Apple kit will feature on other company's stands as part of technology workflows, and a Final Cut Pro user group meeting occurs during the show. Meanwhile, interoperability with Avid kit will be themed among the halls and the company will be doing various demos at its hotel base opposite the exhibition centre.
Avid's perceived ‘absence' has surprised many visitors including Jon Diamond, managing director of Lip Sync Post. “I don't quite understand why a major manufacturer would not want to be there,” he questions. “It is a strange decision.”
But David Peto from Unit, a facility based around Final Cut software and Apple hardware, is not especially bothered by Apple's no-show. “It doesn't impact on us at all. What we're really interested in is seeing how well third parties have integrated into the Apple workflow.”
There are a couple of new things expected from Apple. These include the first proper sighting of Final Cut Server (see storage), which may well be available in backroom demos, and some news on the replacement for the high-end compositor Shake, codenamed Phenomenon.
Possibly the most unique - and brave - announcement will be from Imagineer Systems, trying to mess with the established order of things by launching a high-end editing and compositing competitor to Autodesk and Quantel.
Famous for its Mokey software, Imagineer will launch Mogul, an “open, collaborative architecture integrating visual effects systems and desktop applications” that will only be available by subscription. It promises to connect all the tools in a facility, including those from other manufacturers.
Autodesk will show versions of Smoke and Flame with new, unified user interfaces, running on PCs. The new incarnations will be demoed on HP and Linux workstations, rather than the familiar SGI ones.
Of the other editing applications on show, one that comes highly recommended for editors playing with a large number of different formats and codecs is Edius from Thomson Grass Valley.
The software-based Edius Pro affords real-time mixed-format HD/SD editing on the same timeline and runs on Windows workstations or laptops. It can be easily upgraded to Edius Broadcast, version 4.6 of which now works with Thomson Infinity, Sony XDCam EX and Pansonic P2.
Updates to Adobe Premiere are also expected and it is worth checking out Encore - one of the few available products to author to Blu-ray DVD.
A 64-bit version of Sony's Vegas NLE is also due to be on show at NAB.