Avid served up a double-shot of HD editing espresso last month with the twin launches of Media Composer Adrenaline HD and its portable counterpart, Avid Xpress Pro HD.
Avid’s goal is to provide uncompressed HD quality at SD data rates with the new DNxHD codec – a whole feature film takes up just 120 GB, according to Adrenaline product designer Doug Hansel, and data can be shared using existing Unity servers. DNxHD encoding comes in three flavors: 8-bit data at up to 145 Mb/sec and 8-bit or 10-bit data at up to 220 Mb/sec (the actual bandwidth will vary based on formats and frame rates).
Effects processing has been ramped up, with the new AVX 2.0 plug-in architecture passing 16-bit data to maintain 10-bit quality throughout the system. Other new features include real-time multicamera editing, DVCPRO 50 and DVCPRO HD support, 3-perf film tracking, DPX file tracking for DI workflows, and a slick, highly configurable 16-bit HD/SD chromakey system called Spectramatte. The Adrenaline HD 2.0 system is $25,000; the DNxcel board soups it up with extra I/O options and real-time processing for an extra $9995.
For the editor who likes to take work on the road, Xpress Pro HD ($1695, Windows-only; a Mac version is on the way) can handle broadcast-quality HD video played to a laptop from a portable disk recorder via USB 2. Want to keep an even lower HD profile? HDV support for both systems is coming next year.