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Avid Updates Editing Systems

Responding to customer requests for systems that can help cut costs, improve workflows and offer greater support of third party hardware, Avid has introduced new versions of its flagship editing systems--Media Composer version 5.5, NewsCutter version 9.5 and Symphony version 5.5.

As part of the upgrades, Media Composer version 5.5 and NewsCutter version 9.5 both support AJA Io Express, a popular cost-effective video input and output interface.

The new versions also offer more options when using Avid hardware and third-party solutions, expand Avid Media Access and Avid Nitris DX Capabilities, and offer new searching capabilities that allow clients to call up clips containing specific words or phrases.

The move to open up the Avid editing systems "to third party hardware is big news and a watershed moment as far as opening up the Avid product line to provide more choice and flexibility," to users, noted Angus Mackay, segment marketing manager, professional segment at Avid during a presentation announcing the product.

Mackay noted this process had begun several versions back in Media Composer and continues with the new support for AJA.

Besides increased support for third-party hardware, the new versions also reflect customer requests for more functionality right out of the box, and more open, collaborative workflow systems, with additional control integration and format flexibility, added Mackay.

One interesting new feature in the editing systems allows users to search for a specific word or a phrase within a clip, making it much easier and faster to find the right footage for news reports.

Avid PhraseFind powered by Nexidia add-on can instantly find clips within Media Composer bins using the Nexidia phonetic indexing engine in Avid ScriptSync. The new interface taps into indexed audio material and can retrieve clips containing a word or phrase a user has typed into the system without relying on a script or transcript of the video material.

The PhraseFind language packs include: North American English, U.K. English, Dutch, European French, Germany, Latin American Spanish and Russian.

Other important enhancements include: EUCON support for integration with Avid control surfaces (Avid Artist Control, Artist Transport and Artist Mix devices); increased performance with Panasonic AVC-Intra material; native support for Sony HDCAM SR Lite; and enhanced "Smart Tool" functionality for direct transition manipulation within the timeline and on the fly editing.

New versions of Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter will ship in the first quarter of 2011. Suggested pricing for Media Composer Academic version 5.5 starts at $295 for educational institutions and students and $2295 for the professional version.

The suggested price for PhraseFind starts at $495, with one language included and additional languages available at $149 each. Customers purchasing PhraseFind from the Avid store will be eligible for a complimentary upgrade to Media Composer 5.5.