Trickbox TV Keeps Processes Simple, Costs Low with AJA Ki Pro 

You might know it as a mobile studio, a portable production unit, a PPU, a flyaway or a de-rig – we like to call it The Trickbox

London-based Trickbox TV provides technical know-how, equipment and crew for the production of broadcast shows, music shows and festivals, corporate events, webcasts and more. Specializing in multi-camera shoots, they create the setups clients need, and also provide crew. Recently, owner and managing director Liam Laminman has noticed a growing client demand for AJA Ki Pro digital recorders to be included in their production packages.

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“We’ve definitely seen an increase in requests for AJA Ki Pro,” Laminman said. “Ki Pros are reliable, they support Apple ProRes 422, which is a universal format, and they are about half the cost of renting decks, so the demand isn’t surprising. In every case where we’ve used Ki Pro, the production has benefitted, whether it has been by streamlining processes, reducing costs, or both.”

Recently, Trickbox TV provided engineering support for Objective Productions, one of Britain’s most influential independent production companies, on the BAFTA Award-winning game show, The Cube. The third series of the popular game show was captured with nine HD studio cameras, along with slo-mo cameras, in a month-long shoot. Ten AJA Ki Pros were used for digital capture – nine ISOs and, one recording the line cut. Each Ki Pro recorded the day’s footage (about six hours worth of Apple ProRes files) onto 500GB drives, which were transferred overnight and ready for editing on Apple Final Cut systems, without requiring transcoding.

“It’s so easy for clients to work with the ProRes codec. They just pop it onto the timeline and edit straight away,” said Laminman. “On this production, given that the shoot was about 30 days, renting Ki Pro versus HDCAM decks also made a big difference in the budget. It probably cut deck rental costs in half.”

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When Trickbox TV is contracted on production only services and not editing and post production services, Laminman also appreciates that providing Apple ProRes-based solutions means that his handoff to clients will be smooth. “ProRes is a universal format that guarantees clients can be self sufficient once the job is complete.”

He added, “AJA Ki Pro is becoming a standard too. While other digital recorders might need card readers or special software for ingest, transferring ProRes .movs is a drag and drop process. Ki Pro is also more of a traditional VTR type recorder that does hardware encoding, which is what most in the industry expect. The extra features Ki Pro offers – up/down convert, support for different inputs, aspect ratio conversion – those are all impressive for a box that small. You don’t find those in conventional HDCAM VTRs.”

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About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion, acquisition and desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world.

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