I'm editing a feature low-budget documentary and my client got a Lacie Fastcoder to bang out DVDs of the various rough cuts to screen around. I've been a bit frustrated with it, but it's better than waiting 20 hours for a software encode. I use FCP on a G4 with DVDSP.
Here are my dislikes:
1) The "DV Stream" format. It's bad enough that I have to export to DV Stream, but this process is about 4x faster than realtime even on my dual 1ghz G4, so why can't it just covert the Quicktime on the fly to DV Stream and feed it to the encoder. That way I don't have to wait the extra 30 minutes to convert to DV Stream AND I don't have to have 25 gigs free on a drive to hold it.
2) Doesn't play sound while encoding and the preview window is small / low resolution. Since my doc is a feature it would be very nice if I could actually watch the movie and hear the sound while it is encoding to see if there are any problems.
3) Software is bare-bones. For example, if your drive fills up while converting to DV Stream the whole process just aborts, it gives you no time to free up more space.
But for 300 bucks I can't complain too much. Are there any alternatives for around the same price point that address any of my issues?