Product Spotlight: Avid Unity for News

Jan 28, 2002  •  Post A Comment

What it is: Avid Unity for News, from Avid in Tewskbury, Mass.
What it does: Avid Unity for News is a shared media network for broadcast news production that makes media available to any workstation connected to it in real time. “It’s like network storage,” said Jim Frantzreb, senior product marketing manager with Avid. The product began shipping late last year and was first used on-air in January 20001.
In the family: Part of the Unity product line from Avid, which includes Avid Unity MediaNet, Avid Unity MediaManager and Avid Unity TransferManager. Avid Unity for News is a configuration of those three products, and it integrates them all in an asset-management system and a workflow control system. “This is what you need as a shared storage and networking basic infrastructure for broadcast news production,” Mr. Frantzreb said.
The way it was: Before nonlinear editing systems, newsrooms had to move their media on disk from computer to computer to edit and access it. But that’s not efficient under tight deadlines, Mr. Frantzreb said. Keeping the media in one place where anyone can access it at any time allows for much greater flexibility, he said.
Features and benefits: The system allows up to 50 clients, typically editing workstations, to be attached. It also allows users to connect laptop computers to it, so they can send data from remote locations. It also contains a Web browser system for searching through stored files. The system can store up to 525 hours of DV25 media and can be configured for up to 100 disk drives. “It’s a work-flow tool. It increases the productivity of everyone attached to it,” Mr. Frantzreb said.
Target market: Network news production teams and midsized to large TV stations that produce news.
Customers: KSDK-TV, St. Louis, Mo.; ABC’s “Nightline”; WKYC-TV, Cleveland; and KTVT-TV, Fort Worth, Texas.
Cost: Starts at $130,000.