AJA KONA 5 Powers 8K Playout for VRi’s Next-Generation Broadcast Graphics System
October 8, 2019
As Japan ramps up for broadcasting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 8K and China prepares for 8K broadcasts of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, demand for 8K UltraHD2 production equipment in Asia and around the world is rapidly expanding. In Korea, Seoul-based broadcasting technology provider Visual Research Inc. (VRi) is helping lead the transition to UltraHD2, with the introduction of a new 8K graphics system that drives high end 8K visuals and animations in real time for live broadcasts and postproduction editing. Powered by VRi’s KarismaCG graphics software, the solution leverages the speed, power and flexibility of AJA’s KONA 5 8-lane PCIe 3.0 I/O cards for 8K and multi-channel 4K/UHD/2K and HD playout.
Founded in 1995, VRi specializes in producing graphics systems for South Korean terrestrial broadcasting companies, including KBS, MBC and SBS; local stations; and CATVs domestically, in addition to exporting systems to more than 20 countries worldwide. Seeing an uptick in 8K adoption across Korea – and global demand driven by 8K broadcasting via satellite in Japan, beginning in December 2018 – VRi’s team of broadcast engineers developed a high-end 8K graphics system to create the most vivid and photoreal imagery possible, with improved color space and 16 times higher resolution than HD.
The 8K system configuration includes VRi’s KarismaCG 8K graphics creation and playout software and two KONA 5 cards on a dual Xeon workstation running Windows 10, NVIDIA Quadro GV100 GPUs and 32GB of 2666 MHz memory. In the live workflow, KarismaCG renders 8K graphics in real-time, including 2D and 3D characters, images and animations, with the resulting signal transmitted via PCI to KONA 5 at a rate of 60 frames per second. From KONA 5, 8K signals are output over four 12G-SDI ports for playout in 8K broadcasts or to be mixed externally in live environments. The workflow uses two KONA 5 cards for 8K playout to provide both key and fill signals.
Throughout creation and testing of the graphics system, the reliability of KONA 5 and intuitive integration through AJA’s SDK provided stable operation and contributed to shorter development time. The workflow demanded an affordable I/O solution capable of transmitting 8K signals in real-time, with KONA 5 an ideal choice for engineers at VRi. KONA 5 supports fast, 8-lane PCIe 3.0 I/O and features four bidirectional 12G-SDI ports to power the most demanding workflows, making the card both easy to deploy and an ideal solution for configuration of VRi’s 8K graphics system. In addition to 12G-SDI, KONA 5 features HDMI 2.0, AES/EBU, LTC and RS-422 ports, providing flexibility with image monitoring and integration with other production solutions throughout the broadcast workflow.
VRi’s 8K graphics system has been fully developed and exhibited at industry events, with an upcoming future release pending. VRi has received strong feedback from customers who are eager to integrate the system for its ability to render and playout complex 8K graphics in real-time, including both fill and key signals.
About KONA 5
KONA 5 is an 8-lane PCIe 3.0 video and audio I/O card supporting 12G-SDI I/O and HDMI 2.0 monitoring/output for workstations or Thunderbolt™ 3-connected chassis. KONA 5 supports 4K/UltraHD and HD high frame rate, deep color and HDR workflows over a single cable. For developers, AJA’s SDK offers support for KONA 5 multi-channel 12G-SDI I/O, enabling multiple 4K streams of input or output. www.aja.com/products/kona-5
About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high quality, cost effective products to the professional, broadcast and postproduction markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.