AJA Video has announced a version 2 upgrade for AJA's Kona 3 High Defintion/Standard Definition (HD/SD) video capture card. The new upgrade will be released on May 22, 2006, and will be free for Kona 3 users.

Designed for video professionals, the $2,990 (around £1,285) Kona 3 is an uncompressed video capture card designed for PCI Express-equipped Power Mac G5s. It works with Final Cut Pro, and supports any uncompressed HD or SD format. The Kona 3 plays back uncompressed 10-bit and 8-bit digital video and 24-bit digital audio. It supports hardware-based up-, down- and cross-conversion to and from HD and adds live hardware HD/SD keying for compositing bugs, live clips and other elements in video.

The new capability provides Kona 3 users with the ability to edit and finish 2K video using a Power Mac G5. It simultaneously creates 2K DPX files and 2K QuickTime reference movies. What's more, it also provides hardware-based 1080-to-720 or 720-to-1080 cross conversion. The Kona 3 v2 upgrade also allows 2K files to be viewed on HD 1080 24P-supported video monitors.

Other new features present in the v2 release include 16-channel embedded audio and 96kHz AES audio.

The announcement was made at this week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas.