Broadcast technology manufacturer Avid has denied that the introduction of its new range of editing products is simply another way of extracting more money from UK facilities companies, writes Sam Espensen.
Despite Avid's DNA (Digital Nonlinear Accelerator) range being one of the biggest draws of this month's NAB exhibition ( Broadcast, 11 April 2003), UK customers have expressed concerns about the financial implications the new boards will have on their businesses.
Frontier Post managing director Neil Hatton, one of several facilities heads to voice concern, told Broadcast that he had "no problem with the new architecture - that's development. But a migration to this new range has implications for current Meridien users.
"Is Avid going to reduce the price of support contracts? And is this the end of software upgrades for Meridien users?"
Responding to the questions, Avid European vice-president Graham Sharp, speaking exclusively to Broadcastin Las Vegas, said "We're not skinning anyone and saying you have to invest in new technology. The pricing of Adrenaline (part of the DNA range) is virtually the same as a Meridien upgrade. There are also still software upgrades for Meridien planned. And Meridien Media Composer support had software upgrades added for no extra charge six months ago, so users saw no price increase."
Sharp admitted that the company may have failed to get its message across at NAB, which could explain the criticism from the market.
"I admit that it wasn't particularly well communicated," he said, "but between our Adrenaline and Nitris products there's a hole and we want to get people who are on Meridian or ABVB upgraded to Symphony, while bringing the price down so it fits in that price gap."
He explained that Avid customers will be dealt with individually: "In some cases we want to get them to Symphony, and in others, depending on how much they paid and when, they will get free Symphony software. Others will have to pay because we're trying to be fair to everyone."
Sharp also strongly contested the suggestion that DNA is merely another set of I/O boards.