DV By David O. Weissman

HD has finally arrived for demo reels and corporate presentation discs. The cost? Five large--and lots of patience.

Avid DVD It's been about a year since Hollywood studios and consumer electronics makers launched their twin hype balloons of HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Although nearly punctured by the popular and trade press, both next-gen DVD formats have succeeded in getting off the ground-but neither has risen much higher above the other in terms of general consumer acceptance. Regardless of how long it takes for households to come around to HD DVD or Blu-ray movies, both formats offer video producers the ability to add high definition to every other type of project that DVDs are used for today-from demo reels to corporate presentations. For now at least, Blu-ray maintains a lead over HD DVD in the desktop authoring area, with multiple vendors offering creation software, blank media, recorders and duplicators, and players. What you'll need For my part, I've been following the evolution of the toolsets used to make both HD DVD and Blu-ray discs since NAB 2006. Back then, I was surprised to find a low-priced alternative in the middle of Sonic's NAB exhibit. Avid DVD by Sonic promised motion menus, subtitles, and multiple audio tracks, with high-definition output to Blu-ray disc, for less than $1,300 list. You may have heard of Avid DVD before: it has been part of something called Avid Studio Toolkit for several years, and Avid editors have been making simple DVDs with it for a while now. Last fall I began what turned out to be several months of testing with Avid DVD, the results of which are still coming in. Although I am skeptical about some aspects, I've found real promise in this toolset. read more...

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