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Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?

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Brian Haines
Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 29, 2005 at 7:41:11 am

Hello,

As I'm now starting to do video editing more I'm curious about which DVD Authoring software has the best bang for the dollar? I'm using Liquid Edition 6.1 to do my editing along with the Productivity Pack which I've barely touched. I've also got After Effects 6.5 Pro which I plan to begin learning soon along with Photoshop CS.

I would like the DVD Authoring software to have plenty of room for growth potential as my skills continue to grow. My eventual plan is to be able to create DVD Menu's on par with the material that many movie DVDs are done in. Be it motion menus that change and contain plenty of bells and whistles. My ideal budget is a few hundred dollars.

Or should I just utilize the DVD creation already available in Pinnacle Liquid Edition?

Thank you in advance for any advice on this query.


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Alex Alexzander
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 29, 2005 at 3:11:08 pm

Try DVDLab Pro. Version 1.52 is the lattest version, and it is an outstanding authoring application which costs just $199.00.

From Liquid Editon, you can export to Elementary MPEG2 / WAVE audio. It will actually export a video file with an extension of .m2v, and the audio file will actually be three audio files. _1.wav, _2.wav, and _S.wav. The _1, and _2 files are each single channel mono channels. The _s.wav is a stereo audio track, which is what you will bring into DVDLab Pro along with the .m2v video file. Both of these assets come from Liquid.

MediaChange, the company that sells DVDLab Pro offers an encoder. It's called the TMPGEnc encoder. There is a $79 TMPGEnc encoder package called TMPGEnc Xpress 3.0 which comes with an AC3 plug in. If you buy and install that, the DVDLab Pro can compress the _s.wav stero track from Linear PCM to AC3, and save you a lot of space. This is done right in the timeline track view of DVDLab Pro. DVDLab Pro works with several outside applications to to do its job.

Another such application is called CopyToDVD, which is a $29 CD/DVD writing application which also plugs into DVDLab. DVDLab Pro will first build the projects you create to hard disc, then you send the build to CopyToDVD to burn the project to DVD.

If you plan on going to DLT for replication, then Gear Pro Mastering Edition is a good choice. That application is $399 and has a ton of other uses making it a great application to have anyway.

DVDLab Pro starts small, and grows as you need to grow. It has more functions than almost any authoring application out there. It allows you to create multiple Video Title Sets, place menus in any VTS, and even place menus in the VMG if you like. It is smart, and the abstraction layer is by far the cleanest I've ever seen.

Right off the bat, in my opinion, you need three applications to get started with it.

DVDLab Pro 1.52 - $199
CopyToDVD - $29
TMPGEnc Xpress 3 with AC3 plugin - $79

http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/dvdlabpro.html
http://www.vso-software.fr/download.htm
http://www.pegasys-inc.com/en/product/te3xp.html

-Alex


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Robert plant
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 30, 2005 at 11:24:43 pm

If you plan on using After effects + Photoshop you might as well stick with Adobe Encore .
Total Training has some good Training material .


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Alex Alexzander
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 30, 2005 at 11:31:35 pm

You can use Photoshop and After Effects to design menus for DVDLab Pro, DVDit, DVD Studio Pro, and just about any authoring system I can think of.

Encore doesn't have a tenth of the functionality of DVDLab. If you want an authoring application where you can't even define the VTS order, go with Encore. It's wholely based on teh Sonic DVDit engin. May as well just get DVDit.

-Alex


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Robert plant
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 1:39:12 pm



Admin deleted post with this warning: Robert, try this again and you will be out of the Cow permanently. We do NOT tolerate people coming into the Cow and berating our leaders. Consider this your first and last warning.

Ron Lindeboom
creativecow.net


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Alex Alexzander
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 1:57:17 pm

The question was, what is the best for the money.

Answer is clear: DVDLab.

Want easy, DVDit from Sonic is easy.

All other DVD authoring applications use the method of background plus overlay for menus, or use templates. Only Encore DVD has a crazy method of defining buttons through the use of layers with (=), and (+) and so on. If its easy you want, Encore DVD isn't it. I can think of easier.

Robert, read what the user posted: "I would like the DVD Authoring software to have plenty of room for growth potential as my skills continue to grow."

Please explain to me why you think Encore DVD has greater room for growth over DVDLab Pro. I'd love to read your report.

Encore has no scripting. No access to registers at all. No ability to adjust the VTS order, which is very bad for DVD9 titles. It is based on the Sonic engine for DVDit, which in my opinion is even easier then Encore DVD. So why bother with Encore when you can get Sonic's application for less. It's more straight forward, and it has the same limitations.

The only thing Encore has going for it, is it tie in to Photoshop, which is completely non-standard for anyone designing DVD menus. All other applications use backgrounds and overlays, and learning that concept rather than Encore's concept is better for the beginner because it leaves him with something he can take to another authoring application.

Sonic Producer for example, background and overlay. DVD Studio Pro, background and overlay. DVDLab, background and overlay. The list goes on and on. Why not learn how it really works the first time?

-Alex


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WTS(JManz)
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 2:39:38 pm

Yikes! What on earth justifies such vitriol? Please tone it down.

Jim


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WTS(JManz)
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 3:18:16 pm

To avoid any confusion, my post was in reference to R Plant's, not Alex.

Jim


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Alex Alexzander
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 3:27:03 pm

I'm not worried about it James. My original answer was perfect. If Robert is upset by my opinion, he'll get over it.

-Alex


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WTS(JManz)
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 3:48:43 pm

I think you handled it quite well (and I know you don't need any help supporting you position), I just don't like seeing that kind of posting--it serves no helpful purpose, and can in the long run dissuade others from posting because of potential attacks.

Jim


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Brian Haines
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 4:07:50 pm

Alex,

Thank you very much for the vouch towards DVD-Lab Pro. I'll be taking a closer lookat the product.

And yes, as I stated originally my main interest is a program that'll have a lot of potential in terms of creating some truly unique DVD menus eventually. I just know the software I've got so far from Pinnacle won't be enough.


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Alex Alexzander
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 5:57:15 pm

You can download a copy of DVDLab and use it free for a month. Trying it costs nothing.

It has a basic setup and a more advanced setup, so you can use it as a beginner.

There is a built in manual if you go to the Help pull-down menu in the application.

Here is a DVDLab forum link if you need it.

http://www.mmbforums.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=24

Otherwise, the purpose of this Cow forum is for general help on any authoring application. If you get stuck, just ask for help, and we'll help.

I just purchased Liquid Edition myself a few weeks back, and I have created DVDs with Lab Pro, so I can help you get started with specifics.

There used to be a free trial for DVDit, and I am almost sure there is a trial for Encore DVD. You should be able to try all of these and see what you think.

Encore is pretty basic. Not much you can do in it. Once you learn it, it doesn't extend much further. Robert doesn't understand authoring on my level, and doesn't understand the limitations of what Encore is capable of doing.

The better authoring applications for growth are DVD Studio Pro, which is Macintosh only, and DVDLab which is a PC only application. Both of these offer a lot of bang for the buck.

There are better applications out there, but they all cost big bucks.

DVDit, Ulead, Encore DVD, and so on are mid to beginner level applications. iDVD from Apple, and MyDVD from Sonic are absolute beginner applications.

DVDLab Pro is kind of a strange beast. It cost very little, and yet offers features that rival DVD Studio Pro, which is easily my favorite authoring application for the money until I saw Lab Pro.

In any case, I think it is good to learn the basics on how to author in the general way first. The concepts you learn you take with you to other applications as you grow. I've used many authoring applications and I think I have a good grasp on what is good and what is not so good.

Lab Pro is good software.

Just ask for help when you need it if you need it.

-Alex


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Brian Haines
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 6:33:35 pm

One of my big regrets is going with a Windows system versus Mac for my video editing system. From everything I've read this past year it looks like FCP, Motion, and DVD Studio Pro are top notch and much better than the Windows alternatives.


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Alex Alexzander
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 6:41:29 pm

It's a trade off. Yes FCP, Motion, and DVD Studio Pro are wonderful applications. Liquid Edition is very nice too. I've been using the Pro version with the BOB for the last few weeks. On a 3.2 GHz single processor system, I have been doing multi-cam, and mixing formats on the timeline, etc. It's quite nice, and holds up very well against FCP. The ability to have multiple clip types on the timeline is something FCP would only do with certain add on cards. Otherwise, it renders everything to the timeline standard.

Liquid Edition 6.1 is good software. Premiere Pro is pretty good softare too. The PC has Edius from Canopus, and lots of other choices too. That's what is so great about the PC. You can build it yourself, and you have lots of coices in terms of software.

On the Mac, you have FCP, and Avid. Both are great, but on the PC, you have many more choices.

After Effects is outstanding software. Combustion is as well. Boris Red 3GL is. Lots of great stuff out there. eDVD is a good application for enhancing DVDs and its a PC application. DVDLab Pro has features DVD Studio Pro doesn't, and it is cheaper.

So don't worry so much about the platform. You can be just as creative on a PC.

-Alex


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Mike James
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on Jun 1, 2005 at 6:18:54 am

Brian,

Had I found LE before finding FCP I'd still be on the PC. It is the "grass is greener" thing. I don't know how Pinnacle kept this thing such a secret. Alex has yapped about it a bit on another thread and I am just amazed. But I'm pretty committed to the workflow on the Mac. FCP, Motion, DVDSP.

I've used Encore a bunch as well. I really like the program and the easy of menu creation between PS and Encore is so easy and seemless it is just crazy. But Alex is correct. You will top out and hit the wall with Encore.

If you are just looking for a decent Authoring app Encore fits the bill with no large learning curve. If you truly want to stay on the edge of authoring and really get your hands dirty, then hike up your shorts and check out DVD-Lab Pro. But be warned... there is a little bit more to fumble around with in the beginning. I'm just talking from an outsider's perspective about DVD-Lab Pro. I've looked at the specs. It is actually cheap for the abilities it has. I paid $1300 for an app that can do spec level re-authoring and much of that re-authoring of DVDSP projects would not need to be done if you just first used DVD-Lab from the get go.

All that said, I know Adobe is set to release a new video collection in the Fall. I'll be watching closely because I own the Adobe Video Collection, but since FCP/DVDSP I've not really touched it often (yawn). I just recently received an email from them which was a "survey" about what video and post production. It also had a few boxes for comments and requests.

I gave them a piece of my mind (I was semi-nice). Well I did say one really positive thing to them. I said it was the most professional level apps available to the world of wedding videographers. Premiere Pro and Encore DVD are two fun apps, but they can't hang with FCP/DVDSP and they certainly can't touch LE and DVD-Lab Pro.



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Mike James
One last thing
on Jun 1, 2005 at 6:23:47 am

Brian,

After Effects is a warrior. It ain't going anywhere and I'm sure version 7 will have great new bells and whistles as well. Your time will be well spent with that app. Down the road if you add a mac to your game, you can use Motion files natively in AE. Which makes Motion one of the best and coolest "plug-ins" available for AE ;)


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Robert plant
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 4:22:10 pm



Admin deleted post with this warning: Robert, try this again and you will be out of the Cow permanently. We do NOT tolerate people coming into the Cow and berating our leaders. Consider this your first and last warning.

Ron Lindeboom
creativecow.net


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Brian Haines
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 4:41:53 pm

Uhm, Robert.. Why are you being an ass about this?

Alex answered my question well and even explained that DVD-Lab Pro had plenty of growth potential.


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maggie
Re: Best DVD Authoring Software for Price?
on May 31, 2005 at 10:19:43 pm

http://netscape.com.com/DVD-lab-Pro/3640-7970_4-10387871.html



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