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DVD Authoring Tools Roundup

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This short guide spotlights a few DVD authoring tools, giving the pros and cons for each.


Contents

Nero Vision

Nero Vision 4

Nero Vision is included in the Nero Ultra edition, a collection of commercial software from Nero.

Pros:

  • Relatively easy to use, designed for novice users to 1-click their way to respectable output
  • Relatively cheap, when you consider the total value of the Nero Ultra package
  • Supports Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and HDAVC authoring
  • Supports just about any other video-disc format with various 1st- and 3rd-party plugins
  • Supports just about any video input format with the use of 3rd-party plugins and scripts
  • 5.1, 6.1, and 7.0/7.1 audio support
  • Many advanced features are accessible through the control panel/home features of the software suite.

Cons:

  • Options to set resolutions/letterbox options are well hidden in another section of the Nero Ultra package
  • Multi-pass encoding/recoding options are hidden in another section of the Nero Ultra package
  • Separation of various options into the Nero control panel and Nero Home programs make it difficult for novice users to change settings
  • Will always re-encode input video even if it is already DVD compliant (and will fit within the project size)
  • Support for Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, HVD and DTS all require additional licence/plug-in purchase (US$39.99)
  • repetitive-pass (3x or more) encoding/recoding must be reset each time the software is loaded via the Nero SmartStart panel


External Links


Cyberlink PowerProducer 4

Cyberlink PowerProducer 4

Cyberlink PowerProducer 4 is a commercial application (trial version available), and it also includes DivX Authoring.

Pros:

  • Can make Blu-ray and HD DVDs
  • Can make 16:9 DVDs

Cons:

  • Somewhat confusing user interface
  • Does not support multiple audio tracks
  • Does not have subtitle support
  • Does not support DTS audio
  • Only supports Dolby Stereo and PCM audio
  • Will always re-encode input video even if it is already DVD compliant (and will fit within the project size)


External Links


TMPGEnc DVD Author 3

TMPGEnc DVD Author 3

TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 is a commercial application (trial version available), and it also includes DivX Authoring.

Pros:

  • Can make 16:9 DVDs
  • Supports DivX authoring
  • Will not re-encode source material if it is DVD compliant and within the project size limit

Cons:

  • Somewhat confusing user interface
  • Dumbed down compared to previous TMPGEnc DVD Author versions
  • Does not support DTS audio
  • Only supports Dolby Stereo output


External Links


FAVC

FAVC

FAVC is an free video to DVD conversion and simple authoring tool. It can make DVDs with simple menus. It uses either HC or QuEnc as the MPEG-2 encoder, and it produces quite good quality DVD folders or .iso images ready for burning with ImgBurn or another DVD burning tool.

Pros:

  • Very easy way to turn AVI and other video files into DVDs
  • Choice of HC or QuEnc encoders
  • Makes simple menus with custom backgrounds and title text
  • Support subtitles
  • You can't beat the price!

Cons:

  • Only supports SRT subtitle files
  • Menus are very simplistic
  • No options for making 16:9 DVDs


External Links


DVD Flick

DVD Flick

DVD Flick is an free open source DVD authoring tool, designed to make really simply (menu-less) DVDs. The biggest problem with this tool is that it can be very buggy at times.

Pros:

  • Easiest way to turn AVI and other video files into DVDs
  • You can't beat the price!

Cons:

  • Contains some bugs
  • Does not support menus
  • Long encoding time


External Links


ConvertXtoDVD

ConvertXtoDVD

ConvertXtoDVD is a shareware DVD authoring tool, designed to make really simply DVDs with basic menus. It is similar in nature to DVD Flick, but with a few less rough edges.

Pros:

  • Very good AVI and other video files into DVDs functionality
  • Cheap price
  • Will make simple menus unlike DVD Flick
  • Supports wide variety of inputs

Cons:

  • Menu produced are very simple, very little room for customization


External Links


DVD-Lab

DVD-Lab

DVD-Lab is a shareware DVD authoring package that is available in both standard and Pro versions. The standard version is aimed at new users who are somewhat experienced in using video tools, while the Pro version is semi-professional in usability and professional in terms of features.

Pros:

  • Low price relative to features
  • Author practically any kind of DVD, including ones with 8 channel audio, Dolby/DTS support, subtitles ...
  • Flexibility in menu design - create everything from scratch and create any kind of menu/linking structure

Cons:

  • High price compared to "home" DVD authoring tools (but offset by more advanced set of features)
  • Pro version aimed at advanced users, so not as accessible as other "home" DVD authoring packages
  • Requires your own MPEG-2 encoder


External Links


Other Packages

There are many other packages that are also worthy of consideration. Another free video to DVD tool is D2MP. Video DVD Maker is free as well, although a fully featured shareware version is also available.

Sonic Scenarist is a professional level authoring package used to produce many of the DVDs you buy in the shops. The high price and complexity of usage will put off home users though. Another package worthy of consideration, if not for the high price, is Sony's Vegas+DVD professional authoring tool. There is also Ulead DVD Movie Factor, DeVeDe for Linux, Roxio DVDit Pro, Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD and many others ...

See Also