DVD Movie Factory Review
DVD MovieFactory uses a step-by-step process to walk you through authoring all of your home videos to DVD. With DVD MovieFactory you can import directly from your camcorder, DVD disc drive, hard drive and TV tuner. They also include dozens of stylish templates, a smart auto chapter feature, slideshow producer, built-in DVD burner and label maker.
There are a few features we would have liked them to include like the ability to create additional submenus, title menus that lead to submenus and true drag and drop functionality, but all-in-all a beginning DVD Author can’t go wrong with DVD MovieFactory.
DVD MovieFactory includes a comprehensive set of menu creation options. You can chapter your video clips, choose from dozens of templates, animate thumbnails, add background music and more.
The shining gem of DVD MovieFactory is the selection of templates. MovieFactory has more than 40 templates that you can place on your DVD videos. They break them up into SmartScene Menus, Text Menus and Thumbnail Menus. All templates include music.
You can modify any of the templates to include your own pictures or template designs, change the text and each submenu can have a different template. Additionally, you can save your template modifications in the templates "Favorites" sections for easy access later. You can also create full motion menus and choose which section of your video clip to display on your home page menu.
In the menu editor you can change your background music, the duration of your animated thumbnails, your transition and thumbnail layout.
All the links in your menus are forcibly static. We did find that although you could swap buttons using a selection of provided button templates you could not import your own button designs. Additionally, if you don’t like a specific image in the template you can send it to the back of the template layer, but you can’t delete the image all together. Same goes for text and thumbnails. They can be moved around in the template, but not deleted. Nor can you add additional text.
DVD MovieFactory also has one of the best automatic chaptering function we reviewed. Most of the DVD Authoring software we reviewed over chaptered clips creating five chapters with less than five minutes of video. With MovieFactory you can set chapters at timed intervals or allow the software to detect scene changes. Once scenes are chaptered you can choose to keep each of them or delete some and re-chapter manually.
DVD MovieFactory includes a minimal video editor that can cut scenes or add text to your videos. You can also implement an opening sequence on your DVD that plays prior to your DVD menu.
In the preferences you can adjust the duration of video transition, audio fade and picture slideshow display duration.
Creating a slideshow is really easy. Once you select which images you want in your slideshow you can drag and drop your photographs and arrange them in the order you would like them displayed. The "Express Fix" tool located in the edit slideshow feature can change photo exposure, color saturation, focus, zoom and more. In edit slideshow you can change the pan and zoom, transition effect and if you double click on any photo you can add text and a small selection of props to your pictures.
DVD MovieFactory can export your video to your hard drive as an MPEG file and play it on almost any computer media player. It is a great way to export your video files without having to burn a DVD. We’d like to mention that your menus will not be present in the export and if you are exporting multiple clips they will be exported separately into multiple files on your computer.
For those importing TV content from a TV tuner there is a handy dandy feature called the “ad-zapper.” The “ad-zapper” is a feature that automatically detects the commercials in your video and deletes them.
DVD MovieFactory couldn’t get much easier to use. There are only 3 steps to authoring a DVD in DVD MovieFactory. Simply follow the steps and click the “next” button. The program will essentially walk you through the authoring process. Each of MovieFactory’s main functions and features are clearly labeled and there is no aspect of the process that would be intimidating to new users.
We would like to point out that some of DVD MovieFactory’s functions in the template design can only be reached using your mouse’s right-click. This includes hiding objects and adjusting an object’s transparency.
The DVD movie and menu we created using DVD MovieFactory was excellent and compared to the competition it was the best copy produced. The menu was clean and clear displayed on our television set. We had no difficulties navigating the DVD and all the menu and fast forward buttons functioned exactly as they should.
We did notice that if you create multiple titles and chapters in those titles you can skip to various chapters in a title, but the DVD will not skip to your second title even in “play all” mode. However, if you are simply watching the entire DVD in “play all” mode the DVD will continue to play each of your titles with no interruption.
Ease of Installation/ Stability:
It’s not uncommon to have stability problems with any kind of DVD authoring software. We’d like to say that DVD MovieFactory is a perfect, flawless program, but sadly that is not the case. MovieFactory is a large application, more than 400 MB, and we did encounter some problems. These include the occasional stop responding issues, video import compatibility and on one occasion a burning problem. However, these problems are not uncommon in an application of this size and DVD MovieFactory was no more unstable than most of the other top DVD authoring software we reviewed.
However, we would like to mention DVD MovieFactory comes with some additional software like a trial version of Corel’s Intervideo DVD Player and a DivX Movies pack. We generally frown upon this kind of software bundling.
DVD MovieFactory includes a built-in user manual, online FAQ and email support. When we contacted Corel about importing file issues they responded to us in about four days. That is a little long in our opinion, but there was a weekend between there.
Don’t let some of the stability issues scare you. DVD Authoring software and similar programs are process intensive and can often be taxing on your computer system. Although DVD MovieFactory doesn’t have as much menu freedom as some of the other DVD Authoring software we reviewed its selection of templates, moderate control and ease of use are what really put it at the top of our list.