The spirutual sucessor to the studio VTR is here
Anyone who's bought a Betacam/Digital Betacam/ HDCAM deck will remember that they were pretty expensive items (tens of thousands of $) and that they were complex machines.
Digital Betacam was a very good format. SD video recorded from a studio camera probably looked better than SD ever should. HDCAM was stunning even in comparison with the best SD.
Now we have 4K. Broadcasters are moving steadily towards the new resolution with around twenty times the pixels of SD and four or five times the linear resolution.
But technological progress being what it is, $3995 will now buy a deck with no moving parts that can record 4 simultaneous feeds of full HD or a single feed of 4K/UltraHD at 60p.
While we've become used to on-camera recorders from the likes of Atomos (and a trend arguably started by AJA's original Ki Pro), the newly announced Ki Pro Ultra Plus is the closest thing we've seen to a replacement for a studio deck. It's around a tenth of the price, and probably a tenth of the weight of an HDCAM deck. (Although per channel of HD recording it's arguably a fortieth the price and a fortieth the weight).
Recording is to the usual professional codecs: ProRes and DNxHD with support for 12 bit ProRes 4444 and this is stored on AJA's own storage media, AJA Pak 1000 SSDs
I/O is via 3G SDI and HDMI 2.0.
As usual with AJA, the devices are built for a busy life. They seem robust and well-made.
We can see this becoming something of a broadcast standard.
Here's the full list of features:
-- Flexible HD recording options: 1, 2, 3 or 4-channel HD recording at up to 1080 60p with independent ProRes codec profile support for each channel.
-- 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD recording to Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD MXF.
-- HDMI 2.0 support allows for full 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 capture and output at up to 4K/UltraHD 60fps.
--12-bit support on input for Apple ProRes 4444 and ProRes 4444 XQ encoding and HDMI 2.0 input and output.
-- Built-in Ki Protect ensures recordings arent lost in a power failure.
-- Broad video connectivity including fiber cages, 3G-SDI and HDMI 2.0.
-- Multi-channel audio support via embedded SDI or HDMI, AES/EBU and Analog.
-- WebUI enables remote monitoring, control and deployment on the field or in the studio via a standard web-browser.
-- Compact 2RU high, half-rack width form factor.
-- Records to reliable and rugged AJA Pak SSD media, with options for recording to eSATA.
-- Includes AJAs renowned 3-year international warranty.
As AJA CEO Nick Rashby said at his NAB press conference: if you have multiple Ki Pro Ultra Pluses in a rack, it's probably the densest HD and 4K recording facility on the planet.
Full press release from AJA over the page break