By Vidya S Nath, Research Manager, Digital Media Practice
Among the earliest tools and equipment in professional video to change rapidly as a result of digitization, was editing. In the last ten years, editing, coloring, special effects and other post-production solutions have evolved the most and that market has already matured, even while other processes in the ecosystem such as content acquisition, management and delivery are still transforming, as users seek more and more innovations in cameras, compression products and distribution methodologies.
In post-production however, chunky, premier label and expensive editing and post production systems have given way to very competitively priced software solutions working on commercial off-the-shelf IT hardware. Apple's Final Cut Pro (FCP) leads the way alongside Adobe's Premiere Pro. Traditional pro-product vendor incumbents such as Avid, Grass Valley and Quantel have gradually followed suit offering software-only versions as well to their users at reasonable prices.
With Adobe's entire Creative Suite 3 available at $1000 and Apple's FCP X today available at $299 to anybody, prices appear to have reached incredible lows. Additionally in this market, the game is about value pricing- and providing 'more for less' to the customer. Lines continue to blur between specialized solutions and prosumer versions, and the role of ad hoc specialists gets diluted. Rather, every professional or creative enthusiast can be highly versatile as the software empowers them to do much more than their core functions. For example, the editor can become the colorist, the graphics special effects guy, the audio engineer, among other things- if she/he chooses to, because she/he has easy access to a multi-functional product suite.