What exactly would I use an AJA IoHD or Kona for? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 2nd, 2008, 03:42 AM   #1
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What exactly would I use an AJA IoHD or Kona for?

I'm trying to get my head wrapped around the HD workflow. I'm using FCP with a PowerMac and have only worked with DV at home (did SD-SDI capture straight into Avid when I worked at a TV studio).

So I see AJA's IoHD and Kona cards being mentioned all over, however I am not sure what they are practically used for, and if I should consider getting something like an AJA IoHD/Kona for when upgrading my edit suite for working with HD (real HD, not HDV).

Where do these things come into the workflow path?
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 04:32 AM   #2
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Capturing/Monitoring/Converting HD Video from various sources. IOHD is alot more versatile than the board based cards but has certain drawbacks. Which one is best will all depend on what cameras/formats you're working with.

http://www.aja.com/html/products_Io_IoHD.html
http://www.aja.com/html/products_mac..._kona_LHe.html
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 12:49 PM   #3
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You MUST have an HD card to edit HD

You can import HDV footage straight into your computer via a Firewire cable. But once you get it to your computer, what do you do with it then? If you want to edit HD (even HDV), then you've got to have an HD monitor to look at what you are editing. The IO-HD or the Kona card will give you a connection that you can plug into a HD monitor.

The IO-HD or the Kona also give you the ability to import and export HD material via a HD-SDI connection. All of the high-end HD decks have HD-SDI connections, and some of the HDV decks have HD-SDI outputs. The IO-HD and the Kona 3 card will give you the ability to upconvert SD into HD, down convert HD into SD, and cross-convert 1080i into 720p, and vice-versa.

The IO-HD is somewhat limited in that it transcodes everything into the ProRes 422 codec.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 05:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tim Allison View Post
But once you get it to your computer, what do you do with it then? If you want to edit HD (even HDV), then you've got to have an HD monitor to look at what you are editing. The IO-HD or the Kona card will give you a connection that you can plug into a HD monitor.
Are you saying that, working on a Mac, an Apple HD Cinema Display (23" or 30") won't let you see what you're editing?
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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The IO and Kona and most other capture cards are the interface between broadcast formats (read HD/SDI, component video & AES/EBU or XLR audio) and your computer. While you can import and export via firewire the card allows you to deliver (output to broadcast tape) on HD/SDI, component, etc as well as do down converts with ease. As also mentioned it allows you to monitor your video while your edit. The little window (even on your big screen) doesn't begin to show you the detail/correct colors that a broadcast HD monitor will.

Basically the step up from HDV requires a Kona, Media100 or Avid card.
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:47 PM   #6
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The little window (even on your big screen) doesn't begin to show you the detail/correct colors that a broadcast HD monitor will.

Basically the step up from HDV requires a Kona, Media100 or Avid card.
I see. In looking at the Kona and the Io, it's hard for me to figure out which would be best for my needs. Are there any strengths/weaknesses i should be aware of (that their website isn't telling me)?

Also, anyone have any recommendations on an "affordable" (HA!) HD monitor?
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Old January 3rd, 2008, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
Are you saying that, working on a Mac, an Apple HD Cinema Display (23" or 30") won't let you see what you're editing?
I use a 2nd 23" display to preview my HDV timeline at 100% scale, although high-quality playback seems to tax the system more.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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What are your needs? The IO is external and transportable but the max data rate/throughput is limited by the Firewire 800 port. Kona is a PCIe/x solution and limited by the bus on your computer. The computer PCIe/x bus is 3-4 times faster than an Firewire port. Will you be doing uncompressed HD using a SATA or Ethernet RAID with final delivery to HDCAM? If so you need Kona. If most of your work is centered around HDV then get the IO.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
What are your needs? The IO is external and transportable but the max data rate/throughput is limited by the Firewire 800 port. Kona is a PCIe/x solution and limited by the bus on your computer. The computer PCIe/x bus is 3-4 times faster than an Firewire port. Will you be doing uncompressed HD using a SATA or Ethernet RAID with final delivery to HDCAM? If so you need Kona. If most of your work is centered around HDV then get the IO.
My needs are, to be honest, unknown. I'm looking to make the jump from DV to HD (not HDV), which means an entire system upgrade (from a PowerMac G4 to a Mac Pro and FCS1 to FCS2) as well as camera upgrade (from a Canon GL2 to -- most likely -- a Sony PMW-EX1, which is their XDCAM EX1 CineAlta camera).

Since I am looking to go to the XDCAM EX1, this means a tapeless workflow from shoot to post. Deliverables may vary, but thus far my work has only been going out to web or DVD. I'm also looking to graduate to a higher class of clientele; I'm tired of the "mickey mouse" stuff that is barely worth the time and money put into learning this craft (to say nothing of the equipment). So, I want to be sure that I am able to say "yes, I can do that" to a big client should the opportunity present itself.

In the meantime, I am focused on producing my own feature length documentary -- which I am hoping will help fund the necessary upgrades I mentioned. My plan is to shoot HD, edit in FCS2, and go out to film. So that is my immediate need. Portability isn't a big deal, I edit on a desktop, not on a laptop.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:36 AM   #10
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Mike, I am in a similar situation to yours, and here's what I'm doing. I have a project demanding 1080p, delivered on Blu-ray, which is paying for my overhaul. I recently got the EX1 (love it) and am waiting for any Mac Pro upgrades next week announced at Macworld before buying a new computer.

Instead of the AJA or Kona (or Blackmagic's Decklink, which you should also look at), I plan on getting the Blackmagic Intensity Pro card, strictly for monitoring. It's $350. I will send video through it via HDMI to a 32" Sharp Aquos 1080p TV, around $900. I know, not a true HD monitor, but close enough for me (for now). You definitely need some sort of external HD monitor to impress your clients and friends, and this is the cheapest way to go that I know of.

Being tapeless on the EX1, I have no need for a capture card. The only I/O wrinkle is delivering to high-end HD tape. I have no immediate projects demanding this. But when I do, options are:

1. Take/send external hard drive or other media with your edited HD timeline to post house for printing to tape.
2. Write your HD timeline back to SxS card and use the EX1 as a "deck"--bring it to the VTR (or rent one) and send out via its HD-SDI (at the moment it's unclear to me just how to do this, but I'm hopeful it will work before too long with a Sony software update).
3. Buy the Kona or AJA or Decklink (or whatever else is out there when you need it).

By the way, I always say "yes I can do that" to a client, even if I couldn't at that moment. I just don't give him or her a bid until I've done the research and math on making it profitable. It's "yes, I can do that, just give me a few days to figure out what it will cost you"!
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Collins View Post
Mike, I am in a similar situation to yours, and here's what I'm doing. I have a project demanding 1080p, delivered on Blu-ray, which is paying for my overhaul. I recently got the EX1 (love it) and am waiting for any Mac Pro upgrades next week announced at Macworld before buying a new computer.
As an aside, they've already started announcing…


[QUOTE=Rob Collins;804573Instead of the AJA or Kona (or Blackmagic's Decklink, which you should also look at), I plan on getting the Blackmagic Intensity Pro card, strictly for monitoring. It's $350. I will send video through it via HDMI to a 32" Sharp Aquos 1080p TV, around $900.[/QUOTE]

Did you ever look at the Matrox MXO? Matrox says it "turns your Apple Cinema Display or other DVI monitor into an artifact-free, true-color video display." Of course, it's almost 3x the price of the Intensity Pro…
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Old January 8th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #12
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I just saw that...was hoping for built in Blu-ray.

Yes, I've looked at the MXO. Check out their user forum and you'll see lots of issues though.
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