Avid has announced a collaboartion with Matushita which provides support for Panasonic P2 content in upcoming versions of the Avid and Unity which will allow users to read and edit directly from the P2 card as native storage, assembling, trimming, editing and adding effects to the material without having to first transfer the files into the editing systems or a storage device.
In addition, P2 media can be combined on the same timeline along with other media formats supported by Avid systems. This follows on from a similar announcement in 2004 with Sony and XDCam
Giles and Amir, I hope 844/x will at least match this early in 2005
Given that we've just invested in a Sony XDcam deck (PDW-1500) & camera (530), I also hope to see more integration with "media that's more than a tape deck". XDcam is recorded on a Professional Disc cartridge (stores 23 GB, rewritable DVD-like form factor inside a plastic cartridge, using blue-violet laser), with full random-access like a hard drive (in fact, the deck has -- in addition to SDI & Firewire -- a gigbit ethernet port to hook up to a LAN or WAN).
The big plus is that files/media/footage is recorded on the Professional Disc using the MXF format/wrapper... which Optibase seems to be familiar with (on its other product line).
Meanwhile, the XDcam pretends to be a Beta deck when hooked up to our 844/x or Media 100i (RS-422 control, definable pre-roll, etc.). But interplay/transcoding with MXF and/or the IMX codex would be a neat plus.