Avid Unveils HD News Solution


Tewksbury, Mass, 2009-03-05 Tewksbury, Mass, March 9, 2009 –– Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today unveiled an end-to-end HD news solution that enables broadcasters to produce HD programming more cost-effectively.  With this powerful solution, broadcasters can easily acquire, edit, network, manage assets, playback and control functionality of Sony XDCAM HD (LongGoP HD MPEG2) content, with a workflow designed to deliver significant time, storage and bandwidth savings. 

The HD News solution consists of the new AirSpeed® Multi Stream production server, (version 1.0), an updated version of NewsCutter® software (version 7.5), the Avid Interplay production asset management system (v 1.6) as well as the Avid Unity™ shared storage system.  For customers looking to take advantage of additional news production functionality, Avid also today introduced new versions of its journalist audio and video editing and scripting solution: iNEWS® Instinct® 2.0; and newsroom automation and control solution: iNEWS Command 2.0. By offering native support for the XDCAM HD system across its newsroom solutions, Avid is empowering customers with high-performance production capabilities and removing unnecessary transcode processes – enabling them to work with a high quality HD codec.

“Avid’s native support for XDCAM HD systems is an important advancement for broadcast and television production, that should not only yield time and cost savings, but provide more powerful and flexible file-based workflows to allow our customers to work more efficiently,” said John Studdert Director of Sony Electronics’ Optical and Network Products Group.

What’s New in the Avid HD News Solution?

Editorial: NewsCutter v. 7.5

  • Native support for XDCAM EX and improved XDCAM HD capabilities:  Supports all bandwidth rates of HD and SD XDCAM formats, and now enables customers to directly edit from the disc, write back to the disc with timecode information and render to XDCAM HD.  Customers will no longer be required to wrap media into another format to bring XDCAM footage in and out of the NewsCutter system, saving time and storage space.

Ingest and Playout: AirSpeed Multi Stream Production Server v 1.0

  • Multiple Channel Record and Playback capabilities: Offered as both an HD/SD and SD upgradeable version, AirSpeed Multi Stream is a perfect solution for customers looking for fast and fluid XDCAM HD newsroom workflows.  The network-connected/workflow-enabling server delivers directly-connected ingest and playout capabilities that support a number of third party control, automation and protocol devices – allowing broadcasters to leverage existing technology investments.  Formats supported include: XDCAM HD at 18, 25, 35 and 50 Mb/s, SD DV25/50 and IMX30/50 formats – extending and accelerating the Avid digital production environment up to four channels for any combination of simultaneous record and playout.
  • More compact and efficient form factor: Eliminates the need for additional rack space with a new four channel 1.5RU form factor, offering up to a10x increase in channel density over Avid AirSpeed.  With this release, Avid has increased storage capacity of the unit by approximately 60 percent and lowered the overall cost of operation (cooling, power, space.)

Production asset management: Avid Interplay v. 1.6

In addition to many new usability features, Interplay v1.6 supports an end-to-end Long GOP workflow for the XDCAM HD and XDCAM EX formats, including the ingest and playback of material from XDCAM HD devices and supported third party servers.

Journalist audio/video editing and scripting: iNEWS Instinct 2.0

  • New Thumbnail Key Frame viewer: Enables journalists to view a two dimensional grid of thumbnail images associated with source clips, which are created every 10 seconds as material is being acquired. The viewer provides an instant feel for the content of a clip to help navigate through content quickly and make selections for stories.  (also now available in Interplay Assist.)
  • Editable property value lists: Allows administrators to create a drop down menu of specific values for custom properties using an imported XML list – resulting in more efficient and accurate metadata entry for assets.(also now available in Interplay Assist.)
  • Additional user productivity enhancements: Delivers a number of new user enhancements that includes search by specific field capabilities, setting type filters for folders and bins for easier retrieval, additional keyboard mapping capabilities and a zoom position bar to handle resizing and zooming in and out.  (also now available in Interplay Assist.)

Newsroom Automation and Control: iNEWS Command 2.0

  • Support for AirSpeed Multi Stream: Offers full support and integration with Avid’s new production server, for a complete end-to-end workflow.
  • VDCP (Video Disk Control Protocol) control and new SDK: Provides control of video servers through VDCP, with qualification for 3rd party offerings such as 360 Systems Image Server, as well as a Software Development Kit that enables third-party vendors to create interfaces based on their internal protocols.

“As more broadcasters look to HD as a way to differentiate and expand their audiences, we are working with our customers to develop end-to-end solutions that make the newsroom transition as seamless, cost-effective and painless as possible,” said Mark Overington Vice President of Product Management at Avid.  “The Avid HD News solution is a result of joint development work with partners like Sony, and is designed to help our customers better leverage technology investments, work with the format of their choice and develop efficient workflows.”

About Avid Technology, Inc.

Avid is a worldwide leader in tools for film, video, audio, and broadcast professionals -- as well as for home audio and video enthusiasts. Avid professional and consumer brands include Avid, Digidesign®, M-Audio®, Pinnacle Systems®, Sibelius® and Sundance Digital® The vast majority of primetime television shows, feature films, commercials and chart-topping music hits are made using one or more Avid products. Whether used by seasoned professionals or beginning students, Avid's products and services enable customers to work more efficiently, productively and creatively. Avid received an Oscar® statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. For more information about the company's Oscar, Grammy® and Emmy® award-winning products and services, visit www.avid.com, del.icio.us, Flickr, twitter and YouTube; connect with Avid on Facebook or subscribe to Avid Industry Buzz.

© 2009 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, systems requirement and availability are subject to change without notice.  Avid, AirSpeed, Digidesign, Film Composer, Interplay, iNEWS, Interplay, Instinct, NewsCutter, M-Audio, Pinnacle Systems, Sibelius, Sundance Digital are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATA. Oscar is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. The Interplay name is used with the permission of Interplay Entertainment Corp, which bears no responsibility for Avid products.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.