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Top New 5 Features of Avid Media Composer 5.5

February 15, 2011 3 comments

by Michael Kammes (Senior Applications Editor, Post Workflow Consultant: Key Code Media)

With Avid’s recent announcement of the relaease of Media Composer 5.5, we have compiled a list of some of what we consider to be the top new 5 features of Media Composer 5.5.

#1 Video I/O: AJA I/O Express.
Easily the biggest announcement. Avid has traditionally regulated baseband video input and output to Avid built hardware. We saw a glimpse last year of the move off this paradigm with the adoption of the
Matrox MXO2 Mini. This toe dipping in the 3rd party wading pool allowed users to output broadcast quality reference video through a sub $500 box. While some functions – like capture and deck control – were not available; it was an instant success for smaller setups (aside from some pesky frame rates; more on that later).

The AJA IO Express, unlike the Matrox MXO 2 Mini, is unrestricted by Avid to capture into Media Composer via HDSDI & HDMI, and output via HDSDI, Component, and HDMI. It sports an RS-422 com port for deck control – and yes, digital cuts are supported. Like the Matrox unit and the Avid branded I/O devices, it connects to your CPU via an included host (HBA) Card. As of the initial 5.5 release, Ancillary Data and LTC are not supported…yet.

AJA is an excellent company – partnering with the best in the industry is a fantastic move.

#2 AVC-Intra is a reality.

Brains & Beauty: one of the newer codecs – AVC-Intra – delivers excellent visual quality at lower data rates, and has been popping up more and more in prosumer and professional cameras. There is a downside, however: it’s extraordinarily CPU intensive. Avid now has a solution for you.

For $2495, you can purchase an AVC-Intra accelerator card for your Media Composer Nitris DX. This small hardware card is installed inside your Nitris DX box, and allows for AVC-Intra encoding during capture – as well as assisting during decoding: edit, monitoring, and processing. This hardware upgrade card is only available for the Nitris DX. Eye ballin’ a new Symphony Nitris DX? Another reason to pull the trigger: The AVC-Intra card comes included with a new purchase of a Symphony Nitris DX. Check out the Media Composer Nitris DX AVC-Intra here.

#3 Say What?

Don’t you constantly rely on the Search function of your OS? (I use my Apple + F search religiously.) Most of us would be unable to function without it. Avid has taken two steps to improve the effective of it’s search tools. First, the standard text search tool has been expanded to search across more metadata within your project: clips, sequences, script text, the timeline, and your monitors.

As if that were not enough, Media Composer now has an ability to search via phonetic matching, a new feature called PhraseFind. Media Composer automatically analyzes clips and indexes all dialog in your project’s media phonetically, so you can quickly find clips by simply typing a word or phrase—right from within your edit session. Plus, it works in the background so as not to tie up your editing bay. Bonus! Coupled with ScriptSync, this becomes a massively powerful tool to reduce the time lost to logging and assemblies and finding that illusive lost clip. PhraseFind, as well as ScriptSync, come at an additional cost ($495 & $995, respectively) or bundle both for only $1295.

#4 Hear That? Enhanced Audio Monitoring.

Avid has incorporated the ability to utilize Pro Tools hardware for monitoring of your Media Composer. Pro Tools HD hardware, as well as select flavors of the MBox family can be used for audio playback. The awesome sounding AIR plug-ins are also supported within Media Composer 5.5.

#5 AMA Enhancements.


AMA is probably the single greatest thing Avid has rolled out in recent history, and with 5.5, Avid continues down that path. The HDCAM SR Lite codec is now supported via AMA. First incarnations support only reading of the HDCAM SR Lite based files via AMA, however.

Those of you who insist on using Long GOP video files (you know who you are) will be thrilled to learn that Avid has beefed up Media Composer’s ability to play these in real time. While it is impossible to qualify every hardware and software configuration when dealing with AMA, v5.5 will handle your Long GOP files better than 5.0. Plus, Media Composer has also enabled Long GOP Quicktime reference exports (this last feature was quietly available not to long ago in 5.0.3 versions) In case you didn’t know, Media Composer uses your GPU – Graphics card – to during playback to take load off of your CPU. So, always consider beefing up your Graphics card to speed up your system…staying within the approved list of cards, of course.

You’ll also see a change in how AMA is installed on machines. AMA, as you may know, is a plug-in architecture. XDCAM, P2, Quicktime, GFCAM, etc., are all separate AMA plug-ins. As is the case with most plug-ins, development can continue on these separate of changes to the host application itself. Because of this, AMA plug-ins are now going to be hosted on Avid’s website for download. (Yes, they are free.) This ensures that the user can always get the most up to date plug-in ‘builds’. Media Composer 5.5 will come bundled with the Quicktime AMA plug-in only.

Miscellaneous notes:

 

  1. Media Composer 5.5 will be the last version that supports the Adrenaline hardware. It will also be the last 32bit build of Media Composer. Time to upgrade to the DX product line and a 64bit OS.
  2.  

  3. Unity MediaNet 4.x is no longer supported. Have you looked into the next generation of Avid Shared storage – the ISIS 5000 and ISIS 7000? Ethernet is the new Fibre. 

     

  4. 4GB of RAM is required for operation.
  5.  

  6. The Matrox MXO2 Mini is now able to output true Progressive (P) frame rates, and the h.264 MAX option is now supported to accelerate Matrox h.264 exports out of Media Composer. This means faster exports for web and mobile devices directly out of Media Composer.
  7.  

  8. The Avid (Euphonix) Artist Series (Artist Control, Artist Mix, and Artist Transport) controllers are supported within Media Composer 5.5.
  9.  

  10. Enchanced Smart tool: Adjust a transition’s timing within the Timeline without stepping into the effects palette.

 

    For more information and how to upgrade to the latest version of Avid Media Composer 5.5, call 818-303-3900.

     

Key Code Media Grows Audio Solutions Team

June 15, 2010 Leave a comment

June 15th, 2010

Burbank, California

Key Code Media announces the addition of Gary Mraz, Audio Solutions Specialist and Kurt Waldner, Audio Systems Support Engineer. Mike Cavanagh, President of Key Code states, “Key Code Media’s focus is on our clients.  It’s important to maintain high levels of competencies with exceptional service. Gary and Kurt, combined, have over 40 years of audio experience, it’s their passion. We’re very excited to have these experienced audio veterans on our team.”

As former Director of Sales for Muse Research, Westlake Audio sales and college educator Mraz brings his depth of knowledge and skills to the mix. “In the new frontier of digital convergence, Key Code Media bridges the gap between audio, video and web.” States Mraz. With an extensive audio product line and client base, Key Code Media has exciting solutions for music distribution, digital audio and even live streaming products to improve efficiency and cut costs. We offer products like ProTools, Genelec, JBL, Yamaha, Mackie, Waves and Apple to name a few.” Winning multiple “Surround Sound” awards for his DTS Entertainment DVD-Audio releases, Gary is also a composer, producer and engineer.

Kurt Waldner has worked with Mackie providing clients technical support, at SSI in Hollywood building and supporting their Sunset mixing studio. I like solving problems. Key Code Media places me with some of the top AV-IT technicians in our industry. I’m excited about getting to meet and support Key Code Media’s clients” states Waldner.

Key Code Media is a media solutions value added reseller and systems integrator specializing in video and audio workflows including Avid Technology, Apple, ProTools, HP, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, NewTek, Facilis, Digital Rapids, Isilon, StorageDNA, Root6 and Telestream.  Offices are located in Burbank, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Seattle.

For further information, contact Ruth Nakada (rnakada@keycodemedia.com) 818-303-3900.

Categories: Features, News

Avid Isis adds RAID-6

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Avid Technology announced today the new feature for ISIS-   ISIS RAID-6 – Avid Unity ISIS now supports, as a customer selectable option, the ability to configure storage groups using RAID-6 as the method for data protection. ISIS RAID-6 provides 50% more usable capacity than ISIS Mirroring, lowering the cost for usable $/GB by 33%. RAID-6 also provides increased protection for stored media by tolerating two simultaneous storage blade failures (per storage group) without losing data. RAID-6 has been qualified for real-time editing content with media data rates of 50 Mbs and below – ideal for browse-editing of proxy content. Material can be ingested into a RAID- 6 storage group using Avid AirSpeed servers, Interplay Low-Res Encode, and file-based transfers through the new Avid Unity ISIS File Gateway.

Key Code Media will be testing this huge storage saving initiative in early Jan 2010 to provide specific details to the performance and stability.

Please call us at 818-303-3900 for further details.

Categories: Features, Product Updates

Key Code Media’s NAB 2009 Overview

May 7, 2009 Leave a comment

nab2008logo

 

 

 

 

NAB 2009 was one of the more civilized shows I’ve ever attended.  Plenty of clients, a small amount of curious consumers, shorter cab lines and inexpensive hotel rates.  Here is our synopsis of the key things we were on hand to witness and our opinions of this year’s show and announcements.

 

Avid Technology unveiled their new One Avid strategy combined with a new Avid logo.

Five strategic principles:

Drive customer success

o From enthusiasts to the enterprise

o Fluid, dependable workflows

o Collaborative support

o Avid solutions optimized in an open ecosystem

 

A very positive move is that the companies will be integrated and Media Composer and Protools will be able to exist on the same computer.  The organization is working to improve their business structure and quality.  Overall they are getting better, but after the challenging product life cycle of Adrenaline, not a tough area to improve.  The major announcement was of Avid handling direct support for Final Cut Studio systems connected to Avid MediaNet (Unity) and Avid ISIS.  Although there is some uncertainty of how this will translate to performance, but once is it known, we will post our findings and information.  Avid also showed off the Avid Media Access allowing for a native end to end workflow for XDCam HD.  Key Code Media has the AMA workflow featuring Protools, XDCam HD and Media Composer currently connected to a Unity MediaNet in our Studio City location.

 

StorageDNA introduced their revolutionary DNA solutions as a subscription service. Syncsy ($49.95/mo.) and Portals ($9.95/mo.) allow for peer to peer synchronized workflows.  All features of the SDNA720 are included, allowing a seamless workflow with delta differentiation, SSL encryption, and WAN acceleration.  For more information, click on www.syncsy.com.  The award committees definitely missed out on a hot new workflow which is gaining quick market acceptance.  In addition, ISAN was introduced allowing for SAN synchronizations for $249/mo.

 

AJA unveiled the Ki Pro, which is a Direct ProRes capture from camera to an AJA Ki Pro disk. This product will solve a big problem for JVC, RED and Canon camera users in getting their media into Final Cut Pro.  Product lists for $4000.00 and will be shipping in June. The Ki Pro was awarded the Broadcast Engineering Pick Hit Award, the DV Black Diamond Award, the TV Technology Star Award, and the Videography Magazine Vidy Award at NAB.

 

Facilis premiered version 4.0, a Facilis Shared File System which enables multi-write Virtual Volume access over 8Gbit fibre channel or Ethernet. Volumes are designated as file-level or volume-level through settings in the management tool; these attributes can be changed at any time. 

 

Root6 showed off version 3.5 of Content Agent integrating Blu Ray automation and Red conversions to Avid DNXHD files. 

 

Digital Rapids introduced Touchstream which is the size of a breadbox and delivers from Flash, Silverlight and QuickTime (Darwin server) powered web experiences to IPTV set-top boxes and mobile phones.

 

Editshare introduced Universal Media File technology – a core feature of the Flow product line, which allows a single media file to be used simultaneously by Apple and Avid editors.  Automatic Duck’s Pro Import FCP and Pro Export FCP allow editors to translate bi-directionally between Avid and Final Cut Pro sequences. Now EditShare and Automatic Duck have joined forces to create a special version of Automatic Duck that understands EditShare’s Universal Media Files and how to retrieve information from the Flow database.

 

NLTek was showcased in both Panasonic and Sony’s booths with AI (Auto Ingest), the industry’s first software for fast and efficient moving of MXF media, with your metadata, to local storage in the field or to Avid Interplay or Avid MediaManager based workgroups.  This powerful media management tool takes recorded media from your FieldPak, GFPAK, P2 disk or XDCAM media, transfers it to your computer, then to your Avid MediaNet or ISIS system, and to your editing workstations.

 

 

If you have any questions regarding any products showcased at NAB please contact us at (818) 303-3900 or email: info@keycodemedia.com

NewTek TriCaster to Live Stream Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp

November 3, 2008 1 comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2008

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – November 3, 2008 – NewTek Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, announced today that its TriCaster™ portable live production and virtual set system will be used to stream live video from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp™ performance at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles first established themselves. This is the first multi-camera live stream since a performance by Paul McCartney in 1999 and the first-ever using a portable live production system at the Cavern Club.

Throughout the week-long event, campers will be jamming with rock legends Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Pete Best, the original drummer of the Beatles and many other surprise guests. Camp events will take place at famous rock venues throughout the week, including: John Henry Studios, Abbey Road Studios, the Cavern Club and more.  NewTek TriCaster will deliver live streaming from the events throughout the week, check http://www.newtek.com for regular updates. The Cavern Club finale concert will be live streamed to worldwide audiences on Sunday, November 9 at 1:30 p.m. CST at http://www.rockcamp.com, for more information visit http://www.newtek.com.

“This is a great opportunity for us to offer our campers, the ability for their fans, family and friends to see them live out their rock and roll dreams as they unfold,” said David Fishof, founder and chief executive officer, Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp. “In addition to enhancing the participants’ experiences, we are excited to deliver the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy camp to many more would-be rock stars that may sign on as future campers.”

The stream will be hosted by Chuck Silber, senior vice president, worldwide sales, NewTek, who as a camp participant, will be performing on drums.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for musicians of all skill levels to take the stage in historic venues and jam with the rock legends that made the music that they grew up with,” said Silber. “With the portability of TriCaster, we are able to offer music fans a glimpse into a vital place in Beatles’ history and at the same time, we can expose campers to a larger, Internet-based audience who will watch them live out their life-long musical aspirations.”

In addition to being used at Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, TriCaster is also used by broadcasters, government agencies, sports organizations, corporate communications departments, schools and others to provide a new level of extended programming and content to their audiences. Now, a single operator or a small team can produce a live show while switching between as many as six cameras with two VCR’s, multi-channel effects and NewTek’s proprietary LiveSet™ virtual sets. With TriCaster, anyone can produce network-style live video, and distribute the event simultaneously to web, video and projector.

Pricing and Availability
The TriCaster family of products in NTSC is available in North America starting at US$4,995. The TriCaster family of products is available in multi-standard internationally beginning at US$6,995. For more information, please visit http://www.NewTek.com or call NewTek Sales at 800-368-5441, international callers dial +1-210-370-8000.

About NewTek Inc.
Benefiting producers and artists with its cost-effective and ground-breaking technologies, NewTek Inc. is a leader in portable live production, video editing, 3D animation and special effects tools, including the TriCaster™ product line and LightWave 3D®. NewTek has won numerous industry accolades, including two Emmy® Awards. Clients include: Fox News, BBC, NHL, NBA Development League, MTV, VH1, the Steve Harvey Radio Show, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NewTek products have been used in blockbuster films and television shows, including “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man,” “300,” “Hancock,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Lost,” “Fringe” and more. NewTek is privately owned and based in San Antonio, Texas.  For more information, please visit: http://www.newtek.com.

About Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp is the ultimate music experience that allows musicians and enthusiasts alike the once in a lifetime opportunity to jam with legendary rock stars, play live onstage at major concert venues, and live their rock ‘n’ roll dreams.

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EditShare Case Study: Merit Andrew

October 23, 2008 Leave a comment

To read a new case study about Merit Andrew, navigate to this link. Case study is available for download by following the link.

Key Code Media Featured

September 25, 2008 Leave a comment

“The American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles purchased 15 Symphony Nitris DX systems and an 8 TB Avid Unity system from local reseller Key Code Media.” At AFI, we’re dedicated to providing our students with the best foundation to succeed in the real-world of film and TV production — where Avid systems are still predominately used,” said Phil Linson, Vice Dean of Production and Post Production at AFI. “The new Symphony Nitris DX systems will enable the students to get exposure to working with things like tapeless workflows, editing real-time in HD, color correction and finishing. And, with the improved stability and performance these systems offer, our students are able to engage in the editorial process and excel at the art and craft of post production.”

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