Video Over IP – The NDI Solution for the Guildhall School

One of London’s most prestigious arts education centers, the Guildhall School offers undergraduate training in classical music, jazz, drama, and production. The sudden need to support remote performances and learning during COVID-19 was the impetus for a recent AV upgrade based on NDI video connectivity technology.  


Prior to Covid 19, the AV team at the Guildhall School primarily relied upon an SDI-based system with cameras and a vision mixer to record and broadcast performances – sometimes as many as five full concerts per day. However, with an increasing desire to work more flexibly between the different spaces and add extra cameras, there was already an awareness that the existing infrastructure would have to be overhauled.  

Then the pandemic struck, and social distancing meant that large ensemble performances in a single space were rendered impossible. At the same time, the final of the Gold Medal – the Guildhall School’s premier music – was cast into doubt for the first time in its long history. So, the AV team started investigating options for a new video solution based on IP connectivity.  

We needed a system that allowed performers to play simultaneously in multiple rooms, yet have performers feel as if they’re playing together. It had to be flexible to allow us to scale up and add rooms as and when we needed.   

Sam Ziajka, Recording and AV – Network and Systems Manager

Working with reseller and workflow design firm Altered Images, Guildhall’s team ultimately decided to invest in a solution that relies upon NDI video connectivity technology. As a result, the inventory now includes a NewTek TriCaster, BirdDog NDI PTZ cameras, and SDI-to-NDI converters. In addition, existing Panasonic PTZ cameras were also freshly upgraded with NDI support.  

With the help of NewTek and Altered Images, Ziajka’s team devised a campus-wide NDI network encompassing four buildings. This installation also works seamlessly with an existing but newly expanded Dante Audinate audio-over-IP network.


After the pandemic period – in which large ensembles were accommodated by splitting them across three rooms, each equipped with PTZ cameras and screens on the NDI network – the new infrastructure has continued to deliver remarkable flexibility.  

For example, we can now log into any machine on our network and route the picture and sound to where we need it. [Also] we have latency down to about two frames on the devices across the network.

Sam Ziajka, Recording and AV – Network and Systems Manager

Guildhall School has already produced hundreds of public-facing productions with its new IP set-up, resulting in two entire seasons of digital content featuring multi-camera, multi-room performances. In addition, the school is already developing plans to link with partner organizations and satellite schools nationwide for real-time teaching and performances.  

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© Hero image by Elisa Schuyler

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