The Ki Pro family of digital recorders from AJA is making a star appearance behind the scenes in Swedish TV and film. The Ki Pro Mini, says Hans Crispin from Swedish visual effects company The Chimney Pot, is “a brilliant product that packs a hell of a punch for the money”, writes Melanie Dayasena-Lowe.
At The Chimney Pot, AJA’s Ki Pro Mini portable flash disk recorder can be found in a rack in the machine room. The company uses it as a fast and easy solution to handle high demand for Apple ProRes 422 logging and QuickTime file output.
“People come in with HDCam and SR tapes every day and there was always a huge queue at the logging station,” said Crispin, who is technical engineer and machine room manager at The Chimney Pot. “Ki Pro Mini is a perfect solution. It’s switched in as a VTR with a router. We access it, put a tape in and walk away, and we get high quality QuickTime files with proper timecode.”
Ki Pro Mini is in daily use at the company, and has been part of the workflow on projects ranging from the upcoming David Fincher-directed feature film Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to the Swedish game show On the Minute, the TV show Panama for SVT1, commercials for H&M and many other projects.
It records native Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto CF cards and includes two CF card slots (one active and one standby). Crispin has set up the Ki Pro Mini at Chimney Pot with an eSata CF card reader, which can download 100GB in just a few minutes. In addition to a front panel control, the device also includes a web browser interface, which The Chimney Pot uses almost exclusively.
“We have Ki Pro Mini connected to the internet and use it as a remote device. It’s so simple to just do your settings from the computer. It couldn’t be easier to use,” Crispin continued.
He even envisions the possibility of extending the role of Ki Pro Mini into duplication. “I could transfer a TV show to SR tape, take six 5.1 audio tracks and two stereo tracks, transcode ProRes 422 into the card, reverse that, play back to SR tape and make duplicates. That’s how good the quality is.”