Most high-end Macs are fitted with a DVD-R drive that can burn DVD disks, and the-basic-but-useful iDVD software is supplied with each system. But, if you want to create DVD titles professionally, you need something more grown up than an iApp.
One option is Apple?s DVD Studio Pro, an expensive package that provides most of the features professionals need, unless you want to do things beyond the normal DVD-Video standard ? such as generating random numbers ? in which case take a look at Sonic Solutions DVD Creator.
DVD Fusion SE is aimed at multimedia professionals working on the Mac. The Fusion decoder board supplied with the system can hook-up to an external video monitor ? so you can proof on a broadcast-quality screen. Optimized for use with Avid and Media 100 systems, the package also includes the Transcoder software that can batch convert QuickTime video and audio files into MPEG-1 or -2 video and Dolby Digital audio.
The authoring software can create the layout for a DVD, set up subtitles, menus and navigation, and proof the DVD in realtime. Authoring is easy, using simple drag-&-drop methods, although you can use scripting for more complex interactivity. The Bit Budget tool tracks the size of the DVD to make sure you don?t overshoot, and the Verify tool checks that there are no errors and tests for known problems with particular DVD players. When the authoring process is completed, the Imager software burns the disc to DVD-R or create a copy onto DLT to send away for replication. And Sonic?s WriteDirect technology writes directly to DVD-R or DLT without writing any intermediate data to the computer hard disk ? saving up to 30 minutes and 8.5GB of hard-disk space per title.
You can create a DVD-ROM containing just computer data ? simply by selecting the folder on the local hard drive into which you have placed the data for burning onto a DVD-ROM. You can also create hybrid DVD discs. Author as normal, then add the computer data by selecting the folder. It couldn?t be simpler.
Chargeable options are available for video copy-protection, parental rating, regional coding and DTS 5.1 audio ? and the eDVD option can create DVD titles that link to the Web.
Sonic Solutions has been involved with DVD encoding and authoring at every level since the format was first developed. DVD Fusion is a serious piece of kit that multimedia professionals will find ideal for use with Avid or Media 100 systems.