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AJA KONA 3 Goes on the Prowl for 'Cougar Town'

Final Cut Pro Editorial for ABC Series Pilot Taps KONA 3 for On-Set Playback, Dailies and Post

AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, announced today that its KONA 3 video capture and playback cards were employed as part of the post production workflow on the ABC series pilot "Cougar Town." KONA 3 is AJA's top-of-the-line uncompressed capture card for SD, HD, Dual Link 4:4:4 HD and 2K formats for Apple Mac Pro systems.

"Cougar Town," a single-camera comedy slated to air in the ABC fall season lineup, stars Courtney Cox, who will also executive produce for the series along with "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence. For the pilot, the "Cougar Town" editorial team employed AJA's KONA 3 for playback during offline editing, while post house and consultants DigitalFilm Tree used the KONA 3 to create digital dailies, and for ingesting material into Apple Final Cut Pro for online editing and final delivery.

"We first started using the KONA 3 on the final season of 'Scrubs,'" explained assistant editor Tim Serda. "We were using it to un-squeeze our anamorphic picture for playback to a Sony 19" NTSC broadcast monitor and a consumer 40" Sony LCD HDTV. At that point the main question was how to work in 16:9 in a 4:3 world, and the KONA 3 provided the perfect answer. So it was very natural to carry it over to the pilot for 'Cougar Town,' and I know we'll continue to use it on the series."

"The KONA 3 works perfectly, and is extremely easy to use. It just makes everybody's job easier," Serda continued. "For 'Cougar Town,' which was shot on the Genesis, we were able to output to a professional HD monitor at a full 1080i resolution with no problems, and in real time. The images were solid, with no anomalies whatsoever."

Hollywood-based post facility and consultants DigitalFilm Tree handled the pilot project from acquisition through delivery. Footage for "Cougar Town" was acquired on a Panavision Genesis and recorded to an HDCAM SR deck at 4:2:2, and then digitized via the AJA KONA 3 to create DVCPRO 1080p editorial dailies. The KONA 3 was also used as the main display engine on a CRT monitor during final color correction in Apple Color, and for mastering to a Panasonic D5 deck for final delivery.

"The AJA KONA 3 gives us the flexibility we need at the quality our broadcast clients demand," commented DigitalFilm Tree president Edvin Mehrabyan. "We handle large-scale projects captured via the latest and greatest digital cameras such as the Panavision Genesis and Sony F35, and the quality that the KONA 3 gives us is critical to our success."

"We just started using the KONA 3 card last year when we made the switch to HD," said John Michel, editor for both "Scrubs" and "Cougar Town." "AJA has a long-standing relationship with Apple, and we know for a fact that this card is the best thing to use with Final Cut Pro workflows. This card streamlines our current workflow and prepares us for what's coming down the line."

About KONA 3

KONA 3 is the ultimate uncompressed capture card for seamless operation with PCI Express (PCIe) Mac Pro systems and Apple Final Cut Pro. Supporting any uncompressed SD or HD format, including Dual Link HD and 2K, KONA 3 captures and plays back uncompressed 10-bit and 8-bit digital video and 24-bit digital audio, providing unparalleled power and workflow efficiency. KONA 3 also includes a variety of 10-bit broadcast-quality features, such as hardware-based up-, down-, and cross-conversion to and from HD, and adds a live hardware HD/SD keyer for compositing bugs, live clips, and other elements over video.

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.

Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion and Desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website