REVIEW: AJA Kona 3G - The Professional’s Taskmaster

Studio Daily by barry Braverman

Few things in life are as elegant, reliable and hassle-free as an AJA Kona card. The advent of the Kona 3 in 2006 ushered in a new era of versatile video expansion cards with greatly expanded capabilities for the digital craftsman and storyteller. Now, as the KONA line continues to evolve, the 3G is even more robust and flexible.

Beyond the 10-bit HD-SDI I/O and real time up, down, and cross conversion up to 2K resolution with dual-link, the Kona 3G's enhanced capabilities include HDMI 1.4a (mulitplexed) support for 3D applications, 16-channel SDI embedded audio, and a downstream keyer for compositing graphics and watermarks without rendering.

Support for 3D

For most 3D editors, the current 2D-based workflow provides no little stereo feedback. We edit the left eye (the base view) then conform the right eye; we don't actually see and reference a stereo image in the course of posting our 3D programs.

With the advent of the 3G, this will change as we now have the horsepower and breadth of functionality to see and review every cut in 3D. We do this by outputting the left and right streams via HD-SDI for line-by-line display on a Panasonic BT-LH2550 or other passive LCD 3D monitor.

For a larger viewing group often necessary for client review, we can also output the L/R streams via HDMI 1.4a to an economical large-screen consumer 3D TV. Viewing the output from the NLE on an active 50-inch (or larger) plasma display can be very compelling, and can help facilitate client approval in many cases. read more...

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