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Avid Announces Significant Upgrades To Family Of On-Air Graphics Solutions

Avid Technology has unveiled Avid Deko 5.0, PostDeko 8.0.1 and DekoCast 4.1.2, an upgraded suite of real-time on-air graphics systems designed to increase productivity and enhance creative output throughout broadcast graphics operations.

Unlike competitive graphics products, Avid's suite of on-air graphics solutions reduces the need for additional staff training and costly specialized expertise by providing easy-to-use design tools and templates that enable customers to get productions to air, quickly.

"Deko 5.0 is saving us a lot of time in the graphics creation process and helping us get programs to air more quickly because it does not require an additional team of trained experts to operate. As a result, the viewer experience is more rewarding," said Ian Kennedy, CTO at Fontastics, an L.A.-based production house that specializes in broadcast graphics and opens for high-profile live events.

"We've always liked the ease with which we can create and edit motion effects in Deko, and the new animation UI continues to give us everything we need for our live, high-profile broadcast environments. We also bring in a lot of elements into the Deko system as QuickTime Movies, which eliminates the requirement for external DDRs for complex multi-layered animations."

Avid Deko 5.0 software offers advanced 3D Motion features that allow customers to easily build, edit, and play sophisticated real-time animations. Additionally, customers can now openly share files with users working on a range of third-party editing systems.

New features include:

-- PowerClips: Allows users to create an increased number of integrated video effects such as multiple moving headshots and specialized animation treatments like traveling flares. PowerClips can be created locally or by using tools like Adobe After Effects, and imported to Deko as a QuickTime movie -- enabling easy creation and fast on-air playback.-- Motion-in-Motion: Delivers grouped motion effects for Deko 3000 and Deko 1000 models, which can be added onto standard motion actions.-- Z-Depth Animation: Adds the Z Position parameter to the Motion editor, which enables customers to animate graphics from a true 3D perspective.-- Deko 3D in HD: Allows the customer to import models from 3ds Max to Deko and map to live, editable Deko layers. Text and images remain a live component of the graphic, allowing a fast swap out of content and an easy workflow that does not burden the graphics operator.-- Auto-Motion: Delivers an automated way of transitioning graphics by predefining animation logic during preproduction, saving on-air time for broadcasters.-- Texture Shadows: Offers automatic shadow control over color, distance, direction, blur and opacity. Customers can add Deko shader treatments to an image texture based on the alpha channel of the image.-- ClipDeko Updates: Customers can now preview videos from the Clip Edit window, via a new Clip Viewer on the desktop.

Using PostDeko systems, customers can improve brand consistency throughout their facilities with a more seamless broadcast production workflow that makes it easy to share graphics and effects between departments and third-party devices. Additional enhancements include Z-Depth animation, Motion-in-Motion, Clip Deko add-ons and PowerClips. Motion Design and Make DekoMovie are now standard features and will help to eliminate the bottleneck previously experienced when moving offline graphic and motion effects to an online Deko system.

DekoCast 4.1.2 software now delivers an extended set of software plug-ins for enhanced scene control, playback and customization as well as scripting and API capabilities, allowing users to easily gather data from a variety of sources such as iNEWS rundowns, Websites, and RSS feeds.

Additional features include:

-- iNEWS Extractor: Allows a live data connection to specific DekoCast Objects and Actions directly from an iNEWS rundown or story for displaying breaking news and top stories.-- Image Fetcher: Enables automatic, time-based retrieval of Web-based images into a pre-formatted location in the DekoCast scene.-- RSS Extractor: Pulls Web data feeds using RSS protocol for inserting and cycling live headlines and top stories for news, sports and entertainment into DekoCast layers and crawls.-- Database Extractor: Enables a direct query from DekoCast Scene Objects to fields and records of ODBC-compliant databases such as Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel.-- Engine Trigger: Allows actions in the scene to monitor and react to other parameter changes within the scene for rules-based scene performance.

Additionally, media created in Deko, PostDeko and DekoCast products can now also be saved with the Avid DNxHD QuickTime codec. This provides fast import to Avid editors, which will expedite the process of adding HD motion graphics across a broader workflow.

"These new Deko releases offer our customers a more efficient way to manage the look and feel of their productions without placing additional demands on other resources for costly third-party support of animation and data scripting," said Caren Anhder, senior product marketing manager for Broadcast Products at Avid. "We've been able to address significant requests by delivering features that really hit home for customers -- like easy-to-use 3D capabilities and organic Deko Motions that don't require intense scripting. Improving these workflow issues will have a positive impact on time and resources, and ultimately make life for our customers a lot easier."

Avid Deko 5.0, Avid PostDeko 8.0.1 and Avid DekoCast 4.1.2 are available now through the Avid Website at www.avid.com/downloadcenter. For more information about the Avid On-Air Graphics family, Deko 5.0, PostDeko 8.0.1 and DekoCast 4.1.2 visit www.avid.com/deko.For customers interested in learning more about the new Deko family of products, Avid will host a Webcast on July 15, 2008. Click here to register.

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