As the pioneer of non-linear editing for broadcast, Avid retains its position as a popular choice. For many production companies, post houses and individual editors, its familiarity and functionality also make it a natural choice.
Challenges begin, however, when leaving such a homogeneous ecosystem and scaling to serve a variety of different production applications, multiple formats and when work has to be done under a high time pressure. These bring fresh considerations.
The editor needs to be able to access the content needed for the project in hand, but without seeing everything else on the server network. This is a security issue, of course, but it is also a practical one. Editors do not want to spend time scrolling through vast numbers of files to find the content they need at that moment.
If a facility uses multiple edit workstations, they tend to be attached to shared storage, capable of quickly delivering content to the editor as required. The shared storage must incorporate some form of production asset management (PAM), although it may be as simple as an agreed file naming format.
Shared storage requirements for feature film productions are different from the fast-moving environments in news or sports broadcast – what is an effective solution in one may not work in the other.
Post houses can have work patterns that involve setting an individual edit suite to a task that will run for hours (or days). Fast turnaround is critical for news and sports applications where, under time pressures, an editor needs to start working on the content as soon as possible and then needs to work as quickly as possible.
Incoming content may be from multiple sources, each in a different combination of file format, wrapper, and signal standard (SDI, SMPTE ST2110 or non-real time file transfer).