IBC 2016: Avid intros sports-production packages, NEXIS E5 server

Avid has introduced an integrated, end-to-end sports-production system designed to cover every type of production, from small and midsize studio organizations  to large broadcasters and remote productions. The core of the system is the Avid MediaCentral Platform, the new sports workflow that integrates a range of Avid tools into a single system.

Avid is zeroing in on the sports market with four different production packages.

Avid is zeroing in on the sports market with four production packages.

“Live sports are perhaps the most intense production environment there is, and great productions are rewarded by high ratings and devoted fans,” says Alan Hoff, VP, market solutions, Avid. “We have put together a winning team of solutions so that organizations of all types and sizes, from outside to remote production, as well as collegiate, can get in the game.”

Each package contains everything needed for the fast-turnaround world of live sports production, including basic installation and training.

All the packages feature Avid’s PlayMaker replay and highlights-editing server; Spark telestration and graphics rendering; NEXIS E5 storage; Interplay asset management; MediaCentral UX; Media Composer for editing; and Avid Customizable Logger. Those tools allow sports highlights to be turned around quickly with support for multiple playlists; visual analysis and graphics to illustrate key plays to bring viewers into the game; browse, search, and share local and remote media; and edit video in postproduction for creating additional sports-show content.

These are the four new sports-workflow packages announced at IBC 2016:

  • Avid Sports Solution Studio: Designed for small and medium-size broadcasters. Can ingest up to six feeds per PlayMaker server and also produce slow-motion replays.
  • Avid Sports Solution Remote Productions: For big sports and remote productions. Makes it easy for multiple teams to cover a game or sports event from the field. Ingests up to 12 feeds via PlayMaker sports servers.
  • Avid Sports Solution Trucks: For remote productions. Makes it easy to bring powerful sports production to any location, thanks to plug and-play workflow.
  • Avid Sports Solution EDU: For colleges and educational facilities. Makes it easy to cover games live at home, on the road, or in the studio.

The new sports solutions are expected to be available in the fourth quarter.

Earlier this year, Avid introduced Avid NEXIS, a software-defined storage platform. At IBC this week, it is taking the technology to the next level with NEXIS E5, an enterprise-class, high-density storage engine. A single E5 system scales up to 1.4 PB with bandwidth of 9.6 Gbps, delivering more than 2,000 DNXHD streams (or 500 4K streams) to hundreds of clients in a footprint of only 17RU.

“It has 300% higher density than the highest-performing storage systems in the market, 600% higher performance, twice as secure, and one-third cheaper than Avid ISIS,” says Avid Chairman/President/CEO Louis Hernandez Jr. “Gone are the days when an organization can make a hardware capital investment and then rip it out.”

Avid NEXIS high-availability options increase the reliability and performance of NEXIS E-class storage systems for the most critical deployments. Its Redundant Storage Controller, Redundant System Director, and Redundant Networking options protect against potential hardware-performance issues; the Media Mirroring option protects an entire NEXIS system against up to five simultaneous disc failures and even an entire engine failure.

Thanks to the openness of the Avid MediaCentral Platform, NEXIS solutions work with all top media-creation applications, including Media Composer, Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, and Grass Valley EDIUS. Production teams can quickly access a shared pool of virtualized storage resources, which dramatically increases their efficiency.

Avid NEXIS enables fully virtualized storage so that media organizations can adjust storage capacity mid-project without disrupting workflows. Customers can select components that meet their current needs and can easily grow as their needs change. In terms of availability, NEXIS E5, the Redundant Storage Controller, and Redundant System Director are available now; Redundant Networking option and the Media Mirroring option will be available in Q4 2016.

The moves are all part of Avid’s continuing efforts to grow the Media Central platform and the ways it can be deployed. According to Hernandez, there are 38,000 users on board and more than 2,000 asset-management deployments.

“It’s the largest deployment in the industry, and we’re happy that things have worked out so far,” he says. “The 38,000 who have adopted the platform are using it to solve a business problem, saving money and making people more efficient. And that continues with more enterprise-wide deployments like with Sinclair Broadcasting in the U.S., the largest deal we have ever signed.”

Dock10, based in Salford, UK, is also making news as the first cloud-managed services partner.

“MediaCentral is designed to run in the cloud, and the partnership with Dock10 offers the entire Avid experience in the cloud,” says Hernandez. “And Dock10 has the knowledge to understand how the industry works.”

With the business of Avid’s clients changing rapidly, says Hernandez, MediaCentral gives Avid the agility needed to be meet those changing needs.

“And with third-party integration, anyone can tie into it, as it is open extensible,” he adds. “We also have seven global service technology centers and 600 core developers working on it along with an $80 million spend on R&D.”

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