Media nets of the world, unite

New Avid products are designed to expand connectivity

Avid Technology continues to build on its Unity storage and network system, unveiling MediaNet 3.0 and two new versions of LANshare at the NAB show in Las Vegas. The new products are part of the company's continuing efforts to ease workflow and improve connectivity to shared storage.

"We can now scale up to 200 simultaneous DV25 streams and browse high-quality, high-resolution video anywhere, not just at a dedicated editing system, but with a Web browser over the Ethernet," says Dave Schleifer, director of Avid Technology broadcast.

The newest version of MediaNet 3.0 has a new 2 Gb architecture that the company says increases total system bandwidth by more than 40% and decreases the price of a typical configuration by roughly 15% (starting price is $55,000). It also has a new Auto Recover feature to overcome failed drives and even continue to work through drive failures.

The two new versions of Avid Unity LANshare are v2.0 and v3.0. The 2.0 version has 640 Gb per 2RU system and support of up to 10 single-stream clients or 6 dual-stream clients for a price starting at $22,500. Version 3.0 has 1.92 TB (terabyte) per system expandable to 2.9 TB and support of Fibre Channel clients for $40,000 and up.

Related to Unity is the launch of Avid's Productivity Tools family. One of the tools is the Avid Xdeck, a direct-ingest system that can receive a single feed directly into the Avid Unity for News system so that multiple NewsCutter editing system users can begin editing the feed. Cost is approximately $18,000.

"This is a linearly scaleable solution. There are no bumps that make us suddenly build up the price," says Schleifer. "It's simple: One [feed] per channel. Build it up as you need."

It also supports multiple formats, according to Schleifer, including DVCAM and DVCPRO25, DVCPRO50, IMX MPEG and JPEG.

"It also has multiple control options so that if you need to walk right up to it and hit the record button, you can do that," he says.

Other new members of the tool family include one for browser-based media asset management ($20,000), a transfer system ($14,175), an encoder for the Web ($12,000), a digital review system for LAN or Internet ($29,995), a dedicated digitizing and output workstation ($25,000) and a near-line archiving system (price to be determined).

Avid's DS editing family also has a couple of changes, including a new HD version and a Media Composer-style interface found on Version 6.0.

The interface brings track patching, bottom-up hierarchy and track solos and mutes to DS. The system also supports the Advanced Authoring Format (AAF), meaning that bins, clips and sequences can be loaded from Avid Media Composer, Symphony and Avid Xpress systems with automatic conform of effects and keyframe settings. Other new features include expanded real-time DVE capability, support for 720p/60 formats and real-time moving matte support. The entry-level HD system, with 40 minutes of uncompressed HD capability, starts at $190,000, while the standard-definition system starts at $115,000. There is a show-floor special for the HD version for $85,000 with one hour of storage. Upgrades start at $5,000.