AJA Video Looks To Explore Growing Mobile-Truck Market With SVG

The Sports Video Group is pleased to welcome its newest sponsor, AJA Video. Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion, and desktop solutions for professional broadcast and postproduction.

AJA originally specialized in converters but has expanded into rack-mountable and standalone frame synchronizers. In addition to the KONA family of video I/O cards for the Mac and for Windows PCs, the growing AJA product line includes the innovative Io FireWire desktop video products and the Ki Pro disk recorder, a tapeless video-recording device that records high-quality Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto computer-friendly media.

“One of the reasons we’re going after the sports market is that the mobile-truck [industry] is beginning to explode, and part of that has to do with technologies that AJA provides, making it more affordable,” says Bryce Button, AJA product marketing manager. “Decks are getting replaced with Ki Pros. We’ve just brought out our new fiber converters, which are the cheapest and highest quality on the market. That allows [mobile-truck companies] to do a sports feed for a much lower cost.”

In March, AJA provided an extensive workflow solution to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), with a range of equipment to facilitate coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The editorial crew for ParalympicSport.tv (the streaming-video provider for the IPC) and other outlets used AJA KONA, Ki Pro, and Mini-Converters to enable a seamless broadcast workflow based on the Apple ProRes 422 codecs.

“We had done a little work for the [Beijing Paralympics] a few years ago, but, when we were contacted for this year’s Paralympics, they wanted much more of a thorough workflow,” says Button. “Instead of just a single I/O product, they needed elements throughout the chain. We supplied them with converters, desktop capture cards, and Ki Pro as well as FS1 for frame synchronization and that kind of thing.”

In the case of the BBC, AJA’s Ki Pro turned out to be a major lifesaver. At one point during the games, the BBC had slotted programming time for playback, but several sports were delayed due to inclement weather. However, AJA’s flexibility and small size allowed the on-site crew to improvise.

“They were able to literally take ProRes files themselves off of the editing systems, put them on the Ki Pro, and then hook up the Ki Pro to the satellite uplink and play it out live,” says Button. “They could do everything right away. Its small size [made this possible], because the Olympic centers are very big and hard to maneuver. It could have been a disaster otherwise.”

AJA has also worked with several other sports organizations, including with NASCAR and the BCS Sugar Bowl. For more information, visit www.aja.com.

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