Avid Thunder, DekoCast roll with new versions

Avid Technology is shipping the latest versions of its Avid DekoCast and Thunder on-air graphics systems. Version 4.0 of the DekoCast system offers powerful new configurations with enhanced high-definition (HD) and crawl capabilities; and version 7.0 of the Thunder system introduces a new HD configuration that combines the capabilities of a traditional video clip and still image store with advanced real-time DVE effects, on-board and remote database support, and powerful graphics functionality.

Avid also announced the immediate availability of its new Thunder Station system – an all-in-one news and graphics production package for broadcasters operating in small and mid-sized markets.

“Graphics systems are critical tools that broadcasters rely on to establish their identity and maintain their competitive edge,” says David Schleifer, vice president of Avid Broadcast and Workgroups. “Enhancing our DekoCast and Thunder on-air graphics systems with new HD options and toolsets gives broadcasters an easy way to manage their look and feel without placing additional demands on their resources. Our new Thunder Station system also ties graphics and editing together and gives smaller-market broadcasters access to an affordable, integrated solution for news and graphics production, so they don’t have to cobble together a low-budget video workflow with a range of third-party systems.”

New Deko features include:

–A new DekoCast HD model – delivering all of the key benefits
of the standard-definition model in a system designed to meet
the increased demands of real-time broadcast quality HD
graphics and video processing.

— An enhanced “Crawl Animation” feature set – enabling stations
to reinforce their brands by easily adding animated logos,
clips, and live video right within informational crawl
graphics, including those typically used on sports,
entertainment, and finance news channels.

— A toolset for collecting, managing and delivering
real-time election data – providing tight integration with
Avid LeaderPlus software.

Version 7.0 of the Thunder system expands Avid’s family of live production servers by introducing:

— A new Thunder HD high-definition model – delivering multiple
channels of broadcast quality HD video with native 720p and
1080i MXF file format. Now broadcasters can use Thunder to
play back animated backgrounds, breaking news, over the
shoulder stills, promo clips and news graphics at true HD
resolution.

— The ability to link a video clip with a still graphic –
creating associations between graphics and video clips so that
both media files can be recalled efficiently as a single
element. This capability frees system resources that were
previously dedicated to handling the graphic and video
elements separately, providing operators with the opportunity
to achieve even greater graphic sophistication with each
independent Thunder channel.

And the there is Thunder Station, a complete news editing, production server and on-air graphics system designed to give small-market broadcasters a flexible ingest-to-playout workflow by integrating Avid NewsCutter XP editing tools, Deko graphics production software, and Thunder live production servers into a single, cohesive system. This unique workflow empowers broadcasters to cost-effectively create play-to-air news, promotions, and sports segments – all with supporting graphics.

Specific highlights of the systems’ features include:

— Flexible ingest capacity – with the ability to capture four
simultaneous DV25 or MPEG-2 I-Frame (IMX) streams through the
NewsCutter XP workstations, and up to three DV25 or MPEG-2
I-Frame streams through the Thunder server. The system also
supports file-based acquisition formats, including Sony XDCAM
and Panasonic P2 files.

— Powerful craft news editing tools – via the award-winning
NewsCutter XP system, which supports native editing of a broad
range of formats including DV25 and MPEG-2 I-Frame video as
well as MPEG2 Long-GOP, HDV, DVCPRO-HD, and Avid DNxHD(R), and
offers the power to create highly-produced sequences and
effects in addition to news-specific features for accelerating
the creation and repurposing of news packages.

— Complete, professional graphics creation, and fulfillment
workflow – for developing sophisticated, multi-layered Deko
graphics and titles; creating graphics or text with keyboard
entries, as well as adding Deko titles to any still image
using PostDeko; and working remotely to browse for files,
preview stills and clips, trim clips, delete and copy files,
create sequences, and record and play back content.

— Advanced playout and control capabilities – that can replace
legacy devices for video and audio playback, such as VTRs and
“still stores.”