The AJA IO HD has now been on the market for some time. I had time to get to this device a little better this week as I was editing on my laptop in the field. This is an HD capable converter that is portable and basically covers all of your needs for Final Cut Pro users. Some of its capabilities are:
Apple ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ Codec-SD & HD 720/1080 full raster 10-bit 422 real-time in hardware 10-bit HD up/down/cross conversion all in hardware 2x SD-SDI/HD-SDI I/O (includes embedded SDI 8-channel audio I/O) SD/HD Component I/O Composite and S-video I/O HDMI video w/8-channel audio I/O AES/EBU 8-channel unbalanced audio I/O Analog 4-channel balanced audio I/O (XLR) Analog 2-channel unbalanced audio output (RCA – for monitoring) Genlock (with loop through) RS-422 machine control LTC Timecode I/O FireWire 800 port for connection to your MacBook Pro or MacPro Tower
Now that we’re done viewing the stats, let’s get into it! Installation onto my Macbook Pro was a breeze. It took no time at all. I could not believe it! It’s as easy as plugging in your firewire 800 and away you go. AJA went out of their way to work very closely with Apple on this product to make a seamless workflow. If you want to see what kind of signal is coming and where it is going, all you have to do is open the AJA control panel and voila. There it is in all its glory. Remember this will do all the scaling for you, no rendering. If you have ever worked with HD without a capture card, then you know how much time you waste rendering. This will even scale Letterboxes, Pillar-box, and Anamorphic to whatever your needs may be. This is absolutely great for working with in the field. I am able to begin editing exactly in any format of my choice and begin to show result directly to my director. To my surprise AJA made my job even easier as they have given you several “easy set up” modes. Fantastic!
Once you begin capturing, its like the IO is not even there. It works seamlessly. Then once you are all done, it is time to output. It really is as simple as it sounds. During my brief time with it, I fell in love with it. The ability to edit HD in 10 bit makes this a must have on my list. AJA have really out done themselves here, and to top it all off it really is small and portable. This is a great addition for any FCP Editor.