Avid Technology announced that it is shipping the latest versions of its Avid DekoCast and Thunder on-air graphics systems. Version 4.0 of the DekoCast system offers powerful new configurations with enhanced high-definition (HD) and crawl capabilities; and version 7.0 of the Thunder system introduces a new HD configuration that combines the capabilities of a traditional video clip and still image store with advanced realtime DVE effects, on-board and remote database support, and powerful graphics functionality. Avid also announced the immediate availability of its new Thunder Station system—an all-in-one news and graphics production package for broadcasters operating in small and mid-sized markets.
"Graphics systems are critical tools that broadcasters rely on to establish their identity and maintain their competitive edge," said David Schleifer, vice president of Avid Broadcast and Workgroups. "Enhancing our DekoCast and Thunder on-air graphics systems with new HD options and toolsets gives broadcasters an easy way to manage their look and feel without placing additional demands on their resources. Our new Thunder Station system also ties graphics and editing together and gives smaller-market broadcasters access to an affordable, integrated solution for news and graphics production, so they don't have to cobble together a low-budget video workflow with a range of third-party systems."
On-Air Graphics and Branding with DekoCast and Thunder
Version 4.0 of DekoCast brings powerful new features to the broadcast industry's premier automated and fully integrated channel branding system, including:
- A new DekoCast HD model—delivering all of the key benefits of the standard-definition model in a system designed to meet the increased demands of real-time broadcast quality HD graphics and video processing. DekoCast HD provides the advantages of Avid's leading Deko graphics systems in a package that has been fully optimized to work in highly automated network environments.
- An enhanced "Crawl Animation" feature set—enabling stations to reinforce their brands by easily adding animated logos, clips, and live video right within informational crawl graphics, including those typically used on sports, entertainment, and finance news channels. This feature adds a dramatic new dimension to these graphics, opening new opportunities for station branding, advertising and enhancing information delivery.
- A robust toolset for collecting, managing and delivering realtime election data—providing tight integration with Avid LeaderPlus software.
Version 7.0 of the Thunder system expands Avid's family of live production servers by introducing:
- A new Thunder HD high-definition model—delivering multiple channels of broadcast quality HD video with native 720p and 1080i MXF file format. Now broadcasters can use Thunder to play back animated backgrounds, breaking news, over the shoulder stills, promo clips and news graphics at true HD resolution.
- The ability to link a video clip with a still graphic - creating associations between graphics and video clips so that both media files can be recalled efficiently as a single element. This capability frees system resources that were previously dedicated to handling the graphic and video elements separately, providing operators with the opportunity to achieve even greater graphic sophistication with each independent Thunder channel.
Integrated News and Graphics Production with Thunder Station
Thunder Station is a complete news editing, production server and on-air graphics system designed to give small-market broadcasters a flexible ingest-to-playout workflow by integrating Avid NewsCutter XP editing tools, Deko graphics production software, and Thunder live production servers into a single, cohesive system. This unique workflow empowers broadcasters to cost-effectively create play-to-air news, promotions, and sports segments—all with supporting graphics. Specific highlights of the systems' features include:
- Flexible ingest capacity—with the ability to capture four simultaneous DV25 or MPEG-2 I-Frame (IMX) streams through the NewsCutter XP workstations, and up to three DV25 or MPEG-2 I-Frame streams through the Thunder server. The system also supports file-based acquisition formats, including Sony XDCAM and Panasonic P2 files.
- Powerful craft news editing tools—via the award-winning NewsCutter XP system, which supports native editing of a broad range of formats including DV25 and MPEG-2 I-Frame video as well as MPEG2 Long-GOP, HDV, DVCPRO-HD, and Avid DNxHD, and offers the power to create highly-produced sequences and effects in addition to news-specific features for accelerating the creation and repurposing of news packages.
- Complete, professional graphics creation, and fulfillment workflow—for developing sophisticated, multi-layered Deko graphics and titles; creating graphics or text with keyboard entries, as well as adding Deko titles to any still image using PostDeko; and working remotely to browse for files, preview stills and clips, trim clips, delete and copy files, create sequences, and record and play back content.
- Advanced playout and control capabilities—that can replace legacy devices for video and audio playback, such as VTRs and "still stores."
The Avid DekoCast version 4.0, and Avid Thunder version 7.0 product families and the new Thunder Station systems are available immediately. For more information please visit www.avid.com.