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T he AJA Ki Pro is a dedicated video recording device. You can use it on set like you would any 4:2:2 deck, connect it to editing software, like Final Cut, or even crash record direct to file. The thing to consider about this device is that it is recording a 4:2:2 video signal di- rectly to a hard drive as Apple Pro Res QuickTime movies. The beauty of this is that when you want to review a take or footage, it is a click away, no fast forwarding or rewinding necessar y. Gone are the days of multiple tapes. Be- cause the footage is stored digitally on a hard drive, more space is as simple as eject- ing the current storage device and replacing it with a new one. The unit comes with a 250GB drive, but with drive sizes constantly evolving, larger capacities should become available over time. The typical I/O process used in a tradi- tional studio pipeline to conver t media from tape to files can disappear with a unit like this. Ki Pro can save real money when you are talking about a television show with multiple episodes and hun- dreds of shots. The Ki Pro is packed with nearly ever y input connection and output connection conceivable. It also has legs to grow with some connections simply awaiting a firmware update via a built-in Web server. We needed a way to capture multiple digital feeds on set with embedded time- code for vir tual set production. All capture devices had to have synced timecodes and clip names. The solution had to be tapeless in order to save money on I/O time and we did not want to rent multiple decks for each VFX shoot day. The solution had to multiply easily since we wanted to record the back- ground, foreground, key and composite of the vir tual set synchronized. To put it lightly, all of these requirements were features that all commanded a high purchasing or rental price tag. Then comes the Ki Pro out of left field. It has the potential to do every one of these features and it is small, quiet and af- fordable at $3,995. So it was an, "I have to have one of these... now!" moments. To be honest, it was more like, "Can I get four of these?" To star t with I got the okay to evaluate one, but I do have my eye on getting another three for our studio. Nested inside this device is a built-in Web ser ver. The user can connect to the device through a network connection — either wireless or via Ethernet cable. Once connected to the device, the user can then configure settings and externally control the unit through a simple Web interface. The real whiz-bang feature is the ability to control the unit via an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch — it's truly awe-inspiring. The days of using DOS to control digital disk recorders is over. W I S H L I S T Understanding what's in the trunk of this device makes you realize that AJA has the framework and hardware to do many spe- cial things with this unit in the future. For our needs, we would be interested in seeing an update that might include the ability to ex- por t a clip log to a CSV file that could be impor ted into Final Cut or your favorite shot tracking software. Or better yet, imag- ine being on stage with one of these devices and sending it a live feed of metadata from a tracking device or Cooke camera lens — then bringing the footage into your favorite compositing software, like Nuke. Connecting the footage to a metadata reading node, then linking that node to a 3D camera.Ta da! — a perfect track every time. This device doesn't currently suppor t these features, but conceptually it could. Technology and innovation can make these concepts a reality, and it's quite apparent that AJA is forward thinking with this device. So here's the catch — this is the first gen- eration of the product. Some pivotal fea- tures are still awaiting development and de- ployment via a firmware update, such as the all-impor tant RS-4:2:2 suppor t. The Ki Pro exclusively suppor ts Apple's ProRes 4:2:2 codecs and cannot record to any other for- mats. And it's built for Final Cut, so if your studio uses Avid you may need to transcode your footage. F I N A L T H O U G H T S I believe this unit it is well suited to the guerrilla/Webisodes production market that wants big-dollar quality without spend- ing big dollars. If you're innovative, this de- vice can also be used to bypass the pur- chase of conver ter boxes as well as costly deck purchases. It's small and quiet, and can easily be transpor ted anywhere. The Ki Pro really goes to town with features that win me over. 48 Post By MIKE ROMEY Pipeline Supervisor Zoic Studios Los Angeles V I T A L S T AT S R E V I E W AJA's Ki Pro PRODUCT: AJA Ki Pro WEBSITE: PRICE: $3,995 · large number of I/Os in a variety of formats · built-in Web server · can be controlled with Apple iPhone With this unit, the traditional I/O process can disappear. The Ki Pro has a built-in Web server, allowing users to connect to it via a network connection. They can configure settings and control the device through a Web interface.

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