Avid Technology announced Friday the worldwide availability of Xpress Pro 5.7 and Media Composer 2.7, new versions of its digital video editing systems, now with native support for Intel-based Macs. Both new versions sport myriad other enhancements as well. Xpress Pro costs £1,080; upgrades start at £30. Media Composer costs £3,200; upgrades start at £120 (all prices exclude VAT).

Avid offers Xpress Pro as a means of editing DV, SD and HD footage and film. It features Avid's standard editing environment, real-time mixing of formats and resolutions, 24p tools, multicam editing and many other features. Media Composer is the latest iteration of Avid's "original" editing system, providing the same editing environment that's been used for years to produce television shows, movies and commercials.

 border=0 /><BR></div>
</p>
<p>
New features in both versions include expanded format support, including write-back capabilities for the Sony XDCAM and Panasonic P2 media formats and support for the European 720p50 HD broadcast standard.
</p>
<p>
Updated third-party applications bundled with both packages include Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite 4.5, used for video format encoding; SmartSound SonicFire Pro 4, enabling dynamic music soundtrack creation; and for Media Composer specifically, Boris Continuum Complete 4.2.2, a high-end effects and filters package.
</p>
<p>
Media Composer 2.7 adds ScriptSync, a script-based editing tool that uses phonetic speech recognition to sync text with media, and Avid DNxHD 36, a new HD codec used for offline editorial, which operates at a date rate of 36 megabits per second (Mb/s) at full-raster HD resolution.
</p>
<p>
The new versions of Media Composer and Xpress Pro will be featured front and center at Avid