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AJA Intros Kona 3 V2 at NAB

Software upgrade offers 2k playback; free upgrade coming in May By Dave Nagel
AJA Video Systems introduced a major new version of its software for the Kona 3 editing board, adding 2k ingest and output at 23.98 and cross conversion between HD formats. The new V2 release, scheduled for a May 22 availability, is being shown at the convention of the National Association of Broadcasters this week in Las Vegas, where AJA also gave DMN reporters a little insight into some of the future technologies that will make their way into the Kona's new 2k capabilities.

The new software-based upgrade for the Kona 3 focuses on cross conversion of 720 to 1080 formats and 1080 to 720 formats. And it includes several new capabilities relating to 2k workflows. The new support for 2k includes ingest and output of 2k footage at 23.98 FPS. It also has the ability to output SD downconverted and cropped footage at the same time that it's outputting downconverted and cropped 1080p, and it can simultaneously create 2k DPX files and 2k QuickTime reference movies. At AJA's booth at NAB, we had a chance to see the 2k system downconverting and cropping SD and HD footage on three separate monitors simultaneously with real-time panning and scanning and real-time LUT editing.

Jon Thorn, product manager for Macintosh desktop products at AJA, told us that AJA is also working toward additional capabilities fro cropping and editing LUTs. He said these features, in a version of the software to be released after V2 comes out, will include the ability to keyframe the cropping and LUT loading, management and export.

AJA wouldn't comment on any specifics regarding Universal Binary ports of its Kona software. (The Kona 3 is a PCIe board, and there are no Mactel PCIe systems available as of this writing.) But he did say, "They're not going to obsolete themselves on the next generation of hardware. We're constantly in development on our software."

Earlier this year, AJA did announce Universal Binary support for its Io system (with full feature parity between the PPC and Intel versions).

In addition to the 2k and HD cross conversion features, Kona 3 V2 adds 96 kHz AES audio and support for 16 channels of embedded audio, addressing users of HDCAM SR, who often need to do 12-channel laybacks.

Kona 3 is available now in a PCIe configuration for $2,990. The upgrade to V2 will be free for Kona 3 users and should be available as a download beginning May 22, according to AJA. For more information, visit

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