Apple has unveiled an upgrade to DVD Studio Pro at NAB.

Version 4 of Apple's professional DVD authoring package features support for the HD DVD specification (version 0.9) and H.264, so users can showcase content in HD resolution and burn feature-length HD content with an existing DVD burner to existing DVD media.

However, Apple VP of applications marketing Rob Schoeben told MacCentral that, for now, HD DVDs could only be played on a Macintosh using the new movie player application included with Mac OS X Tiger.


DVD Studio Pro 4 also provides high-quality video encoding for SD and HD video and professional audio encoding for Dolby Digital Professional (AC-3) delivery.

Distributed encoding across networks enables users to quickly convert source materials to a wide range of industry formats, it is also possible to reduce audio file sizes by converting uncompressed (PCM) audio to AC-3 in a single encoding pass, in addition the processing power of multiple machines can be tapped to reduce encoding time for long-format projects and standards conversions.

Because the upgrade is closely integrated with Final Cut Pro it also possible to save time by using native HDV from that application without any recompression. Apple also claims improved integration with its other Final Cut Studio applications.

DVD Studio Pro 4 is being demonstrated at NAB with a prototype consumer HD DVD player from Toshiba set to debut later this year.

It costs £349, or £139 as an upgrade from previous versions. It is also available as part of the Final Cut Studio suite, which costs £899.