Guide to the most common configurations for remote monitoring of NLEs and broadcast feeds

With the current global trend towards home working, broadcasters and post production facilities need new ways to share the video feeds from their facility and from their NLEs with remote viewers. In almost all cases, SiennaLink provides the perfect solution for  super low latency reliable remote monitoring and it's available in 2 forms, depending on your needs.  In addition there is an alternative workflow using HLS for non-latency critical viewing for review and approval where simpler setup at the viewing end is useful.


This page aims to help you decide which of these workflows is most relevant to your needs. Please contact your regional Approved Sienna NDI Systems Integrator for additional guidance, pricing etc.


What is SiennaLink ?


SiennaLink is a unique video transport protocol developed by Sienna to deliver super-low-latency and super reliable video remote monitoring. It consists of a server component which sends an NDI based video source using the SiennaLink protocol and a set of free SiennaLink viewing client apps, available for macOS, Windows, Linux, iPad, iPhone and AppleTV.  You can see an example of SiennaLink in use in this video


NDI Sources to feed into the SiennaLink Server component can come directly from NLE systems with NDI Output (Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid MediaComposer) or from other NLE systems with SDI/HDMI output fed into an NDI Converter.  Its also possible to use NDI ScanConverter to capture the on screen video window from ProTools and other software. Finally - any other NDI Stream inside a broadcast facility can be fed into the SiennaLink server to be made available to remote viewers.

The first approach uses the SiennaLink Remote Monitor server, a single channel application which can run in macOS, Windows, or Linux and feeds a single NDI Stream out via a dedicated SiennaLink port. These ports must be configured with port forwarding at the facility NAT Router.  This method uses the processing power of the NLE workstation to encode the SiennaLink stream and is suitable for small scale operations with a few SiennaLink streams.


What if my requirements are much larger ?

The second approach uses the Sienna NDI Processing Engine, which includes the SiennaLink TX Module. This has the same function as the SiennaLink Remote Monitor server but in a modular form, where the NDI Processing Engine can host any number of channels. The NDI Processing Engine can also build multiviews of sources, and perform processing such as audio embedding as streams are created. NDI Processing Engine allows centralised, more efficient  and more flexible scale-out of remote monitoring and runs on a dedicated high performance Ubuntu linux server. Port forwarding of a range of ports must be setup in the NAT router - pointing to the NDI Processing Engine.


Some facilities, particularly broadcasters will want to add the Sienna NDI Router which allows remote viewers to have a personalised web based Router Panel, allowing them to select which internal NDI Stream they want to watch or to remotely reconfigure a multiviewer they are watching.



I dont have NLEs, but I have lots of SDI - how can I offer remote monitoring of baseband video feeds to workers at home ?

In the example above, 40 SDI feeds are converted to NDI and fed into a pair of NDI Processing Engines and an NDI Router to provide SiennaLink low latency remote monitoring for 30 home-based employees who need random access to different feeds, using a multiviewer and a router panel.



What if I dont need low latency, and my viewers need the simplest possible experience ?

In this third example workflow we are still using the NDI Processing Engine, but instead of using the SiennaLink protocol, the Processing Engine is constructing an array of HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) streams which can be viewed by remote viewers using just a modern web browser on a variety of platforms. Whilst this method has some latency (less than 10 seconds typically), that is fine for workflows like review and approval of edits played out from NLE timelines, or for monitoring of incoming feeds for news operations. The NDI Processing Engine includes a frame synchroniser and updown converter module ahead of each HLS Engine to normalise the output of the NLE which is typically not a constant NDI stream during editing and may change resolution when switching clips or windows.


Another benefit is simplified configuration of the NAT router - since only a single HTTP port need be opened and pointed to the Apache server. This can be https if necessary.


What I really need is a global wide area network for all my NDI Streams - to link together multiple locations ?

For infrastructure projects where you have multiple NDI based systems in different locations, and you want to create a seamless bridge to make all NDI sources available at all NDI destinations, the solution is Sienna.Cloud for NDI (NDI.Cloud).  This offers a different sort of functionality to the simple monitoring solutions, including bi-directional low-latency (but with additional focus on video stream linearity and multi-cam synchronisation) NDI streams - with as many streams as your CPUs and bandwidth can accomodate. It also offers remote control of NDI PTZs, remote tally and many other advanced features.  Using a SINGLE UDP connection for every single stream, and master-master or master-slave modes Sienna.Cloud also has very easy network configuration.



I need to move Native NDI Streams securely over high bandwidth connections,  or through a firewall.

The NDI over SRT functionality of the Sienna ND Processing Engine Advanced option provides a fourth option, which uses full bandwidth native NDI essence (rather than more heavily recompressed) - but uses the SRT transport wrapper to provide encrypted, reliable tranmission of the NDI stream across high bandwidth wide area networks, or between firewall protected sections of a local area network.



If you have questions about Remote Monitoring please contact us, or contact your local Approved Sienna NDI Systems Integrator