Comparing two Thunderbolt capture and playback devices

PVC by Scott Simmons

The AJA Io XT and Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D go head-to-head

With the advent of Thunderbolt a new option arrived for editors in the form of an easy to use video capture and playback interface for your editing computer that doesn’t have to sit inside a tower. Adding Thunderbolt to iMacs and laptops means portability and affordability is an option for editors like never before. Both the AJA Io XT and the Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 3D are two good options for editors needing Thunderbolt-based I/O. They both perform basically the same task only in a little different way.

I recently had a previous generation iMac in my possession for a while to write an article about video editing on an iMac. While I had that iMac I was able to get both of these Thunderbolt devices into the Editblog labs for testing. They both proved to be very nice unit if you need Thunderbolt video capture and playback

AJA’s Io XT is a small, plastic device measuring about 8.25 inches wide, 1.75 tall, 6 inches deep (counting the BNC jacks on the back). A look at the device from the front and it looks like a very useful piece of video hardware: A volume knob next to a headphone jack, a bunch of audio meters and a power switch. The unit does "high-quality up/down/cross conversion“ so check out the AJA Io XT website for all of the specs on exactly what this thing can do.

Once drivers are installed and the the Io XT is hooked up to a video monitor one of the advantages of Thunderbolt is instantly obvious. With minimal fuss and the plugging in of one cable to the Mac you’re instantly ready to edit. There’s no denying that overall setup is so much easier than installing a PCI card into a tower. I didn’t even say installation to the iMac I was using since there is no installation at all, just plug add drivers and play. Not that a PCI card installation is all that hard but it is an extra step that some might not be comfortable with especially since you have to dig into the case of a tower. read more...

Check out these items featured in this post and available now at
AJA IoXT Professional Thunderbolt I/O for Mac $1,499.00 AJA T-TAP Thunderbolt powered SDI and HDMI output $295.00 G-Technology G-RAID 8TB with Thunderbolt $799.95

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