Need DVD Authoring Advice (Software)



Hi, I'm new here so please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong place.

I am a pretty technical person in most regards and I have some experience with DV editing with consumer level software (Early versions of Pinnacle Studio, currently Video Explosion Deluxe, which is a repackaged Sonic Foundry product, the name escapes me) I also have a digital 8 camcorder and I have experience with importing/exporting to tape via firewire.

What's new with me is that I have purchased a Plextor 708A and a Canopus ADVC100 with the intention of doing a couple things. First, I plan to use DVD-R as my output format of choice for my edited home movies. I'll still retain raw footage and completed projects in DV format on tape for a high quality archive.

Secondly, I want to leverage my fair use rights to move some VHS content to DVD. Specifically I have a slew of kids videos that clock in at 30-40 minutes and I figure with a 4000 Kbps bitrate I should be able to fit 3-4 of these on a single DVD. Also, I would like to one day (if I can ever make the time) craft a couple "definitive versions" of some of my favorite DVD movies for my fair use pleasure. (i.e. Greedo did not shoot first!)

So I understandably have some questions just coming into this. I have read a few FAQ's but I guess I am reading the wrong ones because I am lost on some of the finer points.

First, I need a solid reasonably featured DVD authoring package that meets the following criteria at a minimum:

1) Be able to mark chapters within a title and be able to provide a corresponding capter list for a title. I don't mind doing this manually within an interface by selecting time points and such but I need to be able to do that. Note that I don't want my source to be cut up into multiple titles, I want true chapter marking.

2) Provide a relatively user friendly interface for creating menus.

3) Either provide enough flexibility with video/audio encoding to be self sufficient or be kind enough to leave the source material alone without re-encoding it.

Now here's what I've heard so far about some options out there. My first thought was to upgrade my copy of Nero 5 to Nero 6 Ultimate (Ultra? whatever) But then I took a look at the user feedback on CNet that trashed it soundly as being buggy and otherwise a pain.

My drive will come with Roxio Easy CD/DVD but 5 minutes on their discussion boards has scared me enough already. I don't think I'm even going to install it. Besides, it does not support chapter marking so far as I can tell.

Now there are many other packages out there but to be honest, I really don't have the time to try/buy get frustrated with 10 different packages until I get it right. Reviews online seem completely useless for this type of software because everything I read basically raves about every product.

So to bring this one to a close, I would really appreciate some sound advice on which software I should look into that will provide a no nonsense, works as advertised, DVD authoring experience.



Hi jmcmike and welcome to the forum!

Take a look at and download their 30 day free trial of DVD MovieFactory 3. This prog should be able to do all you require and is a real doddle to use.
If you like it it can be bought from Amazon for about £25, so wont even break the bank.


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