video data to Art-Net.

You can also receive multiple streams from different sources in LED Strip Studio and even mix them in single video scene. You can select the source in the NDI layer settings:

NDI source selection
NDI layer settings

To activate the source just select the source in the list.

In case you want to reload available video sources on your network, just press Refresh Sources. You can use several sources in one workspace (or even in one scene).

Important notes for NDI:

  • It can take about 20 seconds to start receiving video from source once selected in NDI video layer. The start of the connection is quite slow – but once the source is connected, it works well without any interruption.
  • In case you have one scene using NDI in the workspace, the video is being received on background all the time. The reason is to keep the connection alive – to start playing video content from source immediately after the scene is activated.
  • The NDI receiving requires some processor power. We did performance measurements on Intel i7-8700 CPU @ 3.20GHz and the Full-HD stream (1920×1080) requires less than 5% of the CPU power. That’s why, if you don’t use it in the workspace, delete the NDI scenes to save some performance costs.

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