Today AJA announced and is showing its new Io XT audio/video interface with Thunderbolt at IBC stand 7.F11 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Unlike other Thunderbolt-capable professional i/o interfaces from other manufacturers which I have covered earlier this week here in ProVideo Coalition magazine, the Io XT from AJA is the first and only one so far to offer loop-ability (aka “daisy-chaining”) to other Thunderbolt peripherals or even standard DVI/HDMI monitors via an inexpensive adapter or cable (under US$30 in most cases). This first look at AJA’s Io XT will cover its features, specs, and pricing.
Io XT features and specs:
- Two Thunderbolt ports, supports multiple Thunderbolt-enabled device loop-ability or “daisy-chaining”
- Two 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs and outputs
- Single link SDI 4:2:2 support, single and dual-link SDI 4:4:4 support
- HDMI input and output (including support for 3D)
- Analog HD/SD component and composite output, 10-bit
- Video up/down/cross conversion (hardware-based, 10-bit)
- 8-channel embedded SDI audio i/o
- 8-channel balanced analog audio output (using an optional DB-25 type cable)
- Uncompressed i/o allows capture, monitoring and mastering to Apple ProRes (10-bit), DV100 (“DVCProHD”) (8-bit), CineForm (10-bit), Avid DNxHD (8-bit or 10-bit) and other códecs
- Front panel LED VU meters
- Headphone output w/level control
- Reference In/longitudinal Time Code (LTC) input (selectable)
- LTC output
- RS-422 for deck control
- 4-pin XLR Power (AC adapter included)
- AJA Control Room software
- AJA technical support and international warranty included
Compatibility with HP DreamColor monitor?
As covered previously, the HP DreamColor monitor’s DreamColor Engine demands that its input signal be digital RGB over HDMI (or DisplayPort), not YUV. The HP DreamColor Engine also demands that the input signal be pure progressive (not PsF or interlaced). I have already covered the fact that Matrox’s MXO2 family devices already comply directly with the DreamColor at standard broadcast HDTV framerates, and that Blackmagic’s new UltraStudio 3D currently requires an additional device in order to comply. I am awaiting an official response from AJA to determine the Io XT’s status regarding this issue, and will update this article as soon as I receive their response.
Io XT is not a end-point Thunderbolt connection, which facilitates loop-ability
Io XT is not an end-point Thunderbolt connection (as are the current offerings from Blackmagic and Matrox), which is one of Io XT’s first notable difference. As a result, you can loop from your computer to your Thunderbolt-based disk array RAID (i.e. Promise’s Pegasus) to the Io XT interface, and finally to a standard DVI or HDMI monitor via an inexpensive adapter, which normally costs under $30.
Io XT pricing and availability
Io XT is planned for availability in Q4 of this year for US$1495.
Please consider reading the following related articles:
- Blackmagic delivers its first Thunderbolt-based i/o interface, the UltraStudio 3D from September 5th, 2011
- Blackmagic breaks Thunderbolt price budget with US$299 Intensity Extreme from September 9th, 2011
- Matrox adds optional Thunderbolt connectivity to existing MXO2 family of interfaces from September 5th, 2011
- Why FCP X’s secondary monitor should be 1920×1200, not 1920×1080 from August 15, 2011
- Does Premiere CS5 achieve the “impossible dream” for critical evaluation monitoring? from July 1st, 2010
- Why should I care if my monitor shows ITU Rec.709? from December 8th, 2009
- Who is the ITU, and why should I care? from December 8th, 2009
- How to connect your HD evaluation monitor to your editing system properly: Let me count the ways! from May 23rd, 2009
- DreamColor from HP: an ideal tool for critical image evaluation from December 8th, 2009
- DreamColor converter boxes for non-compliant systems from December 8th, 2009
- DreamColor direct interfaces from December 8th, 2009
- Thunderbolt in MacBook Pro: a new era for demanding video editors who prefer laptops from February 27th, 2011
- Mac Mini w/Thunderbolt: preferred platform for many new editing systems from August 8th, 2011
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