Sunday, October 1, 2023

AJA Unveils ColorBox

AJA has debuted ColorBox, a portable, high-performance device with inline algorithmic colour transforms and LUT processing capabilities delivering precise and accurate colour space conversions for live broadcast, live events, on-set production and post production. ColorBox enables a range of HDR and SDR conversions and allows DITs to easily load, modify, and save looks, and create reference images for dailies to ensure colour accuracy across all production stakeholders and creative vendors.

ColorBox arrives as more productions are standardising on 4K/UltraHD HDR, with colour and LUT management proving essential to creating and achieving looks for live and scripted content. Designed to support a wide range of look management approaches on-set and in live production environments, ColorBox features 12G-SDI in/out and HDMI 2.0 out for up to 4K/UltraHD 60p 10-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 and 30p 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal support. ColorBox includes AJA Color Pipeline (ACP) Mode with a 33-point 3D LUT processor with tetrahedral LUT interpolation, four built-in user-configurable 1D LUTs, and two 3×3 user-configurable matrices. ColorBox users also benefit from a built-in RGB colour corrector and ProcAmp, extensive LUT, matrices and image libraries, powerful capture and recall capabilities, ancillary (ANC) metadata management, and more. All of this is easily controlled via an integrated web browser-based interface.

In total, ColorBox offers five Modes with one active at any given time.

  • AJA Color Pipeline (ACP)
  • Colorfront
  • ORION-CONVERT(Optional license – watermarked preview)
  • BBC HLG LUT (Optional license – watermarked preview)

“Powered by the HPA Award winning Colorfront Engine, the new Colorfront Mode in AJA’s exciting new ColorBox offers state of the art conversions between SDR and HDR content,” explained William Feightner, CTO, Colorfront. “As opposed to traditional LUT based processing, the Colorfront Engine’s Human Perceptual Model algorithm assures flawless artifact free conversions. This ensures the preservation of creative intent.”

“ORION-CONVERT was developed out of the need to create bespoke color-managed conversions for our clients at Cromorama. The ease of use and the simplicity of the user interface together with unprecedented highlight control help deliver the most challenging live broadcasting events and episodic file based content,” explained Pablo Garcia Soriano, Cromorama’s Founder and Head of Colour. “Now with the implementation of ORION-CONVERT in AJA’s new ColorBox we can finally use optimised floating point processing that provides greater precision than can be achieved using standard LUT solutions.”

ColorBox packs ultra low-latency, high-density 4K/UltraHD processing into a portable device with a robust feature set of SDR/HDR/WCG color transforms for many applications. Extensive frame capturing features include pre-processed image capture or post-processed output capture for reference stills with overlaid metadata, such as video payload ID’s, pipeline configuration, and customizable user text. These frame captures can be saved locally and exported to the configuration PC running the web browser-based ColorBox user interface.

A built-in USB OTG port lets users easily configure ColorBox wirelessly via a 3rd party USB WiFi adapter. 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 outputs provide up to 4K/UHD video for local monitoring, and an additional 12G-SDI loop through output is available for connecting the unaltered source to other devices.

ColorBox feature highlights include:

  • Up to 4K/UltraHD 60p 10-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 and 30p 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal support.
  • 12G-SDI in/out, with loop out.
  • HDMI 2.0 output.
  • 5 Modes available: AJA Color Pipeline, Colorfront, NBCU, BBC HLG, ORION-CONVERT.
    Extensive color processing using AJA Color Pipeline: 1D LUTs, 3×3 Matrices, and 3D LUT nodes for image manipulation/correction.
  • Optional licenses for varying image processing needs, including BBC HLG LUTs and ORION-CONVERT with optimized floating point processing provides greater precision that can be achieved by standard LUT boxes.
  • Light-weight portable form factor that easily fits on the desktop or up to 4 units in a 1RU rack.
  • Intuitive and convenient web browser-based user interface with Video Preview for confidence monitoring.4K/UltraHD Frame Store capture and recall of 16-bit .TIFF, .JPEG, or .PNG files.
  • Powerful built-in test pattern generator for simple setup and signal path validation.
    Extensive API/Software Development Kit (SDK) for third-party control of every parameter.
  • The ability to key information onto a processed output with Overlay for local use or capture with customizable user fields.
  • Ultra-low latency to ensure sources remain within the timing window of the downstream switcher in live production workflows.
  • HDMI 2.0 output for 4K/UltraHD HDR enables cost-efficient monitoring on consumer displays.
  • USB OTG port and third-party WiFi adapter provides wireless access to the web UI when a wired Ethernet connection is not available.
  • ANC management with a user-defined field that can be overlaid or embedded in frame store .tiff files.

“Reliable, high end color processing and display have become essential to creating scripted and live content that resonates with audiences, and AJA developed ColorBox in response to this demand. Drawing on an extensive engineering background in HDR and conversion technology, as well as third-party partnerships with experts in color science, we’ve delivered an unparalleled and flexible image processing toolset in this device,” shared AJA President Nick Rashby. “ColorBox streamlines colour management and display for environments ranging from TV, episodic, film, live event and commercial production to creative, editorial, and finishing studios, and we’re thrilled to bring it to market.”


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