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09/03/2012

ARRI Releases ALEXA Software Update Packet

With the release of ALEXA Software Update Packet (SUP) 6.0, ARRI makes a major new recording feature available for its ALEXA camera range, offering in-camera support for Avid’s open standard and widely adopted Avid DNxHD codec.
SUP 6.0 allows in-camera recording of 1920 x 1080 (16:9) Avid DNxHD encoded MXF files onto SxS PRO cards for ALEXA and ALEXA Plus cameras. ALEXA Studio and M cameras will have this functionality added with SUP 6.1. In order to utilize this new facility, users must purchase a cost-effective, downloadable DNxHD software license from the ALEXA License Shop (http://alshop.arri.de/), after which they will be able to choose between MXF/DNxHD and QuickTime/ProRes codecs for in-camera recording.
The ability to record native Avid DNxHD carries advantages for a broad range of productions. Many broadcasting corporations rely on MXF files as their primary acquisition and archiving format, so being able to deliver this straight out of the camera has the potential to generate real cost savings. Even for productions that are recording uncompressed ARRIRAW, the expansion of ALEXA’s parallel recording capability to include DNxHD eliminates a transcoding step for the dailies generated for Avid editing systems and creates a more streamlined editorial workflow.
ALEXA's MXF/DNxHD material can be edited in Avid Media Composer Version 5.5 and later for Apple and Windows 32 and 64 bit operating systems without transcoding. ARRI provides an AMA plug-in for the Mac version and the 32 and 64 bit Windows version of Media Composer 5.5 and 6.0. This plug-in gives editors direct access to the camera footage.
Avid DNxHD codec data rates of up to 145Mbit/s (8 bit 422) and 220MBit/s (10 bit 422) are supported in SUP 6.0. Avid’s highest quality version of the codec, Avid DNxHD 444, records at up to 440Mbit/s (10 bit 444) and will be provided as a free upgrade for all DNxHD license customers in a later software release.
(LB)
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