NAB 2009: Avid Joins Final Cut Party

Integrates Unity, ISIS storage with rival editing product
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Editing and storage supplier Avid, which has lost share in the broadcast news market to Apple's inexpensive Final Cut Pro editing system in recent years, has nonetheless responded to customer requests and integrated the Apple product to work on its enterprise-class storage systems.

Avid, which returned to NAB this year after skipping last year's show, announced that it has officially qualified Apple Final Cut Pro editors to run on its Unity MediaNetwork and ISIS [Infinitely Scalable Intelligent Storage] shared storage systems. That will let broadcasters and post-production houses use the proven capabilities of ISIS storage, which is relied on by large networks like NBC and ABC, while employing Apple Final Cut as their editing tool.

Avid CEO Gary Greenfield said the Final Cut Pro integration was emblematic of the restructured Avid's commitment to open systems.

"We hear a clear message from customers, that it's not all about us," said Greeenfield.

With the Final Cut integration, existing Avid customers can simultaneously run both Avid and Final Cut Pro editors on the same shared storage system. Avid announced at NAB that Optimus, a commercial production and post production facility with offices in Chicago and Santa Monica, is already doing just that.

Optimus is currently migrating 12 Avid Symphony Nitris systems and 15 Media Composer Nitris DX systems that are configured to run Final Cut Pro via dual boot and are connected on a 96TB Avid Unity ISIS system. Previously, Optimus' Final Cut Pro systems used only local storage.

Avid also announced new integrations with a number of third-party vendors at the show including Omneon, Panasonic, Sony and RED, and introduced a new version of its Deko 3000 graphics system which supports the FBX and Collada file formats and allows customers to easily import 3D models and animations from applications such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Softimage 7.5 and Maxon Cinema 4D.

The Tewksbury, Mass.-based company, which enjoyed strong traffic in its South Hall booth throughout the show, also unveiled a new brand identity. Avid's new logo is composed of simple geometric shapes used as buttons, icons and markers in traditional video equipment--specifically, those representing "volume up, volume down, play, pause, record and forward"--which also happen to spell out the company's name in abstract letterforms. The color of the logo remains purple.

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