2023 marked yet another dynamic year for the M&E industry from production through post, between the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI), and the evolution of IP video, virtual production, and high resolution, high dynamic range workflows. Remote production advanced while productions continued to grow in complexity, increasing the volume of data to be wrangled across projects and facilities. AJA unveiled several new products and updates throughout the year built to address emerging trends and challenges, and help professionals bridge formats and protocols to deliver the highest quality video and audio.
Ultra-low latency video I/O
KONA X made its debut this year at IBC. The next-gen desktop I/O device uniquely features built-in Streaming DMA, so, depending upon the application being leveraged, users can achieve as low as sub-frame latency for crucial tasks involving video I/O – whether assisted by AI or for gaming, augmented reality (AR) graphics, overlays, or the growing list of other tasks that require instantaneous performance.
Advancing HDR monitoring and analysis workflows
Multi-camera workflows have quickly become the modern production standard, making the ability to analyze more than one signal side by side and see adjustments reflected in real-time crucial, especially for camera matching. This year, AJA introduced a v3.0 software update to the HDR Image Analyzer 12G to help professionals keep pace with evolving needs across live, on-set, quality control (QC), and post production environments. The free update brought new workflow capabilities, increased the number of video channels that can be analyzed simultaneously, integrated new Dolby Vision tools, added NDI connectivity options, expanded support for the latest ARRI color science with ARRI LogC4 analysis, and enhanced 8K/UHD2 compatibility for high-resolution workflows.
Incorporating Dante in AV-over-IP Environments
The release of AJA Dante AV 4K-T and 4K-R marked one of the most significant advancements from AJA in 2023. The two new transmitter/receiver converters seamlessly transport and control ultra-low latency, high resolution, visually lossless Dante AV Ultra video synched with Dante audio into AV-over-IP environments.
Addressing continuing conversion demands
Bringing single-cable simplicity to high frame rate workflows, AJA also debuted four exciting new 12G-SDI audio and HDMI conversion openGear rackframe solutions at IBC, and a month later, rolled out DRM2. The high-power rack frame includes enough space and power to support up to 12 AJA Mini-Converters of any kind, giving professionals in facilities and mobile production environments the power and space required to address evolving, complex workflows. Via optional adapter cables, up to 24 small AJA FiDO fiber converters can be installed into the DRM2.
Software and firmware updates that pack a punch
AJA also released slew of other updates this year with new feature additions designed to streamline complexities across the chain, including:
AJA ColorBox – a compact, high-performance converter for color-managed workflows – received an upgrade via 2.0 firmware. The release introduced an add-on license to expand ColorBox’s Colorfront Engine™ video processing options with new TV and Live Modes, while an ORION-CONVERT update with gamma compensation ensures compatibility between different color conversion philosophies. In November, AJA also announced that ColorBox became the first color management and conversion device to be certified compatible with the entire lineup of RED cameras.
Updated firmware for AJA’s FS-HDR real-time HDR/WCG converter/frame synchronizer also delivered new user-inspired enhancements. The free release delivered a new Colorfront TV Mode and updates to the Live and Film Modes that add FS-HDR support for ARRI LogC4 transforms. BBC LUTs were also updated, including a new combination LUT for camera shading in live productions and a new Color Appearance Model-based LUT.
AJA BRIDGE LIVE, which supports a wide range of streaming contributions and codecs, supports remote production, two-way interviews, live event streaming, multi-cam backhaul, field contribution, confidence monitoring, collaborative production, and ABR ladder profiles. NAB 2023 saw the launch of v1.14 firmware for the device, which included optional perpetual JPEG XS I/O licenses available per HD channel or UltraHD channel/four channels of HD, and streamlined user workflows by automating key tasks.
Modern facilities are juggling massive volumes of media and file sizes that only continue to grow, and are often using a range of on-premises and cloud storage solutions to support them. Delivering on its mission to help customers better manage and make sense of their data across storage, AJA expanded the functionality of its Diskover Media Edition data management and curation software with a v2.1 update.
In addition to these updates, AJA released an update for its HELO Plus H.264 streaming, encoding, and recording device, which delivered a host of free new improvements that streamline the delivery of compelling live-streamed content. Two new licensable features – simultaneous multi-channel stereo audio streaming/recording and PlayToStream – enabled the use of a previously recorded program for a future streaming event.
Summing up the company’s delivery of technology breakthroughs in 2023, AJA President Nick Rashby said, “Production and post technology and workflows are evolving rapidly, and AJA is dedicated to ensuring our users can easily adapt with the industry to deliver high-quality video and audio. It’s always been a top priority and will remain so into the future.”
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