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Avid Technology, Inc
Type Public (NASDAQAVID)
Founded 1987
Headquarters Tewksbury, Massachusetts, USA
Industry Audio/Video
Products Hardware & Software
Revenue 930 million US$ (2007)
2.09% compared to 2006[1]
Operating income -12.62 million US$ (2007)[1]
Net income -8 US$ million (2007)[1]
Employees 2,728 (2008)[1]

Avid Technology, Inc (NASDAQAVID) is an American company specializing in video and audio production technology; specifically, digital non-linear editing (NLE) systems, management and distribution services. It was created in 1987[2] and became a publicly traded company in 1993. Avid is headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.[3]

Avid products are now used in the television and video industry to create television shows, feature films, and commercials. Media Composer is Avid's flagship product, with HD capability at a price within the range of serious non-professionals, and can handle 1080i content from camcorders such as the Sony FX1 or Z1.


Non-Linear Editing

Non-Linear Editing is a technique used in digital systems where a digital source (such as digitized film, video or audio) is used to create an edited version, not by rearranging the source file, but by creating a detailed list of edit points (ins, outs, fades, etc.). The editing software reads the edit list and creates a new version (the edit) by applying the list parameters to the playback of the source. This type of non-destructive editing is one of the advantages digital editing has over cutting film or magnetic tape. Films are generally edited by making a digital transfer from and using this process during editing. An EDL (edit decision list) is then output from the editing software, which is used to produce cuts and dissolves in the actual film using automated equipment. Increasingly though, movies are beginning to be output digitally in high resolution (1080 or 2160 lines) to make Computer-generated imagery (CGI) possible, and cinemas are beginning to shift towards digital projection, so that it seems likely that photographic film will eventually be eliminated from the process altogether, with movies being delivered either by satellite link or on hard disk.


Founded by a marketing manager from Apollo Computer, Inc., William J. Warner, a prototype of their first digital nonlinear editing system (the Avid/1) was shown in a private suite at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in April 1988. The Avid/1 was based around an Apple Macintosh II computer, with special hardware and software of Avid's own design installed.

At the NAB show in April 1989, the Avid/1 was publicly introduced. It was "the biggest shake-up in editing since Melies played around with time and sequences in the early 1900's"[4] . By the early 1990s, Avid products began to replace such tools as the Moviola, Steenbeck, and KEM flatbed editors, allowing editors to handle their film creations with greater ease. The first feature film edited using the Avid was "Let's Kill All the Lawyers" in 1992. By 1994 only three feature films used the new digital editing system. By 1995 dozens had switched to Avid, and it signaled the beginning of the end of cutting celluloid. In 1996 Walter Murch accepted the Academy Award for editing The English Patient (which also won best picture), which he cut on the Avid. This was the first Editing Oscar awarded to a digitally-edited film [5].

In 1994 Avid introduced Open Media Framework (OMF) as an open standard file format for sharing media and related metadata. In recent years the company has extended its business expertise through several acquisitions and internal investments towards the full palette of multimedia generation products including those to store and manage media files. In 2006 Avid launched new products such as Avid Interplay and Unity Isis. Avid used to be considered just a "Video Editing" company, but now has consolidated a well-rounded multimedia generation technology company.

In the past, Avid has released home versions of their professional line of editors, such as Xpress DV and lower cost professional versions (primarily to compete with software such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere) such as Xpress Pro. Additionally, Avid Free DV was available as a free download, providing an introduction to the Media Composer interface, but in a limited version. All of these have now been discontinued as the core Media Composer product has been lowered in price and is now heavily discounted for academic/student use.

Key Products

Divested products:

  • Softimage|XSI (now owned by Autodesk)
  • Pinnacle PCTV (now owned by Hauppauge Digital)

Discontinued products:


  • 1994: Digidesign (makers of Pro Tools).
  • 1994: Basys (ITN's newsrooms system sold to DEC then Avid).
  • 1995: Elastic Reality, Inc. (makers of Elastic Reality morphing software).
  • 1995: Parallax Software Limited and 3 Space Software Limited (together “Parallax Software”). (makers of Matador, Illusion and Jester (ink-and-paint software)).
  • 1998: Softimage, from Microsoft.
  • 1998: Create strategic alliance with Tektronix - then owners of Lightworks.
  • 2000: The Motion Factory.
  • 2000: Pluto Technology.
  • 2001: iNEWS.
  • 2002: iKnowledge.
  • 2003: Rocket Networks.
  • 2004: NXN.
  • 2004, January: Bomb Factory.
  • 2004, August: M-Audio.
  • 2005, April: Pinnacle Systems.
  • 2005, August: Wizoo.
  • 2006, January: Medéa Corporation.
  • 2006, April: Sundance Digital.
  • 2006, August: Sibelius Software

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Company Profile for Avid Technology Inc (AVID)". Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  2. ^ "About Avid". Avid Technology. Retrieved 2009-01-16.  
  3. ^ "Avid Corporate Background". Avid Technology. Retrieved 2009-01-16.  
  4. ^ Russell Evans, Practical DV Filmmaking, Focal Press, 2005 ISBN 0240807383, 9780240807386 page 13
  5. ^ Scott Kirsner, Inventing the Movies: Hollywood's Epic Battle Between Innovation and the Status Quo, from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs (2008) Publisher Scott Kirsner, ISBN 1438209991, 9781438209999 page 84-85

External links



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