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Avid Extends Broad HD Capabilities Across Avid DNA Product Line(2)

Avid Technology, Inc.

announced plans to provide editing support for a broad range of HD media formats across its Avid Xpress Pro, NewsCutter XP, Media Composer Adrenaline, NewsCutter Adrenaline FX, and Avid DS Nitris systems. All five products will include Avid DNxHD – a revolutionary, 10-bit HD encoding technology that enables collaborative HD postproduction with the same storage bandwidth and capacity requirements as SD files. The source code for Avid DNxHD technology will also be licensable – free of charge through the Avid Web site – to any user who wants to compile it on any platform.

Avid will also offer additional HD format support, including optional uncompressed HD capabilities for Media Composer Adrenaline and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems, and native HDV and native Panasonic DVCPRO HD for Avid Xpress Pro, NewsCutter XP, Media Composer Adrenaline, and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems.

Avid DNxHD

Avid DNxHD encoding technology is designed for nonlinear editing and multi-generation compositing in collaborative postproduction and broadcast news environments. Unlike uncompressed HD media, which has bandwidth requirements of nearly 1.2 gigabits per second (Gbps), Avid DNxHD operates in a 4:2:2 color space and is available in three user-selectable bandwidth configurations: 220 megabits per second (Mbps) for both 10-bit and 8-bit video, and a highly efficient 8-bit configuration requiring only 145 Mbps. Avid DNxHD supports 720p at 60 frames per second and 1080p/i HD resolutions at 30, 25, and 24 frames per second. By comparison, uncompressed 10-bit SD media requires approximately 200 Mbps. In addition, Avid DNxHD supports all popular native HD formats and rasters without compromise, eliminating resolution losses that occur with HD compression technologies that perform format conversions before compressing media. Avid DNxHD technology also uses the Material Exchange Format (MXF), an open media file wrapper that enables direct media interchange with Avid and third-party MXF-compliant products.

Media Composer Adrenaline customers who are ready to leverage the power of Avid DNxHD technology can simply install the Avid HD expansion option in the back of the Avid Adrenaline Digital Nonlinear Accelerator (Avid DNA), capture video to any of the three Avid DNxHD formats, and edit in this high-quality HD resolution in real time. Avid DS Nitris customers will receive the Avid DNxHD encoding technology as part of the free version 7.5 software upgrade and will be able to create multiple streams of full-resolution effects – such as color correction, DVEs, transitions, and titles – in real time.

With storage bandwidth requirements similar to uncompressed SD video, the highly efficient Avid DNxHD encoding technology enables real-time HD collaboration through the Avid Unity MediaNetwork shared-storage environment, including support for Avid Unity MediaManager. The Avid Xpress Pro and NewsCutter XP systems will support playback and rendering of Avid DNxHD media on local storage.

Uncompressed HD

For editors who want to work with HD media at 1:1 resolution, Avid will offer a new uncompressed HD add-on PCI card for Media Composer Adrenaline and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems, giving users the ability to directly input, output, and edit uncompressed HD media – including industry-standard 1080i, 1080p, and 720p formats – via an HD-SDI connection. The uncompressed HD add-on will work with the Adrenaline accelerator and HD expansion option to enable simultaneous real-time HD and SD output.

2K and 4K

In addition to supporting real-time 10-bit and 8-bit uncompressed HD finishing, the Avid DS Nitris system can now handle higher-resolution digital cinema formats – such as 2K and 4K RGB (scanned DPX/Cineon files) – in their native color space with real-time HD proxy working resolutions and time-code tracking.

HDV

The Avid Xpress Pro, NewsCutter XP, Media Composer Adrenaline, and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems will support native HDV FireWire capture and native MPEG editing. The Avid Unity MediaNetwork system will also support the exchange of HDV media across multiple editing workstations.

Third-Party HD Format Support

The Avid Xpress Pro, NewsCutter XP, Media Composer Adrenaline, and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems will support native DVCPRO HD media via FireWire. Avid is also developing a dual-link HD-SDI upgrade option for the Avid DS Nitris system that will enable it to support uncompressed 4:4:4 capture from compliant dual-link devices such as Sony HDCAM SR VTRs.

Pricing & Availability

* Pricing for the Avid HD expansion option is $9,995 USMSRP. The Avid DNxHD encoding technology is expected to be included in Media Composer Adrenaline and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems equipped with the Avid HD expansion option in late 2004. Avid DNxHD playback and rendering capabilities will be included with Avid Xpress Pro and NewsCutter XP software releases in late 2004. Avid DNxHD technology will be included in Avid DS Nitris systems in Q2 2004. The source code for Avid DNxHD is scheduled to be licensable – free of charge through the Avid Web site – during the second half of 2004.

* The uncompressed HD add-on PCI card will be priced at $4,995 USMSRP and is expected to be available in late 2004 for customers who have purchased the HD expansion option for the Media Composer Adrenaline and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems.

* HDV support is expected to be included in Avid Xpress Pro, NewsCutter XP, Media Composer Adrenaline, and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX systems in late 2004.

* Native support for DVCPRO HD is expected to be included in Avid Xpress Pro, NewsCutter XP, Media Composer Adrenaline, NewsCutter Adrenaline FX, and Avid DS Nitris systems in late 2004.

* The dual-link HD-SDI upgrade is expected to be available for the Avid DS Nitris system in 2005. Pricing will be announced at a later date.

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