AJA Takes Wraps Off New Io X3 Thunderbolt I/O Device and Desktop Software v16.2

AJA Video Systems has made two major product announcements, unveiling the Io X3 Thunderbolt 3-connected professional video and audio I/O device – HDR or SDR 2K/HD capture and output via 3G-SDI and HDMI – as well as Desktop Software v16.2 for all KONA, Io, and T-TAP Pro products. 

AJA Unveils Io X3 Thunderbolt 3 Video I/O Device

The Thunderbolt 3-connected professional video and audio I/O device offers HDR or SDR 2K/HD capture and output via 3G-SDI and HDMI. Compact, rugged, and portable, Io X3 streamlines high-quality HDR I/O up to 2K/HD 60p on compatible Thunderbolt 3-equipped Mac or PC hosts running professional video and audio applications. Io X3 is now available for $1,599 US MSRP through AJA’s worldwide reseller network.

Whether working remotely, on-set, or in a studio, Io X3 provides a powerful mobile solution for single-, dual-, and multi-channel SDI workflows, offering pristine 2K/HD/SD I/O with HDR directly from any modern laptop or computer. Lightning fast, flexible, and whisper-quiet, Io X3 is an ideal capture and output device for a range of production environments, including high-end color grading, audio mixing, on-set monitoring, or playback, and remote editorial and VFX. With four independent inputs for workflows with OBS and Wirecast, together with simultaneous MultiView monitoring for each source, Io X3 is also a perfect fit for streaming workflows.

Io X3 features eight switchable analog audio ports, allowing users to shift between eight channels in or out, or split connectivity between four inputs and four outputs, in addition to a 3.5 analog audio connection to plug in headphones directly. Up to 16-channel audio is included on each SDI port, and 8-channels on HDMI. Compact and rackmountable, Io X3 devices can easily be placed side by side in a rack for studio, mobile truck, or video assist needs, allowing users to benefit from up to eight channels of up to 2K/HD/SD I/O in a 1RU.

Io X3 feature highlights include:

  • Dual Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C ports connect with modern Mac or PC laptops and desktop workstations and support daisy chain functionality
  • HDR support across SDI and HDMI ports
  • Four 3G-SDI bi-directional connections support single-, dual-, or multi-link workflows up to 2K/HD p60 YCbCr 10-bit or p30 RGB 12-bit
  • HDMI 1.4b I/O up to 2K/HD p60 YCbCr 10-bit or p30 RGB 12-bit I/O; HDR via 2.0 spec implementation
  • MultiViewer functionality for displaying up to four inputs for streaming workflows on a single HDMI reference monitor
  • The latest macOS Monterey and Windows 11 support and compatibility across both Apple M1 chip or Intel based systems
  • Optional rackmount kit for efficient rack mounting of two devices side by side, enabling up to eight channels of HD I/O in 1RU
  • Eight-channel analog audio I/O via DB25 connection
  • Analog audio ports are switchable between input and output, enabling users to swap between eight channels in or out, or split connectivity between four inputs and four outputs
  • Up to 16-channels of embedded audio on each SDI port, and up to 8-channels on HDMI
  • 3.5mm stereo analog audio connection for headphones
  • Dedicated reference, TLC input, and LTC output connections
  • RS-422 control port for tape-based workflows
  • Runs quiet for critical monitoring environments where silence is required
  • Includes proven AJA drivers and software plug-ins, with support for Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Cloud, Avid Media Composer, Telestream Wirecast, OBS, and many others
  • Three-year AJA warranty and industry-leading technical support

“Today’s production environments demand increased content volume with fast turnaround, and the predominance of HD-centric workflows require flexible tools to support timely delivery of that material,” says Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “Io X3 simplifies complexities of video and audio workflows by providing teams with an affordable and high-quality solution for Thunderbolt™ 3-connected I/O on SDI and HDMI or multichannel I/O over SDI, helping video professionals at home, on site or in studio work more efficiently and with greater ease.”

AJA Introduces Desktop Software and SDK v16.2 with 12-Bit RGB Enhancements

AJA Video Systems has also unveiled Desktop Software v16.2 for all KONA, Io, and T-TAP Pro products, in addition to AJA SDK v16.2 for Developer Partners. This feature-rich release introduces a wide range of workflow enhancements, including the latest macOS support; new OBS Studio compatibility; improved 12-bit, 444, RGB workflows for 4K/UltraHD; upgraded LUT functionality; new codec and special playback support in Control Room; and expanded multichannel audio. The release also underpins the launch of Io X3, the newest addition to AJA’s Io lineup of powerful Thunderbolt 3 connected mobile capture and output devices.

Desktop Software v16.2 is available immediately as a free download from the AJA website and includes support for macOS Monterey and Windows 11. Once Desktop Software is installed on a system running OBS Studio v27.2 or later, select AJA devices will be immediately available for multi- or single-channel capture and switching up to 4K/UltraHD 30p and 2K/HD 60p. OBS Project core contributor Colin Edwards shared, “With the release of the new AJA plugin for OBS Studio, users have even more choices for integrating OBS into professional broadcast workflows. This plugin sets a new standard for reliability and customization when working with broadcast hardware. AJA has set an example for other hardware manufactures by open-sourcing their SDK and driver source code. We would like to thank the AJA engineers who have worked with us to make this happen.”

Desktop Software v16.2 also enables greater flexibility and more accurate, vivid 4K/UltraHD color workflows, courtesy of new 12-bit, 4:4:4, RGB firmware for KONA 5 and Corvid 44 12G, with support for a full 12-bit pipeline across capture to color space conversion and output. This functionality is backed by an upgrade to the .cube format for all 12-bit and 10-bit LUT capabilities, bringing greater compatibility between AJA hardware and third-party color and mastering applications. Workflow options with included AJA Control Room software are expanded through the addition of H.264 and H.265 capture and playback up to 2K/HD 60p, including Timecode and Closed Captioning support, and further provide seamless compatibility with mobile devices, PCs, and AJA Ki Pro GO media. This release also includes new deep memory buffer capabilities for Control Room to maintain steady and pristine playback in the event that storage or network bottlenecks interrupt the flow of data from storage to the video output host. With the introduction of Io X3, a new MultiView feature allows up to four incoming SDI sources to be monitored on a single external HDMI monitor, providing a confidence view for multi-channel workflows with OBS Studio and Telestream Wirecast.

In addition to the traditional AJA Developer Program enrollment, AJA’s world-class SDK v16.2 is also now available via Open Source, offering multiple options for developers looking to incorporate powerful AJA technologies into product design and development. SDK v16.2 also introduces a host of new features, including 64/32 audio channel support with KONA 5, Corvid 44 12G, Corvid 88, and Corvid 44, enabling users to ingest and output up to 64 discrete audio channels across multiple SDI links, perfect for the latest 8K workflows that require 22.2 audio mastering.

Release highlights include:

  • macOS Monterey and Windows 11 support
  • Multi-channel support for OBS Studio (v2.27 onwards) at up to 4K/UltraHD 30p and 2K/HD 60p for KONA 5, KONA 4, KONA HDMI, Io 4K Plus, Io X3, and T-TAP Pro
  • Enhanced 12-bit, 4:4:4, RGB 4K/UltraHD firmware for KONA 5 and Corvid 44 12G
  • 12-bit LUT support and .cube LUT compatibility enhancements for AJA Control Panel
  • H.264 and H.265 capture and playback for AJA Control Room
  • Deep memory buffers for sustained playback for AJA Control Room
  • MultiView on HDMI output, offering display of multiple sources to one monitor, via SDK v16.2 and KONA 5
  • Access to the core AJA SDK for the open source developer community
  • 64/32 channel audio support for KONA 5, Corvid 44 12G, Corvid 88, and Corvid 44

“Desktop Software v16.2 is a huge update. Ensuring the highest-fidelity imagery with wider color depth, support for 12-bit color during post-production and monitoring and is critical for any production looking to achieve the desired look,” says Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “Desktop Software and SDK v16.2 expand support for 12-bit RGB across our production-proven KONA, Io, Corvid, T-TAP Pro, and the new Io X3, while also introducing new capabilities to streamline complex workflows. We’re also excited to open up the AJA SDK to input from global open source developers, whose contributions can foster new innovation and help drive the industry forward.”

AJA Desktop Software v16.2 is now available as a free download from AJA’s support page, and AJA SDK v16.2 is accessible to participants of the AJA Developer Program as a free download from AJA’s Developer Partner site. The Open Source Developer community can access the AJA SDK from AJA’s GitHub page.

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