Avid acccelerates customer workflows with new editing and production asset management solutions

Avid Media Composer 4.0 Mix and Match Open Timeline

Avid has introduced new versions of Media Composer (4.0), Symphony (4.0), NewsCutter (8.0) and Interplay (2.0). It is completely outside of my area of expertise, but I thought it could be interesting for the post and broadcast guys so I’ll simply copy and paste the press release. You are of course free to discuss if you wish.

From the Avid press release:

Reinforcing Avid’s commitment to providing open and flexible solutions, these new offerings enable broadcast and post production professionals to lower production costs and enhance their productivity by:

· Eliminating timely transcode processes with the capability to mix and match different frame rates and resolutions in an open timeline within the same project.

· Expanding native support for file-based media with the addition of industry-leading formats such as Panasonic AVC-I and Ikegami GFCAM. GFCAM support is a result of Avid Media Access (AMA <http://www.avid.com/ama/> ).

· Empowering production teams to become more efficient by extending workgroup capabilities to the Wide Area Network (WAN) — allowing journalists, producers and assistants to work with media at any time, from any location.

What Customers are Saying

Emmy® and A.C.E. Eddie winning editor Steve Cohen has beta tested Media Composer 4.0 and said, “My first experience with AMA was eye-opening, largely because it’s so trivially simple: no logging, no digitizing, no importing is required. Clips appear in a bin magically, with all the metadata available and ready for cutting. The fact that it’s possible on a laptop with no extra hardware is also very impressive. And Avid’s Mix and Match is one of those features that’s so well designed that it’s completely transparent. You simply edit as you would with any other material and the Media Composer does the right thing automatically, adjusting the speed as needed, without rendering.”

Industry Standard Editing Tools – Fast, Reliable, More Native Formats

Media Composer (named the preferred tool for acclaimed editors by the American Cinema Editors (A.C.E.)), Symphony and NewsCutter software now offer customers a wide array of new features designed to streamline the production process including:

· Improved Stereoscopic 3D editing: Enables customers to view 3D material side by side in addition to over/under — ensuring greater accuracy of editing decisions and a wider choice of cost-effective monitors for stereoscopic viewing.

· Monitoring HD and SD cross-and-down converted formats from 1080p24 masters: Enables customers using Mojo DX or Nitris® DX hardware to view HD material on an SD monitor, eliminating the need to incur additional hardware costs.

· Panasonic AVC-I encoding support: Allows customers to deliver final masters in Panasonic’s AVC-I format while working natively in the Avid editing system from acquisition to final delivery.

· Mac support for Pro Tools® Video Satellite: Offers customers the ability to work with Mac or PC when using Media Composer as a video satellite with Pro Tools systems to deliver frame-accurate, synchronized and full resolution monitoring of video.

· Mix and Match capabilities: Provides customers with the flexibility to use media sources of different frame rates and resolutions (SD and HD) in the same timeline — eliminating external transcoding and time-consuming frame-rate conversions.

· Avid Media Access (AMA) enhancements: Delivers native support for the popular Ikegami GFCAM 100 mb/s format. Customers can now directly access GFCAM media, including full metadata, and begin their work immediately without transcoding, copying or re-wrapping the material.

· New Production Suite updates: Include new versions of Boris Continuum Complete, Sorenson Squeeze and SmartSound SonicFire Pro to provide customers with more creative possibilities and media delivery options.

Production Asset Management – Extending Flexible Anytime, Anywhere Collaboration

With more than 600 Interplay sites deployed worldwide, Avid has enhanced its industry-leading production asset management solution by delivering the most significant update of the product to date: Interplay 2.0. The new version empowers broadcasters and post facilities to extend collaborative productions beyond the four walls of a facility — enabling customers to consolidate production operations as well as manage and contribute to projects when working remotely. Lower bandwidth streaming proxies enable Interplay workgroup members to work with media at anytime from anywhere, using a qualified Mac or PC with a 1Mb/s Internet connection.

Highlights of Interplay 2.0 include:

· WAN Workflow with Interplay Access: Enables journalists, producers and editors to remotely search and work with media assets across multiple workgroups – no longer requiring them to return to the edit suite/news station to assemble stories. A new streamlined interface allows users to browse, log and shot list media in three unique viewing modes, via a single screen, and easily toggle between views —ultimately offering more time savings and reduced production costs. Additionally, station groups will now be able to consolidate functions by increasing the range of material available for users to share across geographically-dispersed newsrooms.

· Final Cut Pro (FCP) workflow support: Offers check-in and check-out of FCP media with project links as well as media and metadata conversion of FCP-to-Avid and Avid-to-FCP projects — providing customers with more platform flexibility.

· Interplay Delivery: Simplifies a previously time-intensive process of media transfer by offering a one-step transfer of materials such as subclips and shot lists.

· Interplay Transcode with new mixdown capability: Enables users to mixdown full audio and video sequences while transcoding to a specified output format, simplifying downstream processes such as archiving or publishing to formats such as mobile, the Web or digital signage.

Pricing and Availability:

Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter systems will be available on September 30. Interplay 2.0 will be available on September 16. Media Composer 4.0 is just $295 USMSRP for educational institutions and students. Beginning September 30, 2009, students with academic versions of Media Composer software (versions 3.5 through 4.0 purchased on or after March 1, 2009) will qualify for complementary upgrades for four years from the date of software activation. For more information on qualifications and availability, please visit www.avid.com <http://www.avid.com> .

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