Avid is buying Pinnacle!

64 replies [Last post]
bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Well, there's a turn up!

Avid is getting ready to buy Pinnacle.

Here's Pinnacle's take

Here's Avid's take

And, here's MY news story.

Avid's release - tweaked for easier reading and conformity to style - is below.

Bob C
=================

Avid Technology, Inc. to Acquire Pinnacle Systems, Inc.

Combination to provide Avid with immediate presence in consumer video and expand professional broadcast offerings

Tewksbury, MA – March 21, 2005

Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) and Pinnacle Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLE) today announced that Avid has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pinnacle in a cash and stock transaction.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pinnacle shareholders will receive .0869 shares of Avid stock and $1.00 in cash for each Pinnacle share.

At closing, it is expected that Avid will issue approximately 6.2 million shares and pay $71.3 million in cash, for a total estimated value of $462 million based on Avid’s stock price of $62.95 at market close on Friday, March 18, 2005.

Upon completion of the transaction, the 6.2 million shares to be issued to Pinnacle’s former shareholders will represent approximately 15% of Avid’s outstanding common stock. The acquisition is subject to satisfying a number of closing conditions, including shareholder and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2005.

The purchase price represents a 30% premium over Pinnacle’s closing stock price of $4.97 on March 18, 2005. Assuming a closing date of July 1, 2005, Avid expects the transaction, excluding acquisition-related charges, to be dilutive to its pro-forma earnings per share in the third quarter and accretive in the fourth quarter, resulting in full-year 2005 pro forma earnings per share of approximately $2.70 per diluted share.

In 2006, Avid expects the transaction to be approximately 10 cents accretive, resulting in pro forma earnings per share of approximately $3.20 per diluted share. After payment of the cash portion of the purchase price, Avid expects its cash position to be $280-$300 million at the end of 2005.

Following the closing, the parties expect that Pinnacle’s award-winning professional products – such as the MediaStream broadcast playout server and the Deko on-air graphics system – will enhance Avid’s end-to-end broadcast production pipeline, which has helped Avid become a global leader in that industry.

In addition, Pinnacle’s consumer video business – which to date has shipped more than 10 million units - will form the basis for a new consumer video division at Avid, providing the company with an immediate avenue into that segment.

Avid president and CEO David Krall said, “We see this acquisition as the next logical step in our long-term strategy. Just as our acquisition of M-Audio in 2004 brought us into the consumer audio business, by acquiring Pinnacle’s consumer video business, Avid will be able to tap into the next generation of video editors while they are still learning their craft.

"This creates a very large potential customer base for Avid’s future. At the same time, we believe that Pinnacle’s professional broadcast offerings will fit seamlessly with Avid’s business, extending our end-to-end broadcast solutions with servers and on-air graphics products. We think it would be hard to find a more complementary match for these two businesses than what this combination provides.”

Krall added: “As a result of this transaction, we expect to derive savings from a number of sources, including reducing public company expenses, combining infrastructure functions where appropriate, and providing our global sales teams with a broader portfolio of product offerings.

"Over the past five years, Avid has increased its profitability and shareholder value by growing our top line, expanding our gross margins, and leveraging our talent and technology across the entire company. By working with the dedicated team at Pinnacle, we’re confident that, together, we can succeed with this same strategy following the completion of the transaction.”

Pinnacle chairman and CEO Patti Hart said, “We believe that this transaction creates significant value for our shareholders and provides excellent opportunities for continued growth for the combined company.

"Avid has built a strong, well-deserved reputation for efficient business management while continuing to live up to its tradition of technological innovation in the video and audio industries.

"By bringing our own award-winning products to the table – including Pinnacle Studio, Pinnacle Liquid Edition, and our broad array of broadcast systems – we’re confident that Pinnacle will strengthen and diversify Avid’s business.

"Our customers can also anticipate a richer set of offerings within an organization that will be even better positioned moving ahead. We see this as the right move for Pinnacle, and we look forward to joining the Avid family. ”

The Boards of Directors of both Avid and Pinnacle have approved the definitive agreement. Avid will seek stockholder approval of the transaction at its annual meeting, and Pinnacle will hold a special meeting of shareholders to consider approval of the transaction.

The dates of the shareholder meetings will be announced following completion of initial regulatory filings.

Conference Call
Avid and Pinnacle will hold a joint conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss the transaction, including the estimated impact on Avid’s future results. The joint conference call will take place on March 21 at 8:30 a.m., EST, and will be open to the public.

The conference call can be accessed from any U.S. or international location by dialing (913) 981-5558 and referencing confirmation code 7229543. The call and subsequent replay will also be available on the Avid and Pinnacle Web sites.

To listen to the call or replay on Avid’s Web site, go to the Investors page under the Company menu at www.avid.com for complete details 10-15 minutes prior to the start of the conference call. To listen to the call or replay on Pinnacle’s Web site, go to the Investor Relations page under the About Us menu at www.pinnaclesys.com.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC

Avid plans to file with the SEC a Registration Statement on Form S-4 in connection with the transaction and Avid and Pinnacle plan to file with the SEC and mail to their respective stockholders a Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus in connection with the transaction.

The Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus will contain important information about Avid, Pinnacle, the transaction and related matters. Investors and security holders are urged to read the Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus carefully when they are available.

Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus (when available) and other documents filed with the SEC by Avid and Pinnacle through the web site maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov.

In addition, investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus (when available) and other documents filed with the SEC from Avid by contacting Dean Ridlon, Investor Relations Director for Avid at telephone number 978.640.5309, or from Pinnacle by contacting Deborah B. Demer of Demer IR Counsel, Inc. at telephone number 925.938.2678, extension 224.

Avid and Pinnacle, and their respective directors and executive officers, may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement.

Information regarding Avid’s directors and executive officers is contained in Avid’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 and its proxy statement dated April 16, 2004, which are filed with the SEC and available free of charge as indicated above.

Information regarding Pinnacle’s directors and executive officers is contained in Pinnacle’s Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2004 and its proxy statement dated September 30, 2004, which are filed with the SEC and available free of charge as indicated above.

The interests of Avid’s and Pinnacle’s respective directors and executive officers in the solicitations with respect to the transactions in particular will be more specifically set forth in the Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus filed with the SEC, which will be available free of charge as indicated above.

About Avid Technology, Inc.

Avid Technology, Inc. is the world leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively and creatively. For more information about the company’s Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy award-winning products and services, please visit: www.avid.com.

© 2005 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, system requirement and availability are subject to change without notice. Avid, Digidesign, Film Composer, Media Composer and Pro Tools are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. iNEWS is a trademark of iNews, LLC. Avid received an Oscar statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid Film Composer® system for motion picture editing. Digidesign, Avid’s audio division, received an Oscar statuette representing the 2003 Scientific and Technical Award for the design, development, and implementation of its Pro Tools® digital audio workstation. Oscar is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

About Pinnacle Systems, Inc.

Pinnacle Systems provides broadcasters and consumers with cutting-edge digital media creation, storage, and play-back solutions for use at Home, in the Studio and on the Air. Pinnacle Systems’ award winning digital media solutions are in use around the world for broadcast, video and audio editing, DVD and CDR authoring and on the Internet.

A recognized industry leader, Pinnacle Systems has received nine prestigious Emmy Awards for its technical innovations and carries this commitment throughout all of its product lines.

For more information about Pinnacle Systems products and services, please visit: www.pinnaclesys.com. Pinnacle Systems, MediaStream, Deko, Pinnacle Studio, and Pinnacle Liquid Edition are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pinnacle Systems, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

© 2005 Avid Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Avid, Digidesign, Film Composer, and Pro Tools are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

Avid received an Oscar statuette representing the 1998 Scientific and Technical Award for the concept, design, and engineering of the Avid Film Composer system for motion picture editing.

Digidesign, Avid’s audio division, received an Oscar statuette representing the 2003 Scientific and Technical Award for the design, development, and implementation of its Pro Tools digital audio workstation.

Oscar is a trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Emmy is a registered trademark of ATAS/NATAS. Grammy is a trademark of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Some statements in this announcement may be “forward-looking statements” for the purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: (i) the possibility that the transaction will not close or that the closing will be delayed due to antitrust regulatory review or other factors, (ii) the challenges and costs of assimilating the operations and personnel of Pinnacle; (iii) the ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees; (iv) competitive factors, including pricing pressures; (v) reaction of customers of Pinnacle and Avid and related risks of maintaining pre-existing relationships of Pinnacle; (vi) fluctuating currency exchange rates; (vii) adverse changes in general economic or market conditions, particularly in the content-creation industry; and (viii) other one-time events and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in Avid’s and Pinnacle’s filings with the SEC and to be more specifically set forth in the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus to be filed by Avid and Pinnacle with the SEC. Avid and Pinnacle disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date of this release.

PaulD
Offline
Joined: Aug 31 2002

"...by acquiring Pinnacle’s consumer video business, Avid will be able to tap into the next generation of video editors while they are still learning their craft..."

Hi
Must dust off that old copy of Studio 7 so I can say I'm editing on an Avid ;)

Chris Lovell
Offline
Joined: Nov 29 2000

Pinnacle's support is renowned for being free but pretty poor and Avid's is known for being professional but very expensive.

Does this mean all us LE Editors are now going to have to pay Avid prices for Pinnacle support?

Chris Lovell

beinghuman.com

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

There are a few comments here, too.

But I have closed that thread so that all remaining comments are in one place.

In other words, please comment here.

TIA

Bob C

tilski
tilski's picture
Offline
Joined: Sep 5 2000

So where does this leave us now?

Cubase and Protools - Edition and Xpress.

I watch and wait with great interest.

What's to become of us.... What is to become of us?

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Well, since Pinnacle sold Steinberg to Yamaha in January (I only found out today), I'd say that that question is even harder to answer than you might have thought!

Bob C

DV Ed
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2002

Oh my. I have no idea what to make of this. I'm speechless. Perhaps it will finally mean this pinnacle piece of utter junk I have sitting here will work (yeah I hate it now). I did also wonder why pinnacle sold Steinberg eariler this year (just as it introduced VST to LE6).

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Tilski,

Having now spent a good few hours researching things, looking in depth at the scale of Pinnacle's ongoing losses and writing a news story I have to say I'm no wiser about where existing Pinnacle customers are.

What I do believe, though, is that, if the deal goes through, Avid will find itself with a BIG task ahead, and one that it may have totally under estimated - presuming it wants to get some kind of return on its outlay, rather than find a tax write-off.

Bob C

DV Ed
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2002

Nice news story bob

Alan Craven
Offline
Joined: Jan 26 2001

Perhaps Avid will have more success than Pinnacle with the on-going update of the Pinnacle forums!

nash
Offline
Joined: Nov 20 2003

IMHO isn't this a reflection of how the global economy is going? Chances are there will only be a couple of players in the market eventually.

We should open a book as to who the main players will be in the Digital Video market in 3 yrs and 5 yrs? Who do you think they will be?

For my money it will include Sony and Avid. What are the odds on Sony buying Adobe?

.....Neil

Neil Ashcroft
Fastroc is Media in Motion
http://www.fastroc.co.uk
[EMAIL=info@fastroc.co.uk]info@fastroc.co.uk[/EMAIL]

DSR
Offline
Joined: Aug 2 2004

Reading the statement on Avid's site, it seems that their intention is to cherry-pick the bits of Pinnacle's broadcast portfolio to fill the gaps in their own, and to hit the consumer market with Studio. The Liquid range mirrors Avid's current lineup, so my money would be that v6 is the last version of Edition (and not before time). Might be some tasty upgrades to Avid though .......

PaulD
Offline
Joined: Aug 31 2002
Quote:
Originally posted by DSR:
Might be some tasty upgrades to Avid though .......

Hi
Well until March 25th you can already get $70,000 USD trade-in credit on selected competetive systems when buying an Avid DS Nitris system.
I don't expect Liquid Edition qualifies you for that though ;)

Actually with Edition Pro at $999 and Avid DV Express Pro at $2995 it would have to be a very hefty discount...

Gary Johnstone
Offline
Joined: Dec 5 2003

Being a regular viewer of the Avid user forum, it would appear that the aquisition of M-Audio has done nothing to help compatibility between the excellent M-Audi s/cards and Avid's NLE's. There is not a single card made by M-Audio that works with Avid or is even recommended!

Maybe this might be different. I'm just hoping i might be able to use Hollywood FX with Avid. I just love those cheesy effects!

Avid is by far the most stable bit of software i've ever used (well apart from MS Word) so hopefully it will rub off onto Pinnacle's products.

Regards

Gary

Gary Johnstone
Offline
Joined: Dec 5 2003

http://www.avid.com/community/forums/Forum38/HTML/013857.html

If you're interested how the yanks have reacted.

Gary

PaulD
Offline
Joined: Aug 31 2002

Hi
Here's a two-page article with some quotes from Avid and Pinnacle, and some comment:
www.digitalvideoediting.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31409

Edit:
And here's the full transcript (30 pages) of a conference announcing the acquisition:
http://xml.10kwizard.com/filing_raw.php?repo=tenk&ipage=3348085
quote:
Hart - Pinnacle:
" we’ve grown our consumer video business, shipping more than 10 million units, and our products in that space like Pinnacle Studio and Pinnacle Liquid Edition are very well respected in the industry.  As the foundation of the combined company’s new consumer video division, we expect these products to continue providing our customers with easy-to-use tools for telling their stories."

Krall - Avid:
"Will both companies have interesting things to talk about at NAB?  Of course, the answer is Yes.... And as we look into the future, obviously one of the things that you look at when you’re doing an acquisition is what is the company’s potential, both from a roadmap point of view and also from a talent and technology point of view.  And we think that there’s a very bright future in front of Pinnacle. 

Well, our plan would not be to change the consumer channel.  I think Pinnacle has a very strong channel, and, in fact, that’s a competitive benefit that Pinnacle has is very strong distribution.  As I mentioned earlier, both in the U.S. and Asia it’s strong, and in Europe, I think it’s particularly strong.

So all I can say is that broadly speaking, we were very excited what – about what we saw relative Pinnacle’s consumer business because we think they’ve got great technology, great market penetration, great market position, fantastic distribution here and in Asia, and in particular in Europe, and then, obviously, strong teams of engineers and folks who understand the consumer industry very well who will now be part of the Avid team.

If you – if you think about Avid’s business let’s say 10 years ago, Avid sold products that were expensive, in general.  They were in the $50 to $100,000 range for a very sophisticated professional editing system. It’s very likely that nobody encountered that system unless they were a professional or somebody who was aspiring to be a professional but had access to capital.  But if you’re going to be editing on a $50 to $100,000 system, you need to have access to capital.

The point is that it’s very different in the world today.  And somebody is more likely to be first introduced to nonlinear editing in a school environment, either at the high school or college level.  And in fact, more recently, the first interaction that somebody would have with nonlinear editing is now in your teens with a system that you’ve bought at home.

And what we want to make sure that we’re doing is exposing them to the technology and the products that Avid has to offer so that they begin to become accustomed to what it’s like working with Avid’s products and become familiar with the Avid brand.

So certainly, your thesis is correct, that the vast majority of those folks will not become professional editors, but if you look at it the other way, the likelihood that somebody is a professional and never touches an editing system until they’re in their thirties is very small.  So we actually do believe that this was an important strategic move and that the first exposure people will have to nonlinear editing is going to be when they’re at much younger ages than it was simply a decade ago.

Question: 
OK and does that mean you’ll probably brand these new products as Avid products?

Krall:
Well, there – we have no plans at this point to do – make any changes relative to the branding.  In fact, it’s – again, this is one of those areas that’s just too early in the transaction to comment on what we might do.

But certainly what we would be making sure we do is providing our customers with a rich experience that perhaps encourages them to move further along in the family of products.  The other thing that we would be doing is leveraging our technology, and I think there are lots of opportunities for cross-selling for people who are in video to look at other products that Avid would have to offer."

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999
Quote:
Originally posted by DV_Ed:
Nice news story bob

And it's been freshened up a bit today.

The most interesting addition is that V10 of Pinnacle Studio (which can't be far away now) will have a completely different code base.

It's not all new, though, it's just that it's not based on the Studio code. Instead it's based on the Liquid code!

In my view, that's a HUGE step forward. However, I'd concede that anyone who's not happy with the workings of Edition isn't necessarily likely to feel that way - unless, of course, they've had hands-on experience with Studio, too.

Bob C

Mad_mardy
Offline
Joined: Oct 19 2000

its a shame that avid (the software) does not work in a logical fashon ie 2 or 3 clicks in avid compared to just drag and move in LE and Premiere.
i hate LE but i loathe AVID more this is a sad day i'm afraid.
i don't think anyone could buy adobe out not even sony, what do sony know about NLE have you ever tried one of there systems

System 1: AMD X6 2.8, M4A79 Deluxe, 4GB DDR2, ATI HD4870 1GB DDR 3, 2TB total drive space, Matrox RTX 2, Premiere Pro CS4

System 2: AMD X2 5600, M2NPV-VM, 2GB DDR2, Geforce 8600GT 256 DDR 3, 450GB Total drive space, RTX100 with Premiere Pro 2

Camera's: JVC HD200, JVC HD101, 2X Sony HC62

nash@fastroc
Offline
Joined: Dec 11 2003

Mad, I agree but when did that ever stop a company buying another one?! They buy expertise and feed it (or strip it out and sell it on!!).

Digitaldv
Offline
Joined: Mar 28 2001

I have to disagree with your article being well written Bob. It reminded me of why I stopped buying your magazine. To much rant and an article that is upside down in content terms.

Why is it that you seem so negative about Pinnacle? Have your been gone and read the Avid forums where they are still wondering when they will get mouse wheel support? Or drag and drop features? Or a working HD codec?

Yes sure the future looks bleak for Liquid, but if you are right and Studio now uses the same Code as Liquid, and Avid Pro will used the HD codec from both then can you not see a 1 jump 2 jump 3 here from Studio to liquid to Avid Pro. Look at the workflow of LE and Avid Pro, in fact they are not disimilar - aside from the drag and drop thang'.

But this is just my theory. What I really want to know, being based in Europe and not living on the Island, is why you hate Pinnacle so much? WHen in truth their adverts must have kept your publication alive for a long time?

What is the problem here? Do you think the Pinnacle programers get up in the morning with the intention of making users lives a misery? Would Pinnacle users have found satisfaction elsewhere? If so where?

Or is it simply that your magazine failed and as the captian you decided to blame the iceberg it ran into rather than the man at the wheel?

Simon

harlequin
harlequin's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 16 2000

Bob isn't the only contributor here who is 'hard' on pinnacle.

Alan Wells .... stop reading now.

Pinnacle have yet to deliver free to purchasers of studio 1.4 , the things that were wrong with it then.
Pinnacle studio 9 doesn't on a new hp computer make DVDs which work.
Ulead DVD workshop , using same footage , does.

Pinnacle programmers needed an outside coder to fix studio 7 to work with XP and dc10+.

Pinnacle users have found comfort elsewhere
For me , it is Canopus and Edius.

Personally i find it weird that a person who has contributed a total of 2 posts should think they are entitled to 'slag off' the editor of the magazine and the webboard when they openly state they stopped buying the magazine and don't contribute to the forums.

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

Humax Foxsat HD Pvr / Humax Fox T2 dvbt

PaulD
Offline
Joined: Aug 31 2002
Quote:
Originally posted by Digitaldv:
What is the problem here?

Hi
Opinions (of whatever point of view) are welcome here - indeed they are essential to the well-being of the forum.

The problem here arises when people write things which come across in a different way to the spoken word - which they wouldn't dream of saying out loud - face to face. :(

So you are receiving the short shrift that your last three paragraphs undoubtedly deserve - in no uncertain terms.

Digitaldv
Offline
Joined: Mar 28 2001

Ah, I see... Its that sort of forum is it? If you don't love Bob then you deserve the "Short Shrift"... Blimey, that's told me then.

Look, my opinion is one based on my own views. YOu don't like them, don't read my posts. There, can that be much simpiler?

The sad truth is that I only posted once here when I was a virgin NLE user way back when... Now I am a little more Profi and I tend to use the Pinnacle webboards which are helpfull without being so negative.

My point is this. Bob's article could have examined the problems with Avid software, looked at the future of how this will be solved and also tried to foresee the future of LE, which is the reason I looked at it in the first place.

In my opinion, again mine and I have a right to it so there, I did not think this was acheived and I also reminded myself of why I stopped buying a magazine that was eventualy pulled by its publishers. And for good reason.

Here in Holland and over the border in Germany there are many NLE magazines that use a similar format and are doing well. Lessons to be learned?

As for saying it outloud, I was at a computer fair last year, I am easy to recognise as at the time my hair was red (I act too) and I asked Bob "Show us the tutorials, the magazines boring me..." I said it to his face, I believe you Paul D were there too.

Simon

PS "Short Shrift".... Really? Which century are you living in man?

Digitaldv
Offline
Joined: Mar 28 2001

Ah... Just seen you are both Mods...

Doh!

My mistake.... Please delete my opinions, sorry posts, and I will not be back to bother you again.

Happy Nepotisiam.

Colin Barrett
Offline
Joined: Jun 5 1999

I think Simon is being unduly harsh on one of the few people in the UK who has worked tirelessly in an effort to make software and hardware makers pull their corporate socks up and turn their focus on the needs of customers rather than (primarily) their institutional shareholders.

If people like Bob hadn't been nipping at the heels of (and, in some cases, biting the ankles off) some suppliers, we'd be even more poorly served than we are now. Having contributed magazine articles to Bob at CV magazine since 1998 and right up to its final issue, I appreciate just how committed he is to the interests of users, and let's not forget that without his vocal capabilities we'd probably still be paying a high premium for DV-in enabled camcorders here in Europe! We're not - and Bob has to given the lion's share of the credit for that change, imho.

As someone who's been shooting and editing video professionally for 30 years, I've come to respect Bob's stand in a business where editors and hacks seem to have time only to regurgitate corporate press releases without questioning their content or purpose, and if you think his vocal chords have gone un-noticed then think again. I was as a Pinnacle press briefing with Bob only yesterday (Mar 22) and it was clear whose voice was being listened to rather than merely being heard. Several times I've been privy to some corporate info where my contact has said "Don't let BobC know I said this, but....".

Like many others, I've also suffered the trials and tribulations of Pinnacle products since its Miro days (although I will admit that S9+ works very well for me), I can only echo Bob's comments about how Pinnacle has a history of launching first and patching later once the customer's money is in the bank; it's not good enough - and partly explains why Pinnacle has never been the profitable global business it could have been had it developed a better rapport with its customers. Its broadcast systems division is prominent in the USA (rather than Europe) and might be seen as the cherry which Avid wants the most, but its consumer business is one that's wide open for restructuring and re-focussing. Whether Avid has the will to do this or whether it will offer it up for resale in 24 months' time is anybody's guess.

As for the demise of CV, we've lost a magazine that was in a league of its own (maybe that was its downfall) and managed by a bloke whose commitment and dogged determination is in very short supply in these times when everyone seems to want everything now - and usually without paying for it. Everything is market-driven, and the market decided. Fair enough.

Colin

Unicorn
Offline
Joined: Apr 12 1999
Quote:
Avid DV Express Pro at $2995

Is it really that expensive now? I paid about half that for Xpress Pro six months ago (with about 20% off in a competitive upgrade deal due to owning Liquid Edition).

There's also Xpress DV, which was about 400 quid last I looked. If you're not planning to edit film or HD, then I believe that has most of the features of Xpress Pro.

Quote:
Have your been gone and read the Avid forums where they are still wondering when they will get mouse wheel support? Or drag and drop features? Or a working HD codec?

Avid _has_ HD support (in fact I believe that Xpress Pro has better HD support than some of their more expensive systems), it just doesn't have HDV support yet: I'm mildly miffed that HDV was originally promised for late last year, but since I won't have a camera until June or July it's not a big deal that the codec won't be out until then.

Frankly, while I have some issues with the Avid software, IMHO it's in a whole other league to anything I've used from Pinnacle in the past. 99% of the time it just works, rather than randomly crashing for no good reason.

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

PaulD
Offline
Joined: Aug 31 2002
Quote:
Originally posted by Digitaldv:
My point is this. Bob's article could have examined the problems with Avid software, looked at the future of how this will be solved and also tried to foresee the future of LE, which is the reason I looked at it in the first place.

Hi
Indeed it could, but as a journalist Bob was analysing Pinnacle's past performance, which is factually on record, rather than speculating about totally unknowable future possibilities.

Unfortunately 'foreseeing the future' doesn't seem possible at this point in time. Nowhere on the web I've visited does anyone have any real take on this, so it isn't really possible to assess what Avid may do with Edition beyond July - much as you may wish to know more at this time ;)

Also Bob made it clear in his article that he only has had experience of Pinnacle's consumer division. As to Avid's equivalent products, only Avid Free DV and Avid Xpress DV ($595) come into that category, as the direct equivalent to Pinnacle Edition Pro is Avid Xpress DV Pro + Mojo, which at $2995 isn't really classifiable as a consumer product, and isn't competetive as a pro-sumer one.
So there will be plenty to be written about the future of both product lines, but not at this point in time.

Quote:
In my opinion, again mine and I have a right to it so there...

I'm sorry you feel you have to be so defensive about your views, which makes you come across as aggressive to everyone else. It makes your posts, with their valid points, unreadable.
IMO.
I'm quite happy to use another even older epithet - The Black Spot. :(

And Unicorn, sorry, its Xpress Pro + Mojo that's $2995 - the software on its own is only $1699 or so.

Unicorn
Offline
Joined: Apr 12 1999

Ok, that makes more sense . I agree that the realtime effects in Edition are probably equivalent to Xpress Pro plus Mojo -- complex realtime effects seem to be one of the things that Edition does well -- but personally I rarely use effects other than dissolves, masks and color correction, so to me it's not a big deal... in the worst case (e.g. hour-long color-corrected video) I leave it rendering while I'm doing other things. You still get realtime preview of most effects on Xpress Pro without Mojo, you just need it for realtime output to DV.

One area where Xpress Pro does fall behind the competition is sound editing: even Premiere has more control over sound than Avid does. I think they expect you to export it to Pro-Tools, but they really should add more sound editing features (e.g. filters, rubber-banding at any time, not just on frame boundaries).

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

Digitaldv
Offline
Joined: Mar 28 2001
Quote:
I'm sorry you feel you have to be so defensive about your views, which makes you come across as aggressive to everyone else. It makes your posts, with their valid points, unreadable.
IMO.

Stick to computers, save me your pocket book psychology.

Telling the future is what computer forums like this should be about? Isn't that what your column in the Custom PC magazine is always claiming? "As I predicted.... AMD will one day rule the universe" and so...

My point is, and again I don't give a monks rat arse if you think its a rant or not (IMHO), that we all KNOW the history of Pinnacle. What we would like to see is some informative insight into what will happen. I read hear that Bob's viewpoint is valid... Well give me the viewpoint and spare me the history lesson.

@unicorn - my appologies I didnt know Avid had a working HD codec, from thier own forums the impication seemed to be that it would not be released for sometime.

Its interesting that you find Avid reliable and LE not. I've never had any problems, but then I have never had the money for an Avid. I came from the DV500 Premiere combo days and that was a mess. Never could work out if Prem crashed the Dv500 or visa versa. One thing for sure, LE is the only tool I now use to edit and create DVD's. 6.1 was a cool step forward. I really like the new interface and the new features. Full screen playback is cool too and I hope it will be developed into a version 7, but I am not sure what more could be added? Smart sound? I never use that.

Perhaps a better workflow, a less complex DVD interface, a better DVD menu system and ohhh yeah take out Title Deko and let it die somewhere, its time is over. Mind you Avid forum users are salivering over the thought of Title Deko so it does make you wonder.

As for an upgarde to Avid. Well I am not sure. What would I gain? I like LE, it does what I want. But in a few years time it probably wont load on Windows 4004(128) and I will be stuffed...

Simon

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Anyone really mind if I kick out this mongrel - who ever he be?

My money's on the recently McQueen, but it could be idiot Nigel Cooper.

Frankly, I don't care, though.

Like these two, whoever he is, he's rude, arrogant, ignorant and worse still, he's here.

Mind you I did laugh to see him confusing Paul Dickin (PaulD) with Paul Dutton, neatly underlining his own stupidity.

Bob C (back shortly to do the deed unless I hear some cogent reasons why "Simon" should be allowed to continue posting his worthless dribble here)

Digitaldv
Offline
Joined: Mar 28 2001

Wow, you guys know how to handle criticism don?t you?.

Okay. Bye Bob.

harlequin
harlequin's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 16 2000
Quote:
Now I am a little more Profi and I tend to use the Pinnacle webboards which are helpfull without being so negative.

well all I remember on the pinnacle webboards was the input from users fixing problems Pinnacle claimed didn't exist and many users being locked out if they dared to say the stuff didn't work.
the webboards are exceedinglty flakey at the moment and inaccessible for large sections of time.

our resident 'Pinnacle employee' only stayed for a while , and didn't really help sort anything out if people had problems , but would willingly advocate pinnacle hardware/software as the answer to everyones prayers.

Quote:
Ah... Just seen you are both Mods

I'm a moderator for some parts of this webboard ( and you will note not this section , i am exactly the same as you in name a 'contributor' ), and that was not something I got for holding back when I felt a company had treated it's customers poorly , be it Pinnacle / Matrox / Canopus .... whoever.
I only remove duplicate postings , move threads , and shorten some links to managable tinyurls' , I cannot remove users , sanction them or anything else.

Any company or individual not looking after it's customers deseerves to be named , or would you wish people to buy unusable systems etc from just anyone ?

Quote:
Please delete my opinions

all are entitled to opinions
all are also open to having them countered.

Quote:
I was at a computer fair last year, I am easy to recognize as at the time my hair was red (I act too) and I asked Bob "Show us the tutorials, the magazines boring me..."

so was I , and i don't remember you in particular.

many users/readers asked for tutorials etc , but unless they appeal to you , you wouldn't have read them , and there are too many programs to do specific tutorials for in a printed magazine.

the web is a different matter .....

Quote:
Here in Holland and over the border in Germany

Hmmm .... Geography , London is now in Holland , so are you on holiday or do you just not remember where your IP address is registered.

You can take a pop at anyone if you have good reason.
Personally i learn to read articles/reviews by individual journalists and know their normal leanings so know where they are going with it.
even the ones i don't agree with will pass on some info that is useful , and many are biased one way or the other for or against something , but then so is everybody.

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

Humax Foxsat HD Pvr / Humax Fox T2 dvbt

Senu
Offline
Joined: Feb 2 2005

I have used Pinnacles studio since version 7 and Pro one (with adobe premiere)and lately Version 9+ as well as currently using Le6.1 purely in a serious enthusiast capacity. I regularly read the now defunct CV and spoken to BobC at the last 3 Video forums .I found him respectful and knowledgable even if I disagreed with some of his views. Just being unemotional(if one can be in these forums) ,I feel that pinnacles release first patch later attitude (See the pinnacle forums) meant that this would eventually happen. Even DVC did a better outing on le6 than Pinnacle itself at the last show at earls court.I would hate to see their products die a slow death as thier dvd authoring software did with this merger with Avid . Avid Products (ive beta tested) are nor perfect and not cheap but deserve their good reputation up to a point.
In short my point.. I am a Pinnacle owner and not a "BobC Lover" to quote Simon. I find the tone of his posts unhelpful and would say that his handling of criticism is not great either.
Nonetheless dissenting opinions make for learning even if all it exposes is different facets of Human nature

svh

alan wells
Offline
Joined: Aug 13 2000

Harlequin/Gary,

Please don't bring me into this little "spat".

I know that you are not overly enamoured with Pinnacle, probably since you had difficulty in getting DC10+, at that time a legacy product, to work with XP and Pinnacle didn't seem likely to introduce new drivers.

It is for Board Moderators to decide who gets binned or not. We can all get mildly abusive at times, such is the beauty of the internet.

I will be sorry if Pinnacle bites the dust because they have/had a good product range but it seemed temperamental if the hardware did not exactly meet the spec.

as part of a learning curve, I still go back to the Wrigley videos using Prem to find out his thinking and learn from his modus operandi, and you know what, Gary, I can achieve the same results with a fraction of the time spent, when using LE.

As a Moderator, I believe that you should offer advice where applicable - you may recall in an earlier post that I offered you the facilities on my machine to have hands-on use of LE - you declined! But I don't think that you should constantly ram Edius down everybody's throats!

harlequin
harlequin's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 16 2000
Quote:
But I don't think that you should constantly ram Edius down everybody's throats!

as i am not a moderator in this forum i'll answer that as a user/contributor.

For me , it is Canopus and Edius.

where do i ram it down anyones throat with that comment ?

maybe i should just give up answering questions round here that involve pinnacle products ...............

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

Humax Foxsat HD Pvr / Humax Fox T2 dvbt

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Over the years, I have been called,

A miro-lover
A miro-hater

An Adobe-lover
An Adobe-hater

A Radius-lover
A Radius-hater

A Pinnacle-lover
A Pinnacle-hater

A Matrox-lover
A Matrox-hater

A Canopus-lover
A Canopus-hater

A JVC pawn
A JVC-hater

Anti-Mac
Anti-Linux
Anti-Microsoft

And a whole LOT of other contradictory things.

In truth, that makes me reasonably content. If a wide variety of end users think that I've got a downer on their favourite product or company - and favour others - I've probably been doing my job, which I see simply as pointing out the truth and not glossing over any shortcomings.

Also, I know full well that there are few if any people who work for/with the above-mentioned companies (or any other companies in this market) who believe that I am anti anything, apart from products that don't work well; sloppy service; and poor value.

I regard all the hardware, software, peripherals and accessories we use for video editing, DVD authoring and associated tasks merely as tools.

I'm perplexed by people who find it necessary to wear their ownship or use of a particular product as a badge of pride - and by the fact that they seem to want others to identify them with that product.

I love tools that work well and am massively annoyed about tools that do not work they way they are supposed to - and I make sure to point out the truth of the matter as best as I can assess it.

I do this (without spite or vitriol in the main) because I see that as my job.

I also do it in the expectation (surprisingly often met) that pointing out problems will help companies address them, not just help end-users buy appropriately.

Largely, it seems to me, the contradictory comments people make about me - assuming I'm biased against one thing or show favouritism towards another - actually show that people base their opinions not on the accuracy of what I write or the words that I've edited for magazines and web sites.

Instead, it seems these opinions are based more on whether or not my words or these articles concur with their own views and the self-worth they feel they have by association with certain products.

Bob C

videoguys
Offline
Joined: Mar 23 2005

An interesting article, but you neglected to mention 2 very important aquisitions for Pinnacle that were very successful - miro & Truevsion . From the DC30 to the DV500 pinnacle dominated the prosumer marketplace.

The engineering aquired from miro & Truevsion was and is still quite active. Many have left over the past year, and interstingly - a few of them are already at Avid.

Avid will have it's hands full integrating Pinnacle. But they do gain an instant foothold in the retail level consumer marketplace. How they decide to handle the pro-sumer space is anyone's guess. But I have no doubt that technology from miro, Truevsion and Fast will now be absorbed and implemented into future versions of Avid products.

Gary
Videoguys.com (Pinnacle & Avid reseller from across the pond)

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Alan/Gary(Harlequin),

Please do not be at each other's throats as a result of Digitaldv's postings - that's exactly what he'd want, I'm sure.

Bob C

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary bettan:
An interesting article, but you neglected to mention 2 very important aquisitions for Pinnacle that were very successful - [b]miro & Truevsion . From the DC30 to the DV500 pinnacle dominated the prosumer marketplace.

The engineering aquired from miro & Truevsion was and is still quite active. Many have left over the past year, and interstingly - a few of them are already at Avid.

Avid will have it's hands full integrating Pinnacle. But they do gain an instant foothold in the retail level consumer marketplace. How they decide to handle the pro-sumer space is anyone's guess. But I have no doubt that technology from miro, Truevsion and Fast will now be absorbed and implemented into future versions of Avid products.

Gary
Videoguys.com (Pinnacle & Avid reseller from across the pond) [/b]

Gary (bettan),

Great to see you around the place!

Thanks for the comment about my oversight, even though you are only half right.

;)

miro is in there (page 2), though not in massive detail, but you are right to point out that I did totally fail to mention TrueVision/Targa.

But, beauty of the net - I'll put that right shortly. [Now done, and a bit more detail added about miro. Bob C - 22.03.05]

I'm rather shocked that no one else pointed this out before you, though.

But, I know very well why it's missing and can only apologise.

As I hope I make clear in the news story, I'm no kind of expert when it comes to the higher-end kit and so the history with Targa isn't so deeply ingrained with me, especially given, as I now struggle to recall (and I know where I was sitting when I heard the news of the take-over!), the lower-end Targa stuff was quite rapidly withdrawn [BC adds - I've looked up the news story and realise that was because it was being OEM'd from Radius] and thus didn't have a lasting impact on me at a conscious level.

But that's the excuse why it's missing, not the reason.

What happened is that I effectively wrote this piece twice, the first version being created on line (yes, provably a very stupid way of working!) and lost when my web-browser crashed.

The first version (and, of course, I would say this, wouldn't I?) did, as I recall, list TrueVision and the $11.5million of stock that Pinnacle's site says was laid out for it in 1999 (my CV news story written in Jan 99, says $14m).

As for your vision of the future path that Avid will take - I have to say I only wish I was able to be a certain as you seem to be about what will be happening.

While not in any doubt that you know Avid's mindset FAR better than I do, I really don't think that concrete decisions can be made by Avid until it's in the driving seat in the summer (and assuming it is in the driving seat following shareholder and legal approval).

Only then will it able to properly assess what it is that it's actually bought - even though, of course, currently, it will have tentative plans in place.

At the consumer/prosumer level, I see lots of potential - but think it would be madness to totally abandon the Pinnacle brand, despite it being rather tarnished in many eyes.

But success or failure at the low end will largely rest, I reckon, on just how good a fist is made of the creation of V10 of Studio using the Edition code-base and what strategies are adopted to bring back on board disaffected purchasers of earlier versions - whose numbers must be very large, though I'd hesitate even to guess how large.

As for Edition itself, and how that will fit into the grand scheme of things Avid - I haven't a clue, not at the lower end, not in the prosumer space, and not higher up, but I do regard it as a jewel in the Pinnacle crown and fully expect a lot of its technology to be built upon, rather than being abandoned.

But I'm comforted in my ignorance by the fact that the developments, as they pan out, should give me lots of interesting stuff to write about.

Oh, and once again, welcome aboard the good ship DVdoctor!

Bob C

videoguys
Offline
Joined: Mar 23 2005

Bob,
I have no idea either what Avid will do with all the parts - especially Liquid. Not sure the folks over at Avid do either.

While your points about user frustrations with Studio are valid, I'd like to throw something else out for you regards to Studio - to misquote the Buggles

"Studio killed the Pinnacle Star"

What I mean by this is that Pinnacle added so many features to Studio - and that it works so well for so many newbie video editors - that they crushed their own pro-sumer market segment.

Just a few years ago consumers had to buy Premiere with a card like the DV500 or RT2500 or DV Raptor to actually produce a decent quality video. Sure you had other choices, but it was still a $500 to $1,000 investment.

Today an off the shelf computer at the local computer store loaded with Studio software and a firewire port sells for under $1,000!! Or you can just buy Studio for $100 and throw it on any relatively curretn computer. It may crash on you, it may not, but eventually you will be able to produce an excellent quality video that can be delivered on a video tape, emailed, streamed over thr web or burnd on a CD or DVD! Simply amazing when you think about it.

Here in the states, a large segment of camcorder owners never edit their videos at all. Many who buy editing software get it for only one or two projects. While the prosumer market is still going strong, consumers no longer have to buy pro-sumer level products to edit video. Studio gets the job done.

To get a guy to move up to the prosumer video ediitng space you have to deliver a professional level NLE at a pro-sumer price level. That is what Pinnacle finally did with Edition 5.x, but the cost of abandoning Adobe was far to high for them to absorb. When they started bleeeding financially, they really lost focus in the prosumer market and with it all sales momentum for Edition in the states. The LE6 launch was not strong, and while sales jumped, they never achieved the kind of levels Pinnacle had banked on. But how could they - with so little marketing behind it. The downward spiral had already started.

As I said, I have no idea what Avid will or won't do with Pinnacle. But we will give them our ideas, and suggestions and support. I think they'll not only listen, but build on them, and create better products that fit into each market segment - Consumer, Prosumer & broadcast.

Gary
Videoguys.com (Pinnacle & Avid reseller from across the pond)

Chrome
Offline
Joined: May 26 1999
Quote:
Originally posted by bcrabtree:
I love tools that work well and am massively annoyed about tools that do not work they way they are supposed to...

Bob C

Now that's the quote of the month for me. I couldn't agree more.

Well said that man!

RayL
Offline
Joined: Mar 31 1999

Very perceptive analysis in Gary Bettan's last message - the only point I'd add is that in addition to Studio killing off a large part of the market for capture cards and mid-price software, it also caused a lot of people to lose interest in video editing because of the frustrations of

a) getting Studio to work reliably
b) overcoming puzzles like how to use multiple CD tracks from different CDs in a movie
c) not having it explained properly that moving a mouse in one way will scrub a clip and moving it in a very slightly different way will expand or contract the timescale of the timeline
d) making a DVD disk without getting baffling error messages
e) making a DVD disk that takes hours and hours to complete or never makes it (because of lack of explanation about how you can't get as much video on to a DVD blank as you can on to an E180)

In other words, the 'beginner's' programme gave video editing a bad name.

(all the above examples are from occasions when I have been called in to help a Studio owner who was tearing his hair out)

Ray Liffen

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Seems that I've been banned from posting on Pinnacle's forums, subsequent to my having stated there yesterday that V10 of Studio will have a Liquid-centred code base.

This was the thread I posted to, and my posting has been pulled - as seemingly have some others - and the thread's been closed.

I'd appeciate it if someone who still has posting rights on Pinnacle's forums would tell the people there that I have been banned from posting (I received no notification of this, and nor was there any discussion there about it either).

It might also be good if you could point out that the move to a common code base between Liquid and Studio is a matter of public record.
This takes you to the quote in Pinnacle's SEC listing where this public declaration was made

This comes from FORM 10-Q, filed Sept 30, 2004, in the section titled "Restructuring Plan"
========================
In order to rationalize our product lines, we conducted a review of our products and decided to focus on markets where we enjoy a strong position and can potentially generate superior operating margins.

For example, we plan to focus on our Studio and Liquid products by moving them to a common software platform which will allow us to leverage R&D costs and create a more seamless path for Studio users to upgrade to our more advanced Liquid products.
===========================

Naturally, only a FULE would assume that Studio's code would be used as the new code base for Edition, ergo, Edition's code-base must be what will be used for Studio.

Looking at the takeover (and thinking about what might possible convince Avid to buy Pinnacle when Studio is such a can of worms), and remembering the many times Pinnacle has admitted to me that Studio's code-base needs to be junked, I put two and two together and concluded that it will be Studio 10 that moves to a Liquid code base, rather than the other way round.

And, as the removal of my posting (and my banning) seems to show, it looks like I got the sums right and Studio 10 will indeed have a Liquid code base.

Bob C

drgagx
Offline
Joined: Dec 1 2001

...That was then (September 04). Perhaps Avid has other ideas (for September 05).

PaulD
Offline
Joined: Aug 31 2002

Hi Bob
Last night there was a posting from Joe Figura (a Pinnacle manager) directly confirming your assessment about the common codebase for Studio 10, and agreeing with most of your Hexus article except that he says they bought part (only) of Fast for $15M rather than the lower figure quoted in the article.

He was fairly complementary when explaining to the forum readers that you were a UK journalist who had had discussions of Pinnacle software problem with him in the past.

This morning your posting, and Jfigura's reply, and a lot more discussion, has gone without trace, with a new end-of-thread/locking posting:
"I deleted those posts, after I was reminded how sensitive this transaction is. ... We have to follow those regulations the SEC has laid out. I have talked with several of the Product Managers today and as much as we WANT to give you a glimpse, we are bound by those regulations."

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Paul,

Thanks for the info - especially the further confirmation of the accuracy of my view that Studio 10 will have an Edition code base, and that Pinnacle was likely to further change postings on its forums.

As for the "error" over the figure I quote about the FAST takeover that Joe points out, the big problem in writing stories such as this one where money details are included is that you have to rely too much on the accuracy of published information.

The figure I quote of $6.4m comes from Pinnacle's own web site and is still there now - here.

What I could have done is go through all the SEC submissions to see how much variance there is between what Pinnacle says on its own site and the information formally listed with SEC but, truth is, it's something you'd only do if there is a VERY good reason to spend the time doing it - such as believing that the books are being cooked.

However, nowhere is there any suggestion in my news story or forum postings of any impropriety or financial sleight-of-hand on Pinnacle's behalf.

Usually, of course, the reason for such variance is not sinister.

In the light of what you say that Joe said, my assumption now is that the figure that Pinnacle publishes about the FAST take-over is either a simple error or derived from an old source and, because it's a summary, doesn't include the caveats that the original will have had - say about the figure being revised up or down according to financial results or market conditions - and hasn't been properly updated.

I'm sure, though, Joe was right to say that what Pinnacle acquired wasn't the entire company but certain parts of it and certain technologies (and, when you read carefully, that's what the above-mentioned Pinnacle document says) but I don't believe that that really makes a substantive difference to the news story.

Bob C

videoguys
Offline
Joined: Mar 23 2005

Bob,
Ever since the Enron fiasco in the states there are a ton of regulations about inside information and stock manipulation. Some of it makes sense, some of it seems silly, but the bottom line is that Pinnacle really can't allow discussions about the takeover on their web boards and all Pinnacle employees have to be extremely careful about anything they say and print, until the deal is complete.

Gary
Videoguys.com

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999

Gary,

Thanks for the comment!

Cheers

Bob

Jim Bird
Offline
Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi,

Being a LE 5.5 software only user, should I purchase LE 6.1 sooner rather than later?

Jim Bird

Senu
Offline
Joined: Feb 2 2005

For the cost of upgrade £99 (Uk) I think it is a worthwhile evolutionary upgrade and would involve little extra learning to you and access to affordable Hd editing, more input choices and a faster rendering engine. As to what Avid will do to it in the long run, Only avid know (or at present do not know!) I think now is as good a time as any other ;)

svh

alan wells
Offline
Joined: Aug 13 2000

Jim,

How you spend your own money is your conundrum.

Personally speaking, I am spending no more on LE6.1 until this present merger/take-over has been sorted out.

When I found out that LE6.1 didn't have a new titler, I was going to buy Blufftitler (small spend). I held back from buying Hollywood pro waiting to see what LE6.1 gave and my interpretation of the new feature whereby you can get rid of the LE5 Pro card because 6.1 allows you to view output on your monitor is really a fudge - the Pinnacle powers-that-be didn't appreciate that 6.0 needed DirectX9 and that DirectX7 was a no-no! The fudge is to give screen output on your monitor and do away with analogue-out on the old 5 pro card to a TV so that you can see the output.

£99 is not a lot of money but video editing is crying out for an integrated package that encompasses capture, editing, graphics (such as Photoshop or Photoimpact), DVD authoring (a top class solution and not an also-ran), audio, and probably something I have missed. It doesn't look like it will happen.

In the short to medium-term, HD is a total red herring for UK, IMHO. The Government is struggling to convert UK to digital. If you doubt me, just go onto the Dixon or PC World or Comet sites and search for HD compatible TV - zilch!

If anyone knows better, I'd like to know - having said that, LE6.1 is now a lot more solid than LE6.0

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

I was in Tottenham Court Road a few weeks ago and found real HD displays in only one shop, and only 4 that carried the logo. No-one in the shop understood the meaning of the logo, even the manager of the department that had 50" plasma panels for sale. Another ex-BBC colleague and I were in there just browsing and made ourselves known, and spent about 20 minutes explaining it all to the staff :D They were showing genuine HD (from HD1, 1080) on a 1280x768 42" panel via HDMI, using a SCART to connect to a 37" 1024 ALIS panel. The very nice, helpful chap we first met told us that the pictures weren't as good because "the cable isn't good enough". By the time we left, he understood a great deal more, and we left our sbusiness cards with a promise to help by phone or email if/when needed.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

infocus
Offline
Joined: Jul 18 2003
Quote:
Originally posted by alan wells:
In the short to medium-term, HD is a total red herring for UK, IMHO. .........If anyone knows better, I'd like to know -

We're crystal ball gazing of course, but.... Can I refer you to my recent post in "Chatter", (HDTV in Europe), linking to, and quoting from the "Guardian"?

Whatever you may think of the Murdochs and Sky, they have so far had an excellent track record for backing winners, and their high level of support for HD now I personally find HUGELY significant. The business trick is not only to pick the right technology..... but to also back it AT THE RIGHT TIME. And IMO now is the right time - many technologies are coming together at the right time and the right price.

But I don't for one moment think everyone will rush out and buy HD gear on day one - that hasn't happened for any new technology (CD, VHS, DVD, even colour TV!) and it won't for HD. But I do think that if you are buying a new, large TV in the next year it would be very silly not to get one that's "HDready".

Just read the thread I started 15 months ago -"HDTV progress abroad", also in "Chatter" - if you're still in doubt, and the most striking fact is the massive, massive increase in awareness in such a relatively short time. And what do you think is going on behind the scenes at Sky? I don't for one minute think their HD launch will not be surrounded by huge publicity, and believe me, by this time next year the majority of the population will have heard that HD is the next big thing. (Maybe Bob could start a competition - prize to the first person to spot a Sky HD advert, a bit like hearing the first cuckoo of spring?)

My recent experiences in Tottenham Court Road and one other shop have been better than Alans. A few weeks ago I spotted true HD pictures on two in one store, and one each in another two stores. I asked a couple of the salesmen what had been the general reaction, and they told me hugely positive, but disappointment from customers when they learned they couldn't simply buy the set, take it home, and get that sort of picture straight away on all present channels. That's why I believe the BBC, ITV etc are going to come under increasing public pressure on this front, certainly once Sky start their service.

So no, I don't agree that HD is a red herring for the UK, certainly in the medium term, but it will be interesting to look back on this in a couple of years time.

stiche
Offline
Joined: Apr 6 2005

from a Pinnacle user across the pond
Anybody ever heard of Pinnacle Reeltime?
I have and wish I hadn't. We got the hardware in a Blossom Fury turnkey package in 1999. By 2002 Pinnacle had stopped doing ANY software updates and never wrote any patches for Win2000. back in '99 the Reeltime capture card cost around $8000, i think. Through my own ingenuity I have kept it all working so my shop hasn't lost badly on the investment, and only by sheer luck does the software work with Win2000 and Premiere 6.5. It won't work with Premiere Pro. I had help from other users on the Reeltime forum that Pinnacle deigned to keep up, but when I went to check on some info the other day and now that is gone too. That forum helped me out a lot and I am sure would have valuable to others. I will never buy a Pinnacle product because I don't feel Pinnacle will be there in the future when you want to move your hardware onto faster computer or a better OS.
The feeling I get from the company is:
Buy our great new product and we'll support it for at least 6 months!

"Illegitamus Non Carborundum!"

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
Offline
Joined: May 3 1999

BTW, HD-DVD players (and, presumably, BluRay as well) will be on sale in the UK this Christmas.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

DVdoctor
Offline
Joined: Apr 1 1999

I know this thread has wandered a bit, but the Avid/Pinnnacle deal is interesting to talk about.
So here is my take on the deal.

I told Bob C way back in 2002 when Mark Sanders was pushed upstairs that Pinnacle was potentially in trouble, and this continued with a revolving door of CEO's. Having been involved in quite a number of acquisitions on both sides, and also having managed a large investment portfolio, there are signs you look for that spell danger.

Whilst Bob C's comments regarding losses being an issue it is not simply losses it is losses combined with a major drop in share price that causes the Board to panic. Pinnacle say its share price drop almost in half, and at the same time the NASDAQ recovered.

It could be argued that the amount of problems with Studio 9 was a major factor in the deal. If you look at Avid's financials and Pinnacles you will notice (in addition to Avid making money and Pinnacle loosing money) that Pinnacles cost of sales was quite high and its investment in Engineering was quite low. This mix is a clear danger sign.

I tend to be rather negative on Acquisitions, especially when they are between realatively small companies. Pinnacle seemed to be more interested in buying at Boot sale prices companies then really doing anything about the serious problems with quality control. Companies in the past have looked at acquisitions as ways to reduce competition and at the same time acquire technology. The problem with this model is that many times the technology is in the heads of the people who leave after the acquisition. In my opinion Pinnacle never had strong engineering leadership. Marketing was always in driving the engine and products continually were shipped before their time. I have seen many companies look at Microsoft and claim well they ship stuff before it is really ready and then the fix it, but they forget that for the most part Microsoft has little competition.

SO what is my take on the Deal on the table.
Personally I think that Avid will live to regret it. It is one thing for a Sony to buy a Sonic Foundary, where the total cost of the purchase is probably less that Sony spends on watering plants in its offices, and quite another for Avid to swallow cost to a half a billion dollar purchase. Avid seems to be determined to get into the low end of the market, having bought M-audio a short while ago. Problem is that companies that are used to selling high end products have great difficultiy streamlining operations to work on low margins.

One of the factors that when you are behind the scenes in one of these deals that comes up is the "we can do it better then they can" the "Saviour complex" where the purchaser thru its management team is convinced that their great ability and expretise and "being more clever" will fix the problems. Rarely does this work.

SO... I think it is an all around bad deal for the industry. Pinnacle was a factor in driving prices down especially from Avid and this deal basically leaves us with Adobe, Apple/FCP and Sony Vegas. and Canopus. LE from Pinnacle was a great system, and I cannot see anyway that over the long term it can survive, Avid simply cannot afford to confuse a market with two product lines in the same space. Pinnacle studio is a great concept but suffers from massive problems, and there is a fundamental question of how do you offer the quality and support at these bargain basement prices.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out but from my perspective I see it a breakeven deal for Pinnacle Shareholders, a serious concern for Avid Shareholders, and a loss for the users.

John

RayL
Offline
Joined: Mar 31 1999

John

When it comes to product design in this specialised little market, how do the various design teams get their concept and to what extent do they look for and take heed of feedback?

I'm not asking for generalisations, but for any specific insights that you may have into the production of recent products. Video editing and associated technology is still relatively immature and if a company gets a product right (or if they get it wrong) the 'community buzz' has a very significant effect on sales.

For example, did the design team for Studio ever give a dozen prototypes to computer users who had never before used a Pinnacle editor and asked them to see whether they understood how to use this 'beginners' product? Or later, after production started and when the reports of problems started to roll in to the helplines, did anyone in Design take any notice? It's almost unheard of for anyone on a users forum to admit to being a designer and yet how else are they going to improve their product if they don't listen?

To take another example, Adobe's sales of Premiere Pro are much lower than they should have been because so many Premiere users have stayed with Prem 6. The reason's not hard to find - the Pro design team (for what they considered good reasons but which they failed to communicate) left out many features of 6.5 with a 'like it or lump it' attitude towards the existing user base that produced a reaction of 'why should I bother?'.

John, can you throw some light into the mysterious working of design teams?

Ray Liffen

drgagx
Offline
Joined: Dec 1 2001

Those who research these matters say that about half of all mergers and acquisitions fail. It seems the two methods with a better chance of success are either
(a) obliterate all signs of the acquired business when absorbing it. In the UK Tesco did this with ruthless effect when it deemed it useful to grow by acquisition as well as by organic growth - something it also does spectacularly well.
(b) preserve and nurture the new entity you have acquired, with new management and/or capital. A good recent example has been the revival of Aston Martin.

Strategies that fail include those where managements muddle along somewhere in betwen these approaches or do nothing at all with their acquisitions once they get hold of them. And that just refers to single acquisitions. Multiple buys are even more difficult to manage, though some seem to succeed. Cisco appears to be an example of a business that has managed to achieve dominance in its market by such means. But I am not sure how much this may be attributable to creative accounting.

Pinnacle`s acquisition strategy has been a huge failure and destroyer of shareholder value. Avid management must be very brave and self confident to take the business on - provided their shareholders support them.

PaulD
Offline
Joined: Aug 31 2002
Quote:
Originally posted by RayL:
Video editing and associated technology is still relatively immature and if a company gets a product right (or if they get it wrong) the 'community buzz' has a very significant effect on sales.

Hi
That's my take on what is going on.
The demise of traditional film and linear tape editing and post-production methods is near total, yet the corresponding rise of non-linear technology is suffering one of those blips at the moment.
Avid is in the forefront of the high-end editing market, and they have been successful selling stand-alone off-line/on-line edit stations for professional broadcast editing workflows - where editing is a separate operation to graphic design, composited animation and colour grading - and of course audio. Having this multiplicity of skilled personnel requires a scale of expenditure such that an Avid system at £100K+, plus £10K+ annual maintenance charges, is not a problem. Also a few years ago Avid moved into the creation of tools for the centralised storage multiple edit-station editing systems essential for feature film or TV News production on a big scale. So for highly-trained skilled staff who expect their production company to supply them with hundred of thousands of £s worth of kit to work on, Avid have the highest reputation.

Avid made a couple of brief forays into the consumer video edit world in the mid-90s with Avid Videoshop (software), then producing Avid Cinema (PCI analogue capture card plus software) for consumer Macs. Neither of these ventures had any success, as the new non-corporate users of video editing tools took to Adobe Premiere in droves - before 1995 it was Mac only, but with the introduction of the PCI bus, and Windows 95, a version of Premiere 4 was developed for Windows. And soon comparable Windows editing software was developed by Ulead and Fast, with Mac alternatives by Radius (Edit) and Media 100. Macromedia wanted in, and poached the Premiere team away from Adobe - to work on a Premiere-killing replacement called Key-Grip. This was later sold off to Apple and became the Mac-only Final Cut Pro.

The reason all this history is significant is that all this legacy codebase is proving to be problematical with today's developments in computing power. Also lumbered with legacy coding is Canopus, who proved the most efficient at getting acceleration hardware to co-exist with Premiere under Windows. Pinnacle inherited the Fast software - Edition, and Canopus decided to develop Edius to cut loose from dependancy on Adobe Premiere.

At the prosumer level it has been Sonic (now Sony) with Vegas, and Adobe with Premiere Pro who realised that the old Windows Video-for-Windows software was obsolete, and that as Microsoft had abandoned it for the Windows Media architecture, then video editing solutions had to change as well. Adobe discarded the old Premiere code and completely rewrote Premiere Pro as a new application. As Apple has also partially done with FCP, in its move to the OSX operating system.

What NONE of these low-end editing applications have so far taken on board is the need to work properly in a Network-Storage environment.
ONLY Avid is ahead of the game here - their newsroom solutions have ensured they have done the essential code development to enable this essential technology.

This ISN'T only applicable to Avid high-end installations. RayL and I have shelves full of hard drives in caddies to allow work to proceed on a number of current and previous projects at the same time. Its not that we are going to go out and buy a huge Network Storage server in the immediate future, but one not-too-distant day we will. It WILL BE ESSENTIAL that our edit software is capable of coping with the Media Management, on a multiple-project file level, of all this media - terabytes and terabytes of it.

All 'prosumer-and-above' video production will real-soon-now be swept up into this Moore's-Law-like exponential data mangement bandwagon!

ALL the current software tools beneath the mid-range/high-end Avid offerings fall short of this at this point in time. This gives Avid a considerable advantage - but IT IS NOT ENOUGH.

Apple with Final Cut Pro and their Production Suite have made enormous inroads into mid/low-level professional video editing, taking away business from Avid on a huge scale. Partly this is because Avid has been committed to a workflow where editing is separate from graphics which is separate from colour correction etc. Big broadcasters can afford three lots of staff and kit for this, but at the mid to low end one person will want to do this on a single workstation - and that Avid can't do, but Apple can (and some!).

So it would seem obvious that Avid would be planning some sort of counter-attack against Apple's success in a core part of their market.
Pinnacle also had their sights set on this mid/low sector of the market, and were even making inroads at the TV Newsroom end of production - which would have hurt Avid. Its not surprising that this take-over had been planned and executed....

What do Avid need as an outcome of the merger? (and what don't they need!)

1) To counter Apple, Avid need to update their GUI into the drag'n'drop era. The Edition development team have considerable expertise here, having recently given the Edition interface a complete workover to bring it a more complete Windows GUI compliance. The old die-hard Avid user's will still want their old interface, but a new d'n'd alternative will give the software greater flexibility and increase productivity for new-style users.

2) To counter Apple, Avid have to develope integrated production software tools, at a more affordable price (ALL Avid solutions will always carry a premium-price structure though). A new Pinnacle-inspired workflow will better enable this, I would guess.

3) To catch-em-young (as Apple do) Avid need to provide a low-end consumer introduction - but it will have to be fully integrated into the Avid family. Therefore the software can't be branded Pinnacle, and it will have to provide an upgrade skills path to Avid's higher-end offerings.

I would therefore guess that once its donated its interface and its HDV codec to Avid's mid-range software, Edition will be left to die. It probably doesn't have the essential Media Management media database infra-structure necessary for survival.

Neither does Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro or Vegas, Edius and the other newcomers on the block. ALL these will need to be re-coded in quite a major ways to survive in the brave new networked-storage world that all professional or educational production will move to.

As to Ray's major gripe about whether the various design teams will respond to user feedback during this re-engineering process. Who knows...

A lot of Ray's specific gripes about Premiere Pro's inadequacies stem from the fact that PPro has more or less gone with replicating the Final Cut Pro experience, rather that building on the feature set of Premiere 6/6.5.

Since Final Cut was designed by members of the original Premiere design team (who left after P v4) there are a lot of advantages of that philosophy. But FCP is at version 4.5 as against PPro's 1.5, so not everything FCP can do can be done in PPro - yet ;)

However like PPro, FCP 4.5's Media Management capabilities are a shambles - its still a 1997 application underneath. In part FCP 5 (real soon now) will attempt to remedy this. At least Apple are aware there is a problem (as Avid were a few years ago).

I have no idea about the rest - I suspect they could quite possibly end up as also-rans. That's my guess as to Pinnacle Edition's fate, without access to huge levels of development funding. Which Avid are more likely to be spending on their own products.

No doubt Adobe and Sony can afford to develop their software for the future. Canopus is pretty fleet of foot at bringing mid-range Windows solutions to market ahead of the rest, so may well duck and dive to success.

All this is guess work, my six pen'orth, formulated after a browse through what's out there on the web. Please fill me in anywhere where I've got it wrong ;)

drgagx
Offline
Joined: Dec 1 2001

Thank you, PaulD, for your insights into the issues that face Avid and its competitors.

Re Canopus "ducking and diving" does this report about their NAB offerings at:
http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31280
qualify as relevant to the issues you describe?

Unicorn
Offline
Joined: Apr 12 1999
Quote:
I would therefore guess that once its donated its interface and its HDV codec to Avid's mid-range software, Edition will be left to die

If Avid adopt Edition's horrible user interface, I'm going back to Premiere.

Fortunately the odds of that happening are about as high as the odds of me winning the lottery (and I don't buy lottery tickets).

Certainly I agree that Avid should make a few changes to give Xpress Pro a more 'standard' interface (e.g. simplifying the process of trimming edits with the mouse, and to actually accept that audio and video tracks should be automatically kept in sync when editing video footage), but they're not going to make major interface changes to software that's used professionally by vast numbers of people every day.

P4-3.06/2GB RAM/2500GB IDE/SATA. Avid Media Composer, Liquid Edition, Premiere 6, Lightwave, Vue 6, eyeon Fusion 5. DV and HDV editing/compositing.

DVdoctor
Offline
Joined: Apr 1 1999

My take on Ray L's question.

Most companies that I have seen in this space keep their engineers away from customers. Typically this is justified by the "they are very busy working on...." In most cases it is the marketing group that comes up with the wish list, engineering comes back with a schedule that is into the next decade and Marketing then starts re prioritizing and cutting. In addition many of these products are produced with contractors, and the teams keep changing over and over.

Fast was able to bring out a series of very interesting products because the had stability in the development group and the person running the company was very technical. Problem was that there is always a Four way pull with what engineering wants to do, Marketing thinks the customer wants, Finance is willing to pay and Support (if they are listened to all all, thinks is workable).

All this is subject to the problem today where it is very difficult to determine exactly how close engineering is to finishing the product. I once joked to Bill Gates and said I was going to write the must successful piece of software ever, software that accurately determined exactly were the development of the code was. Gates joked back, I want it , I'll buy it, name your price.

There is another aspect of the design process wherein if you simply listen to your customers you tend to wind up with an evolutionary product, and you are susceptible to a Revolutionary product. Rarely do customers advocate a totally new approact but merely (in most cases) a functional enhancement.

Lastly is the case that the best engineers simply don't want to work on test, they want to do new design, and they also don't want to keep patching layer on top of layer on someone's code. SO if as a company you want to keep adding releases (like Studio) and you want to keep basically with the same code base, it will be very difficult to attract the top talent. Problem is that if you attract the top talent, then you can wind up with situations where they believe that they can do the entire system, and so you wind up like the Fast product where engineering insisted on "our own interface vs windows will be better"

As mentioned above, most acquistions don't work. The cultures are different, the behind the scenes people who actually do the work vs the people who own all the stock and get the golden handcuffs tend to leave, and getting two different engineering teams to merge in the same space with two different products tends not to work

John

PaulD
Offline
Joined: Aug 31 2002
Avid and Pinnacle Shareholders Approve Acquisition
JimBird
Offline
Joined: Jul 2 2005

Cool.

Jim Bird. LE User.

bcrabtree
Offline
Joined: Mar 7 1999
Studio 10 does have an Edition codebase - as I predicted

For the record, Pinnacle has announced the launch of Studio 10 and, as I predicted, it does have an Edition codebase - as I predicted in my news story months ago.

Here's the edited release over in another thread.

Oddly, though, the release doesn't mention the Edition codebase but the fact that the codebase is indeed Edition's was confirmed to me last week in an exclusive briefing by Pinnacle.

Why oddly? Well, in view, the new codebase should be FAR more stable than the old, and that should be great news for consumers.

Studio is rather wonderful in terms of ease of use and features but, sadly, has been rather unstable/unreliable because of its creaky old code - especially when it came to DVD-related matters.

And, if as should be the case, reviewers find the product actually is more stable than earlier versions, that's also going to be good news for Pinnacle/Avid, too - they should sell many more copies (Studio is already the biggest selling editing package worldwide) and have considerably fewer support issues.

Irrespective, though, development costs (and time to market) are likely to be much reduced by having a codebase shared between the Studio and Edition Families.

Bob C