NAB 2011 was all about workflow: products, technologies and new developments to enable more efficient and capable ways to go from pre-production through production, post and distribution.
AJA Video Systems showed multiple products at NAB 2011 that enhance workflows for today's--and tomorrow's--productions. According to AJA president Nick Rashby, the company has enjoyed 35 percent growth in 2010 over the previous year. "We're out-growing our campus," said Rashby, who reported that the company is up to 150 people. He also noted the variety of movie/TV/broadcast projects using AJA products. "The Conan
show uses 90 mini-converters," he enumerated. "Both Social Network
and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
used a KONA file-based workflow and, on location, the Van Triple Crown of Surfing also used KiPro for ProRes capture."
For a full write-up of all of AJA's news, check out the company website
. But here are the highlights, as I see them:
The announcement of a new 4K mode for the KONA 3G capture card is great news in the evolution of capturing, posting and distributing at higher resolution. KONA 3G, which is a multi-format SD/HD/Dual Link/3G and 2K video I/O solution, was released in Fall 2010. And now, available with the new Version 9.0 driver software for KONA 3G, the 4K mode supports 4K play-out and monitoring. Rashby says the new 4K Mode is available "at no extra cost to all KONA 3G customers," since the KONA 3G architecture allows for upgrades.
AJA Kona 3G
The 4K Mode offers playback in both YCbCr and RGB, at resolutions up to 4096x2160. When 4K play-out is selected, the four SDI connectors on the KONA 3G are remapped as outputs for driving four quadrants of a 4K display.
It's also worth noting that KiPro is the first recommended ProRes solution for RED Epic. Yes, Ted Schilowitz made an appearance at the NAB 2011 press conference to show off how neatly the compact KiPro Mini snaps onto the back of the EPIC camera using the AJA Mini Mounting Plate with a standard V-Lock adapter. Schilowitz also described how he tested out the KiPro with EPIC on a helicopter shoot. "The KiPro Mini is perfect for these scenarios," he said. "It's small, light, and provides top quality ProRes which many have come to rely on for their TV quality deliverables."
AJA KiPro Mini CF card
AJA Video Systems also introduced five new Mini-Converters: the Hi5-Fiber Mini-Converter ($695) and four new models of the FiDO family of SDI/Optical Fiber Mini-Converters ($445 each). All will ship this summer.
But the most enticing news was the technology preview of projects codenamed "Riker" and "Phaser." Riker's multi-format I/O technology enables users to scale up or down any sized-raster (up to 5K) in real-time at full quality. With Riker, users can enjoy enough bandwidth to easily handle high-frame-rate 2K stereo 3D at up to 60Hz per eye, and even 4K stereo 3D at 24/30Hz per eye.
Phaser highlighted AJA's support for the all-new Intel/Apple Thunderbolt technology based HD/SD I/O with the recently introduced MacBook Pro line. With one-cable plug-in connectivity for 3G, HD/SD-SDI and HDMI workflows, Phaser lets users daisy-chain up to seven devices, support HDMI 1.3a input and HDMI 1.4 output for stereo playback, 10-bit up/down/cross-conversions, with RS422 device control and professional reference/LTC I/O.
“I am thrilled to be joining the COW team,” said Debra Kaufman, newly named Associate Editor of Creative COW Magazine. “In an era in which so much coverage has shrunk to 300-word sound bites, I'm delighted to be able to cover the dramatic changes in our industry in depth. Additionally, I look forward to reaching a huge number of engaged readers working in production and post, in the U.S. and internationally. Publisher Ronald Lindeboom and Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson early on understood the importance of a web presence, and have created an astonishingly large audience both online and in print.”
Look forward to more great stories from Debra in Creative COW Magazine, and online here at CreativeCOW.net.