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How To Use Any PC As A Test Signal Generator With NDI

August 11, 2016 by Chuck Baker

Calibrating audio and video signals throughout your suite of production equipment are critical for producing content that meets broadcast specifications. This once required dedicated signal generators and additional cabling to distribute the signals. Even when the function was built into production switchers, that meant dedicating an output and additional cabling to get the signal around to the rest of the suite.  Today, however, in an NDI-enabled video suite you can use any PC to generate the needed signals, and distribute those signals over a standard network infrastructure, with the easy-to-use NewTek NDI Test Signal Generator, part of the NewTek NDI Tools Pack.

The NewTek NDI Tools Pack is a free download: NewTek NDI Tools Pack Download Page (registration required).


The file you download is an installer, “NewTek NDI Tools.exe”.  Run the installer and follow the instructions to install the NDI Tools to your chosen system. Once installation is complete:

On your Windows Start Menu, go to “All Apps”

Locate NewTek NDI Tools, and click the arrow to dropdown the list. Select NDI Test Patterns from the list of applications.


This will open the NDI Test Patterns application window on your desktop. And that’s it. Your system is now generating a test pattern and sending it out over the network as an NDI source.

Click to enlarge.

You can easily check this by going back to the NewTek NDI Tools dropdown on your Start Menu and opening NewTek NDI Video Monitor. Right-click on the window and you should see your system as a source on the context menu.  Select it. As in the image at the top of this article, you’ll see the color bars in the NDI Video Monitor window. You will also hear the audio tone through your computer speakers or in your headphones.

If the NDI Test Pattern’s application window opens minimized so that it only shows the currently selected signal, as shown in the images so far in this article, just click on the window toggle button to enlarge or maximize it to see the rest of the options available. Below, we see the window maximized on the desktop.  The selected pattern is highlighted with a white outline. The scroll bar on the right indicates that we have more options we can view. As you can see, NDI Test Patterns offers a comprehensive set of patterns and tones for calibrating production equipment and setting appropriate audio levels.

Click to enlarge.

Learn More about NewTek NDI.

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