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Re: Is there a Demo version of DVD Producer?

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Alex AlexzanderRe: Is there a Demo version of DVD Producer?
by on Sep 12, 2005 at 4:12:28 am

First, whom ever said DVDLab Pro is simply on par with Sonic Producer didn't know what he or she is talking about. DVDLab Pro is FAR ahead of Producer. DVDLab Pro is closer to Sonic's Scenarist, than anything else on the market today. It can be complicated, because many of the functions for formatting various kinds of media are not included directly into DVDLab Pro.

As an example, DVDLab Pro cannot write to DLT tape at all. Adobe Encore, and Sonic DVDit, as well as Producer can. DVDLab Pro doesn't do a good job formatting a DVD-R either. Instead, people use CopyToDVD in conjunction with DVDLab Pro to write to DVD-R for DVD-5 projects, and commonly use Gear Pro Mastering Edition to write to Double Layer DVD+R or DLT tape.

So why use DVDLab Pro if it needs all this help? Simply put, DVDLab Pro is simply the most OUTSTANDING DVD authoring application there is even at 5 times the price. It's by far the best value I have ever seen. DVDLab Pro is worth you buying Gear for $399, and CopyToDVD for $29, as well as either the TMPGEnc encoder and the CinemaCraft basic encoder. Why buy two encoders? Simply put, the TMPGEnc encoder snaps right into DVDLab, allowing you to take any PCM audio, and convert it to AC3 right in DVDlab Pro. CinemaCraft basic, and the TMPGEnc encoder are in the $59 and $79 range, and worth every penny. They also work with Avid or Premiere Pro, giving you excellent encoding for a low price.

DVDit 6 Pro, Encore DVD, and Producer do not give you ANY scripting capabilities. DVDLab Pro gives you access to the pre- and post commands of the PGCs. Nothing, not even DVD Studio Pro does that. Though DVD Studio Pro does have it's own scripting language, DVDLab Pro's capabilities are far and away more powerful, and feature rich.

DVDLab Pro takes much more understanding to master, because you will need not only to master DVDLab, but the other applications as well, such as Gear, if you plan to create DVD-9s and write to DLT tape.

If you really don't like Encore, I don't think you'll find what you are looking for in Producer. It's much the same with a different interface. Menus in Encore DVD are easier to work with once you have the strange process down, where as Producer uses a more standard method of building menus, which I happen to like better.

Apple's DVD Studio Pro is a good step up if you have a Mac, and a good step up from DVD Studio Pro is DVDLab Pro on the PC. You give up ease, but gain control. Lots of control.

I will say this. Producer is reliable. It's a great engine by Sonic, and its been around for a long time. Most of the applications in the $500 dollar range are in some way, based on Producer. That is why they are all so similar in feature and price. What Sonic needs to do, and I am sure they are sick to death of me saying this, is create a more advanced authoring application. Sonic licensed out the DVDit engine and so many applications are based on it, that it almost doesn't matter whos you buy. Same thing, different package, and so as much as I love the Sonic guys because they do outstanding work, I also have to tell you, that this switching around is not going to get you anywhere.

It really looks like this:

- Encore DVD, DVDit, and Producer = same app different package.

- DVD Studio Pro is closer to a serious pro application, but lacks control over where things go in the DVD, and the abstraction layer is so massive, it can bog down the DVD. However, DVD Studio Pro is an outstanding application. It is both easy to use, and you can do most anything you can dream up in it.

- DVDLab Pro is abstraction layer based, but the lightest abstraction layer you'll ever see. It also gives you full access to the real spec commands that will allow you to edit the pre- and post commands, giving you outstanding control. You can also place menus in the VMG, and in one or more VTSs. You simply have more control in DVDLab, than you do in Apple's DVD Studio Pro. The drawback is, you need third party applications to make it a whole package.

What many do is buy a Macintosh, and run DVD Studio Pro on it. It's that good of an application. It has a large user-base, offers an abstraction layer based scripting language, which is pretty simple to master, and quite powerful. It makes it a very good, all around application. It's tough to beat, but I actually like DVDLab Pro better.

If you'd like to see some of the interactive things you can accomplish with scripting inside DVD Studio Pro, click on my image in the forum index, and read some of the DVD Studio Pro tutorials I have posted here on Cow. You will immediately realize how much more powerful it is than Encore DVD.

Hope that helps you.

-Alex


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