Debuts for new gear and upgrades abound
Nonlinear editing and storage supplier Avid, absent from the last two IBC shows, returns this year to demonstrate the latest version of its high-resolution editing tool, DS 10 (previous versions were branded DS Nitris), for effects, compositing, graphics and conform functions. DS 10 is designed for broadcasters or post facilities working on high-end projects such as commercials, music videos, promos and feature films. It's built on a powerful new computing platform: an HP xw8600 workstation with dual-quad 3.0GHz CPUs with 8 gigabytes of RAM; the NVidia Quadro FX 3700 graphics processing chip; and a dual-link I/O (input/output) card with a K3 rack-mountable breakout box.
The system supports 10-bit uncompressed HD streams and offers full color-managed workflows, advanced color correction capabilities, support of Avid's Interplay workflow management system, improved conform options, GPU real-time processing, additional dual-link feature support, integration with Avid shared storage solutions and a new stereoscopic 3D container. It is available now, with a list price of $59,995 for a turnkey solution with a CPU workstation, 30-inch monitor, 8 terabytes of SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) storage, a Wacom input tablet, one license of DS 10 software only, DS 10 RP (Remote Processing) Media Composer software and Avid MetaFuze. Avid will also be offering upgrade options for existing Avid DS customers.
AmberFin, the software firm spun off from video processing specialists Snell & Wilcox, will exhibit as a standalone company at IBC for the first time, though sharing Snell's booth. It's showcasing the latest version of its flagship product, the iCR content-repurposing system, and discussing digitization, review, quality control and repurposing applications that iCR is currently supporting for large customers such as Sony, the NBA, Turner Broadcasting, BT, Channel 4, RTM and Warner Bros.
IBC is also the debut for AmberFin's new CEO, Jeremy Deaner. Snell & Wilcox CEO Simon Derry has stepped down from the CEO role at AmberFin to focus on Snell's strategic growth. Both companies are owned by private equity firm Advent Venture Partners; Snell is the biggest reseller of AmberFin products.
In Amsterdam, AmberFin will demonstrate the new features in iCR Version 3.5, which include enhanced cutting and splicing of MXF (Material eXchange Format)-compliant files; better interoperability with Avid editing systems; improved support for Apple QuickTime and Final Cut Pro workflows by providing SD/HD ingest, review, quality control, conversion and repurposing operations for workgroup environments based on central server systems such as Storage Area Network (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS); and support for both the SD and HD versions of the Panasonic P2 and Sony XDCAM camera formats, allowing seamless conversion as well as interoperability with edit systems.
The iCR product ranges in price from $60,000 for a mastering-quality system to $20,000 for simple repurposing functionality. According to Kurt Kyle, AmberFin VP for the Americas, the company is not trying to compete in the business of transcoding high volumes of material for Web distribution. Instead, AmberFin is focused on applications within production facilities and broadcast centers, such as converting HD files to a mezzanine compression format for in-house distribution and storage.
3D graphics and virtual set supplier Orad Hi-Tec Systems is introducing GBox 2U, an entry-level graphics rendering platform. The GBox 2U is a compact 2U rack-mountable box, including the control PC and the rendering platform. It allows the playout of real-time 3D graphics and of multiple video files supporting all commonly used formats. The turnkey system also supports one SD/HD video insertion, which allows mapping a video onto any object in the graphic scene.
Other products for IBC include a new version of the Maestro 3D character generator, which is integrated with its graphic asset management system, allowing users to store all graphic assets in a central database along with relevant metadata; and an update to the Motion Video Play (MVP) sports enhancement system.
The MVP platform provides broadcasters with sophisticated image tracking capabilities that enhance action in any sport without requiring camera modifications. It uses a single platform and single hardware set to track specific objects, such as players or a ball, and displays graphic elements assigned to those objects. MVP can track and enhance multiple objects within a single scene, and support up to 16 standard-def and/or hi-def cameras.
Ross Video is introducing new features to its OverDrive Automated Live Production Control System, which uses software to control devices within a newscast that were previously controlled manually. The enhancements to OverDrive's Version 7 include support for Ross' new Vision QMD/X multi-definition production switcher family, including integration of internal MLE (multi-level effects) and global still stores; mismatched panel and frame support; and several new features for the RundownControl client application and newsroom computer system (NRCS) ActiveX plug-in.
Read extended reporting on the vendors above, plus IBC offerings from Nucomm and Telestream, at www.broadcastingcable.com. Visit the Website throughout IBC for updates.