Tag Archives: AJA

NAB Day 2 thoughts: AJA, Sharp, QNAP

By Mike McCarthy

During my second day walking the show floor at NAB, I was able to follow up a bit more on a few technologies that I found intriguing the day before.

AJA released a few new products and updates at the show. Their Kumo SDI switchers now have options supporting 12G SDI, but their Kona cards still do not. The new Kona 1 is a single channel of 3G SDI in and out, presumably to replace the aging Kona LHe since analog is being phased out in many places.

There is also a new Kona HDMI, which just has four dedicated HDMI inputs for streaming and switching. This will probably be a hit with people capturing and streaming competitive video gaming. Besides a bunch of firmware updates to existing products, they are showing off the next step in their partnership with ColorFront in the form of a 1RU HDR image analyzer. This is not a product I need personally, but I know it will have an important role to fill as larger broadcast organizations move into HDR production and workflows.

Sharp had an entire booth dedicated to 8K video technologies and products. They were showing off 8Kp120 playback on what I assume is a prototype system and display. They also had 8K broadcast-style cameras on display in operation, outputting Quad 12G SDI that eventually fed an 8K TV with Quad HDMI. They also had a large curved video wall, composed of eight individual 2Kx5K panels. It obviously had large seams, but it had a more immersive feel that the LED based block walls I see elsewhere.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that NAS vendor QNAP has released a pair of 10GbE switches, with both SFP+ and RJ45 ports. I was quoted a price under $600, but I am not sure if that was for the eight- or 12-port version. Either way, that is a good deal for users looking to move into 10GbE, with three to 10 clients — two clients can just direct connect. It also supports the new NBASE-T standard that connects at 2.5Gb or 5Gb instead of 10Gb, depending on the cables and NICs involved in the link. It is of course compatible with 1Gb and 100Mb connections as well.

On a related note, the release of 25GbE PCIe NICs allows direct connections between two systems to be much faster, for not much more cost than previous 10GbE options. This is significant for media production workflows, as uncompressed 4K requires slightly more bandwidth than 10GbE provides. I also learned all sorts of things about the relationship between 10GbE and its quad-channel variant 40GbE, which with the newest implementations is 25GbE, allowing 100GbE when four channels are combined.

I didn’t previously know that 40GbE ports and 100GB ports on switches could be broken into four independent connections with just a splitter cable, which offers some very interesting infrastructure design options — especially as facilities move towards IP video workflows, and SDI over IP implementations and products.


Mike McCarthy is an online editor/workflow consultant with 10 years of experience on feature films and commercials. He has been involved in pioneering new solutions for tapeless workflows, DSLR filmmaking and multi-screen and surround video experiences. Check out his site.

NAB: AJA intros HDR Image Analyzer, Kona 1, Kona HDMI

AJA Video Systems is exhibiting a tech preview of its new waveform, histogram, vectorscope and Nit level HDR monitoring solution at NAB. The HDR Image Analyzer simplifies monitoring and analysis of 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD, HDR and WCG content in production, post, quality control and mastering. AJA has also announced two new Kona cards, as well as Desktop Software v14.2. Kona HDMI is a PCIe card for multi-channel HD and single-channel 4K HDMI capture for live production, streaming, gaming, VR and post production. Kona1 is a PCIe card for single-channel HD/SD 3G-SDI capture/playback. Desktop Software v14.2 adds support for Kona 1 and Kona HDMI, plus new improvements for AJA Kona, Io and T-TAP products.

HDR Image Analyzer
A waveform, histogram, vectorscope and Nit level HDR monitoring solution, the HDR Image Analyzer combines AJA’s video and audio I/O with HDR analysis tools from Colorfront in a compact 1RU chassis. The HDR Image Analyzer is a flexible solution for monitoring and analyzing HDR formats including Perceptual Quantizer, Hybrid Log Gamma and Rec.2020 for 4K/UltraHD workflows.

The HDR Image Analyzer is the second technology collaboration between AJA and Colorfront, following the integration of Colorfront Engine into AJA’s FS-HDR. Colorfront has exclusively licensed its Colorfront HDR Image Analyzer software to AJA for the HDR Image Analyzer.

Key features include:

— Precise, high-quality UltraHD UI for native-resolution picture display
— Advanced out-of-gamut and out-of-brightness detection with error intolerance
— Support for SDR (Rec.709), ST2084/PQ and HLG analysis
— CIE graph, Vectorscope, Waveform, Histogram
— Out-of-gamut false color mode to easily spot out-of-gamut/out-of-brightness pixels
— Data analyzer with pixel picker
— Up to 4K/UltraHD 60p over 4x 3G-SDI inputs
— SDI auto-signal detection
— File base error logging with timecode
— Display and color processing look up table (LUT) support
— Line mode to focus a region of interest onto a single horizontal or vertical line
— Loop-through output to broadcast monitors
— Still store
— Nit levels and phase metering
— Built-in support for color spaces from ARRI, Canon, Panasonic, RED and Sony

“As 4K/UltraHD, HDR/WCG productions become more common, quality control is key to ensuring a pristine picture for audiences, and our new HDR Image Analyzer gives professionals an affordable and versatile set of tools to monitor and analyze HDR productions from start to finish, allowing them to deliver more engaging visuals for viewers,” says Rashby.

Adds Aron Jazberenyi, managing director of Colorfront, “Colorfront’s comprehensive UHD HDR software toolset optimizes the superlative performance of AJA video and audio I/O hardware, to deliver a powerful new solution for the critical task of HDR quality control.”

HDR Image Analyzer is being demonstrated as a technology preview only at NAB 2018.

Kona HDMI
An HDMI video capture solution, Kona HDMI supports a range of workflows, including live streaming, events, production, broadcast, editorial, VFX, vlogging, video game capture/streaming and more. Kona HDMI is highly flexible, designed for four simultaneous channels of HD capture with popular streaming and switching applications including Telestream Wirecast and vMix.

Additionally, Kona HDMI offers capture of one channel of UltraHD up to 60p over HDMI 2.0, using AJA Control Room software, for file compatibility with most NLE and effects packages. It is also compatible with other popular third-party solutions for live streaming, projection mapping and VR workflows. Developers use the platform to build multi-channel HDMI ingest systems and leverage VL42 compatibility on Linux. Features include: four full-size HDMI ports; the ability to easily switch between one channel of UltraHD or four channels of 2K/HD; and embedded HDMI audio in, up to eight embedded channels per input.

Kona 1
Designed for broadcast, post production and ProAV, as well as OEM developers, Kona 1 is a cost-efficient single-channel 3G-SDI 2K/HD 60p I/O PCIe card. Kona 1 offers serial control and reference/LTC, and features standard application plug-ins, as well as AJA SDK support. Kona 1 supports 3G-SDI capture, monitoring and/or playback with software applications from AJA, Adobe, Avid, Apple, Telestream and more. Kona 1 enables simultaneous monitoring during capture (pass-through) and includes: full-size SDI ports supporting 3G-SDI formats, embedded 16-channel SDI audio in/out, Genlock with reference/ LTC input and RS-422.

Desktop Software v14.2
Desktop Software v14.2 introduces support for Kona HDMI and Kona 1, as well as a new SMPTE ST 2110 IP video mode for Kona IP, with support for AJA Control Room, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, and Avid Media Composer. The free software update also brings 10GigE support for 2K/HD video and audio over IP (uncompressed SMPTE 2022-6/7) to the new Thunderbolt 3-equipped Io IP and Avid DNxIP, as well as additional enhancements to other Kona, Io and T-TAP products, including HDR capture with Io 4K Plus. Io 4K Plus and DNxIV users also benefit from a new feature allowing all eight analog audio channels to be configured for either output, input or a 4-In/4-Out mode for full 7.1 ingest/monitoring, or I/O for stereo plus VO and discrete tracks.

“Speed, compatibility and reliability are key to delivering high-quality video I/O for our customers. Kona HDMI and Kona 1 give video professionals and enthusiasts new options to work more efficiently using their favorite tools, and with the reliability and support AJA products offer,” says Nick Rashby, president of AJA.

Kona HDMI will be available this June for $895, and Kona 1 will be available in May for $595. Both are available for pre-order now. Desktop Software v14.2 will also be available in May, as a free download from AJA’s support page.

SGO Mistika now compatible with AJA’s Kona, Corvid

SGO, makers of the color grading/finishing tool Mistika, has partnered with video hardware developer AJA. Mistika is now fully compatible with AJA’s line of Kona and Corvid video capture and playback cards, offering optimized video output. The combination of the latest version of Mistika with the AJA hardware boosts support for extreme video formats, including 4K stereo 3D dual link, even at HFR frame rates up to 60p.

AJA’s Kona capture, display and mastering products for SD, HD, 3G, Dual Link HD, 2K and 4K are a good match with Mistika, which provides a complete post feature set for projects of any practical resolution and frame rate, even beyond 8K. Stereo 3D output in 4K using the Corvid 88 I/O card is already available, along with viable future 8K capabilities for Mistika Ultima 8K systems.

AJA intros Ki Pro Ultra for 4K/UHD 60p ProRes, Pak-Adapt-CFast

In response to clients who asked for 4K and Ultra HD 60p ProRes HQ recording support, AJA today introduced the Ki Pro Ultra, a file-based 4K/Ultra HD and 2K/HD video recorder and player with a built-in HD LCD monitor. Ki Pro Ultra can capture edit-ready 4K (4096 x 2160), Ultra HD (3840×2160), 2K (2048×1080) and HD (1920×1080) Apple ProRes files. It also supports video formats and frame rates up to 4K 60p, and offers flexible input and output connectivity – including 3G-SDI, fiber and HDMI – for large-raster and high-frame-rate workflows.

The half-rack-wide, two-rack-unit Ki Pro Ultra suits a variety of production environments and a range of analog and digital audio connectivity via industry-standard 3G-SDI, HDMI, SFP Fiber, XLR audio and more. The device records to AJA’s own Pak SSD-based media. When using two AJA Pak1000 (1TB) SSDs, Ki Pro Ultra enables up to two hours of 4K 60p ProRes HQ recording, with rollover functionality to extend that time even further. Transparent overlays on the integrated monitor offer a menu with on-screen keyboard functionality. Ki Pro Ultra also includes AJAs integrated Web UI for easy and complete control across a LAN from any Web browser. Ki Pro Ultra is available now.

Also in response to user requests, AJA announced Pak-Adapt-CFast, a low-cost media adapter that enables recording to off-the-shelf CFast media for the AJA CION production camera, and Ki Pro Ultra and Ki Pro Quad recording/playback devices.

Pak-Adapt-CFast is a media caddy featuring the same connector and rugged form factor as AJA’s Pak SSD drives, with a top slot for inserting CFast media. The unit is equipped with the same green LED light to indicate that the media is mounted.

The recommended media for use with Pak-Adapt-CFast is SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast 2.0. In addition, AJA will soon release a list of qualified CFast media so that people who want to use Pak-Adapt-CFast can have a better understanding of the performance they can expect.

Pak-Adapt-CFast is coming soon.

Finally, the company released three new models in its range of openGear-compatible video and audio rack-frame cards, supporting single channel SDI-to-Fiber and Fiber-to-SDI conversion. The openGear standard ensures that these AJA cards will be compatible with other openGear products from certified openGear partners.

The hot-swappable OG-Fiber-TR performs both SDI-to-fiber and fiber-to-SDI conversions and supports single-mode fiber cable. The card contains inputs and outputs for both BNC connectors (SDI) and LC connectors (fiber) and reclocks both types of inputs with input jitter tolerance at SDI data rates of 270Mb, 1.5Gb and 3Gb. Both signal paths are independent and can be at different rates.

The OG-Fiber-T SDI-to-fiber converter can extend SDI signals up to 10 kilometers over standard single-mode fiber-optic cable. The SDI input is reclocked with input jitter tolerance, and the card also has a reclocked looping SDI output.

Likewise, the OG-Fiber-R fiber-to-SDI converter can extend SDI signals up to 10 kilometers over standard single-mode fiber and reclock fiber input with input jitter tolerance.

All of the new cards will be available in December.

IBC: AJA intros Corvid HEVC, more

At IBC 2015, AJA introduced Corvid HEVC, a 4K and multi-channel HEVC encoding card. AJA also launched a new range of openGear-compatible video and audio rack-frame cards and version 12.3 of the company’s drivers and software for the KONA, T-Tap and Io line of video and audio input/output devices.

As the latest addition to AJA’s developer program, Corvid HEVC (pictured above) is a PCIe 2.0 eight-lane video encoder card providing realtime, low-latency HEVC encoding at 4K, 1080p HD and lower resolutions. Corvid HEVC supports HEVC Main and Main10 profiles, 8- or 10-bit 4:2:0 and 4:2:2, and bit rates for streaming and contribution quality. Development partners can use AJA’s SDK to integrate Corvid HEVC directly into their Windows and Linux applications for a variety of use cases. In addition to HEVC encoding, audio and metadata are captured and included in the encoded file.

For use in standard openGear frames or AJA’s new OG-3 frame, the new openGear-compatible cards from AJA include the OG-1×9-SDI-DA, a 1×9 SDI re-clocking distribution amplifier; the OG-FIBER-2R, a two-channel fiber to SDI converter; and the OG-FIBER-2T, a 2-channel SDI to fiber converter. The new OG-3-FR is a 2RU, 20-slot openGear frame that can support any openGear-compatible card.

System-Test

AJA’s 12.3 software adds new options for closed captioning support for KONA 4 and Io 4K, new output support for Telestream Wirecast and Linux retail drivers for use with apps such as Shotgun Software’s RV and The Foundry’s Nuke. This release also includes the new AJA System Test 2.0, a cross-platform application for Mac or PC, with a redesigned user interface. System Test is used to measure disk performance and PCIe performance and this version also adds a new system report creation tool.

New firmware and Atomos Shogun support for AJA’s CION camera

AJA has released version 1.2 firmware for its CION 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD professional production cameras.

CION v.1.2 updates offer improved white balance performance for overexposed image portions; improved video levels with higher IRE values available for various EI, gamma and color correction combinations; additional gamma and color correction options for higher EI 800 and EI 1000 values; and new internal video gamma LUT for external monitoring of the “expanded 1” or “disabled” gamma selections when an external LUT device is not in use.

In addition, an automatic white-balance alarm notifies users if an image does not contain a sufficient value of white or grey to perform an appropriate white balance, which in turn triggers the software to revert to the unity setting. AJA has also added an interval record (timelapse) indicator for the superimposed monitoring overlay, and SMPTE or full RGB range values can now be selected for the main SDI outputs.

CION v.1.2 firmware is field-upgradeable and can be uploaded to the camera via a built-in Web interface with a standard Web browser. The free update is available for download from https://www.aja.com/en/products/cion#support.

In other CION camera news, the Atomos Shogun portable recorder now supports external recording of AJA Raw files captured by the CION camera. Atomos Shogun users can record CION’s AJA Raw files at 4K and UltraHD resolutions at up to 60fps.

The long-awaited AJA CION camera is now available

AJA CION 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD production camera, which was introduced at NAB 2014, is now shipping globally. In-camera recording directly to the Apple ProRes family of codecs, including 12-bit ProRes 444, enables image capture to AJA Pak SSD media at up to 4K/60p and offers compatibility with a wide range of post apps. CION also outputs AJA Raw HFR at up to 4K/120p. CION captures internally to 12-bit ProRes 444.

CION offers advanced monitoring flexibility for a wide range of productions. Users can choose a combination of 2 x 4K/UltraHD and 3 x 2K/HD or 8 x 2K/HD, check each camera feed in multi-cam set-ups through an integrated LAN connection, and monitor remaining recording time all in tandem. The LAN port and embedded webserver facilitates full remote configuration and control, so users can set up and control or gang control multiple CION cameras via a standard web browser.

Made from a lightweight-yet-strong magnesium alloy and featuring a contoured suede shoulder pad, CION is easy and comfortable to setup and operate. Using AJA’s Pak Dock on set, CION operators can also achieve lightning fast transfer speeds via Thunderbolt or USB3 for immediate access to files for editing. Third-party lens mounts are available.

CION features:
• Sensor: 4K APS-C sized CMOS sensor with an electronic global shutter. 12-stops of dynamic range.
• Exposure index: 250, 320, 500 and 800
• Gamma: Disabled, Normal, Normal Expanded, Video and Expanded 1
• Recording Formats and Resolutions: Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT) and Apple ProRes (Proxy); 4K (4096×2160), UltraHD (3840×2160), 2K (2048×1080), HD (1920×1080). 2K and HD are hardware scaled from the full 4K sensor for high-quality over-sampled images and retention of field-of-view.
• Media: Record to AJA Pak SSD media available in 256GB and 512GB capacities. Transfer via Thunderbolt or USB3 with optional AJA Pak Dock; Complete 10-bit and 12-bit workflow from HD to 4K.
• Raw Support: Output AJA Raw via 3G-SDI at up to 4K 120 fps or via Thunderbolt at up to 4K 30 fps.
• Lens Mount: Industry standard PL mount, removable, with third-party mounts available for Canon EF/FD, Nikon F/G-Mount, Leica M, ARRI Bayonet, Panavision and B4 ENG lens types.
• Connectors:
4 x 3G-SDI/HD-SDI outputs (4K/UltraHD/2K/HD)
2 x 3G/HD-SDI monitor outputs with overlay support
1 x HDMI output offering support for 4K and UltraHD or scaled 2K/HD
1 x HDMI output for 2K/HD
2 x mic/line/48v XLR analog audio inputs
2 x LANC control ports
1 x LTC input connector
1 x Reference connector
1 x USB connector
1 x 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN connection
1 x Mini TRS headphone jack
1 x 4-pin XLR power connector
1 x input power connector for attaching third-party battery plates
1 x P-TAP output power connector
1x Thunderbolt connector
• Optical Low Pass Filter and IR cut filter: An integrated OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) reduces unwanted moiré effects while still retaining vital image detail. The infrared (IR) cut filter produces high-quality colors within the image by blocking unwanted light wavelengths.
• Back Focus Adjustment: The mechanical calibration of the distance between lens and sensor allows finely tuned adjustments to ensure the sharpest image quality possible.
• Industrial design: Lightweight magnesium chassis, built-in confidence monitor, standard playback controls and connectors placed to optimize functionality. Integrated “cheese plates” fitted to both the top and the bottom of the chassis provide easy mounting of accessories. All CION accessory connection points use open standards, including 15mm rods, 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes, and M6 hirth-tooth rosettes.
• User interface: Via operator side panel display, control knob and buttons or via LAN connection using a web-browser; no software installation required.

Pricing for CION is US MSRP $8,995. AJA Pak SSD media is available at a US MSRP of $695 (256GB) and $1,295 (512GB). AJA Pak Dock is available at a US MSRP of $395 along with a host of other AJA camera accessories. Click here for a list of AJA CION resellers.

Third-party camera accessory manufacturers including Alphatron, MTF, Portabrace, Wooden Camera, Vocas, Zacuto, Arri and many others have already produced several accessories, from viewfinders to lens mounts and protective cases for CION and are available through their respective retail channels. Support for AJA Raw has already been announced by workflow companies, including Adobe and Colorfront.

The whirlwind known as NAB

By Randi Altman

Welcome to our NAB-themed weekly newsletter. While this space is typically filled with different types of articles, including artist Q&As, product reviews and user stories, this edition features product news and videos from the recent NAB Show in Las Vegas.

This NAB was postPerspective’s first, and it was a good one. We had a booth in South Hall Upper, where it was just quiet enough for our daily interviews with manufactures such as Avid, AJA, Blackmagic, Autodesk and Silverdraft, and users like as Terry Curren of AlphaDogs, Mark Raudonis of Bunim-Murray Productions, Todd Kilponen of The Colbert Report and Oscar-winning editor of Gravity Mark Sanger.

After our video interviews were done, Chris Fenwick and Alex MacLean of the Digital Cinema Continue reading

NAB: AJA’s Bryce Button talks about the new Cion 4K camera

Las Vegas — At NAB, AJA turned heads with the introduction of its new camera. That’s right, an AJA camera: the Cion. While there were some rumblings prior to AJA’s announcement just before the show opened, it was still a kick to hear president Nick Rasby describe the shoulder-mount 4K/UHD/2K/HD offering. And when they announced the price ($8,995) there was an audible gasp in the room… a room filled with your typically cynical journalists. The camera will be available for purchase this summer.

Cion, which is based on the Apple ProRes family of codecs — including 12-bit 444 — comes with Thunderbolt connectivity and allows for PL Mount glass. According to the company, they opted for ProRes codecs because they are well established in many post workflows and offer wide compatibility with editing, color correction and finishing apps. Continue reading

AJA ships Io 4K for Thunderbolt 2 devices, including new Mac Pro

Grass Valley, California — AJA Video Systems has made available the Io 4K for pro video I/O, updated and customized for Thunderbolt 2 technology and the latest 4K workflows.

AJA (www.aja.com) Io 4K connects to any Thunderbolt 2-enabled device such as the new Mac Pro, and offers an additional Thunderbolt 2 port for daisy-chaining other peripherals in supported workflows. Io 4K is now available via AJA’s global network of resellers at for $1,995.

Continue reading