Broadcast Engineering: Nonlinear editors

Broadcast Engineering by L.T. Martin

These are heady days for high-end nonlinear editing system providers. But, we may have recently lost one of the biggest players in the game.

Despite the fact that Apple's Final Cut Pro 7 software is being used by 54.6 percent of the professional editing community, according to a report by market research firm SCRI International, in June Apple released a completely rewritten version called Final Cut Pro X. Much to the surprise of many, despite that this new incarnation is completely 64-bit, so many professional features were removed that it appears Apple may be switching its focus away from the high-end video editing market segment. Final Cut Pro X cannot import projects started in Final Cut Pro 7 or any other NLE. It cannot ingest from or output to tape and can't even be connected to a broadcast monitor. These noticable (and important) missing features have more than a few editors scratching their heads.

So this makes it an apt time to take a look at some of the technical distinctions under the hood of the still broad spectrum of NLE systems from the major manufacturers who still want to offer solutions in this space.

Avid Media Composer

Avid's Media Composer is still the most used NLE on prime-time TV productions, being employed on up to 90 percent of evening broadcast shows. One reason is its design philosophy, called Avid Intelligent Architecture, that Avid instigated back in 2008 with the release of Media Composer 3 and the DX hardware line. Avid Intelligent Architecture is a way of constructing software that constantly looks at the Mac or Windows computer being used, the graphics card installed and whatever hardware is attached, and selectively sending a given task to the component best suited to accomplish it. read more...

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