Live From NAB: Avid Interplay Sphere Could Be Game-Changer for Remote Editing

For the second consecutive year at NAB, Avid looks to have boosted its Interplay system to the next level with the introduction of Interplay Sphere. After unveiling Interplay Central last year in Las Vegas, Sphere promises to take the promise of remote content access to the next level too.

Sphere is a cloud-based system that allows journalists to acquire, access, edit and finish stories from anywhere, thereby “”breaking down the walls of the newsroom,” as Avid said during the presser.

Interplay Sphere: On Avid’s Shoulders
Although Sphere is targeted at the news market, it nonetheless offers the same promise that Central holds for the live sports production market – the ability to build complete video highlight packages from a remote using all the resources that would be available at a home broadcast or production facility.

“With the ability of Sphere to get access to all of your content, whether you are in an OB truck or a Starbucks, anything is possible,” said Avid SVP of Products and Solutions Chris Gahagan when asked about Sphere’s potential in the sports market. “Anytime a company introduces new technology like Sphere, customers will find really unique ways to use it. In sports, whether you are talking about promos or voice-overs or any other application, we’ve just started to scratch the surface of what is possible once you allow access to all your media from anywhere that is connected.”

Avid Takes Second Screen Shot
Almost no Sunday NAB press conference was complete without the mention of multiplatform delivery and Avid took its swing at the second screen by debuting its new Multi-Platform Distribution (MPD) solution. Leveraging Avid Interplay and iNEWS, this solution intelligently orchestrates the flow of assets and metadata through creation, transcode, and then delivery to web content management systems, online video platforms, and social media platforms. The solution uses existing Interplay and iNEWS functionality and web services APIs to cost efficiently adapt to a wide range of different customer environments and needs.

“We as technology vendors serving the broadcaster are trying to keep up with what the consumers are asking us to do,” said Avid CEO Gary Greenfield. “They are all watching on multiple screens. They want it when they want it, where they want it, how they want it and of course what they do really see is it being about immersive entertainment. It’s not just about having a second screen as an alternative viewing device, it is really about having that second screen as a synchronous device. As broadcasters are trying to maker sure they can reach out to new audiences they want to be sure that they can deliver this immersive entertainment.”

Avid Storage Gets Boost
In addition to the next iteration of Interplay, Avid announced the release of three new server and storage products: AirSpeed 5000 video server, new Avid ISIS 2000 near-line storage solution, and Avid ISIS 7000 v4.0.

The AirSpeed 5000 video server features new codec flexibility with Avid DNxHD playback included in HD versions, Avid production workflow integration, and new, high-availability features such as advanced RAID 50 protection for reliable operation.

ISIS 2000 is a new, cost-effective near-line storage solution that works with Avid Interplay to provide enterprise-wide search, browse, access, and management of media that expands media access and augments real-time production. This high-density, disk-based storage system lets customers economically extend their media library and optimize their overall storage investment while maintaining direct workflow linkage with editorial production.

Avid has doubled the storage capacity in the newest release of the Avid ISIS 7000, with the new i4000 storage blade. Supporting up to 24 ISIS Engines in a single ISIS 7000 system, raw capacity is raised to 1.53PB. The ISIS 7000 delivers highly predictable, linear performance to meet the challenge of large installations and uncompressed HD real-time workflows.

Customers with both ISIS storage and Interplay Production 2.6 asset management can now simultaneously manage media across any number of ISIS 7000, 5000, and 2000 storage systems.

Pricing for AirSpeed 5000 starts at $43,500; Avid ISIS 7000 32TB Engine will be $125,000; ISIS 7000 64TB Engine will be $165,000; and ISIS 2000 240TB Engine will be $235,000.

Avid Odds and Ends
Also on hand at Avid’s booth will be its Avid Motion Graphics, as well as the latest versions of Interplay Production (v2.6), Interplay MAM (v4), and Interplay Central (v1.2). In addition, Avid will showcase NewsVision 2.5, Media Composer 6, and Pro Tools 10 on the show floor.

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