Avid VJ

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Avid VJ

Versatile server for fast-paced studio production

VJ is a powerful video server platform optimized for fast-paced studio production environments. Based on Avid’s HDVS video server range, VJ provides a reliable turnkey solution for different tasks with up to 8 configurable inputs and outputs. VJ is built to maximize production efficiency and flexibility with multiple ingest channels, high-speed playlist editing and playback while recording, and seamless integration with the entire tapeless workflow.

VJ is designed with maximum server flexibility to meet the needs of any production, with support for up to 8 video channels and easily configurable inputs and outputs. Ingest and playback is based on durable FPGA encoding to maximize platform performance and ensure the highest image quality, regardless of the complexity of the encoded stream.

VJ features a powerful toolset that allows you to edit live incoming feeds into a playlist. These playlists can be used in various ways to increase efficiency and simplify operation in the production environment. Plus, VJ can record the program feed and edit out any pickup or production mistakes in live to tape productions, reducing costs and turnaround time.

VJ delivers unique capabilities that enable you to streamline production and reduce turnaround time. The NetStream engine can record all ingested feeds both on the server internal storage and on an external storage simultaneously. The VJ consolidation tool allows an operator to quickly add different segments into one playlist, preview and trim the transition points, and export the playlist into shared storage. Finally, the embedded Proxy engine can generate a proxy instance of high-res files in real-time for all ingesting channels.

VJ’s server hardware is designed to excel in the most demanding production environments, providing exceptional reliability and durability. Video data is protected with RAID 6 to prevent data loss in the unlikely event that two disks are down. To optimize server reliability and redundancy, VJ uses a hot swap power supply and runs on the reliable Linux operating system.

Product Description


Powerful production toolset

8 channels with fully flexible configuration

VJ’s server platform can support up to 8 video channels and can easily switch to any input/output configuration, maximizing flexibility to best utilize the server’s capabilities according to the needs of a production. The same server can be used for ingest of 8 synchronized multi-camera angles, run as 4 inputs and 4 outputs to support studio playback, or any other configuration.

Edit while ingest for instant turnaround

VJ’s server and controller provide a powerful toolset for playlist editing of live incoming feeds. The user can easily create sub clips from the ingest feed, drag and drop those segments into a playlist, make real-time changes like trimming or extending any of the items in the playlist, reorder by drag and drop, set different transitions between the items, set different playout speeds, and more. VJ playlists can serve different requirements in the production environment, such as building a rundown, which simplifies the operation during studio playback. With live-to-tape productions, VJ can record the program feed and edit out any pickup or production mistakes, which eliminates the need for craft editing, and reduces costs and turnaround time.
Flexible video formats

VJ’s ingest and playback is based on durable FPGA encoding, maximizing platform performance and ensuring maximized image quality—regardless of the complexity of the encoded stream. The same I/O boards can switch between multiple codecs, including DVCPRO SD, DVCPRO HD, DNxHD 120/145 or 185/220, and XDcam HD 50 4:2:2.

Files import and export with a click of a button

VJ’s server can interface directly to any external storage device for fast, simple, and reliable import and export of video files. The server’s advanced architecture eliminates the need for any intermediate hardware, providing a direct export to shared storage using standard Ethernet infrastructure. Windows, MacOS, NAS, SAN, or even a standard USB drive can easily connect to the server using one of the supported protocols—NFS, CIFS, and SMBFS. VJ supports the export of the entire recorded clip, any segment of the clip, or export of a playlist, either as separated items, or one consolidated file.

Designed for fast turnaround

Enhance your tapeless workflow with Netstream

To help with the growing requirement for fast turnarounds, VJ’s NetStream engine records all ingested feeds both on the server internal storage and on an external storage at the same time. The system architecture provides the best of both worlds, combining the safety and durability of the internal storage with an enhanced workflow, keeping all of the ingest material on the central storage in real time. The exported stream, wrapped in real-time as QuickTime or MXF, is instantly available for post-production work, the second the recording stops. VJ internal storage is used as a huge buffer, which can manage network delays or failures and will keep NetStream based on the available network performance, so no footage will ever be lost. A unique XDcam workflow allows Adobe Premiere users to edit the ingested material while continuing ingest.

Playlist consolidation

Among VJ’s unique features is the option to consolidate a playlist into one file. Many times during a studio production, while recording a live-to-tape show, there’s a need to stop shooting because of technical problems, talent mistakes, and other production issues. In such cases, it’s necessary to pickup seamlessly from the last stop point. With the VJ consolidation tool, the operator can add the different segments into one playlist, preview and trim the transition points according to need, and export the playlist into the shared storage. VJ consolidation is much faster and cost effective compared to existing post-production workflows.
Embedded Proxy engine

VJ’s embedded Proxy engine can generate a proxy instance of the high-resolution file in real time for all ingesting channels. When using the proxy engine, each file is exported in two flavors—high-resolution files with the selected video codecs, or as proxy frame accurate files that match the high-resolution files. This unique capability delivers significant advantages to the workflow. There’s always a perfect match between the high-resolution and proxy files, as they are created in parallel. This also ensures the perfect match between the files, providing the confidence that editing on the proxy files later will provide a transparent switch to the high-resolution file.

Another significant advantage of VJ’s internal Proxy engine is that the proxy is available at the same time as the high resolution, as opposed to external transcoders, which transcode as a post process. VJ’s proxy engine will shorten turnaround time, prevent mistakes, save rack space, and reduce operational costs.

Intuitive workflows and reliable performance

Simple yet powerful interface

VJ simplifies production tasks and workflows by enabling you to control and monitor all channels from a single user interface with access to time codes, clip progress, playlists, and more. VJ’s interface is completely configurable, allowing you to define your workspace according to your preferences, including adding and removing channels as needed. VJ’s controller can connect to multiple servers at the same time, allowing one operator to manage multiple servers from a single interface.

Integration with Avid’s iFind MAM solution

Embedded into Avid’s production workflow, VJ can serve multiple needs in fast turnaround productions. When used as multi-line ingest server, VJ is controlled by Avid’s iFind ingest scheduler, with the option for manual crash record from the VJ GUI. When fast turnaround edits are required, operators can turn ingested material into a playlist on the fly and edit while recording using VJ’s intuitive playlist editing tool set. In the studio playout environment, iFind users can push media from central storage to the playout server with a click of a button from any iFind web interface in the production environment.
Reliability and durability

Based on Avid’s server product line, VJ server hardware is designed and manufactured for the high standards required from a professional broadcast server. Using server class components built into a dedicated server chassis, the VJ server provides exceptional durability to meet the requirements of live production. Video data is protected with RAID 6 ensuring that even in the unlikely event that two disks are down, data will be safe and performance will continue uninterrupted. Video disks can be easily accessed from the front panel without removing the server from the rack. To optimize server reliability and redundancy, VJ uses a hot swap power supply and runs on the reliable Linux operating system.