Sunday, September 25, 2016

Toolbox

  • Saturday, Sep. 24, 2016
Snapchat debuts recording "Spectacles," changes company name
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Social media app Snapchat is introducing video-recording glasses called Spectacles and is changing its company name to incorporate the new product.

The glasses can record video 10 seconds at a time by tapping a button on the device. The video is then uploaded to the popular image-messaging app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The glasses are the first hardware from the Los Angeles-based company.

The glasses record so-called "circular video," meaning it plays full-screen on any device in any orientation.

They will be available in the U.S. in the fall on a limited basis and cost $130.

In a way, the Spectacles recall Google's venture into eyewear, Google Glass, which took photos and video. But that device also had a screen that let you surf the web as well and cost $1,500.

Google shuttered that venture in early 2015 after it received a tepid response from users.

The company says it's changing its name to Snap Inc. since it now has more than one product. The app will retain the name Snapchat.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2016
Your TV may use more energy than you think, group charges
In this Jan. 5, 2015, file photo, Joe Stinziano, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics America, introduces a Samsung SUHD 4K TV at a news conference in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

An environmental group accused three major television manufacturers Wednesday of misleading consumers and regulators about how much energy their high-definition screens devour by designing them to draw less power during government testing than in ordinary use.

The Natural Resources Defense Council concluded that the TVs made by Samsung, LG Electronics and Vizio saddle households with an extra $120 million in electricity bills each year and generate tons of additional pollution.

The added expense works out to about $10 to $20 per household annually over the anticipated decade-long life of the typical widescreen TV.

Both Samsung and LG Electronics disputed the findings.

"It appears that some major manufacturers have modified their TV designs to get strong energy-use marks during government testing but may not perform as well in consumer homes," said Noah Horowitz, senior scientist and director for the NRDC's center for energy efficiency standards.

The report called to mind elements of the Volkswagen emissions scandal in which the automaker duped U.S. regulators by using sophisticated software to turn on emissions controls when the cars were being tested and turn them off during real-world driving.

Samsung and LG did not break any laws, according to the report, but rather exploited weaknesses in the Department of Energy's system to measure electricity usage.

The behavior "smacks of bad faith," Horowitz said.

The findings were based on an analysis of high-definition TVs with screens spanning at least 55 inches made in 2015 and 2016. The estimates on electricity costs are based on high-definition TVs with screens 32 inches and larger.

The study concluded that Samsung and LG exploited the testing system to get better scores on the yellow "EnergyGuide" labels that appear on sets in stores. Those scores often influence the buying decisions of consumers looking to save money on utility bills.

Samsung and LG sets have a dimming feature that turns off the screens' backlight during the 10-minute video clip used in government tests, according to the study. But that does not typically happen when the sets are being used in homes to watch sports, comedies, dramas and news programming.

The reason the TVs perform differently during tests is because the government relies on an 8-year-old clip that stitches together 260 separate scenes that rapidly change, keeping the backlight off. The NRDC study found scenes lasted longer in a football game, the HBO comedy "Silicon Valley," the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and a CNN program. The longer scenes resulted in the picture staying brighter, drawing more electricity than in government tests.

LG spokesman John Taylor wrote in an email that the company was "confident that our products are being tested properly and are delivering energy efficiency in real world use."

Samsung said the government-tested ratings are based on the factory settings for the picture — something that most consumers do not change. That is consistent with the report, which assumes that two-thirds of consumers leave those settings in place.

The company did not comment on what happens to energy usage when the settings are changed except to say that consumers should have the option to choose the picture they want.

Vizio did not respond to requests for comment.

The NRDC called on the Department of Energy to test energy usage with a montage of clips mirroring how TV is typically watched in homes. The department said Wednesday that it is reviewing whether it needs to change its testing to keep up with the latest TV technology.

The analysis also found that Samsung, LG and Vizio disable energy-saving features in their TVs when consumers change the factory setting on the picture with a remote control. The report estimated that happens in one-third of all homes.

The energy-saving feature is turned off with little or no warning on the screen, sometimes doubling the amount of electricity consumed, according to the NRDC report. This potential uptick in energy usage is not detected in government testing either.

Other TV sets made by Sony and Philips did not deactivate their power-saving features when changes were made to the default setting for the picture, according to the study.

Add it all up, and the report estimates that total electricity bills during a decade of watching the high-definition TVs will be $1.2 billion higher than the energy ratings imply. The higher energy usage generates an additional 5 million metric tons of carbon pollution, potentially affecting the climate, the report warned.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2016
Triptent introduces high-speed Robic camera system
The Robic camera system in action.
NEW YORK -- 

Triptent has introduced Robic, a custom developed robotic arm system designed for high-speed cinematography. Robic is a fully programmable camera arm that allows for precise, exact movement up to 105 miles per hour to capture and follow motion in laser-sharp focus at 2,500 frames per second. The Robic system is now available for productions exclusively through Triptent, and is compatible with professional cameras including the Phantom HD, Flex 4K, Red Epic and the ARRI Alexa Mini. 

“Together with our longtime collaborator, director-technologist-inventor Fernando Kocking, we decided to develop a custom solution allowing our clients a way to create shots that we’ve never been able to capture before in-camera,” said Joe Masi, founder of Triptent. “With Robic the speed and clarity of the footage is incredible. We can truly follow the action in real-time as it happens--a ballerina on point as she leaps into the air, a glass propelled by gravity as it crashes to the ground, the trajectory of a baseball through the air after a hit. Robic is the first rig to offer such laser-focused images even at high speeds. Using Robic’s infrared motion sensors, we can produce motion control shots that don’t require CGI, layering or effects because everything is captured precisely in live action.”

Robic is built around a set of sophisticated robotic arms developed by Staubli, which were then custom engineered via a software toolset written by Kocking to specifically service high-speed cinematography workflows. Robic is ideal for capturing not only tabletop and product footage, but also people and objects, enabling new possibilities in sports, performance, automotive, beauty and lifestyle shoots. 

The current Robic set-up includes four motion control arms, all fully synchronized to capture a shot with ultimate precision even though it may just be a millisecond in time. Two of the robotic arms, together with the custom Robic software, are designed to control cameras, and two are designed to control objects. The camera control arms can be used alone, or can be programmed to follow the movements of an object mounted on another Robic arm for perfectly synced capture. The system has also been designed so that camera arms can be controlled and programmed very simply via a videogame controller, dramatically reducing prep time.

The Robic system is transportable and can be set up on a stage or on location, and is already in use on commercial projects.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2016
Wireless signals can detect your feelings with new device 
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- 

What if your computer or smartphone could tell if you're happy or sad?

A new device developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aims to detect emotions by sending wireless signals that measure heartbeats as the signals bounce off a person's body.

Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory say their device is 87 percent accurate in using heartrate and what it's already learned about a person to recognize joy, pleasure, sadness or anger, after the device first measures how each individual's body reacts in various emotional states.

It works like an electrocardiogram monitor but without needing a sensor on the body to measure heartbeats.

They say it could one day be used by advertising agencies to gauge audience reaction or in health care to diagnose depression or anxiety.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2016
First-time documentary director deploys Sound Devices 664 mixer/recorder
Director Claudia Katayanagi (r) on location for "A Bitter Legacy."
SAN FRANCISCO -- 

Claudia  Katayanagi  has  had  a  long  career  in sound  mixing and recording that  has taken  her on  location with HBO documentaries, including the acclaimed Food, Inc., Crude and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, PBS’ Frontline, and the BBC’s arts-focused Imagine  series.  She  has  also made  dozens  of  programs  for  San Francisco’s  public media station KQED, and worked on the second and first units of feature films.  

“I generally record dialogue for films, documentaries, and corporate shoots,”  said Katayanagi, “ But like all sound recordists on these types of projects, ambient sound is a delight to record. Surf sounds in stereo are always one of my favorites, as are bell towers and train stations all over the world.” 

A  convert to  Sound  Devices’  portable  recording  and  mixing  equipment  when  the  products  first appeared  on  the  market,  Katayanagi  owns  a  Sound  Devices  302  three-channel  field  mixer,  a 744T four-track audio recorder, and a 664 12 input, 16 track field production mixer.  Katayanagi bought the 664 mixer just a few months after it was first introduced, a decision made much  simpler  by  her prior exposure to the  brand. 

“Owning the previous Sound Devices  mixers made  for  an  easier  transition  to  the  664,”   she  added. “ I  knew  how  important  all  its  capabilities were  going  to  be  and  now  I  feel  as  though  I  have  a  mini  computer  in  the  guise  of  a mixer/recorder on  location. The  numerous permutations of  input to output selections  have  been invaluable for so many different types of shoots.” 

Her favorite Sound Devices gear is still by her side and proved instrumental in her first turn as a feature documentary director, a project she has worked on for the past five years. Her new film, A  Bitter  Legacy,  was  recently  awarded “ Best  Documentary” at  the  Women’s Independent  Film Festival. The project, recounts the concentration camps created by the United States government to  confine  Japanese  Americans  and  others  of  Japanese  ancestry  during  World  War  II. The  film focuses  on  the  lesser-known,  essentially  secret  isolation outposts  that  served  as  concentration camps   for  the   more   vocal  among  those   incarcerated.  These “ more   harsh  prisons,” said Katayanagi, were “for those  who  stood  up,  spoke  up  and  resisted  what  they  saw  to  be  an injustice.” 

Given  her  limited  resources  as  a  first-time  director,  Katayanagi  is  also  the  documentary’s producer and its primary location sound mixer. “During interviews, I would set up the boom and a  lav  mic  on  talent,  and  with  my  headphones  on,  I  would conduct the  interviews for hours  at  a time,” she  said. “Knowing  how  well  the  664  performed,  I  simply  had  to  trust  my  ears as  I directed the interviews, and several times, a re-enactment.” 

She particularly enjoyed hearing the final product as a member of the audience during the film’s screenings. “I recently got to see and hear my film played in a theatre with a THX sound system for the  first time and I was  so blown away  by  how good my film sounded,”  she said. “ I give a large  amount  of  credit  to  my  Sound  Devices  664,  and  to  my  sound  editor  and  mixer,  Philip Perkins.” 

A  Bitter  Legacy screened  in  April  at  the  Arizona  International  Film  Festival  and  Vail  Film Festival.

  • Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016
VR arrives at Tokyo Game Show, counted on to revive industry 
A visitor tries out a PlayStation VR headgear device at the Tokyo Game Show in Makuhari, near Tokyo, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Virtual reality has arrived for real at the Tokyo Game Show, one of the world's biggest exhibitions for the latest in fun and games. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
CHIBA, Japan (AP) -- 

Virtual reality has arrived for real at the Tokyo Game Show, one of the world's biggest exhibitions for the latest in fun and games.

That's evident everywhere. Players at the booths are donning chunky headgear covering their eyes and ears, immersed in their own worlds, shooting imaginary monsters or dancing with virtual partners, at Makuhari Messe hall in the Tokyo suburb of Chiba.

The show, which gave a preview to reporters Thursday ahead of its opening to the public over the weekend, features 614 companies demonstrating more than 1,500 game software titles.

It's still anyone's guess how VR will play out as a business in years ahead. But most everyone agrees that's the way of the future. And Yasuo Takahashi, director at Sony Interactive Entertainment, the game division of Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony Corp., believes 2016 will mark VR's debut year, helping revive an industry that has languished with the advent of smart phones.

"Up to now games were played on a TV set. With VR, players can enter the worlds portrayed in games. It's a totally new experience," he said at Sony's booth at the show, stressing that VR can't really be played on a cell phone. That also meant VR's impact will be widespread, in genres such as movies and virtual travel, he added.

One reason for Sony's high hopes for VR: Tokyo-based Sony's PlayStation VR headgear device, going on sale next month for about $400, is the first that might put VR within reach for many regular homes, according to some analysts. Rival VR headsets cost more: Oculus Rift goes for about $600, and HTC Vive $800.

Although VR's applications vary from job training and real-estate previews to news reporting and education, it's expected to take off in games first.

A recent survey of 653 industry experts including startup executives and investors, carried out jointly by legal company Perkins Coie and Upload, cited "lack of compelling content" as the biggest challenge for VR's future.

Respondents were most focused on games. They also cited obstacles to VR's popularity, such as cost, bulky hardware and technical glitches. But most respondents were planning to invest in VR, if cautiously at first.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi, founder and president of the game software maker Enhance, believes VR is exactly the kind of technology his game "Rez Infinite" has been waiting for. The game's original version went on sale in 2001 for an earlier console called Sega Dreamcast.

The new VR version of the game, one of the highlights of the Tokyo Game Show, delivers an immersive, dreamlike experience.

Once players put on the headgear and earphones, they find themselves virtually flying through an abyss-like universe resembling outer space or the bottom of the ocean, a black that seems to spread in all directions.

Then colorful geometric designs pop up, bursting in flashes of light with the aim of the cursor or a shift of a VR player's vision. Electronic music, synchronized to the player's moves and virtual explosions, adds to the thrill.

"This is about a new way of storytelling. It's a new journey. And so this is not confined to just realism, but it can provoke the creative imagination," Mizuguchi told The Associated Press this week at his Tokyo office.

"I want to move people in new ways. As a concept, it's about appealing to the senses. But it's actually also very emotional. VR can liberate one's experience from the film frame, which has existed over the 130 years of movies."

The visual abstractness and musical focus of Mizuguchi's game contrast with other VR games that seek to more literally approximate reality, using VR's ability to convey an illusion of 3-D depth and 360-degree surroundings.

Mizuguchi stressed that his designers, and Sony, were careful to make sure VR didn't make players nauseous.

"If someone's first experience with VR turns out to be negative, there might never be a second experience," he said.

Hisakazu Hirabayashi, game analyst and president of game industry consulting firm Interact, says VR is so powerful that creators are still choosing to tone it down to minimize potential risks, including venturing into untested territory such as VR pornography.

"VR is a fabulous technology, but it can be even used for torture," he said. "So game creators are still trying to play it safe."

  • Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2016
Blackmagic Design announces Fusion 8.2 is now shipping
Fusion 8.2
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design announced that the final release of Fusion 8.2, its visual effects and motion graphics software, is now available for download from the Blackmagic Design website. Fusion 8.2 and Fusion 8.2 Studio are available on Mac, Windows and now, for the first time ever, on Linux.

Bringing Fusion to Linux is a major announcement for the visual effects industry. Many high end visual effects production companies have built massive custom production pipelines and workflows around Linux. The release of the free Fusion 8.2 on Linux dramatically reduces the cost of creating visual effects at large studios because it gives customers a complete 3D compositing, visual effects and motion graphics solution that can be used on commercial projects without restriction.

The paid edition of Fusion software, called Fusion 8.2 Studio, provides even more powerful features and is available at the low cost of $995. Fusion Studio customers get unlimited free render nodes, stereoscopic 3D tools and other multi user features. The most exciting aspect of Fusion Studio’s paid license is that there are no ongoing subscription, cloud licensing, maintenance fees or additional render node costs.

With full native support of Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, studios can run Fusion projects and workflows in mixed OS environments and easily integrate Fusion in existing studio pipelines using Python and Lua scripting. In addition, Fusion projects can be moved between the Mac, Windows and Linux versions so customers can work on the platform of their choice, or even in studios with mixed platforms.

Fusion has been one of Hollywood’s leading visual effects and motion graphics tools for over 25 years, and has been used on thousands of feature film and television projects, including blockbusters like Thor, Live Die and Repeat, the Hunger Games trilogy, The Martian and more.

Featuring a powerful node based interface, Fusion makes it extremely easy to build sophisticated visual effects compositions very quickly. Its massive toolset consists of hundreds of built in tools so customers can pull keys, track objects, rotoscope, retouch images, animate titles, create amazing particle effects and much more, all in a true 3D workspace.

Fusion can also import 3D models, point cloud data, cameras or even entire 3D scenes from Maya, 3ds Max or Lightwave and render them seamlessly with other elements. Deep pixel tools can be used to add volumetric fog, lighting and reflection mapping of rendered objects using world position passes so customers can create amazing atmospheric effects that render in seconds, instead of hours.

Since acquiring Fusion over two years ago, Blackmagic Design engineers have massively updated the Fusion codebase making it easier for new users to learn, while maintaining the consistency and familiar workflow that long time users expect. Customers currently working with older visual effects solutions will find it easy to make the transition to Fusion on Linux.

Fusion 8.2 Studio on Linux also features a free render node license that can be installed on an unlimited number of render nodes. This allows large studios to create massive render farms at no additional cost, which drastically reduces the time and money it takes to render thousands of shots for effects heavy blockbuster films and television shows.

Unlike other high end visual effects software, there is no per node render “tax” with Fusion. When customers using Fusion 8.2 Studio need to meet a deadline and render scenes more quickly, they can simply add more render nodes instantly, and at zero cost.

“This release of Fusion on Linux is so exciting because it finally gives high end visual effects production companies a choice,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Fusion is the only software that features a true 3D workspace for compositing, can also render 3D models from other software, add volumetric effects, particles and even motion graphics. The most exciting part is that Linux users can download it today free! Customers that need advanced multi user features and free unlimited network rendering can purchase Fusion 8.2 Studio which allows them to build huge multi-node render farms to speed up their work at no additional charge!”

Fusion 8 is available in two editions:

  • Fusion 8 is free for customers and is now available to download from the Blackmagic Design website. Fusion 8 is a full professional 3D visual effects and compositing system that is suitable for independent effects, motion graphics, and broadcast design artists. Fusion 8 features integrated 2D and 3D compositing and motion graphics software with a massive toolset featuring paint, rotoscope, titling, animation, multiple keyers, an amazing 3D particle system, advanced key-framing, GPU acceleration, and support for importing and rendering 3D models and scenes from other applications.
  • Fusion 8 Studio is available for $995 and has all of the same features as the free version, but also adds advanced optical flow image analysis tools for stereoscopic 3D work, retiming and stabilization. Fusion Studio also includes support for third-party OpenFX plugins, unlimited distributed network rendering, and Generation for studio wide multi user collaboration to track, manage, review and approve shots when working with large creative teams on complex projects. Fusion 8 Studio is also available in multi user licenses starting from US$8,955 for the 10 user license, US$17,895 for the 20 user license and US $44,495 for the 50 user license from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Availability and Price
Fusion 8.2 is available for Mac, Windows and Linux as a free download from the Blackmagic Design website.

Fusion 8.2 Studio is available for $995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide. Customers with a Fusion Studio version 7.7 dongle or higher can download the update for free from the Blackmagic Design website.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2016
Sony promises VR music video, other entertainment content for its headgear
A visitor takes a photo of PlayStation VR headgear device during a PlayStation event in Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
TOKYO (AP) -- 

Sony Corp.'s video game division is readying not just games but also music, movies and other kinds of entertainment for its Virtual Reality headgear, set to go on sale next month.

Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia President Atsushi Morita appeared at a Tokyo event Tuesday, ahead of the Tokyo Game Show annual exhibition opening later this week. The latest in video games, including VR, will be on display at the show at Makuhari Messe in the Tokyo suburb of Chiba.

One of the VR experiences promised is a music video that's a collaboration between the "Biohazard" horror game, called "Resident Evil" in the U.S., from Japanese game maker Capcom, and L'Arc-en-Ciel, a Japanese rock band, that takes advantage of VR technology's illusion of 3-D and 360-degree surround imagery.

VR can make games more immersive, enhancing the effects of horror, razzle-dazzle and erotic titillation.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company's PlayStation VR headgear device, going on sale next month for about $400, less than rival VR headsets. Oculus Rift's goes for about $600, and HTC Vive's for $800.

Another VR shown at Tokyo-based Sony's event was the "Anywhere VR," which delivers to headset wearers a relaxing scene, such as a beach or a star-studded sky, even in their living rooms, while they take care of smartphone chores in VR.

Morita said the PlayStation VR will also be used to show live-theater performances, tours of historical sites and karaoke video.

"As a child, I learned so much from games," he said.

Morita defended his industry against the common criticism that it distracts children from education and real-life development.

He said he learned about societal rules and human drama from games, manga and music. That spirit of creativity must be passed down to future generations, he said.

  • Friday, Sep. 9, 2016
Boris FX acquires GenArts
BOSTON -- 

Boris FX™, known for integrated VFX and workflow solutions for video and film, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire GenArts Inc., developers of premium special effects plug-ins. GenArts’ flagship product, Sapphire™, is at film studios and broadcast facilities around the world. Since 1996, Sapphire effects have been used in at least one of each year’s VFX Oscar-nominated films, and numerous award-winning television shows. Sapphire will continue to be developed and sold in its current form alongside flagship products Boris Continuum Complete™ (BCC) and mocha Pro™, creating a complement to applications from Adobe, Apple, Avid, Autodesk, Blackmagic Design and others.
 
The acquisition is part of Boris FX founder Boris Yamnitsky’s aggressive growth strategy. Boris FX most recently acquired Imagineer Systems, the UK-based developer of mocha: Academy Award-winning planar tracking tools.
 
“We are excited to announce this strategic merger and welcome the Sapphire team to the Boris FX/Imagineer group,” said Yamnitsky. “This acquisition makes Boris FX uniquely positioned to serve editors and effects artists with the industry’s leading tools for motion graphics, broadcast design, visual effects, image restoration, motion tracking and finishing — all under one roof. Sapphire’s exceptional suite of creative plug-ins has been used to design many of the last decades’ most memorable film images. Sapphire perfectly complements BCC and mocha as essential tools for professional VFX and we look forward to serving Sapphire’s extremely accomplished users.”

“Equally impressive is the team behind the technology,” continued Yamnitsky. “Key GenArts staff from engineering, sales, marketing and support will join our Boston office to ensure the smoothest transition for customers. Our shared goal is to serve our combined customer base with useful new tools and the highest quality training and technical support.”
 
The Sapphire team agrees on the value the merger will bring to the industry. “I’m excited about what a combined Boris FX/Imagineer/GenArts company can create,” stated Gary Oberbrunner, chief scientist and VP of engineering at GenArts. “We are impressed with the collaborative integration of mocha technology in the recent BCC 10 release and look forward to exploring similar technology sharing and product improvement opportunities. All of us share a passion for innovation, quality and creativity. Combining resources and knowledge, and working with our amazing customers, will enable us not just to continue the pace of innovation we’ve had separately, but to move even faster, creating entirely new effects, tools and combinations to delight our users.” Oberbrunner will now join the Boris FX senior management team as chief technical officer for the combined group. 
 
Longtime users of Continuum Complete and Sapphire are now sharing positive first impressions of the announcement:
 
Seth Buncher, Senior Finishing Editor at NYC’s Post Factory, recently completed the color grading and finishing on ESPN’s acclaimed mini-series “O.J.: Made in America.” According to Buncher, “BCC and Sapphire have been part of my finishing tools for over 10 years. I use Sapphire to create unique looks and BCC’s image restoration tools to help salvage and fix problematic footage. Both packages are essential to my finishing workflow on Avid Symphony and DaVinci Resolve, so learning that my favorite plug-in developers are joining forces is exciting news. I look forward to more BCC/Sapphire/mocha developments in the future.”
 
Yuhei Ogawa, longtime Sapphire user and current editor at Trailer Park in Hollywood, is thrilled at the announcement and all future collaborative possibilities. “Boris, Imagineer and GenArts joining forces is a colossal move for the postproduction industry. Here at Trailer Park, we use all three products on a regular basis and they are a big part of our success. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this new plug-in powerhouse.”
 
Attendees visiting the IBC tradeshow in Amsterdam will have the opportunity to meet with teams from both GenArts and Boris FX and preview the latest new products and technology for professional postproduction. Boris FX/Imagineer can be found at Booth 7.K29 and GenArts at Booth 7.J05.

  • Friday, Sep. 9, 2016
Avid Debuts MediaCentral Innovations at IBC
Louis Hernandez, Jr., Avid chairman, president and CEO
AMSTERDAM -- 

Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID) announced several key innovations at IBC 2016 for the Avid MediaCentral® Platform and its associated modular application suites, continuing to deliver on the promises of Avid Everywhere. These innovations and updates address the industry’s most pressing challenges so broadcast organizations and media professionals can create, distribute, and manage content more efficiently and profitably using a single common platform.

“Three and a half years ago, we launched Avid Everywhere to help customers address the most critical issues facing our industry,” said Avid chairman, president, and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. “As these trends have continued intensifying, the world’s leading media organizations have rapidly embraced the Avid MediaCentral Platform to solve their most important challenges. Today we are pleased to introduce further innovations that will continue helping customers create the highest-quality content, distribute to more channels and devices, maximize the value of their media, and ensure operational and capital efficiency.”

With more than 38,000 users worldwide and a rapidly expanding partner ecosystem, the Avid MediaCentral Platform provides an open, extensible, and customizable common services foundation. The platform provides a series of application suites, a marketplace, collaboration tools, flexible licensing and deployment options, resolution independence, third-party connectivity, and more, offering the industry’s most open, flexible, and comprehensive solutions for content creation, management, and distribution.

New platform announcements include:

Continued innovation for Avid NEXIS™ intelligent media storage: Avid introduced new high-density, high-availability innovations for Avid NEXIS, the industry’s first and only software-defined storage platform specifically designed for storing and managing media. Avid NEXIS | E5 is an enterprise-class, hyper-dense storage engine that offers real-time editorial collaboration and the highest levels of scalability, performance, and client connections for large-scale broadcast and post-production environments. Avid NEXIS High Availability options increase the reliability and performance of Avid NEXIS E-class storage systems for the most critical deployments. 

Avid reinvents the newsroom: Avid introduced the next-generation newsroom, based around a complete story-centric workflow including multiple Avid solutions and new feature enhancements for modern newsroom management and news production. This new story-centric workflow puts the story at the center of news operations spanning from planning to delivery, and provides the tools news teams need to plan, gather, create, collaborate, manage and deliver news to a wider range of viewers across multiple platforms. With this wide-ranging holistic approach, the story is now the center of all planning and delivery, allowing for more dynamic and organic storytelling and greater workflow agility—both inside and outside the newsroom.

Integrated sports workflow solutions: Avid debuted several new integrated, end-to-end sports solutions that cover every type of production, from small and mid-sized studio organizations, all the way to large broadcasters and remote productions. Powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform, the new sports workflow provides best of breed tools tightly integrated into a single powerful solution. The sports workflow solution offers everything a sports broadcaster needs to differentiate their brands, create engaging content, and optimize the value of their media.

Advanced audio post and mixing innovations: Avid unveiled Pro Tools® 12.6 with advanced audio editing innovations, and introduced new flexible options for accessing their flagship Pro Tools | HD toolset. These innovations, enabled by the Avid MediaCentral Platform, accelerate recording, editing, and mixing workflows so audio professionals can create the highest-quality content more powerfully, efficiently, and profitably.

Emerging IP and UHD workflows: Avid previewed solutions for several converging technologies that are driving significant change for the media industry. By supporting real-time IP signals natively in key components of the MediaCentral Platform, Avid is accelerating the industry’s transition to IP and delivering a unified environment for file-based and live signal-based media workflows that will ease the migration to emerging image formats, including UHD.

New alliance partner innovations: The Avid Alliance Partner program has been updated with new features including new developer testing and certification, new levels of product certification, and additional tools for creating differentiated connections to the Avid MediaCentral Platform. Additionally, new Alliance Partners announced at IBC 2016 include Glookast, StorageDNA, Digital Film Tree, ATTO, and Filmlight.