Avid Technology, Inc. today announced the worldwide availability of version 2.7 of its award-winning Media Composer family of products and version 5.7 of Avid Xpress Pro software. The new Media Composer and Avid Xpress Pro systems now include support for Intel-based Mac notebooks and workstations, new workflow capabilities, and an updated bundle of third-party content creation software. Both Avid products also offer expanded format support, including write-back capabilities for the popular Sony XDCAM and Panasonic P2 file-based media formats, as well as support for the emerging 720p50 HD broadcast standard in Europe.
In addition, version 2.7 of the Media Composer system introduces two industry breakthroughs: Avid ScriptSync, a next-generation script-based editing tool that uses phonetic speech recognition technology to automatically sync text with media; and Avid DNxHD 36, the industry's most efficient HD codec for offline editorial, which runs at a data rate of 36 Mbps (megabits per second), only slightly greater than the data rate of DV25 media, but at full-raster HD resolution. Avid will showcase the new Media Composer and Avid Xpress Pro systems--alongside other technology innovations--at the National Association of Broadcasters convention next month in Las Vegas from April 16 - 19, 2007.
"As professional content creators begin to embrace Intel-based Mac systems, we are delivering a powerful upgrade for the Mac platform, providing users with greater workflow efficiencies and creative control than what they'll find in other editing systems. We've run these systems through a more rigorous testing process than ever before, and we're confident that our customers will be pleased with the stability and performance they'll receive after installing the new software," said Matt Feury, senior evangelist, Post Market, at Avid. "Script-based editing has been very popular among customers because it provides an easy way to respond to directors, who often want to quickly review different takes of scenes based on the dialogue in the script. With ScriptSync, we're offering breakthrough technology that saves huge amounts of time--and money--in the storytelling process. In addition, Avid DNxHD 36 provides editors with an easy way to work with pristine HD images during the offline stage, without slowing down the creative process with massive HD file sizes."
Stuart Bass, A.C.E., 2006 Emmy nominee and ACE Eddie award winner for Arrested Development, and Media Composer v2.7 beta tester, said, "ScriptSync is one more innovative editing feature from Avid, and it is an absolute necessity when I'm editing scripted shows. On my current project, I can easily line up twelve takes of a single performance and evaluate each one in a thorough and organized fashion. It enables our team to evaluate different readings with greater speed, streamlining the storytelling process under extremely tight deadlines. In my opinion, every producer and director should know that Avid offers this capability - and that no other system can even come close."
Powered by next-generation phonetic speech recognition technology from Nexidia, the ScriptSync tool advances the functionality of Avid's script-based editing by automating the task of synchronizing scripts or transcripts with their respective media files, and eliminates the labor intensive process of manually inserting sync points. Once the script and media are matched, editors, directors and producers can quickly and easily review multiple line readings and select individual takes. With ScriptSync, script-based editing is significantly more accurate and more practical for everyday use.
Advancing offline workflow, Avid DNxHD 36 shatters post production barriers, enabling creative editorial professionals to work with high-quality HD footage during the offline stage and to maintain HD across the entire post production process. Using either an Avid DNxcel powered Media Composer Adrenaline, or an Avid Nitris system, customers can encode HD content to Avid DNxHD 36 in real-time. Avid DNxHD 36 media is ideal for playback, editing, rough-cut screenings, and reviewing dailies and also delivers massive storage efficiency--up to 18 hours of footage on a 300 GB FireWire drive. By eliminating the process of downconverting HD material to 14:1 SD resolution for offline work, Avid DNxHD 36 helps production teams to save money by providing them with faster availability of offline media at significantly better image quality.
For more information about Avid DNxHD and customer successes, visit www.avid.com/DNxHD.
New Enhancements for Media Composer and Avid Xpress Pro Software
Both Media Composer v2.7 and Avid Xpress Pro v5.7 software offer the following enhancements:
- Intel-based Mac compatibility - providing Mac users with Avid's leading creative applications, optimized for Intel-based Mac notebooks and desktops. These product releases continue Avid's commitment to deliver applications for both Windows XP and Mac (Universal Binary installers for both Intel-based Mac and PowerPC systems) in the same box. For a complete list of Avid-qualified Intel-Mac systems, visit www.avid.com/mediacomposer and www.avid.com/xpresspro.
- XDCAM and P2 write-back capability - giving editors more flexibility to work with and exchange XDCAM and P2(a) file-based media. For independent film, reality television, and other productions embracing file-based workflows, the new versions of Media Composer and Avid Xpress Pro software will offer the most comprehensive XDCAM and P2 support available.
- 720p50 HD support - enabling editing and playback of the 720p50 HD format to support customers who want to take advantage of this emerging European HD standard. -- Updated third-party software applications - including content creation software for multimedia publishing, soundtrack creation, and effects creation - with the Mac-compatible software now optimized for both Intel- and PowerPC-based Mac architectures.
The software bundle extends the creative power of the Avid Xpress Pro and the Media Composer toolsets and includes versions of the following:
- Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite 4.5 - offering three times faster preprocessing and encoding and allowing digital storytellers to encode content - including HD files - directly from the timeline into the most popular Web formats
- SmartSound SonicFire Pro 4 - enabling creation of sophisticated music tracks right from the editor's notebook or workstation and featuring SmartSound's Mood Mapping to dynamically match the mix and feel of music to the changing moods of any production.
- Boris Continuum Complete 4.2.2 - providing a broad range of cutting-edge filters and features for high-end effects directly in the native Avid application (in Media Composer only).
Version 2.7 of Media Composer is available as software for $4,995 USMSRP and can be augmented with Avid DNA hardware such as Avid Mojo SDI and Avid Adrenaline. All customers with current Avid Support contracts receive the software updates at no additional charge. For customers who do not have Avid Support, Avid offers a range of upgrade options: Media Composer Software-Only Systems From now until June 30, 2007, customers can upgrade to version 2.7 for $195 USMSRP; this upgrade includes Boris Continuum Complete 4.2.2 at no additional charge.
After June 30, customers can purchase one of two upgrade options for $995 USMSRP:
- A Media Composer 2.7 software upgrade kit - including all of the bundled third-party software applications; or
- Avid Support - including Media Composer 2.7 software, Boris Continuum Complete 4.2.2, plus software upgrades from Avid and phone support for one year.
Version 5.7 of Avid Xpress Pro software is available for $1,695 USMSRP. Customers with versions 5.5 or higher of Avid Xpress Pro software will receive upgrades to version 5.7 for $49.95 USMSRP. Customers with Avid Xpress Pro systems that precede version 5.5 can upgrade to version 5.7 for $149.95 USMSRP. Both Media Composer and Avid Xpress Pro are available immediately through Avid's worldwide reseller channel. For information on Academic pricing, please visit: www.avid.com/education.