In an effort to keep pace with broadcasters’ demands for increased efficiency and interoperability, Avid unveils enhancements to its popular iNews newsroom system and companion automation system. It also offers improvements to the ISIS media networking and storage solution and AirSpeed servers.
Avid today is introducing upgrades to its iNEWS newsroom computer system and companion automation system that are intended to help TV stations improve newscasts and integrate third-party systems, while operating as efficiently as possible.
The enhancements — designated iNews 3.0 and iNews Command 2.5 — are Avid’s response to the “high-level trends” shaping broadcasting today, says Jim Frantzreb, senior segment marketing manager-enterprise solutions.
“In this business environment, customers need to take a very sharp look at costs,” Frantzreb says. “In particular, they need to make sure they are running the most efficient shop they can.
“Related to that, customers also want to insure interoperability. That means openness with interfacing with legacy systems,” he adds.
Avid also understands the need to improve the on-air product, he says. “Because of what’s happening in broadcasting, it becomes more and more important to stake out your turf and sharpen your competitive position and your differentiation.
“In news, that means greater agility, giving the reporter more control over a story, more remote newsgathering.”
Avid claims to be the leading vendor of newsroom system with 330 supported and perhaps another 30-50 unsupported iNews systems now in use in U.S. TV newsrooms. “We’ve got a pretty robust market share here,” Frantzreb says.
The iNEWS newsroom system enhancements include Web services application programming interfaces and an improved user interface. And iNEWS Command can now control third-party graphics devices in addition to Avid’s own Deko system.
According to Frantzreb, the APIs give third-party suppliers of groupware, resource scheduling or weather systems the ability to integrate with the iNEWS.
The improved user interface is designed to simplify and speed production.
Among other things, users will be able to preview a video associated with an Interplay production asset management sequence, create hyperlinks within iNews stories and standardize the entry of story data using drop-down lists and checkbox fields.
“Users of iNEWS will notice a difference, but they will still feel at home,” Frantzreb says. “They will not have a problem adapting to it.”
In keeping with Avid’s promise to give users choice, Frantzreb says, the new version of iNEWS Command can interface with third-party graphics systems.
“We have completely qualified Chryon and we are working on others,” he says, noting that the Chyron application has been beta-tested at Morgan Murphy’s WISC Madison, Wis.
“You now have an end-to-end workflow that ends with your choice of graphics playout device,” he says.
Avid also unveiled enhancements to its Unity ISIS (v. 2.1) storage and networking solution and AirSpeed Multi Stream (v. 1.3) video servers.
With the use of RAID 6 technology, Unity ISIS can now provide the same highly reliable storage protection while expanding capacity by 50 percent, Frantzreb says.
The system works differently than mirroring, he explains. “Instead of replicating every drive, you have in effect two extra logical drives that are used for the parity information and that lets you rebuild your data if you have a loss.”
RAID 6 has been available for years and is proven to provide “robust” data protection, he adds.
Avid is also making available a file gateway for ISIS that extends access to any Windows, MAC or Linux workstation. “ISIS can now be presented as network-attached storage to virtually anyone is the organization,” Frantzreb says.
The new AirSpeed Multi Stream server now supports the ingest and playback of Avid DNxHD 185 and 220 10-bit HD video, and twice the number of Avid DNxHD 120 and 145 8-bit HD video streams compared to earlier generations of AirSpeed.
The other enhancement to the server is what Avid is calling IsoSync. The feature enables multiple servers to stop, start and pause in frame synchronization. “What that does is make for very easy editing in live, multi-camera productions,” Frantzreb says.