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Road to NAB Preview - AEC-uBOX

By Kevin McAuliffe

Most editors probably have never heard of Adrienne Electronics Corporation (AEC), but, they have developed a handy little device that will make freelance editors that own their own "portable" edit suites very happy.  Until now, when shooting on location, it's very easy to get a "live" video and audio feed from a camera to edit with, but what do you do about timecode? 

What if you have three cameras shooting with matching timecode in different locations? How would you be able to capture the three cameras (with different edit suites), and have useable timecode to Multi-clip with the footage captured at a later time?  Well, now you can. 

AEC has developed its next-gen AEC-BOX-2 device called AEC-uBOX, and what the unit does, essentially, is emulate a RS-422 connection to a VTR.  The way the unit works is simple. You take the T/C out of the camera (or VTR for that matter), connect it to one side of the unit, and take the RS-422 cable and plug it into the "Remote In" on your Kona, Blackmagic or whichever capture card you are working with. 

LTC in

I was told by AEC that the included power cable that provides the unit power via the USB slot on your computer (quite handy) would not be necessary, as the RS-422 cable should provide the needed power, but my experience was that it was needed, as Final Cut Pro would not see the box until it had power.  


The way the box works in Final Cut Pro is very simple. Create your project, then go into the "Log and Capture" tool.  Assuming the box is connected correctly and your deck is playing, you will immediately see the timecode rolling at the top of the window.  All you do now, is simply click "Capture Now" (as you cannot control the deck), and you are off to the races. No installation required, no drivers needed, very quick and easy to use.

AEC will be releasing the AEC-uBOX just around the time of NAB, and the unit I have still has one documented bug, which is problems with 24p VTR emulation, but I was assured by AEC that they are aware of the issue, and will fix it as soon as possible. I can easily see the AEC-uBOX being a handy tool for HD/SD editors who want to edit on location and need to get not only "live" HD/SD video, but timecode as well.  It's ease of use, and stability (especially for the prototype I was using) makes it an easy product to recommend. Check out Adrienne Electronics Corporation's booth at NAB. They will be in booth SL9817, located a few hundred feet down the center isle from the Apple booth, or check them out on the web at .

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Kevin P McAuliffe is currently a Senior Video Editor working in HD post production in Toronto, Canada. He has been in the television industry for 12 years, and spends his days onlining on a Final Cut Pro HD. Kevin's high definition onlining credit list includes concerts for Coldplay, Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Snow Patrol, Sum41, Paul Anka, Il Divo and Pussycat Dolls, to name a few. Also, Kevin is an instructor of Advanced Final Cut Studio 2 at the Toronto Film College. If you have any questions or comments, you can drop him a line at

Related Keywords:RS-422 to VTR emulation, video editing, NLE, timecode, AEC-uBOX

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