Grass Valley, CA (April 12, 2023) – AJA Video Systems today rolled out v2.0 firmware for ColorBox, its compact, high-performance converter for color-managed workflows. Designed to meet the conversion needs of video professionals across a range of applications, the device supports low latency in-line HDR/SDR algorithmic and LUT color transforms for live production, live event, in-studio, and on-set applications. The update introduces an add-on license to expand ColorBox's Colorfront Engine™ video processing options with all-new TV Mode and Live Mode. Along with adding support for the latest v1.6 BBC HLG LUTs, the release also boasts an ORION-CONVERT update with a gamma compensation function to ensure compatibility between different color conversion philosophies. A host of additional free customer-requested features are also included in the release, such as support for overlaying frame lines or other graphics, and five additional built-in test patterns.
Colorfront Engine support for New TV and Live Modes with optional license
With color management strategies continuing to evolve, the tools required to facilitate those strategies in the real world are advancing as well. To help professionals keep pace, ColorBox's new Colorfront TV Mode is an intuitive color processing engine aimed at broadcast workflows. When licensed, it provides operators access to new Brightness, Highlight, Super Highlight, and Colorfulness tools that enable greater control over critical elements in color conversions. With them, users gain access to more controlled corrections within the guardrails of Colorfront's perceptual processing algorithm, which will maintain perceived color, hue, and saturation without hard clipping artifacts. New TV Mode also introduces Sony S-Log3 conversions as part of the license upgrade, which have proven advantageous in modern live production applications. The same license also enables Colorfront Live Mode, which includes several camera log formats beyond SDR, HLG and PQ like the ARRI Log C4 color space. These new Colorfront Engine capabilities mirror those available via the newly announced FS-HDR v4.2 firmware update.
ORION-CONVERT and BBC HLG LUTs updates
While ORION-CONVERT v1.0 is the origin of the popular NBCU LUTs, ORION-CONVERT v1.1 adds new compatibility with alternate LUT-based broadcast conversions through ORION's new Gamma Compensation, which is supported via ColorBox v2.0. This Gamma Compensation applies the optional OOTF (as described in section 5.1 of ITU-R BT.2408-5) to compensate for the subjective change in appearance between SDR and HDR. BBC HLG LUTs are also updated to the latest v1.6, including a new combination LUT that fuses two LUTs into one for camera shading applications and a new downmapping LUT based on the Color Appearance Model (CAM) or human visual system that attempts to preserve the artistic intent of original HDR content.
New user overlay feature, expanded test patterns, and partner integrations
When setting up a shot, so much needs to be considered when framing it. The camera, the sensor, the lens, and the target aspect ratio all play a role. Giving a DIT the ability to see frame lines on-set gives the production the best chance at capturing the shot right the first time. New with ColorBox is the User Overlay feature, providing the ability to import and overlay custom images onto the output. Those images could be frame lines or any other image such as a logo etc. imported as .png files to the new Overlay library and recalled along with or without the already available overlay information.
ColorBox plays a key role in getting a production "ready." With that notion in mind, five new test patterns have been added for a total of 14 to aid users in getting ready quickly. The five test patterns consist of three BT.2111 HDR variants, NBCU Fancy Bars, and a circle pattern.
Utilizing ColorBox's SDK, Light Illusion ColourSpace display calibration software, Portrait Displays Calman display calibration software, and QTAKE Video Assist software recently completed integrations with ColorBox, enabling more markets and supported applications to take advantage of ColorBox's professional feature set.
"We strive to simplify color-managed workflows, allowing our customers to focus on capturing interesting content rather than wasting time on solving compatibility challenges," said AJA President Nick Rashby. "ColorBox already boasts impressive capabilities and unmatched functionality, and v2.0 firmware further extends its value with compelling new features, including a Colorfront upgrade option."
Pricing and Availability
ColorBox is available today from AJA's worldwide network of resellers for $1,995 US MSRP, with optional licenses for Colorfront at $995 US MSRP, the ORION-CONVERT pipeline at $695 US MSRP, and the BBC HLG LUT pipeline at $145 US MSRP. For rack mounting, the new AJA 1RU Utility Rack accessory is available for $120 US MSRP. The firmware v2.0 update is now available for free via AJA's support page. To learn more, visit www.aja.com/colorbox, or head to AJA's What's New Page. NAB 2023 visitors can check out AJA ColorBox in person in the West Hall, booth #2600.
AJA ColorBox is a compact, high-performance converter for color-managed workflows designed to meet the conversion needs of broadcast, live events, and on-set applications. Supporting Standard Dynamic Range (SDR), High Dynamic Range (HDR), and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) signals, it utilizes 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 for single wire 4K/UltraHD HDR up to 4:2:2 10-bit 60p or 4:4:4 12-bit 30p with a unique color processing pipeline. ColorBox includes processing pipeline modes from Colorfront and NBCU LUTs, as well as a powerful AJA Color Pipeline. ColorBox also offers licensable upgrade options for advanced color managed workflows, including Colorfront EngineTM, the ORION-CONVERT algorithm, as well as BBC HLG LUTs. www.aja.com/colorbox