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Avid Gives Adrenaline Rush

Avid has introduced three Digital Nonlinear Accelerators (DNAs) designed to increase the processing power of editing systems.

The Adrenaline DNA is intended for NewsCutter; Mojo, for portable and field systems; and Nitris, for its high-end DS editing suite.

According to Avid Broadcast Director David Schleifer, development took more than two years and required new codecs and a new software engine that take advantage of FireWire's transfer capabilities to boost editing power and speed of traditional PC-based systems.

Hardware-based editing systems are based on a video card, so faster CPUs don't help improve performance. And software based systems are only as good as the PC they're running on, making performance enhancements limited by the CPU. "DNA marries the two in the box with the FireWire cable," explains Schleifer.

Uncompressed data moves between the two systems. He says any software-host-based system will be improved while hardware-based systems will have additional PC power equal to adding as many as 30 Pentium 4 processors.

Adrenaline accommodates a number of standard-definition inputs and outputs, including analog, YprPb, S-video, composite, and eight- and 10-bit SMPTE 259M SDI inputs and outputs. For audio, there are eight audio channels plus AES/EBU, ADAT and S/PDIF digital audio I/O. More important, it offers optional HD-SDI support.

"It's HD-upgradable so you have a path to the future," says Schleifer. "And broadcasters don't know when the move to HD will happen so this gives them an ability to budget for it."

The HD upgrade would be done via an HD expansion slot, which boosts the processing speed of the host CPU to handle the material.

The new NewsCutter Adrenaline FX nonlinear editing system, Schleifer says, will give users all the editing capabilities of Avid's Media Composer system plus the NewsCutter features. Among them is Quick Record, which allows the jog shuttle to be used for keyboard-free editing.

Other new features for NewsCutter include a Newsroom Computer System (NRCS) tool that allows reporters and editors to link from iNews or ENPS to the NewsCutter environment so editors can edit to words in a script. HyperClip and Post-to-Web features are designed to improve Web publishing. The system comes in four versions: NewsCutter Effects priced at $34,995; NewsCutter FX Adrenaline at $29,995; and NewsCutter XP with a CPU at $11,995, without at $6,995.

The Mojo DNA for portable nonlinear editing systems is priced starting at $1,695. It can be added to NewsCutter XP, allowing real-time DV and analog audio and video output to tape with real-time 2-D and 3-D DVE. Features include real-time video monitoring and analog-to-DV and DV-to-analog conversion. Mojo also allows genlock synchronization to black burst on both analog and digital ports.

For high-end nonlinear-editing requirements, the company now offers Avid DS Nitris system, which can deliver real-time effects for up to two streams of 10-bit HD media and eight streams of 10-bit uncompressed SD media. It uses a Media Composer-type interface and includes such features as a Symphony-style color-correction system. Features include global hue, saturation gain and brightness control as well as constant-luminance controls for shadows, midtones and highlights. More than 10 HD formats are supported in the system, which is expected to be priced at $145,000 for Avid DS Nitris systems and $78,995 for Avid DS Nitris editor systems. Upgrades will cost $35,000.