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AJA's KONA 2 and Io Bring Boston Celtics' Games to FansProvides superior price performance with new HD/SD NLE systems (January 13, 2005)
AJA today announced that its KONA 2 capture card and Io FireWire Interface are an integral part of three nonlinear editing systems recently installed by Fox Sports Net New England (FSN New England) in support of SD and HD telecasts of the Boston Celtics' 2004-2005 season. Away games are broadcast in SD on FSN New England while home games are simulcast in SD as well as HD on a separate Comcast digital cable channel. All home games are produced in HD and downconverted for the SD distribution.
The KONA 2 card is the enabling piece of hardware that allows FSN New England to easily create content in both HD and SD - a key capability because they're still editing 80% in SD and 20% in HD. Io LA provides an easy-to-use connection for on-the-road postproduction support for Celtics away game broadcasts.
"I believe that AJA products are the 'best of breed' when it comes to video interfacing solutions for the Mac. Initially, we were looking at Io, but when the decision to produce home games in HD was made, we chose the AJA KONA 2 as the basis for our workstations," commented Sean McGuire, Engineering Manager for Fox Sports Net New England. "It is a very good product for hybrid HD/SD editing environments - it's very flexible and the video quality is excellent."
Earlier this year, FSN New England was tasked with the addition of HD simulcasts to their already-existing SD telecasts of the Celtics' games. Familiar with AJA's broadcast-quality up and down converters, and realizing the viability of editing with Final Cut Pro on the Apple G5 using KONA 2 and Io, FSN New England purchased three nonlinear editing systems based on Apple and AJA hardware/software technology.
"When FSN New England approached us about their SD/HD simulcast plans, we knew we had the best solution for them," said John Abt, President of AJA. "Fox values well engineered products that can be counted on in broadcast environments."
"After the success of the World Series use of KONA 2 with Final Cut Pro HD, we are seeing more and more big broadcast sporting events using the technology everyday," said Ted Schilowitz, Worldwide Product Manager for Desktop Video Engines at AJA. "There are some other very big projects in the broadcast space that we are an instrumental part of, being put together as we speak."
Two of the FSN New England systems are installed in their Burlington, MA offices and consist of Apple Power Mac G5 Workstations with KONA 2 cards installed, 3.5 Terabyte Xserve RAIDS, and 23" Apple Cinema displays. For road trips, they have an Apple 17" Powerbook G4 that uses the AJA Io along with a 500 GB LaCie Big Disk Extreme. All systems use Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Adobe After-Effects, as well as several other software programs.
"Other systems with comparable capabilities cost nearly three times as much, yet they are incapable of realizing the same multiples of performance and quality. In many ways, the Apple/AJA solution is more powerful," continued McGuire. "Initially, we were attracted to the products by the low prices but we quickly found it to be a very creative platform that enables us to do just about anything we would need to do, with plenty of room to grow. It's exceeded all of our expectations, and the sales support and service that we have received from AJA has been outstanding."
Additionally, one of the big advantages of the new systems for FSN New England was how easy the video output is selectable between HD and SD.
About Fox Sport Net New England
Fox Sport Net New England reaches more than 3.7 million households in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Fox Sports Net New England's programming includes Boston Celtics, Boston University Hockey, Connecticut Sun, New England Revolution, New England Sports Tonight, The Best Damn Sports Show Period and NASCAR. Fox Sports Net New England is managed by Rainbow Sports Networks.
About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of SDI and HD-SDI video interface and conversion solutions, bringing high-quality, cost-effective digital video products to the professional broadcast and post production markets. AJA offers Io (the "ultimate" capture box), SDI and HD-SDI QuickTime PCI capture cards, miniature stand-alone converters, and a complete line of rack mount interface and conversion cards and frames. With headquarters located in Grass Valley, California, AJA Video designs and manufactures all of its products in the USA, with an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world.
For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.
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