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AJA io XT: how does it handle ProRes?

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Roland Blaser
AJA io XT: how does it handle ProRes?
on Feb 13, 2012 at 4:41:57 pm

Hi colleagues!

In an earlier post I tried to clarify how io XT handles ProRes. However, the answers were not fully covering my questions.
In the meantime I got a clear answer from AJA support - most probably there are some of us being interested in this topic! Here we are...

The question:
Hi colleagues from AJA support!

Sorry for being a bit stupid. Concerning the io XT capturing codecs I
have still an open question, even after reading the manual.
It's about the question how the io XT handles ProRes, my favorite format
for broadcast editing in HD. The io HD was something like a native
(hardware) ProRes unit. But what about the io XT? Let's assume I would
like to capture 1080i25 or 720p50 with the io XT via SDI IN. Can the io
XT hardware encode ProRes on the fly, sending the connected Mac an
already compressed ProRes format? Or is the connected Mac getting
uncompressed HD (means no chance for capturing onto an internal HD of a
MacBook Pro for instance)? Or does the connected Mac encode ProRes on the
fly (software encoding) while capturing and is a MacBook Pro powerful
enough to do so?
I'm sure stuff like this would be interesting for most of us...

Thanks for clarifying and best regards,


The answer:
The connected Mac encodes the files into ProRez on the fly (software
encoding) just like our Kona cards.
It will run on an iMac or one of the new Thunderbolt Macbook pro's.


AJA Video Technical Support

Unlike the io HD the io XT has no internal hardware support for ProRes. While capturing it streams uncompressed video to the connected Mac. And this Mac has to have at least the performance to do the ProRes (or whatever other format you like) encoding on the fly. If not, you have to capture uncompressed video to a good performing RAID, doing the ProRes (or whatever) encoding after capturing. I have no idea whether a Thunderbolt MacBook Pro has enough performance for real-time ProRes HQ encoding for instance. Or a Thunderbolt iMac in general. Are there any io XT buyers who could bring some light into this topic?

Thanks and regards,


Science journalist, cameraman, video editor. 30 years of science communication for Swiss National TV. Awarded Prix Media by Swiss Academy of Science. Nominee Descartes Prize for Science Communication European Union.
> Mac Pro 8 core, MacBook Pro. AJA ioHD. FCP 7.

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Kris Merkel
Re: AJA io XT: how does it handle ProRes?
on Feb 13, 2012 at 6:02:34 pm

Confirmed! Captured to Prores(lt) 1920x1080, 29.97 fps

60D HDMI to IoXT HDMI in thunderbolt conneced to MBP via AJA VTR exchange to the internal Drive

"Think of everything in terms of building capacity."

Kris Merkel
twitter @kris_merkel
Product Specialist, Flanders Scientific Inc.
Co-Founder, Atlanta Cutters Post Production User Group

2.2Ghz MBP core i7
16Gb RAM
CS 5.5
FCP7 and Studio
Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 3D
FSI LM-2340W
2TB Max Digital Pro Edit2 VR
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gary adcock
Re: AJA io XT: how does it handle ProRes?
on Feb 13, 2012 at 8:16:21 pm

[Roland Blaser] "I have no idea whether a Thunderbolt MacBook Pro has enough performance for real-time ProRes HQ encoding for instance."


I responded in another thread on this.

I am using my IoXT with15 and 17" Laptops, storage is a Pegasus R6 Array over TB.
(in RAID6 I am seeing capture and playback speeds over 500MB/s)

With the Shipping release of the IoXT software:

I can capture uncompressed 1080 video as 8 bit & 10 bit
I can capture uncompressed 1080 10b, as 444 RGB, as 1080 60p, as DPX or Tiff frames from Dual Link Sources

I can capture from those same single or dual link video sources in all flavors of PR from Proxyt up to PR444.

I am one of the few people that got to play with an IoXT prior to release, becuase of TB your world is about to change.

gary adcock

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL

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