NAB 2016: Avid Rolls Out IP Support, Software-Based Storage

LAS VEGAS—Avid is rolling out new software-defined storage, advanced graphics capability, and an end-to-end production workflow for the Panasonic Ultra LongG format at this year’s NAB Show.

Avid is introducing the new Avid Nexis, a software-defined storage platform designed for storing and managing media. Avid said Nexis enables fully virtualized storage so media organizations can adjust storage capacity mid-project, without disrupting workflows.

Powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform, Avid Nexis delivers media storage for Avid-based and third-party workflows. Nexis enables customers to dynamically tune the system to ensure that high-priority workflows always have the capacity, performance and data protection levels they require. This ability lets teams react quickly to changes, adjusting performance and protection levels to match the needs of a project at any stage in the workflow.

The modularity Nexis enables teams to mix and match storage engines and elastically scale capacity from as little as 20 TB to over 1.4 PB in a single system, without interruption, Avid said. The Nexis family includes the E4 high-density integrated storage engine, the E2 small-footprint integrated storage engine, the System Director Appliance, the Media Pack of 10 drives with 20 TB or 60 TB of storage, the Redundant Controller and the PRO professional-class integrated storage engine (successor to ISIS 1000 and providing an upgrade path for ISIS1000 customers).

Avid also announced an end-to-end production workflow for the Panasonic AVC Ultra-LongG video format, which is used by NBC and Cox. AVC LongG support will be available in Avid Artist, Media Composer, Nexis storage, Interplay Production and Media Asset Management, Airspeed, Media Director and across MediaCentral. It includes baseband and file-based ingest, editorial and logging, send-to-playback and archive.

Avid’s LongG splicing capability allows for changes to be made to existing sequences without requiring a full re-encode upon playout or consolidation. Through integration with the Avid MediaCentral, users can replace old camera inventory and invest in this new camera platform without risking interruption of operational practices.

Avid updated its graphics platform with support for 3D motion graphics and sports with the new 4Designer, an update of Maestro, and a sports telestration tool, Spark.

The 4Designer graphics authoring tool is a complete toolset for creating 2D and 3D motion graphics in a wide range of resolutions. The latest version of Maestro provides a way to manage and play out on-air 3D graphics, and supports video ingest and playout. Maestro is tightly integrated with the MediaCentral Platform. The Avid Spark telestration tool enables on-air commentators to draw and add graphics to a video in real time, giving audiences better visual insight into key plays, game flow, and analysis.

Avid is updating its MediaCentral platform to support “real-time IP signals,” the company said. On the floor, it will demo interoperable IP workflows with Grass Valley and Sony, as well as IP interfaces for SDI-based Avid products, including Media Composer. A new “open, agnostic, standards-based architecture for IP signals” was announced for the MediaCentral platform, as well as membership in the AIMS Alliance.

Future updates will enable Avid users to orchestrate automated content flows that span all facets of media content creation and distribution, incorporating Avid tools and infrastructure as well as partner solutions from its growing ecosystem.

The Nexis storage, updated graphics software, IP and LongG support technologies are all expected to become available in the second quarter of this year.

Avid also said NBC Olympics tapped MediaCentral for the games in Rio de Janeiro Aug. 5-21. MediaCentral is the foundation of the Avid Everywhere cloud-based production platform. This will make Avid’s ninth consecutive Olympics with NBC, with Rio being the “largest and most comprehensive to date,” the vendor said.

The NBC Olympics production compound within the International Broadcast Center in Rio will be outfitted with Avid Media Composer editing systems connected to an Avid ISIS 7500 shared storage system with 512TB of total raw capacity. The Olympic Venues are each equipped with a 128TB ISIS 7500, AirSpeed 5500, and Interplay Production systems with connectivity back to the IBC.