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NAB hardware rounduop 2016

We take a look a the notable hardware releases and announcements that will be of interest to us post production folk. Thunderbolt 3 seems to be the connection of choice for the future.


The normal press route starts with AJA and they announced a couple of products that editors will be interested in. The U-TAP SDI and U-TAP HDMI capture video from SDI and HDMI sources respectively by using a USB 3 connection. Supported for the Mac, Windows and Linux, they retail for $345 each.

What initially struck us about these boxes is the fact that they will free up a Thunderbolt connection which might be an issue if you are editing on location. Could you stack these up to record multiple video feeds ? We don't know, but they might open up a lot of possibilities.


U-TAP fits in the palm of your hand, and is incredibly useful in the field, on-set or at a studio. USB 3.0 connectivity provides a quick and easy way to pull SDI or HDMI sources for capture, with the convenient plug-and-play ease of not needing to install drivers or plug-ins,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “Every person we’ve shown this to who works in production wants one to keep in their gear bag!”



An addition to the Kona family is designed to facilitate IP workflows. The Kona IP is a $2495 PCIe card that looks to the future in providing capture and playback over IP. 

“With KONA IP we’re delivering a seamless and cost-effective transition path to IP-based workflows for people working in professional video. Our customers have relied on our KONA family of capture cards to deliver reliable and flexible video and audio I/O and now have a familiar interface to take them into the IP world,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “We are committed to supporting industry standards in the transition from SDI to IP-based workflows, and as such, we are a founding member of the AIMS Alliance. Also, as an Aspen Community member and member of Sony’s IP Live Alliance, we offer support for popular early adopter approaches to IP. We’re pleased to be announcing our next generation KONA for IP workflows.”

We are not 100% sure how this would fit in a post production workflow, but being able to ingest over IP again opens up some interesting possibilities. Sadly, remote digitising at home isn't one of them yet!



Blackmagic Design released a whole raft of new products, but of most interest to editors will be the UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3, priced at $2,995 and available in May. Possibly just in time for a new Mac Pro perhaps?

blackmagic ultrastudio 4k 1 NAB


What's different to the previous model? The new unit has a Thunderbolt 3 connection that will allow up to 40Gb/s transfer of data which will allow the playback of most formats including 12-bit RGB and high framerate video such as stereoscopic 3D and DCI 4K.

blackmagic ultrastudio 4k 2 NAB


UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 Key Features

  • Supports 4K 60p capture and playback using 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 connections.
  • Built in high performance hardware codec for H.265 encoding.
  • Supports 12-bit 4:4:4 RGB 4K for high end color correction and VFX.
  • 3D capture and playback via SDI and HDMI.
  • Analog Component and dedicated NTSC/PAL in and out.
  • 4 channel balanced analog audio in and out. Additional RCA HiFi audio in.
  • 2 channel AES/EBU unbalanced audio in and out.
  • Professional Mic input with phantom power selector and full input gain control.
  • Timecode in and out on XLR connectors.
  • Genlock/tri-sync input & output.
  • 2 x Sony compatible RS-422 deck control.
  • Includes hardware down conversion of Ultra HD to HD on playback.
  • Includes hardware SD and HD keying.
  • Connects with both Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe
  • Includes free DaVinci Resolve software.


For more details on the full range of new products announced at NAB, check out Grant Petty's video on the website. Unfortunately we cannot embed it here.


On to storage options and Promise has announced updated models. They too have joined the Thunderbolt 3 party by announcing a range of Pegasus 3,  four, six and eight bay hard drive units and SANlink3 interfaces for Fibre Channel and NBASE-T Ethernet connections. NBASE-T allows for speeds up to 5 Gbps over existing short Cat5 cables.

 promise pegasus3


G-Technology has announced its first NAS device. The G-RACK 12 uses a BTRfs file system to distribute up to 120 TB of storage over 4 10GigE clients at a combined data transfer rate of 2000MB/s. An extra 120TB can be provided with an expansion chassis.




Compatible Network Protocols


  • iSCSI
  • NFS (Network Files System)
  • SMB (Samba) / CIFs
  • AFP (Apple Filing Protocol)
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)


“From our flexible Evolution Series™ and high-capacity, high-performance portable G-SPEED® Shuttle XL to our new 12-bay G-RACK 12 NAS solution, G-Technology offers one of the broadest storage portfolios for virtually any audio, video or content creation workflow,” said Mike Williams, vice president of marketing, G-Technology. “Our goal is to continue to optimize efficiencies in pre- and post- production workflows, so whether you’re working on a TV commercial, a corporate video, or major motion picture, we can help you through the most demanding production environments, while delivering capacity, reliability, performance and style.”

The press release mentions Final Cut Pro X, so it will be interesting to see how this performs, especially with Libraries stored on the unit. No word on prices yet.


Lastly, if you are not interested in shared storage but just want a lot of terabytes, a new unit from LaCie might fit the bill. Available in there sizes up to 96TB, the LaCie 12big Thunderbolt 3, can give a single client speeds of up to 2600 MB/s.

As the name suggests, there are 12 drives in the tower, these can be set to RAID 0, 5 or 6 through a user interface. Again, no word on price and they are only available through dealers.

lacie 12big