- Value for money:
HD space: 250MB
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Number of users: 1
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
It gives the user powerful control over creation of a project but that comes at the cost of ease-of-use. This program is not for novices and you can expect to spend a good deal of time learning to use it if you’d like to truly exploit its full potential.
Once mastered though, nothing else comes close to its remarkable functionality. Complex menu creation, scene and chapter creation, thumbnails, background music, drag and drop options, mixed media support and a built in burner - they’re all there along with hundreds of other features and options.
A small set of templates with graphics and buttons can help you get started on your project but should you wish to customise these, this too can be done. For those that prefer not to reinvent the wheel, there are themes online created by other users that are available to download for free. Nifty.
Sony’s single-minded efforts towards building the ultimate DVD creator, means that the package is actually missing a few extras that you would have thought would be standard features. You won’t find the ability to import videos from a camcorder or linking to a camera directly for instance. As a result the data you want to compile must be present on your hard drive or already on a DVD.
DVD Architect Studio 5 is pretty intensive and will use significant system resources when running. It’s probably not a good idea to multitask with this program and if anything, it just takes away from the experience of using it. There are loads of tutorials to help you get up to speed with the software and if you have time, you can spend hours on end trying to learn every little trick it has hidden up its fully-featured sleeve. If you’d like a more interactive approach try visiting its online forums, otherwise the built in user manual, online knowledge base and e-mail support should lend you enough advice to see your project to fruition. When you’re finally ready to burn your DVD disc, you’ll find the time taken on the whole is substantial but you won’t be disappointed when you see the fantastic results. The quality is fantastic and chapter functions work flawlessly.
Ultimately Sony’s DVD Architect Studio is a complex, yet intensely powerful program. It is not for newbies and not for users practising anger management. It take a bit of restraint to overwhelm the initial frustration that might want to make you give-up and call it a day but once you’re past that stage you will wonder how you ever lived without it. Hands down it is one of the best DVD creators in the market - the levels of customisability that it allows the user are verge on overkill. To ask for a more user friendly product, you’d truly be asking for diminished versatility and sometimes that’s not the best thing with a powerful DVD authoring program like DVD Architect Studio 5.
Pros: A full fledged DVD creator, with intensively customisable in-DVD menu functions.
Cons: Not the most user friendly video editor and extremely complicated for a novice.
Verdict: DVD Architect Studio 5 has everything you will ever need to create your ultimate DVD. If you can put in the effort to get past its steep learning curve, this is a hugely powerful authoring program that can produce incredible results.