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Avid unbundles Media Composer from Hardware

Avid’s new Media Composer line offers a software-only configuration or with flexible hardware options and improved Mac OS X support. The new Media Composer line leverages the Avid Interplay engine (see separate coverage) to perform many time-consuming production tasks in the background, and monitor changes to all project assets made by team members as the project evolves

The new Media Composer family includes version 2.5 of Media Composer software, with robust HD capabilities on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger starting from US$4,995.

New Functionality for Media Composer Version 2.5

Version 2.5 of Media Composer software adds: a range of robust content creation and collaboration capabilities, including:

  • Support for Avid Interplay;
  • Direct ingest of XDCAM HD over FireWire;
  • Motion tracking and stabilization tools (featuring SteadyGlide™);
  • Long GOP splicing for improved HDV performance; and
  • Full-screen SD and HD monitoring using the host graphics card for both Mac and PC – users can either monitor over the software interface, temporarily obscuring it, on a single-monitor solution such as a laptop, or use a two head display for dedicated preview output.

Unbundling Media Composer from the underlying hardware opens the possibility that Avid may simplify their product offerings, or create a unified Xpress Pro/Media Composer product line.

The New Media Composer Family

Media Composer software offers comprehensive HD support for both the PC and Mac, using the latest in Multi-Core CPU and GPU power available on both platforms.  The software also supports full-screen DVI output of SD and HD material, ideal for any software-only client in a distributed workflow. All other versions build on this core software offering.

Media Composer software with Avid Mojo® SDI Digital Nonlinear Accelerator™

The same Mojo SDI for Xpress Pro is the entry level hardware for Media Composer, adding a SDI interface to the features of the original Mojo. Mojo SDI provides analog and SDI capture up to uncompressed with real-time monitoring and FireWire connectivity for DV, HDV, and DVCPRO HD projects.

Media Composer Adrenaline™ – this is the feature set of the former Media Composer Adrenaline with robust analog and digital I/O and hardware acceleration for guaranteed performance.

Media Composer Adrenaline with Avid DNxcel™ – adds the ability to encode HD material to 10-bit or 8-bit Avid DNxHD™, Avid’s mastering-quality codec, providing editors the image quality of 10-bit uncompressed HD at SD bandwidths for real-time HD collaboration.

Mac Media Composer Goes High-Def

As promised late last year, the release of Media Composer HD on Mac was delayed in order to provide feature parity with the PC version and support for Intel Macs. Media Composer 2.5 on OS X 10.4 Tiger will provide support for DVCPRO HD, HDV, and Avid DNxHD resolutions of 145 Mb, 220 Mb, and 10-bit 220 Mb data rates, enabling the image quality of uncompressed HD at standard-definition data rates.  Media Composer on Mac also adds real-time HD multicam, allowing simultaneous playback of all multicam views for on-the-fly editing in real-time.  With these new capabilities, Mac professionals now have the flexibility to transfer HD projects seamlessly between Windows systems and Mac systems, on desktops or laptops, and will enjoy the same editing experience and functionality regardless of platform

Media Composer 2.5 starts at US$4995 for the software-only version and is expected to ship in Q2, 2006.

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