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Pinnacle Systems puts the Productivity into Live P roduction with New ThunderMX Server (25/10/2004)

New Still & Clip Server Goes Further with Integrated Graphics and Native MXF Support

Pinnacle Systems, Inc. a leader in digital video solutions, today introduced its new ThunderMX live production server. A fully-featured still store with an available powerful clip support option, ThunderMX brings a much needed increase in productivity to fast-paced live production by enabling broadcasters to do more with every channel.

Pinnacle COO Ajay Chopra said, "With years of field experience under our belts and important new technology at the ready, Pinnacle saw a clear opportunity to increase the flexibility and functionality of its popular Thunder server system. ThunderMX lets you do more with less effort than previous servers, resulting in a more efficient workflow when you are live."

ThunderMX is scalable from one to three record/playback channels - each with still and key. With the added Clip Option, each channel supports video, key and eight channels of embedded audio in addition to the stills. The powerful playback and effects system of ThunderMX is driven by Pinnacle's Inflexion engine, the same object-based video processing software behind Pinnacle's newest Deko character generators. Inflexion supports a wide range of broadcast functionality including clip record and playback, real-time effects generation, and playback of graphics.

ThunderMX delivers unique efficiencies that enable producers to maximise the utility of each channel. In short, ThunderMX does with one channel what commonly requires two, three or more channels and even multiple devices. Every ThunderMX channel supports simultaneous fill and key, a marked improvement over systems that demand a second channel to provide a key. ThunderMX also features an overlay for stills or animated logos that is an ideal solution for channel branding. Using the ThunderMX overlay, items such as moving logos can be resized and positioned anywhere on the screen without using an additional channel on the server or production mixer.

The platform is completely new, but ThunderMX preserves core features that have made Thunder servers popular in the most demanding live production environments. Most importantly, ThunderMX utilises the powerful, familiar Thunder user interface to speed content management, searching and playback. The integrated database offers robust metadata-based search capability for asset management. Built-in ODBC support further allows simultaneous search of multiple databases. Network browsing makes it easy to share ThunderMX, providing ready access to content for remote playlist creation and asset management. The ability to create and edit industry-leading Deko graphics provides versatility in production creation and playout.

Interoperability is crucial in today's fast-paced broadcast environment and ThunderMX is built to eliminate barriers and streamline broadcast workflow. With full native support for the industry standard MXF file format, ThunderMX easily shares content with Pinnacle Deko for graphics, Pinnacle Liquid editing, MediaStream playout servers and many third party systems. Standard file formats including sequential TGA/TIFF with alpha and QuickTime movie files are also readily imported and exported. Full MOS compliance enables seamless integration with major newsroom computer systems. ThunderMX also supports most commonly used automation protocols.

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