LAS VEGAS — Avid is at NAB this year showing off big improvements to its Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter editing systems. Media Composer 5.5, Avid’s fifth release since its new architecture was introduced in 2008, has further expanded its openness to third parties.
Last year, Avid announced support for Matrox’s MX02 Mini. This year, with Version 5.5, Media Composer (as well as NewsCutter 9.5) supports AJA’s Io Express for input, output and monitoring. Avid’s marketing manager, Angus MacKay, calls this a cost-effective solution, acknowledging that not all users need the combination of CPU and GPU, which is offered in their higher priced DX hardware. The Io Express works with Windows and Mac, allowing users to work on whatever platform they prefer.
Also new in Version 5.5 is improved support for Panasonic’s AVC Intra codec. According to MacKay, Avid worked closely with Panasonic on this module for Nitris DX and Symphony. This chip will go out with new versions of the product and is also available for upgrade.
Now available for $495 as an add-on, PhraseFind is an offshoot of Avid’s ScriptSync. MacKay describes it as a “smaller and more affordable tool that allows you to do a dialogue search in all your bins, including AMA and shared storage. Just type in what you are looking for and it finds it and brings it into a bin.”
Within 5.5, says MacKay, is native support for HDCAM SR Lite. “We worked closely with Sony and will now support HDCAM SR Lite through AMA. It’s a high-quality codec but not the full 800MB of HDCAM.” Users now get high-quality, file-based media transfer of this popular tape-based format over a GB Ethernet connection to reduce costly deck usage, and increase the workflow flexibility and productivity with this format.
Also new is the Avid Artist controller series that takes advantage of the Eucon technology the company acquired from Euphonix last year. On the audio side, Media Composer can now use Pro Tools hardware for audio input, output and monitoring.
With this new release, Avid feels it is addressing openness, productivity and collaboration. “Avid has been working very hard to add productivity boosts, and the rate in which we release product is proof of that,” concludes MacKay.