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Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink

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Matthias Halibrand
Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 19, 2008 at 7:30:17 pm

Hi,

I decided to post in the AJA-section, since my main question is wether to get the Kona 3 or the Kona LHe.

So, I'm a proud owner of a MacPro since almost two years now, it's still doing great, but I'm lacking a real monitoring solution for videosignals in both HD and SD, especially for color correction purposes, since my displays are "only" two EIZO SW2410s, which are not usable to judge color at all. At the moment the closest to actual monitoring is using DV-over-FireWire and connect a lent class-A-monitor to a DV-Camera. Yeah, I know.
To put an end to this I want to invest. First in a capture-card, later in a real HD-monitor. And I'd love to have a good Waveform and Vectorscope.
So, what to get?
Decklink is pretty much ruled out reading through all different kind of forums. I don't care to spend a bit more, here.
But on the AJA-side there is the Kona3 which can do everything or the Kona LHe, which is a grant cheaper but doesn't do 4:4:4. But I doubt I will invest in a HDCAM-SR in the near future, though. :) And I won't work in 2k in the near future, too.
I would like to know, what the real-life differences are between the Kona3 and the LHe, preferably from one who knows them both, of course.
Will I regret it in two years if I don't go for the Kona3, now?
Additionally to that, what monitor to get for grading purposes? I'm interested in a ideas for SD using the downscaler for the beginning as well as a big version for complete HD-monitoring, later, depending on the cost differences. I found the Intelli Proof 240 motion from Quatographic seems to be a good package. Has anyone worked with it? Is it good?
Are there any monitors which are switchable to waveform/vectorscope?

I know, many questions, I appreciate your thoughts very much.

Thanks,

Matze


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walter biscardi
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 19, 2008 at 7:55:50 pm

[Matthias Halibrand] "But on the AJA-side there is the Kona3 which can do everything or the Kona LHe, which is a grant cheaper but doesn't do 4:4:4. But I doubt I will invest in a HDCAM-SR in the near future, though. :) And I won't work in 2k in the near future, too."

The Kona 3 offers much more flexibility for an SD/HD environment. The main differences are these:

Kona 3. SD to HD Upconvert. 720 to 1080 Cross Convert. 1080 to 720 Cross Convert. HD to SD Downconvert. 4:4:4 support

Digital Inputs only. Digital outputs and Component/Composite and RCA Analog audio out.


Kona LHe. HD to SD Downconvert. Digital and Analog I/O.

This has actually been covered quite a bit lately in this very forum.

[Matthias Halibrand] "Additionally to that, what monitor to get for grading purposes?"

TV-Logic makes my favorite monitors right now. I have a writeup on one in my blog.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
View Walter Biscardi's profile on LinkedIn


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Ramona Howard
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 19, 2008 at 8:47:30 pm

Matthias,

I would suggest that if you can swing the extra bucks, go for the K3. You will find that as you step into HD, having the options to convert it to other formats is a blessing. This way your not stuck with one monitoring solution but now have choices.

Also if your stepping into the professional HD realm, you will find the need to possibly deliver in 4:4:4, if you don't want to.

AJA has a great comparison chart on their website, I suggest checking it out and no I don't think you will regret buying a K3 now, especially if you can begin making money off of it.

Don't sell yourself short on 4:4:4, there are plenty of ways to work within the format without the need of an SR.

Cheers,
Ramona



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Aaron Neitz
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 19, 2008 at 11:58:36 pm

Just to defened Eizo :)

When we bought our new Flame it came with the Eizo ColorEdge240W as the working monitor. We were very impressed with it's color accuracy and black performance... it's dangerously close to the BVM monitor, and it blew away a LCD JVC reference monitor and a Sony Luma monitor.

Since then we've bought several Eizo for HD editing stations and effects stations. I have zero qualms about doing color work in my bay, shipping my shots to Flame for final output, and worrying about how the color holds up on the BVM.



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Matthias Halibrand
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 20, 2008 at 12:17:55 am

Well,

I am definitely with you here. But my S2410W are a step smaller/cheaper than the ce240w, and you can't calibrate it, so it does not fulfill the needs of color correction monitoring.
For computer display for me the only brand to get is EIZO for many years now, and I would never go back. That's why I wrote: "only" in "". Because I really dig the displays. :)
Thanks to all you for your feedback, since there was nobody yet, which just said to go with the LHe, because it really doesn't matter, it will be the Kona3.
Monitoring is still a question, any other suggestions than TV-Logic? Because they are a bit over my budget at the moment.
Anyone who knows the Quato?
What SD-Displays would you suggest buying new? Can still be CRT.

THX,

Matze



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Ramona Howard
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 20, 2008 at 12:28:44 am

Matze,

Check out the many converters that AJA has that will allow you to go to just about any connection you may need. Also make sure you invest in the $300 Kbox, well worth it and it will give you component jacks to go out to inexpensive monitoring.

Since your stepping into HD, also check out their new Gen10 Tri-sync generator. For $400 it's a steal and a MUST.

Best of luck,
Ramona



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Mitch Ives
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 21, 2008 at 5:05:05 pm

[Ramona Howard] "Since your stepping into HD, also check out their new Gen10 Tri-sync generator. For $400 it's a steal and a MUST. "

You got that right. We lost a hell of a lot of production time, chasing some odd sync issues with both SD and HD. The Kbox SDI out had one problem, while the Kbox YUV out had another.

AJA Tech support got involved and nobody could explain why everything worked out fine on the Kona LH, but would not work on the Kona 3. Eventually, Rudy suggested to tech support that I try a GEN 10 as a long shot. That fixed it all.

Tech support has acknowledged that the Kona 3 achieves sync in an entirely different manner than the other Kona boards. The also acknowledge that the Kona 3 is a lot finickier on sync. Persoanlly, I think it's the all digital nature of the Kona 3. The Kona LH series and the HD Io do not have this problem, but they both have analog capability that the K3 does not.

So, I'll echo your comment... I think a GEN 10 ought to be bundled to the Kona 3 box...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com


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Ramona Howard
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 21, 2008 at 5:45:44 pm

Mitch,

We have had very good success with the K3 in the facilities we sit in that have great house sync in general. Some things are simply not tolerated in well engineered items, jitter is one of them on the K3.

Why it is so different from their other boards, i am not at liberty to say but can say the other boards are not even close to what's going on with the K3.

Glad it all worked out.

Cheers,
Ramona



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Matthias Halibrand
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 21, 2008 at 8:02:50 pm

Hi all,

thanks for your posts so far.
You've been a great help.
As for the gen10, since I'm talking of a monitoring solution at the moment, is this necessary?
I mean, the monitor will synch from the K3, and the maximum I will do is take a HDCAM-MAZ or Cam and capture video, so it shouldn't be a problem, synchwise?
Or am I completely mistaken here?

Thanks,

MatzeHali



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Ramona Howard
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 21, 2008 at 8:23:04 pm

We do monitoring all the time when we are on the road (trade shows and some demos) with no outside sync source so yes you are correct. But anytime we are doing a demo connected to multiple devices sync is a must. Most of the time we have the luxury of great house sync for a demo but we use a GEN10 here in our test lab. For $400 why would you even pass on this as it could eliminate lots of gray hairs.


Cheers,
Ramona



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Matthias Halibrand
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 21, 2008 at 9:07:28 pm

Well, pass on a part which at the moment is not needed and invest in the right thing enough to not have spent it for nothing is essential in close privatebudget regions. :)
Of course, when I buy my first MAZ of my own (haha), it won't be even a thinker to get the GEN10. Until then, I spend the little money I have to get the best setup for my needs.
Or: Why buy a tractor? A Porsche is much faster! :)

Thanks for your reply,

MatzeHali



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Mitch Ives
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 22, 2008 at 5:15:50 pm

For us, monitoring is fine IF you don't have the inputs connected at the same time. Input was fine if you didn't have the outputs connected. Basically, the moment you opened the Log & Capture window in FCP, you were hosed. So if you need a deck connected and want to capture, then you might need a GEN 10.

The bottom line is that the GEN 10 is a great piece of kit... and I can't recommend it highly enough... $400 isn't much to be completely happy and get back to enjoying the rock solid nature of AJA products...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com


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Ramona Howard
Re: Kona 3 vs. Kona LHe vs. Decklink
on Mar 24, 2008 at 5:03:11 am

Mitch,

That's bizarre. Can't say we have had any of those problems, even without house sync.

Cheers,
Ramona



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