We saw a rumour on social media that Avid has discontinued their HD Native PCI-e cards and so we have done some research and we can confirm that Avid has chosen to stop selling their HD Native PCI-e cards. But what about the Thunderbolt HD Native unit and the HDX range?
Avid has confirmed to us that as of 7th April 2018 they will no longer be selling the Pro Tools HD Native PCI-e card, but as is Avid protocol they will continue to provide support until 30th June 2023. They have updated their Avid End of Life Dates support document with this information.
What About The Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt Unit?
We have asked Avid and they have confirmed to us that are continuing to sell the Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt unit and that it will continue to be compatible with the Avid HD Omni, HD I/O and MTRX interfaces, as well as any mini DigiLink enabled 3rd party interfaces.
What About Windows Compatibility For The Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt Unit?
Avid has also confirmed to us that they are working on qualifying a Thunderbolt PCIe unit for Windows systems, so customers will be able to use the Thunderbolt HD Native solution on both Mac and Windows computers. Although as far back as June 2015 our Pro Tools Windows specialist Alan Sallabank in our article Will It Work On Windows? Avid HD Native Thunderbolt With HD Omni Interface showed that the Thunderbolt unit could be persuaded to work on a Windows system.
Is This A Sign Of Things To Come?
Perhaps that should be a sign of things to go away! Either way, although the HD Native is a PCI-e card like the HDX cards, it doesn't have any DSP on it. So I don't think the discontinuing of the HD Native PCI-e cards can be read as a sign of Avid dropping their HDX DSP solutions as the HD Native card isn't a DSP solution. That doesn't mean that Avid definitely will continue to offer DSP solutions, but I don't believe that this announcement is the thin edge of the wedge. What do you think?