We think we'll look back and see the introduction of Thunderbolt as a bit of a watershed. Today AJA Video Systems announced the io XT, a portable I/O video 7 audio capture box. We sat down with Tony Cacciarelli who took us through all the new products and updates for IBC 2011.
It doesn't look much sitting inbetween the MacBook Pro and the Promise RAID, but the new io XT is packed full of features and more importantly has two Thunderbolt ports. This allows the io XT to be anywhere in the Thunderbolt chain and not become the 'end device.' It's not just for Final Cut Pro either, the io XT will output from Sony Vegas, Premiere Pro and Media Composer.
“With Io XT, Thunderbolt-enabled storage and a new MacBook Pro you can achieve unparalleled performance, including HD uncompressed,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “Thunderbolt technology delivers huge bandwidth that enables truly no-compromise performance. AJA Io XT is a powerhouse I/O device for professional post production, and with its Thunderbolt daisy-chaining connectivity, it maximizes what Thunderbolt has to offer.”
Io XT features include:
- Two Thunderbolt ports, supports multiple Thunderbolt-enabled device daisy-chaining
- Two 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs and outputs
- Single link SDI 4:2:2 support, single and dual-link SDI 4:4:4 support
- HDMI input and output (including support for 3D)
- Analog HD/SD component and composite output, 10-bit
- Video Up, Down, and Cross conversion (hardware-based, 10-bit)
- 8-channel embedded SDI audio I/O
- 8-channel balanced analog audio output (using an optional DB-25 type cable)
- Uncompressed I/O allows capture, monitoring and mastering to Apple ProRes, DVCProHD, CineForm, Avid DNxHD and more
- Front panel LED VU meters
- Headphone output w/level control
- Reference In/LTC In (selectable)
- LTC output
- 4-pin XLR Power (AC adapter included)
- AJA Control Room software
- AJA Technical Support and International Warranty included
We can see this unit becoming a a standard part of a MacBook Pro edit kit. Being able to upres on ingest is going to save a lot of time on the road when a client or another news crew gives you SD material. It has a packed rear connection panel too including a break-out connector for 5.1 monitoring. The unit will retail for $1495 and ships in 60 days.
AJA also announced Control Room which is a free app with a unified GUI across platforms that allows capture and playout. This is going to be of particular interest to FCPX users. We like the switch at the bottom that launches the Kona control panel. This will also be available in 60 days
Because the AJA Control Room interface is identical across all AJA solutions and platforms, users encounter the same initial splash page where they can choose from two main workspaces—Playback, and Capture—and launch the separate AJA Control Panel application. The software suite provides a range of options including:
- Input video selection, conversion selection, frame buffer format, or output video selection via the AJA Control Panel
- Load, view, and play files out of the hardware
- Bin, viewer (including batch capture), and view media information
- Record, remote, edit operation type, and more.
Within the AJA Control Room workspaces (Playback and Capture), users can choose to work through a ‘Basic’ or ‘Advanced’ interface, to facilitate fast single-button actions (Basic) or to access a wider array of features and functions from a graphically rich at-a-glance view (Advanced).
UDC features include:
- Converts between SD, HD, and 3G HD formats
- Supports 1080p50/60
- Eight-channel embedded audio
- HDMI output with eight-channel audio
- Two-channel RCA analog audio output
- Reference input
- Configure via dipswitch or USB port with supplied MiniConfig software
- Uses 5-20V power (DWP or DWP-U power supply sold separately)
- AJA’s 5-year international warranty and support
If you are an Avid user then the new switchable mode into DNxHD on the Ki Pro mini is going to help get the footage into our edit system faster.
“Video producers and editors are always seeking to ease their workflows and improve the quality of their productions while reducing costs,” said Paul Foeckler, Vice President, Creative Professional Products and Solutions. “With the AJA KiPro Mini supporting Avid’s high quality low bandwidth DNxHD codec, editing can begin more quickly than ever, easing workflows in film, television and live productions. We’re thrilled to continue to work with AJA on innovative solutions for our editorial and post customers..”
“One of the most frequent requests we get from the field is for support of DNxHD in our Ki Pro family of products,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “Avid’s commitment to professional editors has been unwavering for over twenty years, and we’re very excited to bring Ki Pro Mini with DNxHD support as a free upgrade for all Ki Pro Mini owners.”
Ki Pro Mini is available through AJA’s global network of resellers at a US MSRP of $1995.