While the rest of the Northeast was digging out
from the first blizzard of the year, Media 100 executives aimed to
change the climate in NLE s by repositioning the company to a broader
market with radical price cuts. Moving aggressively in early December,
the company slashed 60 percent off the price tag of its high-end 844/X
compositor/editor and detailed the most comprehensive software revision
to date, Version 3. The company launched itself into the high-stakes
fight for NLE desktop market share with Media 100 HD, a Macintosh-based
resolution-independent editor ( $7995).
The news came in tandem with a headcount reduction and reorganization
of Media 100′s marketing department. "We’ve reduced expenses at the
company pretty significantly to allow us to get really aggressive in
the marketplace," said Mike Savello, recently promoted to VP of
worldwide sales and marketing.
The most dramatic evidence of Media 100′s repositioning is the new G5
based SD/HD editing system- a single card that exploits the
GenesisEngine developed to power the 844/X. The editor allows real-time
mixing and matching of SD and HD clips in 10-bit on its timeline. A
stand-out feature of the editor is its ability to perform
broadcast-quality format conversions in all flavors of SD and HD
internally, which Savello said is "a first" for PC-based video editors.
"Products that do format conversion today or claim to support
resolution independence all cost north of $100,000," said Savello. "At
$7999 the format conversion we built into this rivals standalone format
converters that are available today."
Now that a top-of-the line 844/X prices out at $25,990, the system
drops into the same price band as Avid’s Adrenaline. The 844/Xe
real-time editing and compositing system drops from $44,995 to $19,995
while the entry-level 844/Xi system falls 60 percent from $24,995 to
$9995. The XBLUR VFX option for both drops 40 percent to $5995.
The Version 3 software update for 844/X continues to mine the system’s
hardware for extra power. This involves new thinking about how to use
the four real-time uncompressed video streams evident in the 844/X’s
new keyer. Rick Kelty, VP, product management, explained how the four
pipelines are reallocated for a cleaner key: "Two of the pipelines are
used to do some very sophisticated spill suppression; the other two
would be used for matte erosion and matte blur, which takes advantage
of the XBLUR technology."
Knitting together the product family is the guarantee of compatibility
via XML, allowing an easy integration of new products into existing
Media 100 workflow. This allows the new editor to handle straight-ahead
editing while passing layer-intensive jobs to the 844 for real-time