Ulead DWS2 versus Adobe Encore 1.5
I've been using DWS2 to author my DVDs for about a year and was just gifted a copy of Encore DVD 1.5. Can forum members speak to what you see as the relative strengths of one over the other in terms of features, stability, and ease of use. That whole "if it ain't broke..." thing speaks loudly to me when contemplating a new learning curve--but if Encore has significantly better stuff, I'd like to hear about it.
I have used both extensively. My Encore experience is more recent. Because it was part of the Adobe Video Collection package I had purchased I felt the need to try Encore. I created several projects - enough to feel comfortable and perhaps even competent using it. It is reasonably stable and easy to use. However, I like DVDWS better.
Encore can create a nice DVD all by itself, but you will quickly find you need Photoshop and After Effects to create really 'trick' product. For instance, creating a motion menu (with a moving background and video in the buttons) can be done without external applications, but it is not as quick and easy as DVDWS. I was never very successful making such a menu with Encore without going out to After Effects and/or Photoshop.
At first I thought Encore offered more flexibility with regard to navigation between various assets due to its linking system. However, I have yet to find anything Encore does that DVDWS can't do. It is a lot more work to define links in Encore vs. DVDWS.
I expected Encore's "override" capability to be very useful for defining a disc's playback behavior. But that has proven not to be as useful as I had imagined.
Encore does provide complete flexibility when it comes to defining how you navigate between buttons on menus. This is an area where DVDWS will sometimes create strange behavior as you cursor between buttons. I have had it make menus where a button can not be accessed using the cursor keys on a DVD remote. (a nasty bug.)
DVDWS does a better job at previewing both during the edit step (setting chapter points) and during the Finish step for testing navigation. In general, DVDWS is more responsive and more accurate when doing these tasks.
DVDWS allows you to output an iso file. Encore does too, but it calls it an img file. I'm not 100% convinced, as some have claimed, that this is just a different file extension on a iso formatted file. If it truly is an iso formatted file why not just use the iso file extension like the rest of the world expects?
In general, Encore probably makes better-looking menus easier to create - particularly so because it is well integrated with Photoshop.
In terms of the quality I find the encoders to be about equal. I usually encode by other means and then bring the mpeg asset into the project instead of importing an AVI or MOV file and using the built-in encoders. In the testing I have done, both programs seem to produce nearly identical mpeg files in about the same amount of time.
One last thing, it seems to me that DVDWS writes to DLT faster.
Hope this is useful.
Hi Dave. Good to see you here again. Thanks for the very useful feedback. My gut was to stick with DWS2 since it is so easy and fabulous (and no new learning curve) UNLESS Encore offered some superb features, particularly around making more sophisticated menus. Thanks again--really helpful.