Avid has released its latest family of professional digital video editing systems that it says offers greater speed, responsiveness, reliability and price-performance. The new lineup, which includes next-generation versions of Avid Media Composer (v3.0), Symphony (v3.0), and NewsCutter (v7.0) -- plus new hardware configurations, Mojo DX and Nitris DX, maximises real-time performance for customers by intelligently using all available computing bandwidth to evenly disperse the processing of video and effects across the entire system.

The increase in power and performance of Avid’s new editing systems is the result of an architectural design that tightly integrates Avid software and hardware with the CPU, host graphics card and PCI Express connection, to create a high-bandwidth, high-performance effects engine, according to the company. This design eliminates the lag time in responsiveness that users often experience when working with HD material during the editorial process.

Avid’s new editing lineup offers a range of new capabilities designed to enhance the HD editing process, including real-time output of all major SD and HD formats, which eliminates the need for rendering with the Avid DNxHD codec. The systems have a real-time effects architecture that closely ties multi-core CPU, GPU and PCI Express hardware into a single high-performance pipeline that increases the speed of the HD editing experience.


There is improved codec and file-based format support including native support for 'Thin Raster; formats including DVCPRO HD and XDCAM HD; with real-time output with multiple streams of HD; native editing support for AVC-I, which will be supported in 50Mbps and 100Mbps formats, via the same Avid workflow as P2/DVCPRO HD; Sony XDCAM-EX (requires Sony Clip Browser software – currently available only on Windows); and JVC 23.976p and 25p HDV codecs.

The upgrades add support for Mac Leopard OS and Windows Vista 32 and 64 bit operating systems, plus a SubCap visible captioning tool for adding subtitles, with the import and export of EBU-N19 formats. MetaFuze is a new tool designed for quickly merging single-frame files (such as DPX and TIF) from film scanning or CGI systems into a single media clip on the Windows platform. MetaFuze enables users to create Avid DNxHD 36 files from DPX or TIF masters and use the files during the offline edit in a DI workflow – with final conform taking place on a DS system.

A real-time multi-window timecode burn-in tool enables editors to simplify the screening process by burning multiple timecodes and sequence information onto a video and superimposing the timecode over the picture during output and playback.


Blu-ray output has been added to the an upgraded version of Avid DVD by Sonic which makes it easier for PC users to create high definition DVDs. XML export for sequences has been added to Avid FilmScribe, which enables all source and record side metadata to be exported as XML, including change notes. With this feature, transforms can be applied to create EDLs (such scan lists, ASC colour metadata).

All of the new systems are expected to ship in the summer. Media Composer costs £1,550 for the software only, or £6,300 with the Mojo DX hardware. With the higher-end Nitris DX hardware, it costs £9,400 - or £13,800 as a turnkey solution with either an eight-core Apple Mac Pro or HP xw8600 workstation.

Symphony Nitris DX costs £22,600 with an eight-core Mac Pro or HP xw8600. NewsCutter for news editing costs £3,150 for the software alone, or £12,600 with the Mojo DX hardware and an eight-core xw8600 workstation. With the Nitris DX hardware and an eight-core HP xw8600 workstation, Newscutter costs £15,700.