The Good Straightforward interface; fast processing; supports multiple video formats; Platinum version merges multiple DVDs.
The Bad Minimal control of audio and subtitle tracks; compression features limited.
The Bottom Line InterVideo DVD Copy 2.0's interface will please ambitious beginners, but its limited functionality may frustrate advanced users.
InterVideo DVD Copy 2.0 Platinum
InterVideo DVD Copy 2.0 makes it extremely easy to copy both DVDs and CDs and offers some good intermediary features for those ready to begin the journey from novice to advanced. The software can handle a variety of formats, including VideoCD and DivX; recompress DVD content to fit on CDs; and squeeze larger DVD movies to fit on single-layer recordable DVDs. Where and offer a more basic set of tools for copying one title or specific clip, DVD Copy 2.0 gives you the power to drill down to select specific clips and chapters for copying, so you end up with only the content that you want; the Platinum version can also merge content from multiple DVDs onto a single disc. Still, more-advanced users will prefer Ahead's Nero Recode 2.0 (offered in its more expensive suite), which offers more-detailed controls to select individual compression quality and track options for each clip to be copied. Like most other mainstream software, DVD Copy 2.0 cannot back up copy-protected commercial DVDs. InterVideo DVD Copy 2.0 installs cleanly and quickly. You can download a free, two-week trial version from &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fintervideo%2Ecom%2Fjsp%2FInterVideoDVDCopyPlatinum%5FProfile%2Ejsp">InterVideo's site.
InterVideo DVD Copy 2.0's simple main interface breaks the copying process into three steps: select the source disc, choose the target device you want to copy to (such as a blank DVD or a hard drive), and specify the copy format. Once you've made your selections, just click the big button (which shows a lightning bolt blasting a disc) to start burning. Most of the program's additional functions are also available from the main interface.
The software accepts a number of source formats, including DVD, VideoCD (VCD), or Super VideoCD (SVCD), and it reads content from a DVD or CD drive or a hard disk. However, in our tests, DVD Copy 2.0 couldn't recognize our Sony DRX500ULX external FireWire DVD burner as a usable device (we were still investigating this glitch at the time of this review); it had no trouble with our other internal burners. You can select a DVD or CD burner or a hard disk as your target, and DVD Copy 2.0 can burn in a variety of formats, such as DVD, VCD, SVCD, and DivX, and--new to this version--it can spread particularly large content over multiple DVDs.
DVD Copy 2.0's built-in player lets you preview each section of a video, but it's sluggish and doesn't permit fast-forwarding or rewinding within a clip. Further, the video won't play if your display's overlay plane is in use--for example, if you're playing a DVD or watching TV with InterVideo WinDVD Recorder.
DVD Copy 2.0 tells you the estimated size of the material you want to copy and how many discs it will require, although not in a particularly clear or direct way; the information is spread among several steps and varies depending on format. Beyond its ability to make basic copies of CDs and DVDs, InterVideo DVD Copy 2.0 gives you a few ways to fit larger content (say, a DVD movie) onto a smaller disc (say, a CD).
First, you can either reduce the amount of material by stripping out some of the content, audio tracks, or extra features. From the main interface, you can choose to copy only the main content (apart from the menus and extra features). A Customize pop-out tab displays all the major sections (called titles) and chapters on the source DVD, and you can select which specific elements you want to include on the copy. This is a particularly useful feature that lets you discard nonessential content when copying to a smaller disc (such as a VCD or SVCD), where space is at a premium.
With DVD Copy 2.0, you can select specific titles and chapters and choose between a standard 4:3 or a wide-screen 16:9 aspect ratio, if the source disc includes both formats. The software also lets you decide whether you want to copy all of the audio and subtitle tracks or just one language to save space (although you cannot select an arbitrary list of tracks). Take note that when you copy a DVD to fit on a smaller medium, such as a VCD, DVD Copy 2.0 eliminates menus and chapter segments, so you can play the resulting disc only sequentially. You can, however, specify how to split larger DVDs onto multiple CDs to avoid compression altogether and retain video quality (it will require many CDs to contain an average DVD movie).
The second way the software fits larger content on a smaller disc is compression, which can lower video quality significantly. DVD Copy 2.0 will automatically compress selected content to fit on one disc; you cannot set the level of compression manually, however. This autofit feature will work if you are converting a video to DivX, although you can also choose a preset DivX profile for creating a file that will play on a full-size, portable, or handheld display.
DVD Copy can copy DVD files to your hard drive so that you can play them with a software player or later burn them to disc with an authoring tool. However, if you're copying the video as VCD, SVCD, or DivX, the software will extract the content as MPEG files, which are good for editing but are unreadable by most set-top DVD players.
As was the previous version, DVD Copy 2.0 is a fast performer and, in our anecdotal test, squeezed a full double-layer DVD onto a single-layer DVD in around 40 minutes. Impressively, it recompressed this video file to fit on a VCD and an SVCD almost in real time--that is, in about a minute for each minute of video. Of course, the resulting wide-screen video--copied from a double-layer disc--suffered from highly visible blockiness when panning and during scene changes, as we would expect from going from such a large source to such a small target. InterVideo's documentation for DVD Copy 2.0, located in the software's help file, provides useful instructions for various common tasks, although the translation is a bit rough in places.
InterVideo also offers toll-call phone support weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT. The company provides e-mail support as well and promises to answer common questions within two business days, but it took four days get an answer to our test question. InterVideo's Web site offers a brief and not particularly helpful FAQ.