Even though most in-person industry events like IBC have been held virtually this year, many technology vendors, AJA Video Systems included, have been working quietly behind the scenes to develop new solutions aimed at helping professionals across broadcast, production, post and ProAV meet an ever-increasing demand for live content and remote work setups.
We got the chance to catch up with AJA Director of Product Marketing Bryce Button about what the company has been up to, and, spoiler alert, they’ve just unveiled some groundbreaking new technology, as well as a feature rich update that Ki Pro Ultra 12G users are going to like.
What’s new from AJA?
On September 24, 2020, we rolled out several major new products alongside a firmware update for our popular Ki Pro Ultra 12G recorder and player. We launched BRIDGE LIVE, a new multichannel HD, single-channel UltraHD encoder/decoder/transcoder for use in professional or enterprise video environments, and are very excited for this device. It is game changing in that it makes it easy to securely and reliably transport UltraHD or multi-channel HD video with a range of codec choices and secure transport protocols over public internet.
Simultaneously, we expanded our audio footprint by debuting the world’s first 12G-SDI to Dante audio bridge – the OG-DANTE-12GAM openGear audio embedder/disembedder. With 12G-SDI ports, 64 channels of audio and DashBoard control software integration, it brings AJA’s video workflow technology into the Dante ecosystem, helping to bridge broadcast and Pro AV workflows. Expanding the openGear family of products, we also announced the OG-ROI-SDI openGear scan converter featuring 3G-SDI to 3G-SDI and mirrored HDMI outputs. To round out our lineup, we released Ki Pro Ultra 12G v2.0 firmware, which brings users new features that streamline higher raster workflows. All of AJA’s new products and updates are built to help professionals keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for higher raster live and on-demand content across entertainment, education, houses of worship, sports, live events and beyond. They’re designed to help facilitate remote broadcast, streaming, production, post, and ProAV workflows, while also simplifying on-set cabling at a time when social distancing and remote work setups are crucial.
Tell us more about BRIDGE LIVE.
From education to events, entertainment and more, live streaming is quickly becoming the standard, as companies and institutions look for compelling alternatives to in-person communications in an era of social distancing. Historically, developing a live production pipeline to support all the necessary requirements to handle these streams has proven costly and inefficient, which is where BRIDGE LIVE comes into play. It’s a turnkey solution that makes it easy to transport UltraHD or multi-channel HD video between uncompressed baseband SDI to/from a wide range of streaming and contribution codecs in real time, from H.265 to H.264, MPEG-2 and JPEG 2000, over public internet. A 1RU plug-and-play gateway solution, it features deep metadata support and is compatible with a flexible array of containers and protocols, including SRT, RTMP/S, RTP, UDP, and MPEG-TS, and extends to Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) ladder profiles and hand off for OTT packaging.
BRIDGE LIVE combines AJA’s production proven I/O technology with Comprimato’s powerful encoding/decoding/transcoding software to deliver high-quality, cost-effective video processing, with SDI encode or decode for one channel of UltraHD up to 60p, or up to four channels of 1080 60p HD simultaneously, via four 12G-SDI connections that are also backwards compatible with 6G/3G-SDI standards.
Versatile by design, it meets the rigorous live video production and delivery demands of telco, IPTV, and cable operations; broadcast facilities and OB trucks; sports arenas; houses of worship; and beyond. The solution’s intuitive interface helps professionals seamlessly mesh HD/UltraHD SDI and streaming/IP for live workflows using AVC, HEVC, or MPEG 2, as well as JPEG 2000 with an additional license. It can also be used as a “set and forget” resource, working in the background to convert baseband video to and from live compressed streams, including multiple stream outputs and destinations from SDI inputs.
BRIDGE LIVE is designed to make it easy to deliver powerful results, whether streaming to a platform like YouTube, Facebook or Twitch; encoding produced video for distribution to OTT packaging; providing the video output from facility equipment to artists and clients for remote collaboration; or transporting/contributing video feeds from remote locations to a data center or media facility.
What do ProductionHUB readers need to know about AJA’s latest OpenGear offerings?
In recent years, we’ve continued to see a steady demand for conversion solutions in the openGear form factor, and have been building out our product line to support emerging customer needs. The OG-DANTE-12GAM and OG-ROI-SDI are an extension of that ongoing effort.
OG-DANTE-12GAM is particularly unique in that it marks AJA’s first partnership with Audinate, a company well known in the ProAV space for providing digital audio distribution over IP networks with Dante; supporting uncompressed, multi-channel, low latency, high-resolution audio with scalability, simplified wiring, and easy installation. A new high density, openGear-compatible solution, OG-DANTE-12GAM bridges 12G/6G/3G-SDI sources with embedded audio to and from the Dante IP audio ecosystem with 64-channels of simultaneous bridging. It’s an ideal tool for large venue production environments such as stadiums, theaters, concerts, stage rentals, houses of worship, and universities, and features industry-wide compatibility with openGear frames, allowing for up to 640 channels of SDI/Dante audio bridging within a single 2RU frame housing 10 cards.
OG-ROI-SDI is an openGear scan converter that enables high-quality conversion of 3G-SDI input, and Region of Interest selection to 3G-SDI and HDMI mirrored outputs. It brings users extensive audio functionality, incredible image scaling, aspect and frame rate conversion, and image rotation, including frame sync functionality. Region of Interest support also allows professionals to easily extract video source signals for scan convert, scaling, and conversion to HDMI and SDI from SDI sources.
Where can Ki Pro Ultra 12G users download the new v2.0 firmware and what does it enable?
v2.0 firmware for the AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G single-channel 4K/UltraHD recorder/player or four-channel HD recorder is available today as a free download on the AJA website. Users can explore several new improvements aimed at streamlining higher raster workflows with varied video input sources like new input frame sync for multi-channel HD genlock-free recording, and 8K link VPID to power 8K/UltraHD2 workflows when four Ki Pro Ultra 12G devices are used in tandem in 12G- or 6G-SDI mode.
Where can ProductionHUB readers find out more about these new tools?
For more details about our latest products and updates, check out our What’s New Page, and stay tuned for more news to come from AJA this fall!