NAB 2013: AJA Video Systems
COW Library : AJA Video Systems : Debra Kaufman : NAB 2013: AJA Video Systems
Everything in AJA Video Systems' booth at NAB 2013 was "real and shipping," said President Nick Rashby. "The conundrum of NAB is that you want to satisfy people with exciting new products," he said. "But now everything we announce at NAB is real. We hope to have new significant product announcements all year long."
The Ki Pro Quad on a Sony PMW-F3
Ki Pro Quad on the Sony F55 CineAlta 4K camera
The company introduced its Ki Pro Quad, a new solid-state portable video recorder for 4K camera-to-editorial workflows with Apple ProRes and RAW data. In a 4K production, Ki Pro Quad serves as a central gathering point, inputting camera signals and simultaneously creating 4K ProRes files, outputting to 4K and HD monitors and recording RAW data to a Thunderbolt-enabled computer/storage system. Among the Ki Pro Quad's features are support for 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 recording at HD and 2K resolution and real-time scaling from 4K/Quad HD to 2K/HD.
Other features include hardware-based real-time RAW debayering (recording to 4K resolution Apple ProRes 444 or ProRes 422 files) and real-time scaling from 4K to HD; and 4K workflows for the Canon C500 and Sony F55, and HD workflows any SDI-capable HD camera. Ki Pro Quad creates low-bandwidth ProRes files up to 4K resolution that can be offloaded to any Thunderbolt-enabled Mac via AJA's new PAKDock Thunderbolt and USB3 reader. Ki Pro Mini owners can also easily transition to Ki Pro Quad for remote control, automation, and mounting options. Ki Pro Quad is priced at just under $4,000. AJA PAKDock, AJA Pak SSD media, and Ki Pro Quad mounting options are now also available.
Hi5-4K SDI to HDMI
AJA also launched its new Hi5-4K and ROI Mini-Converters. The Hi5-4K Mini-Converter offers a simple monitoring connection from professional 4K devices using four 3G-SDI outputs to consumer 4K displays equipped with 4K-capable 1.4a HDMI inputs. "This is a great way of turning a consumer UltraHD display into a professional display," said President Nick Rashby. The Hi5-4K is also compatible with HD workflows requiring 3G/HD-SDI to HDMI conversion. Other features include the ability to connect KONA 3G SDI-based 4K output to 4K HDMI displays; audio embedded in the SDI input is passed as embedded audio in the 4K HDMI output. Hi5-4K is priced at $595.
AJA's ROI Mini-Converter enables conversion and real-time scaling of computer DVI-D and HDMI outputs to baseband video over SDI. Features include DVI-D and HDMI-to-SDI for high-end computer signal integration; Region of Interest scaling control for selective source screen isolation and resolution matching; DVI-D loop through for SDI signal conversion while maintaining DVI-D monitor connection; control and UI via free AJA MiniConfig software; audio embedding in SDI output via analog 3.5mm connector input; frame rate and aspect ratio conversion; and genlock input for locked SDI output. The ROI Mini-Converter is priced at just under $1,000.
Partnerships were the source of other significant AJA Video Systems news, said Rashby. The new AJA Corvid Ultra OEM cards are also now supported on Quantel's Pablo Rio; this is the first time that Quantel has offered operability with a third party video card provider. AJA's Corvid Ultra -- the company's newest OEM solution supporting 2K and 4K DI workflows with HFR support -- is the exclusive third-party solution delivering 4K workflows with Pablo Rio.
"We usually make all the IO gear ourselves, but we've been reinventing ourselves as a software company," explained Quantel Marketing Director Steve Owens. "Pablo RIO is a genuine software product, so we needed to find a third party video card and not compromise what matters to us. AJA shares our ideals. The Corvid Ultra High Frame Rate 4K was also very important to us, since 4K is about broadcast at 50p or 60p -- and the Corvid Ultra delivered that beautifully."
AJA's Io, T-TAP, and KONA family of products will support Adobe's next version of Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Speedgrade for Mac and Windows customers. New device driver and application plug-in software will be available from AJA as a free download shortly after Adobe releases its software. New features supported by the new AJA drivers are Apple ProRes codec capture in Adobe Premiere Pro for Mac, Avid DNxHD codec capture in Adobe Premiere Pro on Mac and Windows, along with integrated support for Adobe's new enhanced export to tape interface.
AJA Video Systems' line of KONA and Io products will also support Avid's Pro Tools HDX and Pro Tools Native platforms. AJA supports all of the SD and HD frame rates and resolutions that ProTools currently utilizes through the Avid Video Engine.
Also new is AJA's OEM relationship with FilmLight whereby its KONA 3G capture and playback card will support multi-channel ingest and playout for FilmLight's new FLIP real-time image processor. FilmLight will bundle AJA's KONA 3G as part of FLIP, which is designed to take the power of complex Baselight color correction live on set. Leveraging KONA 3G, FLIP users will be able to easily preview the color grading of live raw footage with a range of HD video I/O channel combinations and can set FLIP to record or playback multiple HD-SDI streams such as 1 in and 3 out, 2 in and 2 out, 3 in and 1 out.
KiStor Dock connected to a MacBook Pro. The new KiStor drives use a built-in USB3 connection in place of the previous FireWire connection allowing for faster throughput to the host computer and dramatically reducing transfer times. The new drives will be available in three capacities: 250GB, 500GB and 750GB.
AJA Video Systems clearly plays well with others. The fact that Quantel has picked its Corvid Ultra card as its first-ever third party solution is a significant vote of approval from a discerning manufacturer. Adobe, Avid and FilmLight are other major manufacturers also "voting for AJA products. AJA clearly understands the importance of enabling the 4K workflow and has made additional steps at NAB 2013 to do so. There will no doubt be additional partnerships (and, apparently, products) to discuss throughout the coming year.
Ki Pro Quad on the Canon C500
Follow Debra Kaufman on Twitter @MobilizedDebra