NAB 2014: Convergent Design Announces Athena

Announcing the Convergent Design Athena 4K/Multi-Stream Player/Recorder Encoder/Decoder, a field-use or rack-mount complete solution, debuting as a “product preview” at NAB 2014.

Athena is the first standalone, tapeless player/recorder deck capable of 4K/UHD 60p, 2K/HD 60p, and Multi-Stream (even in 4K). An industry first is the ability to record/play four HD video streams along with 64 channels of MADI audio. It can be used as a production facility tape deck replacement; a driver for multi-screen video walls; the heart of an interactive multi-panel display for education, entertainment or point-of-sale, a concert or live event multi-camera recorder, and even a system to stream footage live from set back to post or load material remotely.

Athena’s functions are hardware-based for high efficiency and reliability; it’s not a “PC in a box”. The easy to use playback system allows one to load Apple ProRes, Avid DNxHD or DPX files straight from a computer onto an SSD and play on Athena, or load them directly onto an SSD mounted in Athena via Gigabit Ethernet (Gig-E). Recording is equally versatile and straightforward. The efficient design fits in a 1U, Half-Rack space; has a front panel featuring an LCD display for status info and confidence monitoring, a 2.5” SSD slot (up to 2GB current spec) and deck controls; and can operate 24/7 continuously with a low power draw. The auto-start/auto-recovery mode means Athena can start up in seconds and begin or resume operations should power be interrupted.

There are many ways in which the powerful and versatile Athena can be utilized. Just scratching the surface are these examples:

Studio Deck

  • Record & Playback Master Deck for any resolution and frame rate format
  • Create all deliverables from a single piece of hardware
  • Live Multi-Camera capture with live Gig-E streaming to post

Field Production

  • Four camera, 64-track audio master recorder for events, concerts
  • Stream video & audio content to post or broadcast via Gig-E
  • Gang multiple Athenas for large scale events

Digital Cinema

  • Feed projectors & monitors of any resolution & frame rate
  • 4K up to 60p
  • 2x 4K/30p or 2x 2K/60p for 3D stereo projection
  • (Tentative Spec) Play DCP formats in 4K or 2K (JPEG2000)
  • Load content locally onto SSD for screening room facility
  • Load content via Gig-E for mass distribution with encryption protection

Digital Signage

  • Feed monitor/projector 4K up to 60p
  • Feed 2x 4K/30p streams simultaneously
  • Feed 4x 2K/60p streams simultaneously for video walls
  • Gang multiple Athenas for large video wall installations
  • Stream all outputs simultaneously for video walls
  • Stream all outputs independently with local start/stop control for multiple interactive displays

Special Venue

  • Trade Show: multiple interactive displays with live feedback via Gig-E
  • Concert: large video walls which break into individual screens of content
  • Theme Park: Rides or interactive information signage in wait lines
  • Installation: Museum, Planetarium, Education/Information Center
  • Point-of-Sale Kiosks: Interactive video wall multi-panel solution
  • Producers & DPs: Portable player of any resolution & frame rate for client presentations

Current Preproduction Specs

Athena Connectivity:

  • Four 6G-SDI outputs, Four 6G-SDI inputs
  • Two Display Port 1.2a outputs (4K/60p) with DP/HDMI dual mode
  • Two HDMI 2.0 outputs (4K/60p) via DPàHDMI cable
  • Four channels of AES audio out via two HD-BNCs
  • 64 channels of MADI audio I/O via two HD-BNCs
  • 64 channels of Dante audio I/O via Gig-E
  • 16 channel SDI embedded audio I/O
  • Balanced Professional Stereo analog audio out
  • Tri-Level Sync, LTC Time Code, GPIO, Deck Remote Control
  • Gig-E for streaming files to Ethernet/Internet

Athena Record/Playback Capability:

  • One stream of 4K/QHD up to 60p, two streams up to 30p
  • Two streams of 2K/HD 4:4:4 RGB 12-bit up to 60p, four streams up to 30p
  • Four streams of HD 4:2:2 up to 30p
  • Simultaneously stream online/offline video to post or Cloud via Gig-E
  • Record 4K/30p or four streams of HD/30p and simultaneously stream proxy versions via Gig-E

Athena is debuting as a “product preview” in Convergent Design’s booth at NAB 2014 (Central Hall booth C7113). Athena is scheduled to show as a production model at IBC 2014 with units shipping in Q4 2014.

For more information visit

NAB 2014: FUJIFILM’s New Cabrio Offers 12x Zoom Ratio to Cover 25mm Wide Angle to 300mm at Telephoto

The Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation will announce the latest addition to its popular series of cine zooms – the Premier PL 25-300mm Cabrio [ZK12x25] at the annual NAB 2014 convention, held in Las Vegas, starting on April 7th.. The company will exhibit in NAB Booth #C7025.

Equipped with a 35mm PL mount, the PL 25-300mm boasts a high zoom ratio covering the focal length of 25mm to 300mm. Like all Cabrio zooms, the PL 25-300mm supports an optional detachable drive unit for electric zooming, focusing and iris. Mounting the unit enables remote control of zoom, focus, and iris adjustment. It can be used as a self-contained ENG-style or cine style lens. When used without the drive, industry-standard cine motors can be fitted.

Designed using the latest proprietary optical simulation software, the PL 25-300mm offers exceptional optical performance in the center of the image and in the corners of the frame. The digital servo’s 16-bit encoding assures operators that all lens data output—including the position of the zoom, iris, and focus—is extremely accurate. The zoom supports Lens Data System (LDS) and /i Technology metadata formats, and can be controlled using cinema industry standard wireless controllers as well as existing FUJINON wired and wireless units.

FUJINON’s PL 25-300mm lens is the latest development in the company’s popular Cabrio series, which includes the recently introduced Premier PL 19-90mm, the PL 85-300mm, and the recently introduced PL 14-35mm lenses.

The PL 25-300mm zoom will be available in June of this year, the optimal digital servo drive approximately Q3. A presentation running on two monitors within the Optical Devices Division’s NAB booth will feature several of the industry’s top cinematographers, including Claudio Miranda testifying to the unsurpassed versatility and image quality of the FUJINON cine-style lenses. This year also marks FUJIFILM’s 80th anniversary, and 40 years for the Optical Devices Division, formerly known as FUJINON, in the U.S.

For more information, please visit, go to to follow Fujifilm on Twitter, or go to to Like Fujifilm on Facebook.

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Conferences: April 5–10, 2014 | Exhibits: April 7–10 | Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada USA

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Convergent Design Odyssey7Q Firmware 1.1.105 Released

Today Convergent Design releases the long-awaited firmware update for the Odyssey7Q. There are improvements to old functions, fixes to some issues, and numerous new features.

Highlights of the firmware update include:

New Features

  • Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 1920×1080 recording/playback up to 30p
  • Mix file types on SSDs (raided, non-raided, RAW, ProRes, etc.)
  • OLED Pixel Zoom frame drag (move window around frame)
  • Improved/Added reference marks to Waveform, Histogram and False Color tools
  • OLED automatic screen flip (defeatable)
  • Audio meters
  • Headphone volume control
  • Hide video function (blackout OLED)
  • 1.33 Frame Guide added
  • Overlays on/off for SDI & HDMI outputs

Sony FS700 Record Option

  • FS700 4K RAW recording up to 60p
  • “4K2HD” FS700 4K RAW to Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) 1920×1080 recording up to 30p. This feature supports either SLOG2 or IT709 (REC709) Picture Profiles. 1080p super-sampled from 4K RAW for a superior image.

Canon C500 Record Option

  • QuadHD RAW (3840×2160) recording up to 60p
  • 2K & 1080p 12-bit RGB recording up to 30p in .DPX

Fixes & Improvements

  • FS700 false triggering reduced
  • FS700 RAW white balance tracking corrected
  • Monitored image tearing corrected
  • Intermittent lines in image corrected
  • Cinema DNG files improved for greater post software compatibility
  • Improved SDI signal detection

Download the Firmware Update. You will be directed to a page where the firmware can be downloaded, with release notes, and updating instructions. An Odyssey SSD is required to perform the update.

Find out about new features, products and innovations from Convergent Design at NAB 2014, booth C7113.

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