Everyone going software based?
The trend is now definitely underway for software solutions of the tools we know and love. Avid have been playing with a software DS for a few years which has culminated with version 10.5 only being available as software for $10,000, announced at IBC this year.
Smoke on Mac is now in it's second version (2011) available for $15,000 and with Blackmagic's acquisition of DaVinci, they are now offering the grading software Resolve for only $825 (and no there aren't any missing zero's there). This is a company making grading systems that once ruled all others and would cost the same as a three bedroom house, now available, all in one box, for $825!!
What has caused this trend towards low cost software solutions? It might be that customers have been discovering for the last few years that these high-end post manufacturers were offering hardware that they either bought from another manufacturer and rebadged or were making video boards that weren't quite as good as third parties like AJA or Blackmagic.
With budgets going south year after year, paying less for a system would be appealing to any facility owner and these software based systems do appear to be cheaper, although not drastically. If you spec a system to run Avid DS or Smoke on Mac and want them to perform as well as they did as hardware solutions, don't expect to be paying less than $30,000.