ZEN NDI No-Audio Meter

ReadMe File

1) General features & FAQs for all ZEN NDI® utilities

USAGE NOTES

2) The reason the audio values are in dBu is because this is how audio levels are defined by NewTek in the NDI protocol. Conversion to and from “virtual” dBu levels is carried out by the applications that send and receive NDI streams, so there’s no guarantee that any given pair of sender/receiver applications will use the same conversion factor. In my “wave-out” audio output (to the selected Windows audio output device) I support switchable EBU & SMPTE/NAB standards for conversion between dBu and dBFS levels.

3) Audio threshold values for switching between OK/Low and Low/No audio indications are expressed as negative levels relative to NDI 0dBu. (Peak levels are expected to be at +8dBu or higher, as they would be in the analogue world.) The Timeout setting determines the approximate duration (in seconds) of “no audio” that must occur before the alerts are triggered.

4) The loudspeaker icon acts as a 3-way Dim & Cut switch for hearing the incoming NDI audio via the default Windows audio output device. Click on the top third of the speaker icon for Full Level, in the middle for Dim, and the bottom third to Cut (=Mute) the audio output. By default it is muted.

5) NDI sources on the LAN are continuously detected and available for selection via a drop-down list on the right. Clicking on the list control will disconnect the current source, or you can click the Disconnect button.

Audio Alert Settings

6) The application is designed to detect an NDI stream with “no audio”: i.e. a valid audio stream but with audio levels below a certain threshold. When it detects low audio level (below the Low/No threshold) it will flash the red “No Audio” warning and give an audio beep alert. If there is a break in the NDI stream itself (e.g. caused by a network cable disconnection), the warning display will alternate between “No NDI Source” and “No Audio“. As yet there is no audio warning when this condition is triggered.

The audio alerts can be sent to two different audio devices, and as an NDI stream, via the Audio Alert Settings panel, which can be opened via the main right-click system menu (which also gives access to the “About” information).

NDI output is disabled by default, but when enabled will generate a low-res NDI stream which mimics the display in the host application, with user-defined ident text.

7) USB (HID) Relay boards are also supported, in order to connect to external devices (eg lighting units). For single channel boards, the relay action mimics the “No Audio” alerts/beeps. For dual/multi-channel boards, Ch2 will switch to indicate an “OK audio” or “Not-OK” state. No higher channel numbers are currently supported.

If the relay isn’t connected when the app is run, you will see a red cross in the Audio Alert Settings. Click on the Find Relay button to open the relay device driver, and if you don’t get a green tick you will have to troubleshoot the relay using whatever software was supplied with it.

Martin Kay
ZEN Computer Services
www.zenvideo.co.uk

HISTORY

v1.0.0.5 11-Nov-2016 First working version, adapted from other NDI software projects

v1.0.0.6 13-Nov-2016 Initial public version, as featured on Facebook video posted the same day. Includes audio alert beeps for No Audio state.

v1.0.0.7 15-Nov-2016 Added detection of breaks in the NDI stream (e.g. disconnection) to trigger a visual alert.

v1.0.0.8 24-Nov-2016 Fixed a display/selection issue when large numbers of NDI sources are present

v1.1.0.0 6-Dec-2016 Recompiled with NDI v2.0 libraries and added a video preview window and generally rearranged the layout (but otherwise nothing has changed from before)

v1.1.0.1 4-May-2017 Recompiled with more recent NDI v2.0 libraries and new expiry date. No other changes.

v1.1.0.2 12-Sep-2017 Recompiled with new expiry date. No other changes (so still uses NDI v2.0 DLL).

v1.2.0.1 11-Oct-2017 Recompiled with more recent NDI v3.0 libraries and new expiry date. Minor changes including smoother meter fallback.

v1.2.0.8 19-Feb-2018 Revised user interface layout, new NDI source selection control, added Timeout setting and Audio Settings panel with dual channel audio alerts to selectable devices, plus NDI output of audio+visual alerts.

v1.2.0.12 19-Mar-2018 Added HID Relay support for single/dual chanel USB relay boards. This is a pre-release which will probably have its version number bumped up by a bigger notch once any bugs are found and fixed.

v1.2.0.13 2-Oct-2018 Recompiled with new expiry date. No other changes, AFAIK. Don’t even remember having any bugs reported since the previous upload.

v1.2.0.15 26-Dec-2018 Minor tweaks & fixes. Recomplied with NDI v3.8 libraries.

v1.2.0.16 1-Sep-2019 Recompiled to extend the expiry date (now expired). Was hoping NDI 4.0 would have been released by now, so will create a new version when it is.

v1.2.0.17 2-Feb-2020 Recompiled to extend the expiry date and use the NDI 4.15 SDK.

v1.2.0.18 4-Oct-2020 Recompiled to extend the expiry date and use the NDI 4.53 SDK.

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