We first profiled the AJA Rovocam back in February. At the time, we were surprised by the introduction of a 4K box camera as AJA's follow-up to its Cion camera. While the Cion was ergonomically designed with a human operator in mind, the Rovocam sits at the opposite end of the spectrum, relying instead on remote operation schemes in service of industrial, security, corporate and broadcast use.
Of course, such cameras as the Rovocam are only part of the equation. You need other supporting devices and applications to complete any workflow that would properly leverage box cams (or, likely, multiple box cams) in production. AJA teased its I/O solution, the RovoRx-SDI, at IBC2016. Retailing for $995 and available now, the RovoRx-SDI is an UHD/HD receiver with 6G/3G-SDI and HDMI outputs. Via its HDBaseT connector, it can receive video and audio from a Rovocam up to 100 meters away over a single Cat 5e/6 cable. The RovoRx-SDI can also send power to the Rovocam through the HDBaseT connection, further simplifying matters.
On the software front, AJA has announced the release of new versions of supporting apps for the Rovocam workflow. First, RovoControl has been updated to version 2.0, adding spot focus, ePTZ preset saves and greater colour controls. A quick word about the Rovocam's 'pan-tilt' abilities: The Rovocam is not a mechanical PTZ. It instead relies on software pan-and-crop, essentially placing a moveable HD frame for output over the UHD source. The newfound ability to set ePTZ presets allows for easy recall and sharing, which should delight those considering the Rovocam.
The Mini-Config utility has advanced to version 2.18, adding support for the RovoRX-SDI. AJA's Mini-Config software provides a visual interface to tweak the settings of AJA's physical I/O devices and even control them over USB to a Mac or PC.
As the Rovocam ecosystem begins to crystallize, we wonder what AJA's next move will be. The next iteration of the Cion? Or perhaps another left field announcement? Keep checking back with us, as we believe that there will be more surprising news from AJA and other manufacturers leading up to NAB 2017.