TV Tech: Avid Media Composer 4.0

TV Technology by Geoff Poister

In 2006, Avid liberated its flagship Media Composer from its hardware host and offered the widely popular editing platform in a software-only version. The company has faced fierce competition from other popular editing platforms, and has responded by steadily ramping up the capabilities and features of Media Composer. With its second major upgrade, Avid has repositioned itself as a cutting-edge innovator of digital editing technology with more competitive prices.

Avid Media Composer 4.0 software boasts a number of improvements, but the most eye-catching of them all is the ability to mix virtually any resolution, frame rate or format on the same timeline while playing back in real time.

For example, you can add 30i video clips to a 24p project and the clips will integrate and play back in 24p. This is not an entirely new concept, but Media Composer software has taken this to a new level by introducing a system that intelligently adjusts the playback to match the project resolution without requiring any rendering. Media Composer 4.0 software also allows you to change the project settings at will, making it easier than ever to output a project in different formats.


The most attention-getting new feature of Media Composer 4.0 software is its ability to "mix and match" formats, frame rates and resolutions on the same timeline and play them back in real time. This is a much needed breakthrough, as we live in a time when video exists in so many formats that it is a commonplace task to combine them in the same project. While other editing platforms support multiple formats on a timeline, you have to render them before viewing. This is a very time-consuming step that Media Composer 4.0 software bypasses by allowing instant playback of all mixed material on the timeline. read more...

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