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Avid Unveils World’s First Nonlinear Workflow Engine: Avid Interplay


Revolutionary system fuses integrated asset management, workflow automation, and security control into a single, open system; delivers unprecedented productivity gains for media production teams

NAB 2006, Las Vegas (Booth #SL701) – April 23, 2006 – Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today unveiled Avid® Interplay™ – the world’s first nonlinear workflow engine that fuses integrated asset management, workflow automation, and security control into a single system, delivering a business-wide workflow for postproduction and broadcast settings of any size. Defining a new category in media production technology, the Avid Interplay system connects teams to a shared-data and media backbone and smoothly manages the flow of projects from inception to completion using security and powerful revision control. The system offers a broad range of low-cost tools for searching, archiving, viewing, logging, automatic transcoding, dual-resolution encoding, and intelligent tracking of multi-resolution proxy files, all of which streamline collaboration between people and eliminate time-consuming production tasks. In addition, the Avid Interplay system is open to any media production environment – accommodating more than 100 different media and non-media file types – and can link to production tools from virtually any other company.

“The single, most significant challenge in media production today is that very few people work alone – but despite that fact, very few vendors make it easy to collaborate,” said Chas Smith, vice president and general manager for Avid’s Video division. “As we’ve worked with customers to identify the roadblocks in media production, they’ve told us that they need greater help finding and storing files, tracking revisions and progress, and managing signoffs and approvals. Avid Interplay addresses these and other workflow challenges by providing open access to – and interoperability between – all shared assets, tasks, and connected systems in a secure environment. Everyone with production responsibilities can use Avid Interplay – including producers, graphic artists, assistant editors, IT administrators, writers and storyboard artists, video and audio editors, directors, archivists, and even legal and finance departments. No other combination of workflow products on the market can help move projects from preproduction to final delivery and archive with greater efficiency than Avid Interplay.”

Brendan Mallon, technology manager from BBC Scotland, which is participating in the beta program for Avid Interplay, said, “In recent years, we’ve witnessed a massive increase in the volume and type of digital assets in production. With media coming in from a wider variety of sources than ever before, and multiple teams contributing to the process, we are constantly striving to work more efficiently. Avid Interplay should allow us to link the entire production process to a central engine, making our teams more productive. More importantly, the architecture is designed to support the range of systems and applications we need to run an efficient business. The system is truly a breakthrough for nonlinear workflow. Avid Technology is a strategic partner of the BBC and helping to transform desktop production.”

Unparalleled Interop for Everyone – Right Out of the Box
The core Avid Interplay system is a client-server engine that works with any member of the Avid Unity™ MediaNetwork family of shared-storage solutions to form the backbone of a completely interoperable media production environment. The engine arms individual contributors, project teams, and functional departments with a portfolio of low-cost, user-friendly software tools that automate routine production tasks, track revisions, and streamline administrative activities. Right out of the box, Avid Interplay seamlessly integrates with the latest versions of the Avid Media Composer®, NewsCutter®, iNEWS® Instinct™, and Symphony™ Nitris® systems. It also offers a business-wide workflow that tracks all Avid projects as well as more than 100 media and non-media file types, including multi-resolution video, Microsoft Office documents, Adobe Photoshop and AfterEffects layered files, MPEGs, TIFs, spreadsheets, and more. The standard components that make this powerful workflow possible include:

* Interplay Engine – a PC server that connects to an Avid Unity™ media network to act as a central nervous system, providing powerful and secure data-driven access to active and archived media assets; and
* Interplay Access – the user software client for the Interplay Engine, bringing powerful search, check-out/check-in, revision control and management capabilities to ordinary desktops and laptops on the network.

Customers can augment these out-of-the box components of the Avid Interplay system with a range of optional toolsets for deploying a more comprehensive workflow that delivers unprecedented productivity gains. As bandwidth demands grow, customers can add Avid Unity capacity to increase data throughput of the entire system.

Unmatched Tracking of Multi-Resolution Files
The Avid Interplay system eliminates the time-consuming process of initiating and managing media transcoding, then linking and tracking various resolutions for proxy review, offline, finish, delivery, and archive. The system allows customers to work natively on any resolution, use a background network service to transcode to different resolutions, and work with as many resolutions and formats of a clip as necessary. Because all of the Avid Interplay tools can work with any resolution, and projects maintain links to any file variations, the process of switching between resolutions is quick and easy. The options that deliver multi-resolution workflows include:

* Interplay Transcode – a networked media service that automatically and transparently converts source media to whichever production format is needed to match the preferences and system capabilities of the user; and
* Interplay Low-Res Encode – a hardware-assisted ingest system that captures low-resolution material from any tape or feed while the high-resolution version is simultaneously captured into the same shared storage.

Superior Logging, Viewing, and Asset Control Capabilities
With the Avid Interplay system, assistants, producers, managers, and interns can quickly and accurately log, annotate, mark, and sequence large amounts of incoming material. Any authorized user can add notes and descriptive information in every step of the process, saving time in the editing suite, helping to clarify direction at the onset of a project, and eliminating last-minute searches for footage and information. Directors, post supervisors, and legal departments can also use the same tool to review and approve rough and finished cuts, product placements, rights-managed material, and more. In addition, the Avid Interplay system provides networked asset management to simplify and streamline project-wide communications with a secure check-out/check-in system, automatic revision tracking and rollback, conflict management, and integrated messaging. As a result, the system virtually eliminates the possibility that users are working with the wrong version of a file. The options that provide these capabilities include:

* Interplay Assist – a simple yet powerful tool to play video, select shots, and add markers with comments using ordinary desktops and laptops on the network. Annotations and locators are automatically visible to editors, eliminating time-consuming information searches before editorial begins;
* Interplay Archive – a network service for intelligent tracking of archived material, so editors can work with low-resolution proxies of archived files, accessing and restoring only the material they need – directly from the editing interface, or automatically through the Interplay Access tool; and
* Interplay Transfer­ – a network service that allows users to initiate background media transfers to and from another workgroup or archive, move files between distant locations, and exchange media with supported third-party devices and systems. With Interplay Transfer, redundant files are never created, and every media file is tracked at all times.

Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the Avid Interplay system, with the Interplay Engine and Access toolsets, begins at $18,000 USMSRP. The system is expected to be available in Q3 2006. For more information about the Avid Interplay system, please visit:

About Avid Technology, Inc.
Avid Technology, Inc. is the world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management, and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games, and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively, and creatively. For more information about the company’s Oscar®, Grammy®, and Emmy® award-winning products and services, please visit:

© 2006 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirements, and availability are subject to change without notice. All prices are USMSRP for the U.S. and Canada only and are subject to change without notice. Contact your local Avid office or reseller for prices outside the U.S. and Canada. Avid, Film Composer, Digidesign, Pro Tools, Media Composer, Symphony, Nitris, Avid Unity, Interplay, NewsCutter, iNews, and Instinct are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. Avid received an Oscar statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. Digidesign, Avid’s audio division, received an Oscar statuette representing the 2003 Scientific and Technical Award for the design, development, and implementation of its Pro Tools® digital audio workstation. Academy Award and Oscar are trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.


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