SALT LAKE CITY—When I first started providing video assist solutions and services for film in 1986, we used black and white video taps added to the film cameras. In the last 30 years, film transitioned to integrated color video taps then flicker free taps, followed by a move away from film to HD recording and playback, and now 4K, using sophisticated VA (video assist) systems.
I’ve been working with AJA gear for the past decade, starting with their line of Ki Pro recorders and Mini-Converters in 2008. In 2015 we began using AJA Kumo routers as part of the custom video assist solutions that we provide on a rental basis to both television and motion picture productions. We currently use a variety of AJA products across several VA solutions for SD, HD and 4K/Ultra HD, including Kumo 1616, Kumo CP, Io 4K, Io XT and KONA 3G. With Kumo, my team acts as the central production hub on-set.
AJA’s Kumo monitor can transmit simultaneous footage to different monitors on-set.MULTIPLE DISPLAYS
We rely heavily on Kumo routers to transmit footage simultaneously to different monitors throughout the set. This allows the director, producers and additional crew members to view each shot. Kumo 1616 and Kumo CP are a key part of our workflow and are controlled directly through QTAKE HD, a Mac software application for video assist that facilitates real-time logging, capture, playback, editing and output for video. QTAKE runs off a Mac Pro workstation connected to the production cameras, monitors and Kumo routers. With this setup we can capture multicam footage in real-time and catalogue each shot, enabling all footage to be brought up for playback instantly. The routing feed from Kumo distributes the video signals to monitors around the set.
There are times on set when we’ll need to have some of our monitors showing a live feed directly from the camera, while other monitors need to show playback. Kumo enables us to display both simultaneously, and it’s fanless, noiseless and compact in design.
HI-RES & HFR
AJA’s capture and output hardware has also allowed us to use Kumos to route high-resolution footage at high frame rates. My team was hired to provide a VA solution for a recent feature shot in 4K at 120 frames per second so we used Io 4K and Kumo to configure a new system enabling the director to view playback at a high frame rate. Using Sony cameras, a 1080p 60 signal output from each camera was routed and fed directly to the Io 4K for capture and passthrough in turn with Kumos assisting in the routing for pristine image quality to 55-inch 3D OLED monitors.
Our experience working with AJA gear has been overwhelmingly positive. It is reliable, and they deliver excellent customer service and developer support. We have a strong partnership with the company and look forward to integrating their future products into our systems to provide clients with the highest level of VA support.
Gaylen Nebeker is founder and CEO of Nebtek, a video assist and digital imaging provider for film, broadcast and commercial productions. Nebtek is also the U.S. dealer for QTAKE HD software and integrates turnkey QTAKE Systems worldwide using AJA Io 4K, Kona 4G and KUMO products. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, please visit www.aja.comor call 530-274-2048.