IBC: AJA Debuts Thunderbolt iO and More
COW Library : IBC Expo : Debra Kaufman : IBC: AJA Debuts Thunderbolt iO and More
AJA Video Systems, which has been manufacturing digital video interface, conversion and desktop solutions for the professional broadcast and post markets since 1993, debuted five new products at IBC 2011.
Io XT is the company's first Thunderbolt-enabled professional iO device, connecting to a Thunderbolt-enabled Apple computer via a single cable. But AJA didn't just stop at one port. The Io XT includes two Thunderbolt ports, for daisy-chaining peripherals such as high bandwidth storage and high-resolution displays. "That simplifies the connection of multiple devices and makes for a portable package," says AJA Product Marketing Manager Tony Cacciarelli. "With Thunderbolt daisy-chaining connectivity, the Io XT maximizes what Thunderbolt has to offer."
AJA Io XT System includes two Thunderbolt ports.
Among its many features, the Io XT also includes two 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs and outputs; single link SDI 4:2:2 support and single and dual-link SDI 4:4:4 support; HDMI input and output (including support for 3D); analog HD/SD component and composite output, 10-bit; as well as AJA Control Room software.
AJA Control Room is a new unified cross-platform application for controlling selected AJA KONA and Io products for capture, conversion, playback, VTR control and output. A separate new AJA Control Panel can be launched independently or from AJA Control Room. Both AJA Control Room and AJA Control Panel offer a common control interface for AJA's new Io XT as well as its KONA 3G, KONA LHi, KONA LHe Plus, Io HD, and Io Express. Available for Mac OSX and Windows, both are free downloadable applications that will be available in October through AJA's website.
AJA also unveiled the next-generation KONA LHe Plus with video capture and playback capabilities with greater performance than the KONA LHe and a price that is 25 percent lower. Cacciarelli points out that the KONA LHe Plus is ideal for broadcast and TV post production environments. Its professional features include 10-bit or 8-bit uncompressed video iO, two-channel AES digital audio and eight channel SDI embedded digital audio iO. KONA LHe Plus will be available in October for $995, through AJA's resellers.
AJA LHe Plus
UDC, a broadcast-quality Up/Down/Cross-Conversion mini-converter, which can convert between SD, HD and 3G formats, is another product shown for the first time at IBC 2011. UDC supports 1080p5060, eight-channel embedded audio, HDMI output with eight-channel audio and offers many other features. UDC is expected to ship in Q4 for $695. An AJA DWP or DWP-U power supply is also required.
UDC, a broadcast-quality Up/Down/Cross-Conversion mini-converter
Finally, AJA is working with Avid to build-in support for the Avid DNxHD video codec into Ki Pro Mini. "This facilitates direct camera-to-edit workflows," says Cacciarella. "That allows users to eliminate the time-consuming video encode step." Support for the Avid DNxHD codec will be available in Q4 as a free downloadable firmware upgrade.
All of the new AJA Video Systems products demonstrate a commitment to take advantage of the latest technology--as in introducing Thunderbolt-compatible iO with two ports--as well as respond to client demands. President Nick Rashby reported that support for DNxHD in the Ki Pro family of products was "one of the most frequent requests we get from the field," and it's a move that makes sense given the increasing importance of enabling choices in workflow. Debuting five new products at IBC was ambitious; I can only wonder what AJA Video Systems has in store for NAB 2012.