Avid ships Xpress Pro 5.5, Mojo SDI

Digital video editing system and software maker Avid Technology on Wednesday announced the release of Xpress Pro 5.5, a new version of their digital video editing software for Mac OS X and Windows. What;’s more, the company also introduced Mojo SDI, a hardware interface that provides analog and digital Serial Digital Interface (SDI) input and output.

Xpress Pro 5.5, now available for $1,695, supports native High Definition Video (HDV) and DVCPRO HD (a pro high definition format developed by Panasonic) for acquisition, editing and output. The software provides real-time effects and 2:3 pulldown insertion over firewire. It also supports Avid DNxHD — a high definition encoding system that allows it to create effects, transitions and titles.

“Open Timeline” is also new; it refers to technology that lets Xpress Pro 5.5 users mix HDV, DVCPRO HD and DNxHD formats with Standard Definition SD) and Digital Video (DV) formats in the same timeline in real-time.

System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.4.6 or later; G5 or PowerBook (Avid expects to support Intel Macs with Universal Binaries “in a future release”); 1GB RAM; 128MB VRAM; FireWire; 40GB or larger SATA boot volume, CD or DVD; QuickTime 7.1 or later.

The $2,495 Mojo SDI is a portable analog/digital SDI interface that lets users import and export video through FireWire. It adds SDI I/O and AES/EBU digital audio I/O, and works with both Xpress Pro and Avid’s higher-end Media Composer systems. Mojo SDI also sports component, composite and S-Video support.

Upgrades for Avid Xpress Pro 4 or 5 customers cost $49.95.

In related news, Avid also announced upgrades to its Unity shared-storage systems, designed for film and video post-production facilities. The new Unity LANshare 4.2, MediaNetwork 4.2 and Unity ISIS 1.1 systems provide enhanced capacities.

Unity LANshare now supports twice as much storage capacities — up to 8 terabytes (TB) in Fibre Channel and Ethernet configurations using a three-rack unit. Prices start at $24,995.

The Unity MediaNetwork now supports twice as much capacity as well — up to 40TB, with 4-Gigabit Fibre Channel connectivity, starting at $57,215.

The Unity Isis system’s storage capacity has tripled to 192TB and can support up to 150 active users. It works with both Mac OS X and Windows XP, and is priced starting at $106,995.

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