Pinnacle Redefines Itself
Sideline commentary by Alexei
Pinnacle Edition was launched in Europe on March 13, 2002, a few weeks
earlier than in the US, no doubt due to its German heritage. Edition is a
reworked and re-bundled version of Liquid software also known as Studio.DV,
originally developed by Fast
Electronics, a well-known digital video company based in Germany that was
acquired by Pinnacle Systems in 2001.
Liquid won quite a few accolades for a very sleek and easy to use interface.
Industry observers have been wondering about its fate after the acquisition, and
now we know this software has a big future at Pinnacle Systems; it will compete
with Avid and Apple's flagship products, it will eliminate Pinnacle's dependence
on Adobe Premiere and with it, Pinnacle plans to dominate the Digital Content
FCP (Final Cut Pro) and Avid Xpress both have something nobody else does - a
unified interface across a wide range of solutions. You can get a DV editing
system for under $3K and later a High Definition editing system for $100K and
you don't have to re-learn the software. The interface stays the same.
schools can teach FCP or Avid without fear for their students' ability to find a
job: "Avid" or "FCP" on a resume do get employers'
This creates a chain that's not easy to penetrate: schools will only teach
FCP or Avid because that's what everybody uses, and post houses will only buy
Avid or FCP systems because they know they can find experienced editors.
Edition signifies Pinnacle's intention to break that chain. While the
software initially is "DV-only", there are other versions of Liquid
that cater to the broadcast market, and no doubt these versions will soon become
members of the same family where Edition is the first baby. Sooner or later
Pinnacle will fire up its huge marketing machine to deliver the message to the
editing masses: learn our software once, and you can handle anything from basic
DV and FireWire, all the way to HDTV. Coming from a very strong company, this
message will appeal to schools, post houses, studios, freelancers, independent
filmmakers and students.
Both Apple and Avid need to address some serious shortcomings if they want to
effectively compete with Pinnacle. Apple is married to Macs, which don't
necessarily represent the best products or values. Windows machines are cheaper,
vastly more popular, and allow for many more choices including the Operating
System: you don't have to use Windows if so you wish. Apple has done a great job
developing and acquiring software for editing and authoring, yet its
limited choices are what makes Apple ultimately incompetitive.
Avid on the other hand cannot come close to Pinnacle's wide range of products nor
does it offer web and DVD publishing solutions that are Avid's own.
That leads us to what may be a far reaching, yet obvious conclusion:
Pinnacle Systems is the only company superbly positioned to dominate
digital video editing and authoring markets, and Edition DV is a significant
step in that direction.