AJA Video Systems has added new features to its Io FireWire video interface. The new upgrade adds RGB V-out and a new control panel software interface. Io's new software upgrade adds direct support for Apple Motion, Adobe After Effects and Discreet Combustion, and will be available free to all Io owners. The company also introduced its new Kona 2 dual link HD/SD uncompressed video capture card for the Mac.

Io provides audio and video I/O to the Mac through FireWire. Designed to work as a rack-mount interface, Io supports 10-bit uncompressed SDI video embedded audio in/out. It features an RS-422 control port, S-video in/out, composite NTSC/PAL video in/out, component YPbPr/RGB video in/out, genlock/reference video and much more.

The new software update for Io adds one of the most frequently requested user features since Io's introduction, according to AJA -- RGB V-out support. Io's support of Motion, After Effects and Combustion works without requiring any additional plug-ins, as well -- it'll be available as a free driver update in May.

The new Io Control Panel allows the interface to operate as an "anything in, anything out frame synchronizer," according to the developer -- it can embed and disembed SDI audio streams, remap SDI audio channels, select field modes, video proc amp and save and recall settings. The Control Panel software also integrates with the Io QuickTime driver. And it's AppleScriptable.

In announcing the update, AJA Video Systems noted that they'll be at this June's Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company hopes to meet with third-party developers to discuss integration with other OS X applications.

Kona 2 dual link capture card debuts

The Kona 2 is a new PCI-X video capture card aimed at video professions who need to grab uncompressed video for Standard Definition (SD), High Definition (HD) and Dual Link HD. The card features 8-channel AES and embedded audio support, up/down HD/SD format conversion and HD/SD component analogue output. It features hardware acceleration when used in conjunction with Apple's recently released Final Cut Pro HD, and supports Final Cut Pro RT Extreme effects.

The Kona 2 supports RS-422 machine control, desktop output, automatic HD/SD genlock, input AES sample rate conversion and BNC and XLR AES breakout cables. AJA also offers the optional K Box, a 1RU rack mountable enclosure that supports all of the Kona 2's connectors along with XLR and BNC AES connections and 2-channel RCA-style analogue audio monitoring.

Kona 2 costs about $2,500 (around £1,380); the K Box costs about $300 (£165). Both will be available in June 2004.