Today on Crave, the hottest, most salacious piece of gadget porn isn't the
Yes, it's a slow news day, but hear us out. We've been playing with DVD Suite 7 for a couple of months now, and it's impressed us with the sheer number of functions it's able to perform. Actually, impressed is probably the wrong word -- overwhelmed is more like it. This release contains Power DVD, Power Director, Power Producer and MediaShow 4.
Its main component, as far as we're concerned, is Power DVD, which lets PC users play DVD and Blu-ray movies in 5.1-channel audio -- an improvement over previous versions. It does this with aplomb, as long as your computer meets the minimum requirements of having at least a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 or Athon XP 2200+, you can turn your home system into an HD-movie playing behemoth.
It's not all about playback, however. DVD Suite 7 lets you create high-definition videos through its fairly sophisticated video-editing tool, Power Director. Its interface is intuitive, and its feature-set rich enough for us to achieve professional-looking results in just a few minutes. We particularly liked the video enhancement effects that can -- among other things -- turn your shaky, underexposed footage into something actually worth watching. New features include the ability to download audio effects from Freesound, and exchange templates and effects on Cyberlink's DirectorZone.
Once you've finished your masterpiece, you can burn your movies to DVD, upload them directly to the Interwebs, or mess about with one of DVD Suite 7's myriad other features, like the new Movie Remix tool. This potentially awesome -- yet ultimately pointless -- feature lets you 'Swede' your existing DVD movies by rearranging scenes and adding custom voiceovers or subtitles. The results are usually rubbish, but occasionally it's possible to come up with something outstanding. It's just a shame you can only share your creations via Cyberlink's Moovie Web site, and only with users who have a copy of DVD Suite 7 or PowerDVD 8 and a copy of the DVD you remixed. See? Pointless.
It's just as well, then, that DVD Suite 7 has so many other elements that actually are of use. The photo and video organisation features in MediaShow 4 are awesome, and let you upload your content to Flickr or YouTube, while Power Producer lets you author DVDs in the AVCHD format and create high-definition discs.
The Ultra version of the software, which we tested, will set you back about £90 from places like Amazon. Media junkies could do worse than checking it out.