Avid Launches Media Composer 6
Posted Nov 5, 2011

Avid® (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced new versions of its flagship video editing systems—Media Composer® version 6, NewsCutter® version 10 and Symphony® version 6. Building upon more than 20 years of product innovation and commitment to its professional users, these industry-leading professional editing systems today deliver new levels of openness, performance, collaboration and productivity—enabling independent professionals, post-production houses, broadcasters and all media companies to get their work done faster, work together on projects more effectively and reduce costs through greater productivity.

What’s New

Media Composer version 6, Symphony version 6, and NewsCutter version 10 are rebuilt from the core on an entirely new open, 64-bit architecture that raises the bar for performance, flexibility and productivity. With this version, Avid is also introducing a sleek, new User Interface—designed to speed workflows while simultaneously preserving the same functionality that so many professionals have built their careers on. In addition, these systems include support for third-party hardware, AVCHD and Red Epic support with Avid Media Access (AMA), an Avid DNxHD® 444 codec, and support for Avid Artist Color.

Together with existing Avid innovations such as AMA, for direct access to file-based media; Avid PhraseFind, powered by Nexidia, and Avid ScriptSync®, for phonetic searching and editing; and real-time Mix and Match, allowing multiple formats in the same timeline—this major release reinforces Media Composer, NewsCutter and Symphony systems as the ultimate professional editors on the market, specifically designed to meet the creative and technical demands of the broadest array of editing workflows.

More Open, More Flexible

  • Leverage existing hardware investments and easily add Avid editing systems into current workflow configurations thanks to the new Avid Open I/O, which enables support for popular video and audio cards from AJA Video Systems, Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444, Matrox and MOTU.
  • Easily incorporate Avid’s high-performance hardware video accelerator, Avid Nitris ® DX—the most versatile and powerful video hardware system optimized for Avid editing systems—into high-profile film or TV workflows through its availability as a standalone hardware purchase at a new, reduced price. Nitris DX is available with one or two Avid DNxHD or AVC-Intra chips and supports full resolution and full frame stereoscopic workflows.
  • With Symphony software, experience greater flexibility and choice for on-set and mobile editorial and color work, or meet increased facility capacity—now available as a software-only solution, at a lower cost.

Enhanced Integration for the Most Demanding Post Production Workflows
  • Increase flexibility for editorial and finishing with enhanced Pro Tools® integration and 5.1/7.1 surround and extensive metadata management, which allows the transfer of more session data from Media Composer to Pro Tools. Additional metadata is available in the AAF interchange format. Extensive 5.1/7.1 surround support is also fully compatible with Pro Tools through the improved AAF capabilities.
  • Maintain a familiar and trusted editorial process with new, industry-defining 3D stereoscopic workflows that offer full resolution, real-time editing, mixed eye workflows as well as a deep toolset, with title and conversion control. Editors can also easily export metadata into Avid or other third-party finishing systems for grading and high-end effects.
  • Preserve full color information from HD RGB 4:4:4 sources without compromising system performance or storage through the new Avid DNxHD 444, a high-quality HD codec. Avid DNxHD 444 can help significantly enhance real-time HD production productivity with the highest color detail possible, is suitable for the most demanding productions, and is also an ideal archiving format.

Additional New Editorial Capabilities to Increase Workflow Speed and Productivity
  • Gain greater power and flexibility in high performance color correction with support for the Avid Artist Color control surface within Avid editing systems.
  • Speed time to editing by eliminating timely transcode, re-wrap, and log and transfer processes through expanded AMA, which now offers native support for AVCHD and RED Epic as well as the ability to encode Apple ProRes (Mac OS-based systems only).
  • Ease and expedite workflows and toolset expansion with the new Avid Marketplace, which offers in-system access to stock footage from Thought Equity Motion. The Avid Marketplace also enables customers to browse available video and audio plugins along with other products in the Avid Store to complete a suite.
  • Get questions answered quickly with a new Customer Assist Tool, offering direct, in-app access to guides, help, and configuration information.
  • Gain up to 2.5 times faster encoding with Sorenson Squeeze v6.0.4, included with Media Composer, NewsCutter, and Symphony software.

“Time and creativity is money for our customers, and they are looking for solutions that can help them continue to advance the art of creative storytelling without adding technological complexity,” said Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of products and solutions at Avid. “As we debut the most open, accessible and highest-performance versions of Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter—ever—we are thrilled to take a significant leap forward in providing our customers with new industry standards in speed, ease and access that can help them do their jobs more effectively.”

What Customers are Saying
  • “The real value of the new Media Composer and Symphony systems is enhanced interoperability and openness—it all comes down to labor,” said Terence Curren, colorist/editor, AlphaDogs (Life as We Know It, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Eagle Eye) “The bottom line is if you save 15 minutes a day, times four people, times 10 weeks, that's a lot more than the difference in cost between any of these software systems.”
  • "With Media Composer 6, those of us who invested in hardware for Final Cut Pro can transition to Avid, easily and painlessly. I'm pleased,” said Shane Ross, freelance editor.
  • “Anyone who works in 3D is going to work on Media Composer going forward. It's just THE system to do that on now,” said John Mauldin, director of operations and technology, Fotokem Non-Linear.

Avid Vantage
Concurrent with the launch of today’s announcement, Avid is introducing the Avid Vantage™ Program, an annual membership program for Media Composer and Symphony customers that provides many great benefits. The Avid Vantage Program—which is also available to Pro Tools customers—provides subscribers with unlimited online technical support, plus deeply discounted expert phone support when they need it. They also gain access to a great collection of NewBlueFX effects (for Media Composer or Symphony subscribers) or audio plug-ins (for Pro Tools subscribers). And, for a limited time, they’ll receive a high-value Avid Store coupon that can be applied to new software purchases or upgrades.

Webcast
Avid plans to host a public webcast with a live Q&A to discuss the new capabilities of Media Composer, NewsCutter and Symphony software at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time today. To access the webcast, please click here.

Pricing and Availability
New versions of Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter software will be available on November 15, 2011. Beginning with these releases, NewsCutter will be available for the same price as Media Composer, Symphony 6.0 will be available as a standalone software option and Nitris DX will be available as a standalone hardware option.
  • Pricing for Media Composer 6.0 starts at $2499 USD. Upgrade pricing starts at $299 USD.
  • NewsCutter 10 starts at $2499 USD. Upgrade pricing starts at $499 USD.
  • Pricing for Symphony 6.0 starts at $5,999 USD. Upgrade pricing starts at $499 USD.
  • Nitris DX starts at $5,499 USD.
  • Pricing for Media Composer Academic version 6.0 starts at $295 USMSRP for educational institutions and students.
  • Final Cut Pro (excluding Final Cut Pro X) users can purchase Media Composer with free online training to help them move from Final Cut Pro to Media Composer, for $1499 USD.

Avid Vantage Program
The new Avid Vantage Program will be available during Q4 2011 to Media Composer, Symphony and Pro Tools users with all of the great benefits described above, for $149/year US MSRP.

For more information about Media Composer, visit http://www.avid.com/mc. For more information about Avid Vantage, visit http://www.avid.com/avidvantage.