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Avid Ships Latest Versions of Avid DNA Products (23/9/2004)

Avid DS Nitris, Media Composer Adrenaline, NewsCutter Adrenaline FX, and Avid Xpress Pro offer MXF support and other enhancements

Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced the worldwide availability of new versions of its Avid DNA(TM) products the Avid(R) DS Nitris(R) 7.5, Media Composer(R) Adrenaline(TM) 1.5, NewsCutter(R) Adrenaline FX 5.5, Avid Xpress(R) Pro 4.5, and NewsCutter XP 5.5 systems as well as Avid Xpress DV 4.5 software. These latest versions of Avid's award-winning nonlinear editing, compositing, and finishing solutions offer extensive editing and workflow enhancements, increased performance, and support for the Material Exchange Format (MXF), which streamlines metadata and media exchange between products.

"We're excited to deliver the world premiere of Avid DNxHD(TM) in Avid DS Nitris 7.5," said Charlie Russell, senior manager of product marketing for Avid. "Avid DNxHD is a new format designed specifically for HD postproduction: it's broadcast-quality, storage-efficient, and can be shared across networked-HD environments. The new release of Media Composer Adrenaline has rock-solid stability plus loads of new editing and audio features. And we're providing MXF support across the board. These improvements pave the way for the next major milestone later in the year, with broad HD functionality in our Media Composer Adrenaline, Avid Xpress Pro and NewsCutter systems. With our next release, the HD interoperability between Avid products and collaboration over the Avid Unity(TM) family of shared-storage solutions will deliver a new wave of ground-breaking productivity benefits to customers."

Craig Gordon, senior editor and HD specialist at Rhinoceros Editorial & Post in New York City and an Avid DS Nitris 7.5 beta tester, said, "When I first heard about the Avid DNxHD encoding technology at NAB, I simply didn't believe that it could deliver the kind of quality Avid was promising. But when we tested it in our real-world production environment, we were completely blown away with the quality. It was pristine enough to perform precise finishing tasks on our highest-profile documentary film projects.

"We really put Avid DNxHD through its paces, and even its most highly compressed 8-bit version was nearly indistinguishable from 10-bit D6 VooDoo media," Gordon continued. "Plus, the storage requirements are minimal compared to uncompressed HD which is what we typically use for finishing all of our HD projects. Instead of needing hours upon hours of storage space, now we can store an entire documentary or film on a single system, and still have room for other projects. The impact on productivity in our day-to-day workflow is enormous."

Enhancements Across the Avid DNA Line

Highlights to version 7.5 of the Avid DS Nitris family comprising the Avid DS Nitris and Avid DS Nitris Editor systems include support for Avid DNxHD, a revolutionary, 10-bit HD encoding technology that enables collaborative HD postproduction with the same storage bandwidth and capacity requirements as SD files. In addition to supporting uncompressed resolutions, the Avid DS Nitris 7.5 system now offers compatibility with compressed Avid Meridien(TM) and Avid Adrenaline media. The product also delivers improved blurring and blending of shapes, enhanced compositing, and MXF support. New 2K/4K capabilities include a large number of preset sequence types for various film scanning resolutions and apertures, new timecode features, and real-time editing of native 2K/4K RGB sequences using HD proxy working resolutions and the real-time power of the Nitris Digital Nonlinear Accelerator(TM) (Avid DNA) hardware.

Version 1.5 of the Media Composer Adrenaline system now includes MXF support and a Windows Media 9 direct export option that converts projects to high-quality compressed Windows Media streaming formats. Powerful new audio features include the ability to output record-side timecode (i.e., sequence timecode) as Linear Timecode (LTC) so that third-party devices can accurately synchronise to the playback frame; and bi-directional MIDI control for Digidesign's new Command|8(TM) control surface, allowing editors to access transport functions on the controller and record fader, mute, and solo automation data into the Media Composer sequence during playback.

The Media Composer Adrenaline system also supports FluidFilm which enables the creation of a film look from 25i sources using the FluidMotion(TM) engine, resulting in a true 25p progressive source and includes Boris Continuum Complete AVX 3, the latest version of the acclaimed compositing and effects package and SmartSound SonicFire Pro professional soundtrack creation. In a separate announcement today, Avid also announced the availability of Avid Studio Tools for Media Composer Adrenaline.

The Avid Xpress Pro 4.5 product includes MXF support, Panasonic DV50 media compatibility, FluidFilm progressive encoding, Windows Media 9 direct export, and SmartSound SonicFire Pro professional soundtrack creation. Both Avid Xpress Pro 4.5 and Avid Xpress DV 4.5 software offer the ability to directly export the Windows Media 9 video format.

Enhancements to both the Avid NewsCutter Adrenaline FX 5.5 and NewsCutter XP 5.5 systems include native support for MXF media; extensive format support including DV25, DV50, and MPEG IMX at 30, 40, and 50 Mbs; direct export of Windows Media 9 media into multiple streaming formats; ingest and playback integration with the recently introduced AirSpeed(TM) server; added support for audio embedded media that can be exported as OMF(R) or AAF files; and a simplified process for exchanging media between different vendors, applications, and servers.

Pricing and Availability

The Avid DS Nitris and Avid DS Nitris Editor 7.5 systems are available worldwide for 136,600 and 72,900 respectively. Media Composer Adrenaline 1.5 systems are available worldwide for 23,200. NewsCutter systems are available worldwide, with pricing for the NewsCutter Adrenaline FX 5.5 system starting at 28,200. The NewsCutter XP 5.5 system (no CPU) is priced at 6,500. All customers who own these products with Avid Assurance contracts will receive free software upgrades.

Avid Xpress Pro 4.5 software is available worldwide for 1,700, and Avid Xpress DV 4.5 software is available worldwide for 620. Customers who own Avid Xpress Pro or Avid Xpress DV version 4.0 or higher can get free software upgrades.

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