PTZ camera - looking for recommendation on using NDI vs Virtual USB


Active Member
I just got a Panasonic AW-HN38 NDI PTZ camera. My understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that I can use the NDI plug-in and use that to capture/retrieve the PTZ camera video feed. However, Panasonic also has a PTZ Virtual USB driver which connects to the H.264 (NDI|HX) feed (so NOT using actual USB, which isn't practical for my situation/camera distance where I'm using a single CAT6a PoE setup, but makes H.264 network/IP video feed appear as a USB webcam to applications on PC).

A quick test and I can add the Virtual USB into OBS without issue (appears to work fine). At this point, and I think for foreseeable future, we'll only have a single camera. I have lots of networking experience, so NDI network setup doesn't intimidate me. I'm just trying to keep my OBS as simple/clean as practical... I figure the less plug-ins, drivers, etc in use the better (in general)

What I'm looking for insight into is what I am gaining/losing by using Panasonic's Virtual USB driver vs 'straight' NDI... might be nothing, or ??
IF video quality, control, etc are the same for single camera, I'm ok with using Virtual USB now and switching to native/direct NDI if/when we get a 2nd camera, if that makes more sense at that point
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New Member
I would check the two different approaches to see if they have the same latency.
Also, the NDI plug-in in OBS is well used and understood and there is plenty of help here if you have problems. I don't know that the same is true for the Panasonic virtual-USB driver. Certainly, you don't need to have 2 cameras to find the NDI technology useful. You can receive the NDI feed into other devices such as a stage PC with a monitor display - it's a great technology and well worth getting experience of using it.


Active Member
I finally called Panasonic tech support and found out that Panasonic's Virtual USB driver pulls the exact same quality video feed as I'd get using NDI. What I loose apparently is some controls via NDI. But I'm using Panasonics Control Center software, and can full control camera as is, so for now sticking with Panasonic's Virtual USB software (free, support multiple cameras at same time). I suspect I'll change, if need be, if I end up getting a hardware joystick controller for the camera

Having not used the OBS NDI integration, and wanting to keep this streaming PC as stable as possible, I'm not sure what if anything I'm missing. In the future, I could wanting the ability to pick a scene in OBS, and have a command (or sequence of commands), sent to camera (ie graceful PTZ to desired point)

Can anyone suggest a good YouTube tutorial on PTZ camera control over NDI from within OBS?? or do you use NDI for video feed, and (other than PTZOptics) use other, external software, for camera control?