AJA KONA Cards Bring Immersive Art Exhibits to Life

(Image credit: Anthony Pagano)

Commanding an audience’s attention is challenging in public settings, yet museums, art galleries, and event venues are breaking through the noise with technology-driven visual spectacles. Immersive art exhibits, as an example, have taken the world by storm in the last year, as droves of people have signed up to see the works of legendary artists come to life via video projection. 

These breathtaking installations, however, require creativity, forethought, and an arsenal of technology on the backend, which the experts at Realtime Environment Systems (RES) specialize in. Based out of London, the creative and technology services company delivers stunning video and projection mapping for museum, concert, and live event projects, for which it regularly depends on AJA KONA video I/O cards for 4K and 8K playout. 

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RES’ project portfolio is diverse, with its work currently on display at the National Museum of Qatar, and its creative stamp on previous spectacles for the 2020 Japan Games torch relay, Coldplay World Tour, and Eric Prydz HOLOSPHERE show, among other events. In translating client visions to realities, RES Founders Dave Green, Trey Harrison, and Mark Calvert found themselves using a similar set of tools for video playback and saw an opportunity to commercialize their work. Out of this realization, they launched HIVE in March 2022. The new technology company develops cost-efficient, portable media control solutions for driving projection and LED displays in AV environments. 


(Image credit: Anthony Pagano)

To date, HIVE offers four different media players, including PLAYER_3 and PLAYER_4, which support 4K and 8K playback and include an AJA KONA 4 card and an AJA KONA 5 card respectively. “I’ve been using KONA cards for more than a decade now because they provide consistent high quality video playback, even for the most complex installations," said David Green, founder and technical lead. "Integrating them into our new media player boxes just made sense. Both KONA 4 and KONA 5 offer remarkable performance for 4K and 8K playback at an affordable price point, which will be crucial as the AV industry continues to move more toward 4K and 8K content, especially for large scale installations, in which higher resolutions deliver that WOW factor.” 

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In addition to supporting 4K and 8K video via built-in KONA 4 and KONA 5 cards, HIVE’s PLAYER_3 and PLAYER_4 products also include an NVIDIA GPU. Systems integrators and venue teams simply connect the media player box to their display technology, and log into HIVE’s web-based application. An intuitive interface then allows users to upload video files for playout directly from a phone, tablet, or computer, and set up and/or edit the playlist or timecode cue list directly from the app. 

“As the visual bar for video installations continues to grow, keeping media control workflows and costs in check has become in many ways unmanageable, which is where HIVE is providing respite," Green concluded. "Our media players eliminate the need for massive racks of expensive, complex hardware setups, and AJA KONA is a key enabler, packing a big punch with a small footprint.” 

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.