Avid Technology announced plans to broaden the number of HD video formats its cross platform Avid Xpress Pro 4.5 product will support.

Xpress Pro 4.5 is expected to ship later this year It will be able to edit native HDV MPEG and Panasonic DVCPRO HD formats, and will also offer support for Avid DNxHD(TM) – a revolutionary 10-bit HD encoding technology that enables HD post-production with the same storage bandwidth and capacity requirements as SD files.

The Avid DNxHD technology is engineered to deliver pristine image quality after multi-generation compositing, offering HDV users high-quality processing for stunning composites, titles, and graphics.

"Avid Xpress Pro already offers a wealth of advanced editing features, and now we're taking a giant leap forward by announcing the broadest range of support for HD formats in a portable editing solution," said Tim Wilson, senior manager of product marketing for Avid.

"Whether working with HDV, DVCPRO HD, or Avid DNxHD formats – or mixing them together in the same timeline – our customers will be able edit media of astonishing quality, even on a laptop, without lengthy transcode times or the bulky storage requirements typically associated with HD media."

Avid Xpress Pro 4.5 will offer new production capabilities, including Material Exchange Format (MXF) support, Panasonic DV50 media compatibility, FluidFilm progressive encoding, Windows Media 9 (WMV HD) direct export, and SmartSound SonicFire Pro professional soundtrack creation.

The version of Avid Xpress Pro software with HD capabilities is expected to be available in late 2004. Customers who purchase Avid Xpress Pro software after April 18, 2004, will be able to upgrade to this new version for $49.95.

Avid Xpress Pro 4.5 (without HD) is expected to ship in Q2 2004 as a free upgrade for existing customers. Avid Xpress Pro costs $1,695 USMSRP.