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Conversion’s Swiss Army Knife


Envy Post is one of London’s top independent post houses – we’ve been named Best Post House at the Broadcast Awards three years running. We service a wide range of clients with offline broadcast work, have a very busy short form department for promos, commercials, and channel branding; and an extensive VFX department. We offer editing, audio, high-end online, VFX, and grading, for everything from SD to HD, 2K, and stereo 3D. We have two fully-licensed bars and a rooftop terrace, and three locations in London.

Envy has a wide range of kit to cover our creative services in 95 operational areas – Avid and Apple Final Cut Pro editing systems, Avid DS Nitris and Symphony, and Autodesk Smoke finishing and grading systems, Flame, Nuke and Ocula, and Maya and Softimage 3D compositing and animation systems.

To support all of those workflows we have integrated AJA kit across the board. We have Kona cards in the FCP suites and all of the Smoke and Flame suites, and we have AJA miniconverters throughout all of our facilities. Kona is like our Swiss Army Knife. It’s useful for format conversions and supporting codecs and formats that aren’t easily supported on some of the other systems.

When I think about the AJA products that we use on a day-to-day basis, the word that comes immediately to mind is ‘dependability.’ I know that I can expect the same consistent quality from the products across any format conversions we do.That’s important to us, because an ethos that we follow here is that we always pursue the highest quality for any given workflow. One of the strengths we find in the Kona is the quality of the conversion engine on the card. We get material delivered to us in a plethora of different formats that we have to then bring into our pipeline. The Kona card helps us deal with all of that.

Our ability to manage multiple formats is becoming even more critical now, as we’re seeing a lot more people shooting with miniature cameras and DSLRs. Many of these record in H.264, which is obviously not a codec you can seriously edit in. AJA’s Kona solves this problem with its high-quality conversion engine, which is one of the reasons it is a key piece of our workflow.

Adam Davies is a Senior Engineer at Envy Post in London.

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