M.B. System 2000 Srl. Expands the Vatican’s 4K HDR Production Capabilities with AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G

As Pope Francis approached the Vatican pulpit on Christmas Eve 2021, individuals and families around the world joined him in celebrating mass via live 4K HDR broadcasts on RAI, as well as HD SDR event streams on the Vatican News and Vatican Media streaming platforms and other broadcast networks. To ensure a high-quality production value for this event and others, the Vatican Dicastery for Communication (DPC) audiovisual department entrusted Italian systems integrator M.B. System 2000 Srl. to design and install a 4K HDR infrastructure upgrade ahead of the production. Part of a larger overhaul to the Vatican’s video workflow to optimize the space for 4K HDR production, the update includes two AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G devices for redundant recording.

With the Vatican DPC AV team opting to record and archive the Holy Father’s Christmas Eve Mass in 4K HDR, M.B. System 2000 architected the new workflow with 12G-SDI connectivity to support bandwidth needs. This path also helped to streamline cabling throughout the Vatican DPC’s mobile production vehicle and an on-site control room. Commenting on the decision, M.B. System 2000 Technical Director Marci Barvi said, “Using 12G-SDI-equipped devices like Ki Pro Ultra 12G helped us save on implementation costs, while also accelerating the install process.” 

In addition to providing necessary 12G-SDI connectivity, the Ki Pro Ultra 12G devices offer HDR 10 and HLG support and give the Vatican DPC’s AV team the flexibility to record multiple channels of HD or record and play back a single channel of HDR UltraHD/4K video ­– without any concern about downtime or lost recordings. The device’s ability to generate HDR metadata in accordance with SMPTE, double slots for SSD media drives, ProRes and DNx codec support, and compact size are also invaluable to production efforts.

“AJA is synonymous with quality and reliability, which are paramount for clients executing productions like this with such a massive global audience, so naturally Ki Pro Ultra 12G was top of mind when we knew the upgrade would require a recorder,” added Marco Barvi. “It’s truly a one-of-a-kind product, and we love that it’s assembled and pre-tested on-site at the AJA facility in Grass Valley. The fact that it also supports a single channel of UHD/4K video recording and playback or four channels of HD video recording, as well as various curves and formats, makes it an incredibly versatile device for the Vatican DPC AV team as well as our other clients.”

The Vatican DPC AV team is currently re-wiring its mobile production vehicle, and plans to harness the Ki Pro Ultra 12G’s 12G-SDI ports and support for SMPTE to connect the workflow to a new mixer via an audio embedder and to a new matrix. By the time the project is complete, the Vatican DPC’s new audio and video production infrastructure will be implemented fully with SMPTE 12G‐SDI 4K HDR technology and a SMPTE ST‐2110 content distribution backbone.

About AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G

Ki Pro Ultra 12G is a multi-channel Apple ProRes® recorder offering up to four channels of simultaneous HD recording, or in a single channel of 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR® recording and playback. Avid DNxHD® MXF is also supported up to HD formats in single channel mode. The device offers 12G-SDI single cable simplicity for large rasters up to full 4K, (4x 3G-SDI inputs/outputs can be used for Quad Link operations as required) and HDMI 2.0 digital video connectivity with HDR support for both recording and playback. www.aja.com/products/ki-pro-ultra-12g.


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