NAB 2017 has just played out with global media technology provider Avid® announcing some ground-breaking advances. It has extended its MediaCentral® Platform into the cloud, is showcasing end-to-end 4K IP workflows, and has launched Media Composer®_First, a free version of the industry-standard video editing system. The good news is that Jasco is bringing Avid’s comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to create, distribute and optimise media to Southern Africa.
“Our team is fresh from NAB and excited about what these changes mean for Avid and the local media and broadcasting sector,” says Paul Divall of Jasco Broadcast. “Jasco is now in its 20th year of partnership with Avid, and what we are seeing this year is exactly what our clients need and have been asking for.”
“We are in the midst of great change in the local industry – digital technologies bring changes in demand, as well as new ways to create, produce and distribute media. However, margins are no bigger, compelling studios and production houses have to do more with less. That means working differently by leveraging the advantages digital brings. It enables the use of digital processes and delivers capabilities to innovate, differentiate offerings and access new business models. Avid’s advances are tailored to help users leverage the best of digital and our Jasco Broadcast team is geared to support users as they explore and adopt these newly released features.”
What are the key changes?
Avid’s MediaCentral Platform goes into the cloud
Four years into its Avid Everywhere strategy, Avid has achieved what it set out to do by extending its MediaCentral Platform – the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media – into the cloud. That’s full-scale media production in the cloud!
With this strategy, openness triumphs – with remote collaboration, individuals, creative teams, and media enterprises can work smarter, faster and more easily, contributing to any production from anywhere, while workflows are bridged and integrated.
Avid has selected Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud-hosting platform for the openness, global scale, high-level services and unique hybrid cloud strategy the platform offers, as well as its focus on security, privacy, compliance and transparency. Avid is making the shift easy with a flexible approach to licensing, deployment and commercial options. It also leaves the door open for companies to select their own cloud host.
Says Divall: “With rapid technological advancements making it feasible to pass professional audio and video signals over standard IP networks, in 2017 we expect to see more exploration and transition to a unified environment for file-based and live media workflows based on IP.
“South Africa needs to keep pace with global advances. IP workflows give media companies greater flexibility and agility, while lowering costs and paving the way for the adoption of new formats like UHD. However, we know the transition to cloud will be a journey, which is why Avid is making it possible for media organisations to transition to the cloud at their own pace with the MediaCentral Platform serving as an onramp.”
The core components of Avid MediaCentral in the cloud include:
- Hosted Applications—With cloud-enabled Avid client applications, software can be licensed to run on premises, in a private cloud data center, and in the public cloud for deployment flexibility and increased utilisation.
- Avid MediaCentral_Cloud UX— This new web-based application offers a completely redesigned and highly responsive user experience for the MediaCentral Platform, making it super-fast and intuitive for anyone to search, browse, access, edit, collaborate, and publish content from any workstation, laptop, or mobile device.
- Cloud-enabled Media Suite—Avid Media Suite applications, including Interplay®_Production, Interplay_MAM, iNEWS®, and Social Media Hub, as well as Maestro™ and 4Designer, are being cloud-enabled with license options to run on-premises, in a private data center, and in the public cloud.
- Cloud Media Services—To give MediaCentral Platform users even greater efficiency, Avid is introducing new media services, including:
- Unified Avid Dialogue Search™ service uses exclusive phonetic indexing technology to enable keyword searches that span diverse libraries of content
- Avid Illuminate™ automatically verifies captions, video description, and languages in content for fast and accurate broadcast compliance and quality assurance
- Infrastructure on Demand—The new MediaCentral Infrastructure Management Layer enables organisations to scale resources, add new capabilities, and optimise their storage, computing power, and bandwidth across their entire enterprise.
- Cloud-enabled Connectivity Toolkit—With its open architecture and Connectivity Toolkit APIs, MediaCentral makes it easy to connect third-party Alliance Partner tools, technologies, and services to the platform to streamline workflows.
- Flexible Licensing Options—For greater business agility, Avid is now offering Enterprise Agreements with flexible Enterprise Licensing, enabling media organisations to enjoy economies of scale by aggregating spend across departments and sites.
Media Composer_First – it’s free!
Media Composer_First is a free version of Avid’s video editing toolset. It’s comprehensive and simple to use, has many of the same features and functionality that Media Composer editors rely on, in a new powerful, streamlined interface. It offers four video tracks, eight audio tracks and a host of built-in visual effects, transitions, colour correction pre-sets and titling templates, enabling users to quickly cut layers of video, dialog, music and sound effects and merge them to produce professional-quality video content. Media Composer_First also allows easy sharing with one-click publishing to popular social media channels, including YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.
Says Divall: “Access to this free version of its toolset is a big boost for Avid in terms of onboarding new users, especially new entrants to the industry and learners. By introducing a new generation of media professionals to the market-leading features of its toolset from day one, Avid will broaden its reach and market share.”
Avid NEXIS® – media storage in real-time
Avid NEXIS is Avid’s storage platform for media. With the latest software release, Avid NEXIS and Avid NEXIS_PRO systems provide faster, more efficient and reliable workflows and enhance performance and bandwidth capacity for real-time media production, including highly intensive professional post-production and broadcast environments, as well as independent editors, audio post pros, and smaller post-production houses. It also introduces new collaborative shared storage workflows for professional audio production as well as end-to-end 4K process and solution support. Furthermore, the suite supports a variety of additional editing solutions.
What the Southern African market can look forward to?
- The cloud-enabled version of Avid’s MediaCentral Platform is available immediately with licensing to accommodate phased migration of capabilities and features to the cloud.
- The free Media Composer_First software can be downloaded online with specific features being release in June. To be notified when it’s available for download, visit the Avid website.
- The Avid NEXIS storage platform advances are available via software updates.
Says Divall: “We know our clients across South Africa and the continent are seriously reconsidering their business models and strategies at present and the release of these new features are very likely to act as a catalyst for transformation. The Jasco Broadcast team is committed to staying on top of these new features and advances as they become available, assisting our clients to capitalise on the rapid changes occurring in this sector.”