Avid Pulls the Plug on the DS

StudioDaily by Bryant Frazer

Unhappy Users Say They'll Have to Find Non-Avid 4K Options

It's the end of another era in the post business — Avid told customers this week that the Avid DS online finishing system is being discontinued at the end of September. Avid yesterday released one final free software update, DS 11.1, adding support for conform with Media Composer 7 (plus an MC7 software upgrade license), ISIS 4+ shared storage, Interplay 2.7 and 3.0, AJA Kona 3 and 3G Media I/O hardware, and Avid Artist Color and Transport controllers. Avid said it will honor existing DS support contracts through September 30, 2014.

Even in its most recent v7 release, Avid Media Composer has no option for 4K delivery. In traditional Avid workflows, that's where the DS comes in — conforming an Avid project at 2K or 4K. To replace some of the compositing features found in the DS, Avid said DS licensees would be eligible for a 50 percent discount on Eyeon's Fusion compositing system, which has solid roundtripping capabilities with Media Composer, bringing the price down from $2495 to $1250.

"Avid is aligning its development resources to focus on a core suite of creative products," Avid said in a prepared statement sent to StudioDaily. "As part of this transition, we will be ceasing future development of Avid DS with a final sale date of September 30, 2013. Over the past few years, we have been advancing key technology components into our proven and trusted Media Composer and Symphony products. These industry leading solutions, built on an open platform, allow for some of the best technology in the business to seamlessly interoperate."

Avid officials made the end-of-life (EOL) announcement in a conference call with users earlier this week that was meant to be confidential but ended up being leaked onto the Internet, where StudioDaily obtained a copy. The call was notable for the level of frustration expressed by users who objected to Avid's decision. During the call, Avid officials said the company will work to transition DS owners to Avid Media Composer with the Symphony option, which adds Avid's Universal Mastering feature and much more powerful color-correction tools to MC, but users said it's not a workable substitute for the 2K and 4K capabilities of DS. read more...

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