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NewTek NDI® Powers Live Production for VEX Robotics Competition

December 11, 2018 by Chuck Baker

“Kids love seeing themselves and their robots live on the big screen. It takes a fun activity and turns it into a sporting event, ramping up the motivation and engagement students get from robotics. By creating a high quality event we reflect back to them that the endeavour they are engaged in is valuable and important. When students talk about Nationals with their friends and families with excitement and passion, motivated about their learning – we know we have achieved our goal.” - Lael Grant, computer programming teacher, Barker College

Production quality for video for educational activities and events has in the past been hamstrung by the expense of equipment and cabling and the technical and practical complications of deployment. Often budgets and practical considerations just made live broadcast or live streaming completely out of reach. Restriction to cheap cameras and a post-production workflow were the order of the day - participants, their schoolmates, alumni and families would get to see a little of the event in a video often delivered long after the event.

Enter NewTek NDI® and a new generation of computer-based production tools that NDI enables to use standard networks for bi-directional transport of video, audio and data at very low latency and very high quality. Using NDI-enabled production allowed for a comprehensive live video production of the Australian Nationals VEX Robotics competition, by a production team led by Lael Grant of Barker College. Six robotics fields needed to be live-streamed, plus stage presentations, and the live content was also to be projected on two large screens. 8 cameras with BirdDog Studio NDI adapters, two computer systems equipped with NDI-enabled video switching and streaming applications, and the projectors were all interconnected by NDI streams.

“We started investing in live production equipment two years ago and considered the option of traditional SDI workflows, but quickly realised it couldn’t provide the flexibility or the power that a full NDI based solution offers. … When running productions at Barker we can leverage the College’s existing IT network, with the ability to run cameras, production and real-time display in different areas of the College very easily. When producing on-location, it is simple and easy to lay out a few switches with inexpensive and robust ethernet cable for even very large productions.” - Lael Grant

Read the complete article at School Video News: VEX Robotics Nationals uses BirdDog for Live Event

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