Avid delivers Media Composer, Xpress Pro for Intel-based Macs

Avid Technology has embraced the Intel-based Mac platform with new versions of its 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 Mb/s (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.”

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 enables 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.

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