AJA Video Systems is unleashing a raft of new 4K devices on the market, including: the Io 4K, which is probably the first video/audio capture and playback device to use the new, much faster Thunderbolt 2 connection, the Ki Pro Quad recorder, TruZoom, which extracts HD windows from a 4K source, 4K support using its Kona 3G card for Telestream Wirecast users, a new 4K2HD Mini-Converter and 4K support for its Kumo routers.
Io 4K is initially designed for use with Apple’s newly released Retina display 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros, which each have two of the very fast Thunderbolt 2 ports, and the upcoming MacPro, which will have six Thunderbolt 2 connections. It is, of course, backwards compatible with existing Thunderbolt hosts.
The portable device will work with 10-bit 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 4K, has 4x bi-directional 3G-SDI ports (which can be configured 2-in/2-out, or 4-in, or 4-out), 4K HDMI I/O, and simultaneous SDI and HDMI outputs, with 16-channel embedded audio on SDI, and 8-channel embedded audio on HDMI, plus XLR 12v power for battery or AC use, RS422 VTR control, Reference and LTC Input, and a headphone jack for mobile use. It allows realtime high-quality scaling of 4K and Ultra HD to HD.
Ki Pro Quad
The new Ki Pro Quad on-camera recorder can do HD, 2K, Quad HD and 4K, via single, dual or quad link (catering for Canon’s C500, Sony’s F3 and the F55 respectively). It can encode the camera’s native output or do a conversion (the Sony F55 only outputs at 4096x2160, but the Ki Pro Quad can convert it to 3840x2160).
The $3995 device allows Canon RAW output to be captured by a computer via a high-speed Thunderbolt connection at the same time as it records to ProRes. “Nobody else can do that,” said Jon Thorn, senior product manager. It also has dedicated monitor output, with HD-SDI and HDMI at the same time, and can output debayered 4K to a 4K monitor and scaled HD to an HD monitor.
Multiple Ki Pro Quad units can be networked together and controlled from a single interface for multi-camera projects.
It uses solid-state AJA Pak modules that are available in 256GB and 512GB capacities, with two slots in the top of the recorder.
For region of interest extraction of HD from a 4K source, AJA has the new TruZoom. “It’s completely realtime. It’s as easy to use as anything live can be,” with touchscreen, mouse or joystick control, said Dave Sampson, AJA’s senior product manager.
It is based on AJA’s powerful Corvid Ultra hardware, the scaler part of which (TruScale) has only recently been added as an upgrade (Corvid Ultra can have two TruScale cards fitted for multi-stream scaling of images up to 4K - TruZoom needs at least one TruScale card). Users can scale any 16:9 region within a 4K frame to HD in realtime, making it suited for sports broadcasts or live event production. “TruZoom has already been proven in critical on-air broadcast environments, including the MLB Network, who was very pleased with its performance during the baseball Division Series playoff games,” said AJA president, Nick Rashby.
It can support high frame rate and 4:4:4 workflows, and work with recorded uncompressed files - there is an optional realtime RAW Debayer firmware available for the Canon C500. All parameters are keyframeable.
EVS is using Corvid Ultra and TruZoom in its new 4K XT3 server systems, offering customised implementation and a user interface.
Kona 3G feeds Wirecast
AJA’s Kona 3G will be able to support four input channels for source switching or multiple camera feeds in HD or 4K for the newly released Telestream Wirecast 5.
Users will be able to install a new free plug-in for the Kona 3G card, which has four HD-SDI input channels and is the first video card to support 4K/Ultra HD input in Wirecast.
The card offers 10-bit uncompressed 3G/HD/SD SDI I/O, as well as HDMI 1.4a output for stereographic monitoring to consumer 3D displays, 4K playout, 8-channel AES digital audio I/O (16-channel AES with optional K3G-Box) and 16-channel SDI embedded audio I/O, realtime hardware-based up/down/cross conversion to support a range of SD and HD, dual-link HD, even 2K formats, and a hardware-based downstream keyer.
AJA has introduced four new Mini-Converters, including one for 4K.
The 4K2HD downconverts 4K 3G-SDI to HD-SDI and HDMI 1.4 simultaneously, and is well suited to HD monitoring with 4K cameras. It supports 4K (4096x2160) and UHD (3840x2160) input signals, which are downscaled at high quality to HD.
The $795 device can also output a “pixel for pixel” centre cut of the original 4K/UHD frame for camera focus checks. It can output 50/60fps 4K/UHD input formats as 25/30fps HD. It is configurable via the supplied AJA MiniConfig software for Mac and PC.
Kumo joins 4K gang
AJA has added 4K support to its Kumo compact SDI routers in the latest free v3.0 firmware update.
The routers come in 1RU or 2RU form factors, suitable for mobile production or live event A/V rigs. The Kumo 3232 supports thirty-two 3G-SDI inputs and outputs, Kumo 1616 supports sixteen 3G-SDI inputs and outputs, and Kumo 1604 supports sixteen 3G-SDI inputs and four 3G-SDI outputs.
The new firmware supports ganged dual and quad port routing, allowing users to group together multiple inputs and outputs for Dual Link, uncompressed or RAW 4K and Ultra HD workflows.
By David Fox