Pluto in Avids orbit
Acquisition allows creation of integrated server/editing system
By Glen Dickson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/17/2000 8:00:00 PM
Nonlinear-editing giant Avid Technology has stopped taking chances on video-server vendors and simply bought its own. With its acquisition of Pluto Technologies, announced at last week's International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, Avid can offer an integrated digital-newsroom system to broadcast customers.
Tewksbury, Mass.-based Avid has always incorporated video servers in its concept of the digital newsroom, where material is stored on hard disk and randomly accessed by journalists and editors using Avid's nonlinear editing software. The firm originally worked with SGI and has since partnered with Grass Valley Group and Pluto to integrate its NewsCutter nonlinear editor with their servers. In September 1998, Avid also entered into a joint venture with Grass Valley (then Tektronix's Video and Networking Division) in which the two companies combined their competing newsroom computer systems, AvidNews and NewStar, into one company called Avstar (that company changed its name to iNEWS last month).
But those partnerships have had their pitfalls. Early Avid digital-newsroom installations in the mid-'90s had networking problems that left Avid and SGI pointing fingers and had customers wondering whom to call for a fix. Then in March, Grass Valley Group acquired Avid competitor Vibrint Technologies and announced that it would focus its news-editing efforts on Vibrint's low-cost system, not the Grass Valley/Avid combination.
Although Avid and Grass Valley remain partners in iNEWS and, at IBC, reaffirmed the integration of NewsCutter and Grass Valley's Profile, the seeds of the Pluto deal were planted last spring. "We started talking back then," says Pluto Chairman Mark Gray, who will head broadcast-business development for Avid.
The reasoning behind the deal is simple, he says. "We've been doing this with them for three years. And, although it's really nice to say you're open and talk to all the people and support open standards, the systems on the market are really closed systems, quite closed. We've never had the truly integrated solution, which is what the customer wants."
Joe Bentivegna, Avid vice president and general manager of Avid Media Solutions, says the Pluto deal represents "a grass-roots customer solution for Avid." He acknowledges that the Pluto family of servers has a great deal of overlap with Grass Valley's Profile and that customers will probably "be in a situation where they have to pick one or the other." Avid, he adds, would "love to provide an end-to-end, ingest-to-playout solution."
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more