There is a lot to be said for reliability, familiarity, and stability when it comes to media production, but there is also a desire to try new things, to develop new workflows, or take advantage of new functionalities which can change ways of working, perhaps enhance efficiency, or deliver new revenue streams.
Many in the industry want to be at the cutting edge, innovating and testing out state-of-the-art applications, using the latest and greatest software releases, and being willing to accept an element of risk which may be associated with that. Whichever route you choose, Avid MediaCentral has a path to suit with the introduction of new Long-Term Maintenance (LTM) releases, starting with MediaCentral 2022.3. This is a part of a wider, solutions-based approach which Avid has deployed for a number of years, with an end-to-end offering of a full production solution, rather than on-point product offerings.
MediaCentral is at the heart of Avid’s news solution, supporting the world’s leading media organizations to collaborate, create, and deliver news programs, all types of broadcast shows, online posts, and more to multiple delivery platforms. It is a critical part of Avid’s overall news solution which delivers from ingest through to asset management, content creation, collaboration, playout, and distribution.
With the release of MediaCentral 2022.3, Avid is offering two paths to customers to provide them the option to choose the one which suits their needs best, both from a business and technology perspective.
In the stability path, each LTM release will be supported for two years from release, with bug fixes added throughout its supported lifetime to give customers the solidity and stability they require, safe in the knowledge that their workflows do not need to change through this period. The diagram here highlights the lifecycle of each LTM release, spanning over a period of years, showing the different tracks between stability and features.
The alternative path which customers can take is to go down the feature release path. In this route, new features and functionality will be added to MediaCentral throughout the first fifteen months after release. Major fixes will be addressed here too and rolled forward into later versions. As with the stability release, this release will be supported for two years from first release.
After a certain period, a new Long-Term Maintenance release will be delivered, and the cycle will begin again.
This is not the first Avid product to go down the LTM path. The industry-leading Avid Media Composer has maintained Long-Term Release programs for several years now. Avid maintained a previous release of software, periodically releasing bug fixes. The purpose of maintaining previous software versions was to provide larger customer sites with a version of Media Composer that remains relatively unchanged — no major new features, functions, or UI/UX changes for them to learn. This has been highly successful and given customers clarity around their workflows and requirements to keep up-to-date if they want to take advantage of new features and functionality delivered in new versions.
Key to all of this, of course, is taking a solution approach to addressing the key workflow challenges facing the industry, rather than dealing with everything as a point product. This is central to Avid’s strategy around delivering solutions which are tested and supported together.
And this will not be limited to the products currently listed. Additional products such as Maestro Graphics and the FastServe family of video servers for ingest and playout will move to a similar cadence of Long-Term Maintenance and feature releases, starting in Spring 2022.
They key here is the choice and flexibility which this offers Avid’s customers to deliver their crucial workflows and have certainty around future developments.