Avid made the trek down to the end of Hall 7 of the RAI worthwhile, because that’s where much of the excitement was.
The new systems Avid presented at IBC 2019 demonstrated that streaming content to social media is becoming as important as broadcasting.
Gone are the days when an upstart called Avid was praised as just the inventor of the most disruptive editing technology since they put motors on a Moviola.
The Beach House at the RAI Convention Center where high level corporate news was divulged over finger sandwiches and soft drinks.
Now it has joined the ranks of corporate media players, as reflected by its Monday invitation-only press luncheon in the “Beach House” during the second day of IBC 2019.
Announcements made there focused on the new arrangement between Avid, Microsoft and Disney’s Studio Lab to provide (among other things) collaborative editorial workflow in the cloud.
But I came to Amsterdam to learn about the new tools that would help post-production pros solve problems and am glad to leave corporate news (among other things) to those with green eye shades.
So I really appreciated it when Colleen Smith, vp of market solutions, invited me up to the SkyBox above the bustling Avid exhibit for a one-on-one about the new products that will directly affect the lives of Avid editors.
As I have reported in the past, many of their new features are the result of requests made by the 33,000 members of the Avid Connect community since Avid is a true believer in crowd sourcing its development.
“What we are hearing from the industry today is not only that it’s all about content, but it’s all about delivering content fast,” Smith began. “So one of our most important announcements at IBC 2019 is about MediaCentral | Cloud UX.”
The latest version of Media Composer has been updated based on user requests.
The news is that MediaCentral | Cloud UX has been given the new capabilities of “Publisher”, incorporating the power of a software developed by a French company based in Sophia Antipolis with the intriguing name, Wildmoka.
As a result, the new SaaS (Software as a Service) now called MediaCentral l Publisher will be available as part of Avid’s MediaCentral 2019 media workflow platform for news, sports and post-production operations.
Its key purpose? Make content available to social media outlets as quickly as possible.
“We need to get the information out first, get it to market fast, and then we’ll be able to monetize it,” Smith told me. “MediaCentral l Publisher will let our customers do that.”
Along the lines of getting information into Avid systems faster is the announcement of support for the open source SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) IP-based protocol used to stream material to the studio or to the cloud through the new integration with the Haivision SRT Hub, powered by Microsoft Azure.
FastServe comes in three cost-effective bundles from high-performance ingest, to end-to-end capture, editing, and playout capabilities.
“You can be out in the field and send your footage into the cloud and use our FastServe | Stream technology to preview it on-prem,” Smith described, “or FastServe can improve the ingest speed when time is critical.”
But suppose you can’t wait until you get back to the studio?
In response to user requests, Avid gave us an early look at Edit on Demand, made possible by PCoIP (PC over IP) remote display protocol developed by Teradici that literally gives you access to Media Composer NLE software in the cloud.
“Last June we updated Media Composer software and now we make it available for access in the cloud,” Smith said. “It’s a partnership between Microsoft and Teradici, but don’t call it remote desktop editing because you are actually accessing the new Media Composer editing software as if you were right there.”
Also making its European debut was Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces which lets you park projects in the cloud to free up local NEXIS workspace. This can be extremely handy for news or sports production teams with limited local storage.
But some of the biggest excitement at the Avid exhibit was about their new audio offerings.
Pro Tools 2019 was on display, but so was the new Pro Tools | Ultimate that gives you access to 50 percent more voice/audio tracks than previous versions.
However, for those who can’t afford their own Pro Tools console, the newly released Avid S4 and industry-leading Pro Tools | S6 and soon-to-be-delivered Avid S1 are a viable new option.
These are control surfaces you connect to your own workstation. Avid demonstrated a side-by-side comparison of the Avid S4 and Avid S6 mixing for Dolby Atmos to show off their capabilities.
But Smith said with her ready laugh that once it is released, the Avid S1 at its lower price point and smaller form factor is sure to make a most beloved Christmas gift.
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