Article by Kevin Savetz

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Copyright © by Kevin Savetz


DVD Solution
CyberLink
www.gocyberlink.com
4 CPUs

CyberLink is known for its easy-to-use video-editing and DVD apps. DVD Solution is a bundle of assorted video and DVD software-some old, some new. Alone, many of the programs have received positive reviews. Together they make a potent, well-rounded suite for creating content and burning DVDs.

The package includes two video-editing apps. PowerProducer 2 Gold is aimed at users who want to convert videotapes to digital format, perform basic video editing, and add simple menus before burning those videos to DVD. PowerDirector 3 is for users that want more control over special effects, color adjustment, transitions, and other video-editing features. Both programs lean toward ease-of-use over raw power.

PowerDVD 5 is a DVD player that supports Dolby audio, surround sound, dual subtitles, and other features. There's also Medi@Show for creating and viewing multimedia slideshows and Power2Go for drag-and-drop burning of data, music, and movie CDs and DVDs.

Two new backup utilities are included in the mix, but both have problems. PowerDVD Copy duplicates DVDs. It includes options for customizing the output size and selecting which languages and subtitles to include, but it can't dupe copy-protected DVDs, an understandable but annoying limitation. PowerBackup is supposed to back up data from your PC to CDs or DVDs, but I couldn't get it to work consistently. Some backups failed without a reasonable explanation, and the backup scheduler didn't work at all.

Another new app, PhotoNow, is for fine-tuning digital images. It includes manual and one-click automatic adjustments, but some of its automatic tweaks, such as Auto Balance, were consistently horrible on my digicam images. Also, the program can't do batch conversions, making it useless for manipulating more than one or two pictures at a time.

Despite some hiccups, DVD Solution includes some quality tools, with PowerDirector and PowerDVD leading the pack. The package could be very useful to anyone who wants to get more from her DVD burner. Cyberlink plans to offer Silver, Gold, and Platinum suite versions that are expected to cost $39.95 to $249.95.

Reprinted with permission from Computer Power User magazine.


Articles by Kevin Savetz