An interview from the 2024 Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles with Tim Walker of AJA Video Systems. Since 1993, AJA Video Systems has been a leading manufacturer of cutting-edge technology for the broadcast, cinema, proAV, and post production markets. The company develops a range of powerful, flexible video interface and conversion technologies, digital video recording solutions, and color management, streaming, and remote production tools.

Ahead of NAB, AJA Video Systems released ColorBox v2.1, a free software update for its real-time color managed workflow device, and announced that AJA ColorBox and Pomfort’s Livegrade have received the first joint logo product certification status by the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) for their support of ACES-based workflows. Available for download today from the AJA Support Page, ColorBox v2.1 delivers a host of new user-inspired features that streamline 4K/UltraHD HDR work and facilitate emerging workflows from on-set through post.

Among the v2.1 release highlights are a new 4K/UltraHD down-conversion feature for ColorBox’s SDI and HDMI outputs and a 4K/2K crop feature for its HDMI output, which help professionals make better use of existing cost-efficient HD monitoring equipment on-set. The update also introduces a new ACES Pipeline for the device that enables users to load an ACES Metadata File (AMF) into ColorBox to obtain the desired transform for improved collaboration across production stakeholders; support for ARRI Wireless Video Optimize (WVO) LogC4, which helps to eliminate banding introduced by wireless Tx and Rx systems; and more.

AJA ColorBox v2.1 highlights include:
· 4K/UltraHD down-conversion for SDI and HDMI outputs lets users easily down-convert SDI and HDMI outputs to a lower resolution (4K to 2K, or UltraHD to HD), if 4K devices are not accessible on set.

· 4K/2K crop for HDMI output makes it easy to center-crop 4K to UltraHD or 2K to HD and get an unscaled image on the HDMI output that is compatible with a broad range of consumer UltraHD and HD displays. 

· An added ACES Pipeline with support for AMF processing allows professionals to take advantage of AMF workflows that offer improved color interoperability across the filmmaking chain. AMF files capture data required for an ACES Pipeline like the IDT, LMT, RRT, and ODT into a single XML file that can be easily distributed to team members on-set and through post and final grading. It marks the sixth pipeline to be integrated into AJA ColorBox.
· ARRI Wireless Video Optimize LogC4 (WVO) support solves workflow challenges introduced by some wireless Tx and Rx systems when working with ARRI Alexa 35 and LogC4. With the inverse WVO 1D LUT directly incorporated into ColorBox, LogC4 is simpler to deploy with existing equipment, saving time and money.

· SDR Preview for Colorfront Live Mode enables users to quickly see what an HDR output would look like converted to SDR, without reconfiguring the HDR monitor. The Colorfront Engine maps the video to the targeted HDR, but with values that exactly represent the SDR image, eliminating the time required to change the output format to SDR and wait for the display to reconfigure.

· BBC HLG LUTs v1.7 ensures ColorBox supports the latest BBC HLG transform updates.

The ARRI ALEXA 35 camera captures 17 stops of dynamic range, 2.5 stops more than previous ARRI digital cameras. This expanded dynamic range is great for cinematographers. However, it cannot be contained in the LogC3 therefore a new encoding had to be created, LogC4. LogC4 encodes the signal differently and appears as a very low contrast signal that some wireless transmitters and receivers aren’t able to properly process and results in banding artifacts.

Wireless Video Optimized LogC4 (WVO LogC4) is an intermediate encoding for ALEXA 35 SDI outputs that is designed to improve monitoring image quality when transmitting LogC4 over wireless video transmitters. The WVO encoding is an option built into the ALEXA 35. A matching ARRI WVO decoding LUT must be used after signal reception to reconstitute regular LogC4.

That’s where ColorBox comes in. The matching ARRI WVO decoding LUT is built into the 1D LUT options in the AJA Color and ACES Pipelines. By having this built into the ColorBox, we are making LogC4 easier to deploy with existing equipment saving both time and money.

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Brought to you by:
  • AJA
  • Blackmagic Design
  • Sony