HD here I come!

Ah, at last … a post where I can geek out:

I visited IBC this week in Amsterdam (Flickr Photos), and was blown away by the high-def goodies on show.
I got back thinking that it was finally time to take the plunge, and upgrade the edit suite to fully support HD.
We already have an AJA-IO for input and output from FCP, so the first logical choice was something from the same company that offered HD. AJA have recently announced the ioHD, which is an amazing little portable HD capture and playback device. It follows the same basic design as the IO, in that everything is handled via a single Firewire link (in this case, FW800).
Apart from being a little dissapointed it didn’t offer uncompressed or 4:4:4 editing (the IO is only 4:2:2), I figure it was still the best option from AJA, given that the Kona 3 card was SDI only …
… that is, until I found this:

Blackmagic Design’s Multibridge Eclipse was finally confirmed to be shipping only a few days ago, and with the same pricetag as the AJA-ioHD, you get far more for your money.
Not only does the box offer full 4:4:4 editing, support for ProRes422, and 2K HD … it also has a fantastic array of analogue and digital input/output options.
If you’re thinking of buying the AJA-ioHD, check this product out first. You loose the portability of the IO, but you gain an incredibly low-latency system that offers all the connectivity of the IO, but with additional support for 2K, 4:4:4 and hardware support for the RT Extreme timeline in FCP.
I’ve ordered mine today, and they’re scheduled to be in Europe in the next few weeks, so I’ll let you know how I get on.
In the meantime, I think my existing AJA-IO must have seen me browsing the brochure, as it’s decided to completely die on me. What incredible timing! I would say I’m lucky that I was ready to upgrade anyway, but with at least 4 weeks to wait for the Blackmagic box, I’m going to have to be technically creative with the upcoming film festivals. Eeek!
Anyway. I’ve geeked out, and I feel a little better for it. I’ll have some more geeking to do tomorrow, as I’ll be buying a nice 42″ 1080-line HD LCD monitor to go with this setup. Oh, how I love my job!