A lot has been said about the pricing of the upgrades and how Avid have lost touch with their customers etc. Not alot seems to have been said about the extra purchases that may be relevant.
Along with the announcement of Pro Tools 10, Avid tweaked their support offerings to add value to what was widely seen as an extravagent purchase.
First up the new Avid Vantage programme, this provides for unlimited online support from Avid technicians in addition to the forums (although if you’ve spent any time on the DUC lately then you’ll know they are not much help right now). You also get a 50% discount on telephone support. As the value added portion of this package you get a $99 coupon for the avid store for upgrades etc but also a package of 4 Avid Audio plugins to use for the length of your subscription. - Cost? - $149
Next up is the plan mentioned by Max Gutnik (Senior Director of Audio Product Management), The Standard Support plan. This retails for $599 for the remainder of the year. The biggest benefit of this plan right now comes to HD users. Who can save $400 on the upgrade to HD10 and get phone support, next business day response to issues etc. This does not come with the plugin bundle like the Avid Vantage programme does but is undeniable value for money.
For more info on larger plans please visit : Avid Support Plans
Value for money
Are the upgrade prices of 9-10 and 9HD-10HD worth it?
I believe that they are in all honesty. Are they high? Yes, but they do provide incredible value. The audio engine has been completely redesigned to support interleaved files, 32-bit float files; the disk cache feature of 10HD is without a doubt the largest performance enhancement that we’ve seen from Pro Tools in a long time.
The long awaited 24 hour timeline is great particularly for post. Finally supersessions containing more than 6 reels can be reconformed quickly without shifting of materials to compensate for the 12 hour limitation.
The masses were hoping for 64-bit across the board, this hasn’t happened but Avid have taken steps toward making this possible soon. AAX (64 bit ready), new audio engine (less legacy code), disk cache (64 bit).
As always, if you don’t need the upgrade, nobody is making you upgrade. The only reason that would be the case is if you were buying a new mac which comes with Lion. Then someone is encouraging you 10 is better on Lion than the 9.0.5 beta was.