IBC 2012: AVID's Worldwide Collaboration & Delivery
CreativeCOW presents IBC 2012: AVID's Worldwide Collaboration & Delivery -- AVID Editorial

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At IBC 2012, Avid (Hall 7.J20) focused its attention on speed and efficiency enhancements for its Media Composer 6.5 family as well as simplified implementation of its media asset management workflows. "One of our slogans is 'edit, mix, master, faster...' and these new features do just that," says Avid Senior Director of Marketing, Post and Professional Segment Adam Green. "On the editorial side, we have a number of features for editing faster, and we now have beta support for JPEG2000, including support for delivery with this format."

The Media Composer 6.5 family -- which includes Media Composer 6.5, Symphony 6.5, and NewsCutter -- now include Avid Media Authoring (AMA), for delivering and archiving multiple output formats more efficiently. AMA also supports AS-02, a standard developed by the Advanced Media Workflow Association to simplify efficient media management for versioning of programs and streamline delivery to a variety of platforms and devices. In addition to natively supporting the JPEG 2000 codec, the Media Composer 6.5 family of products also supports Active Format Description (AFD) to enable a consistent viewing experience regardless of down-conversion or reformatting.

AS02 User Interface
Avid Media Authoring supports AS-02. Click image for larger view.

"This is a way to easily have multiple versions and package them into a single folder or bundle and hand them off for play-out," says Green. "It simplifies the versioning process. We've been working closely with HBO on this, and they'll be using it in their workflow, not just for HBO shows but for all their vendors."

On the editorial side, new features include advanced audio keyframing and an increased voice count (to 64). "That puts more audio in your timeline," says Jim Frantzreb, Avid Senior Segment Manager, Broadcast. Also improved is relinking. "So if you offline in Media Composer and then up-res, you're able to relink much faster and choose what column you're releasing to," he says.

The I/O Hardware Release control in Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter, by which use third-party hardware through Avid Open I/O, is also improved. Editors can now activate and deactivate hardware to pass control back and forth between Media Composer and third-party applications such as Adobe After Effects or Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve. Editors can also access software-only mode features (such as full-screen playback) in Media Composer, without disconnecting. Media Composer 6.5 and NewsCutter 10.5 start at $2,499 with upgrades starting at $499; Symphony 6.5 starts at $5,999 with upgrades starting at $499 USD.

Another first is that Media Composer and NewsCutter now work with Avid Interplay Sphere to support connectivity and collaboration. Avid also unveiled Interplay Production 2.7, which now supports Interplay Sphere, ISIS 2000, Avid DNxHD 85/100 and Media Composer 6.5/NewsCutter 10.5.

Avid Interplay Sphere on a PC laptop. Click image for larger view.

"With IBC, we've announced an end-to-end workflow, not only for Avid editors but Interplay, ISIS shared storage...across the board," says Frantzreb. "It's had good uptake in sports, but we think it'll have good uptake anywhere preserving a mastering quality is important where storage or network bandwidth is a concern."

In addition to Interplay Production 2.7, Avid also unveiled other advances to its asset-based workflow solutions. Interplay MAM (Media Asset Management) Active Archive delivers Interplay MAM technology to support workflows centered on a core archive capability. It is also customizable and expandable, with flexibility to add system integrations and clients.

Interplay MAM on a Mac. Click image for larger view.

"This cost effective package for Interplay MAM Active Archive has all the functionality of Interplay MAM and is highly configurable," says Frantzreb. "What we found is that people wanted to have that core asset archive system, but were also concerned about speed of deployment and didn't need all the capabilities up front. We're providing a package that does this. It's the same technology that powered NBC's Olympics highlights on the Internet."

Avid also debuted a new ProTools/HD Native Thunderbolt interface, for low latency and high sound quality of any host-based audio workstation for Thunderbolt equipped CPUs. "This gives you the same power you'd have with an HD native card, and it's powered by the Thunderbolt bus," says Frantzreb. "People with ProTools can run it on their laptops and, with this, your track count goes up and you'll have HD options related to timeline." Avid also showed a technology preview of an adapter for Thunderbolt with bi-directional speeds of 10 GB.

Click image for larger view.

Broadcasters of all stripes looking for solutions for collaborative workflows and delivery across platforms are no doubt pleased with what Avid is offering at IBC 2012. Avid is emphasizing the freedom of collaborative production around the world, as well as tremendous efficiencies and flexibility for workflow, delivery and archive.