HDR Production Demand Has Taken Off—And AJA Technology Has an Answer

Neon lights color a stage before a live production.
(Image credit: AJA)

Founded in 2020, Hash Pixel develops and implements workflows for streaming and broadcast projects, making AJA technology a core workflow component across applications. Based in Beijing, China, the technology and services provider helps clients deliver polished video to a range of end points, and also offers DIT support for commercials. As HDR production demand has taken off, the AJA ColorBox converter has proven essential for high-performance color management across Hash Pixel’s live broadcasting, live event production, and post-production projects.

“We learned about ColorBox through our AJA distributor, Esan, and are honored to be one of the first ColorBox users in China,” said Hash Pixel CTO Hugo Wang. “ColorBox really fits into our workflow, the price is reasonable, and it supports 12G-SDI. It is an all-in-one ideal solution.”

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Hash Pixel projects include large-scale events, such as HUAWEI CONNECT, as well as streaming HUAWEI PGC e-commerce, TikTok’s “You Came with the Light” concert, the gaming finals for JJ Cup Doudizhu (Fight the Landlord), feature film “Sacrifice,” and an announcement for Chinese bicycle-sharing service Hellobike. The company’s streaming events usually require video distribution to an internet platform, like TikTok, BiliBili, Douyu, and WeChat. 

A control room of people and AJA solutions prepare for a live boradcast.

(Image credit: AJA)

Typically, the Hash Pixel team will connect ColorBox with the PGM signal from a video switcher, convert color, and transmit the output to its recording and broadcasting department. Since ColorBox supports a full series of HDR and SDR conversions, the DIT can easily download, adjust, and save the settings. The signal’s metadata is preserved in ColorBox’s SDI output, so the team can easily use it in conjunction with QTAKE video assist software. For remote IP production and SD-WAN, the company leverages its own IP video solutions, which allow them to remotely adjust the color of content via ColorBox. Having kit like ColorBox that supports 12G-SDI has become essential to Hash Pixel as 4K streaming and recording in live production workflows have become more common. 

“With ColorBox, it’s easier for us to manage different color grading needs across versions of content and higher resolution productions, thanks to the frame store function. This function allows us to screenshot directly from the lens and capture metadata. In film production, live 4K monitoring for DIT is also enabled,” Wang explained.

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A computer using AJA ColorBox software.

(Image credit: AJA)

In addition to ColorBox, Hash Pixel taps a wide range of AJA gear, including Ki Pro Ultra 12G, Ki Pro GO, Ki Pro Rack, KONA 4, Io 4K Plus, Io X3, UDC, Hi5-4K-Plus, U-TAP SDI, U-TAP HDMI, KUMO 1616, and FS-HDR. With FS-HDR, Hash Pixel completes color conversion, frame synchronization, and AES, Madi, and SDI audio embedding and dis-embedding, serving different functions in one single device. The company leverages Hi5-4K-Plus to correctly transmit SDI HDR signals from its color software to HDMI reference monitors for HDR production, with users able to easily view signal input and output from the Mini-Config managing software. Using Io 4K Plus with QTAKE on Mac, Hash Pixel can carry through SDI-embedded metadata, like HANC and VANC, across different video camera brands. The team often uses Io 4K Plus alongside AJA’s slim KUMO 1616-12G router, among other AJA solutions. 

“AJA products are extremely stable. I have a KONA 3G that I bought in 2012 and it is still working today. Because of this, purchasing AJA products ultimately saves you time and money. Each product consistently surprises us with its versatility,” Wang concluded. 

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.