Cyberlink PowerProducer 3 Encore mini-Review (Works With DVR-MS!)
About a month ago I got a copy of Cyberlink PowerProducer 3 Encore. PowerProducer 3 Encore is Cyberlinks all-in-one program for capturing, editing, and burning your media to DVD’s. According to Cyberlink it’s “The Intelligent Way to Turn Movies and Photos into Stunning DVDs”. Here’s my experience with the software.
PowerProducer 3 Encore ships with a nice, easy to use, wizard drive interface. It’s broken down into the following topics…
1. Produce Movie Disc | Start your production by capturing, importing, and editing content.
2. Right-to-Disc | Transfer video directly to DVD
3. Edit Disc | Edit VR content on DVD+RW, DVD-RW, or DVD-RAM
4. Open Project | Open a previous project to continue editing or start burning
5. Disc Utilities | A collection of utilities including Copy Disc, Erase Disc, Burn Disc from Image, and more.
After selecting Produce Movie Disc, PowerProducer 3 prompts you with a clean interface with simple options to let you Import Video Files, Photos, or Capture Video. I wasn’t sure if PowerProducer was going to open DVR-MS files, I didn’t see it listed in their supported format section on the website. However, I imported a few into PowerProducer 3 and was shocked it actually worked! Before you can actually import the DVR-MS files, PowerProducer will convert them to MPEG-2. This process takes about 2 minutes for a 30 minute program. There were no audio/video sync issues after my converting to MPEG-2, which has been a major problem in the past with some of the other mainstream programs. The one thing that I disliked about this process is that PowerProducer doesn’t tell you it’s converting to MPEG-2. There is an extremely small progress bar that was there, but if I import a 2 hour show, I want to know why the program is just sitting there for 8 minutes! Tell me that PowerProducer is converting the files to MPEG-2 so they will be editable. PowerDirector Express 4 (included) asks me if I would like to convert the files, why doesn’t PowerProducer?
Now that you have your files imported you can edit them. This process was very simple allowing A-B Cut, Merge, and Spilt. Clicking on Advanced Editing will bring up PowerDirector Express 4 and allow Adding Tiles, Transitions, Changing Video Color Options, and use of Magic Tools. The Magic Tools actually did do some nice cleanup of the video. You can do most of what Magic Clean does with the Video Color Options, but with every sample I used them on it got good settings with resulted in brighter, higher contrast video. You can actually tell if your TV Tuner needs to be better tuned after seeing the output from Magic Tools.
Now that I had edited my video I could go back and add other DVD features such as Menu’s and Chapters. PowerProducer 3 Encore allows all of your basic Menu features including adding background sounds, changing button layout and configuration, and backgrounds. Chapter creation can be done manually, automatically by set number, or by scene detection. Scene detection didn’t really work out in my testing, I ended up with chapters set at 00:00:00, 00:00:24, 00:00:27, 00:00:34, and so on. Needless to say, those were all scene breaks in the specific show I was using, or breaks to commercials or any place you would want a chapter in a TV program. I used an older home movie to test with also, and the scene detection worked much better there.
The next step in the wizard was the burning process. Basic settings include Burn Speed and Disc Volume Level. In addition you can save your DVD as an Image (RDF) or DVD Folder. I had no problems with any part of the burning processing, it worked perfectly.
Overall whether you are looking to purchase a software package for editing and burning DVR-MS files or you are just looking for a software package to edit, capture, and burn DVDs, you should take a look at PowerProducer 3 Encore. PowerProducer 3 Encore retails for $69.99 and more information can be found here. You can download a free 30 day trial from here that includes most features.