Versatile and Affordable SD/HD Capture Card, Especially for HD Post

For users of Apple Final Cut Pro HD and Final Cut Studio, the KONA 2
capture card from AJA Video is a sure-fire way to make the move from SD
to HD post production. The powerful 133 MHz PCI-X SD/HD card for the
Power Mac G5 offers multiple HD capture options via HD-SDI, from HDV to
10-bit uncompressed 4:4:4 HD video.
In addition to its tight integration with Final Cut Pro, KONA 2 works
seamlessly with Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk
Combustion. It also supports video out in Apple Motion 2, Soundtrack
Pro, Shake 4 and DVD Studio Pro 4, which lets you view projects on a
broadcast monitor, as well as on a computer monitor.
If you’re not familiar with installing video cards, you may want to
have your hardware vendor configure the KONA 2 board in your Final Cut
Pro system – especially if you’re using a RAID with a Fibre Channel
card – to avoid bus conflicts. When we upgraded one of our four Final
Cut Pro edit suites with the KONA 2 board, we had a few minor setup
issues with installation and the KONA 2 onscreen control panel, which
we resolved by calling the folks at AJA tech support (who really rock!).
Soon we were up and running – and capturing HD footage with ease since
Final Cut Pro offers a great Easy Setups option for HD sessions. For HD
footage shot with the Panasonic Varicam at 24p/23.97, for example, we
just select the Easy Setup for 720p/23.97 DVCPRO HD, and we’re ready to
go. Captured DVCPRO HD footage can now be used in any of our four Final
Cut Pro HD suites, so the KONA 2 board has upgraded the capabilities of
our multiple edit bays.
Our system is configured with 8 GB RAM, OS X 10.4 (Tiger), FCP 5, an
Apple 5.6 TB Xserve Fibre Channel RAID and a Panasonic AJ-HD1200A HD
DVCPRO deck. It also includes the AJA Video K Box breakout box ($299),
which connects directly to the KONA 2 through two included cables. A
must-have for any serious user, the rack-mountable unit offers
connectors for eight channels of XLR or BNC digital audio; four SDI BNC
connectors (two in/two out, SD or HD); dual-link HD 4:4:4 I/O; RS-422
deck control; and component SD or HD video out, which lets you
downconvert and output to BetaSP for a 4:3 analog master.
There are no analog audio ins for direct integration of analog sources,
and the K Box offers audio monitoring through RCA, rather than XLR,
connectors – but the KONA 2/K Box combo for HD is hard to beat in terms
of quality and affordability. AJA Video’s flagship SD/HD card has
become an invaluable addition to our facility.