By Marc Loftus
Issue: Editing - Sep 26, 2003


NEW YORK - Avid ( recently held a series of private demos out of its Manhattan office highlighting its new high-end DS Nitris HD-capable editor. Initially introduced at the NAB show back in April, the Nitris system is expected to ship at the end of September and promises users the ability to work with two stream of uncompressed HD video or eight streams of standard definition video.

Nitris represents the high end of Avid's new DNA family and is based on a host HP XW8000 workstation paired with additional hardware. The Windows-only NLE offers 8- and 10-bit support, as well as realtime color correction capabilities and support for eight channels of 96kHz audio.

While Avid|DS is similar to Nitris in that it is a software and hardware combination capable of HD editing, it uses a different breakout box and does not offer 10-bit video support, realtime color correction or realtime effects performance. Avid says that more than half of the new HD shows this season are being posted using existing DS and that users interested in Nitris were able to purchase the original DS system and have it upgraded to Nitris status once the release begins shipping.

An entry-level Nitris systems will be available for around $80,000, minus storage and featuring limited compositing capabilities. Fully featured turnkey systems with 1.5 hours of online HD storage will sell for $140,000.