New: Avid updates pro video editing and production lineup

Jackie Dove, Macworld
11 September, 2009
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Avid Technology has introduced new versions of its Media Composer, Symphony, and NewsCutter professional editing software, and Interplay, its production asset management system. Overall, these updates let users mix and match different frame rates and resolutions in a timeline within the same project, expand native support for file-based media with additional formats, and extend workgroup capabilities to Wide Area Networks.

Media Composer 4.0, Symphony 4.0, and NewsCutter 8.0 software offer an array of new features, according to the company. These include:

  • Improved Stereoscopic 3-D editing to let customers view 3-D material side by side in addition to over and under. This ensures greater editing accuracy and a wider choice of monitors for viewing.
  • Monitoring HD and SD cross-and-down converted formats from 1080p24 masters, which lets customers using Mojo DX or Nitris DX hardware view HD material on an SD monitor.
  • Panasonic AVC-I encoding support, which allows customers to deliver final masters in Panasonic’s AVC-I format while working natively in the Avid editing system from start to finish.
  • Mac support for Pro Tools Video Satellite, which lets customers work on a Mac or PC when using Media Composer as a video satellite with Pro Tools systems.
  • Mix and match capabilities let customers 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 offer native support for the popular Ikegami GFCAM 100Mbps format. Customers can now directly access GFCAM media, including full metadata, and begin 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.

Interplay 2.0 lets broadcasters and post facilities work remotely. Lower bandwidth streaming proxies let Interplay workgroup members work with media anytime from anywhere, using a Mac or PC with a 1Mb/s Internet connection. Highlights of the new asset management software include the following:

  • WAN workflow with Interplay Access that lets journalists, producers, and editors remotely search and work with media assets across multiple workgroups. A new streamlined interface allows users to browse, log and shot list media in three viewing modes, via a single screen, and toggle between views.
  • Final Cut Pro 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.
  • Interplay Delivery improvement offers a one-step transfer of materials such as subclips and shot lists.
  • Interplay Transcode, with new mixdown capability, lets users mixdown full audio and video sequences while transcoding to a specified output format, simplifying processes such as archiving or publishing to mobile, Web, or digital signage formats.

Interplay 2.0 will be available on September 16. Media Composer 4.0, Symphony 4.0, and NewsCutter 8.0 systems will be available on September 30. Media Composer is $US295 ($A370) for educational institutions and students. Beginning September 30, students with academic versions of Media Composer (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 activation.

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