Writing for the
Wall Street Journal, Walter S. Mossberg talks about the beauty of burning DVDs for use at home or with friends in a new article entitled “Send Home Movies to Grandma With DVD-Recording Software.” It’s all thanks to technology developed by Pioneer and implemented by companies like Apple and Compaq.
While Mossberg firmly believes that DVD-R will see widespread adoption in the PC marketplace over the next few years, he notes that the two companies first out of the gate with Pioneer’s new DVD-R drive are Apple and Compaq. Mossberg said that although both companies use the same DVD recording hardware, they “are very different to buy and use.” Compaq may win on price, but Apple is far easier and better to use, and it’s all thanks to the software included on the “SuperDrive” equipped Power Mac G4.
“A sharply lower price is Compaq’s only advantage here,” wrote Mossberg. “When it comes to the actual experience of creating a DVD, Apple wins hands down. Apple has created a beautiful and simple DVD recording program. It’s called iDVD and looks a lot like Apple’s brilliant iMovie program for importing and editing videos.”
Mossberg went on to say that he created several DVDs filled with home videos, Internet video downloads and personal photos, and iDVD created perfectly playable DVDs that he could use with his home theater DVD player as well.
Compaq’s DVD-R equipped PCs depend on “a techie-oriented program called DVDit! LE from Sonic Solutions,” wrote Mossberg. The software only imports AVI videos, unless you sink another $400 into an MPEG upgrade. “By contrast, Apple’s software does the conversion to MPEG itself when you record the DVD,” said Mossberg.
“But that’s not the only rude surprise with using the Compaq,” continued Mossberg. “The very first thing the software does is to ask you to make two techie decisions — you have to choose between the NTSC or PAL TV systems, and between MPEG 1 and MPEG 2. Most users wouldn’t have a clue.”
Mossberg also said the Compaq solution required more steps and produced lower quality results than Apple’s iDVD. While most users might want to wait until there are more choices and less cost, but for those for whom money is no object, “I prefer the Apple,” said Mossberg.