Live From NAB: Adobe Targets Broadcast Market With Creative Suite 6

Without question, Adobe Creative Suite 6 is one of the biggest stories permeating the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center at this year’s NAB Show. And with good reason. The latest version of Adobe’s production software, which will hit the market at some point during this quarter, includes major updates for Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and promises “blazingly fast performance” and “streamlined workflows.”

But perhaps the most significant aspect of the CS6 announcement for those in the broadcast market is that the software is, in fact, built specifically for them.

“Broadcast is decidedly the focus for this release,” says Al Mooney, product manager of video editing, Adobe Systems. “We focused on the broadcast craft editor as our main target. That is not to say that we didn’t speak with filmmakers and others to make sure we integrated that functionality as well, but broadcast was our No. 1 while post was No. 2 for this release. And that is because we saw a serious opportunity to make a high-end, professional, robust NLE for the broadcast editor.”

For advanced video editing, Premiere Pro CS6 incorporates a new user interface, trimming, and OpenCL support in the new turbo-charged Mercury Playback Engine.

“CS 6 has a redesigned UI that is beautiful and sleek,” says Mooney. “Let’s face it, CS5 was not the prettiest thing to look at. [With CS6,] there is a major focus on the media rather than a lot of buttons and timecodes. It is designed to be a much more usable user interface. It looks and feels like a different application but one that you are still familiar with and know how to work.”

Most important for sports production, the latest version of Premiere Pro significantly upgrades its multicam-editing capabilities. Where CS5.5 supported just four cameras for multicam editing, CS6 accommodates an infinite number of cameras in its multicam interface, depending on the user’s system capability.

“The two things we wanted to sort out with multicam for CS6 was the way you set up for a multicam edit, which was a bit confusing in CS5. The second — and most important — thing was, quite simply, the number of cameras we support,” says Mooney. “The new application does not limit the number of cameras. Now, as you would expect, your system will limit it. But it makes us agnostic and allows the user to build out as much as they need to for multicam.”

Although Apple continues to release updates to its widely reviled Final Cut Pro X, many pro editors who based their careers on FCP7 are set to abandon the popular non-linear–editing system. Obviously, this presents an interesting opportunity for Adobe as it releases the latest iteration of its own NLE, Adobe Premiere.

“Customers know that we have a roadmap and we are committed to what we are doing with CS6,” says Mooney. “Therefore, they are comfortable knowing that we are not going to abandon them and pull a Final Cut Pro X and completely redesign it without warning.”

In addition to Premier Pro, Adobe Prelude offers broadcasters another interesting tool within CS6, enabling high-efficiency ingest, logging, and transcoding within a large-scale file-based workflow.

“Prelude came from engagements with CNN and BBC,” Mooney notes. “They said, we need an easy way to ingest, log, transcode, and rough-cut media on our MAM. We went out there, built that integration, and then that turned into Prelude, which is now in the box.”

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