AJA Video Systems’ Ki Pro Quad Powers Lens-to-Post 4K Workflow

Before the show floor opened at the Las Vegas Convention Center, one thing was already clear in the nearby Renaissance Hotel Ballroom: 4K will be the talk of the 2012 NAB Show. At AJA Video Systems’ pre-show press conference, the company announced Ki Pro Quad, a new solid-state portable video recorder capable of capturing high-quality edit-ready files in such formats as 4K (4096×2160), Quad HD (3840×2160), 2K (2048×1080), and HD (1920×1080) with 10-bit 4:4:4 and 10-bit 4:2:2 color support.

“What we did for HD with the Ki Pro, we’re doing with 4K,” says Nick Rashby, president of AJA Video Systems. “[Ki Pro Quad] is truly the first real-time lens-to-post 4K workflow.”

Ki Pro Quad allows camera operators to make decisions at the lens, he adds. It helps facilitate a powerful workflow for 4K, accepting RAW camera output via SDI simultaneously outputting that data via AJA’s Thunderbolt. The recorder also performs de-Bayer processing of the RAW data that can be used to produce on-board Apple ProRes recordings to SSD media. HD, 2K, and 4K ProRes files recorded to removable SSD media may easily be used in a variety of popular non-linear editors. The de-Bayered image produced by the Ki Pro Quad can also be used for 4K monitoring in real time. Scaled or cropped output is also simultaneously available for 2K or HD monitoring via dedicated SDI and HDMI connections.

“We have been working very closely with Canon Inc. headquarters in Japan to optimize performance between Canon’s upcoming Cinema EOS C500 digital cinema camera and our Ki Pro Quad,” says Rashby. “Ki Pro Quad offers some amazing new ways of working, by creating post-friendly files to removable SSDs, moving the original camera RAW files to a Mac, and allowing 4K monitoring all at the same time.”

AJA Video Systems also announced Ki Pro Rack, which enables recording of high-quality, edit-ready files from camera to edit in a new 1RU rack-mount form factor. Ki Pro Rack uses the same SSD or spinning-disk storage modules as the Ki Pro with recording capacities scaling up to 500 GB.

“The front panel is very familiar to our Ki Pro users already,” says Rashby. “The same layout, the same button configuration, the same main-menu structure; [it’s] very friendly to our customers out there. What’s new [with the Ki Pro Rack] is, it has two media-drive bays and dual-redundant power supplies. [Ki Pro Rack supports a] huge range of activity.”

Ki Pro Rack simplifies the acquisition-to-edit workflow by creating high-quality Apple ProRes 422 or Avid DNxHD files that can be used directly in most standard professional editing systems without the need to import or transcode files.

“Because of all that connectivity and all the ways that you can control,” says Rashby, “it’s just an amazing and flexible box.”

The company is also showing T-TAP, a very small bus-powered device that takes advantage of Thunderbolt connectivity for high-quality 10-bit SD, HD, and 2K output through SDI and HDMI connections. The new adapter enables a simple and unobtrusive way of getting professional video and audio out of any Thunderbolt-enabled Mac system.

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