Avid Revamps Media Composer, Symphony, NewsCutter Editing Systems

Avid this week rolled out new versions of Media Composer, Symphony, and NewsCutter as all the systems finally move to an open and 64-bit architecture that the company says will improve performance, flexibility, and productivity. And users can also expect a new user interface as well as support for third-party hardware, AVCHD and RED Epic support with Avid Media Access (AMA), a new codec, and support for Avid Artist Color.

“Time and creativity is money for our customers, and they are looking for solutions that can help them continue to advance the art of creative storytelling without adding technological complexity,” says Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of products and solutions at Avid.

Among the hot new features is real-time Mix and Match, allowing multiple formats in the same timeline as well as PhraseFind and ScriptSync for phonetic searching and editing within clips. And video quality gets an upgrade with the new codec, Avid DNxHD 444, that preserves full color information, while 5.1/7.1 Surround Sound audio gets a lift courtesy of Pro Tools integration.

Also for those working in 3D a new concept allows for real-time editing by looking at a 2D image but with a deep toolset that allows for the editor to track 3D issues like convergence, depth, and more.

Third-party hardware support is also improved as video and audio cards from AJA Video Systems, Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444, Matrox and MOTU can all easily be integrated. And Avid’s own hardware video accelerator, Nitris DX, is available as a standalone hardware purchase for only $5,499 with one or two Avid DNxHD or AVC-Intra chips that support full resolution and full frame stereoscopic workflows.

Lastly, Avid is introducing the Avid Vantage Program, an annual membership program for Media Composer and Symphony customers that costs only $149 per year and provides unlimited online technical support, plus deeply discounted expert phone support when needed.

New versions of Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter software will be available on November 15, 2011. Beginning with these releases, NewsCutter will be available for the same price as Media Composer, Symphony 6.0 will be available as a standalone software option and Nitris DX will be available as a standalone hardware option.

Pricing for Media Composer 6.0 and NewsCutter 10 start at $2,499 and upgrade pricing starts at $299 and $499 respectively. Symphony 6.0 is priced at $5,999 with upgrades for $499 while Nitrix DX starts at $5,499.