Avid Upgrades Media Composer, Newscutter and Symphony

BURLINGTON, MA.: Avid today announced new versions of its flagship video editing systems, Media Composer version 6, NewsCutter version 10 and Symphony version 6.

The three platforms are rebuilt from the core on a new open, 64-bit architecture. “Every part of the code was touched,” said Angus MacKay, marketing manager for the Burlington, Mass.-based NLE company. “This marks a major milestone in the product and allows us to do things that were not possible before.” The new versions also includes a sleek, new User Interface—designed to speed workflows while simultaneously preserving the same functionality. In addition, the 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.

A new Avid Open I/O enables support for popular video and audio cards from AJA Video Systems, Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444, Matrox and MOTU. A new reduced price for Avid’s high-performance hardware video accelerator, Avid Nitris DX means that it can be easily integrated into high-profile film or TV workflows through its availability as a standalone hardware purchase. Nitris DX is available with one or two Avid DNxHD or AVC-Intra chips and supports full resolution and full frame stereoscopic workflows.

The user interface has been updated as well. “We’ve updated and modernized the look but we haven’t changed the interaction model,” MacKay said. Pro Tools has also been enhanced for integration with Media Composer and 5.1/7.1 surround has been improved with extensive metadata management, which allows 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 improved AAF capabilities.

3D stereoscopic workflows have also been enhanced, offering 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. A new Avid DNxHD 444 high quality codec will allow full color information from HD RGB 4:4:4 sources to be preserved without compromising system performance or storage. Avid DNxHD 444 can help significantly enhance real-time HD production productivity with the highest color detail possible and is also an ideal archiving format.

The three systems also provide support for the Avid Artist Color control surface within Avid editing systems and AMA has been expanded to offer native support for AVCHD and RED Epic as well as the ability to encode Apple ProRes (Mac OS-based systems only). Avid Marketplace, a new product enhancement, offers in-system access to stock footage from Thought Equity Motion. Avid Marketplace also enables customers to browse available video and audio plug-ins along with other products in the Avid Store to complete a suite. A new Customer Assist Tool offers direct, in app access to guides, help and configuration information.

The new versions will be available Nov. 15. Media Composer v6 and Newscutter v10 go for $2,499; Symphony v6, the first time the platform has been offered as a standalone software-only product, is $5,999 and Nitris DX hardware accelerator is $5,499.