by Jeremy R. Gorman
InterVideo’s latest software DVD viewer is an
evolutionary not a revolutionary product. It's pretty fortunate since
the last several iterations have been very good. We’ve all seen
products get so feature rich that they now longer work or are so large
that they actually slow the CPU because of the memory draw. Not the case
here fortunately, since the thrust seems to be on enhancing old features
while adding only select new ones. The clean interface remains.
additions and changes really work here with interesting new twists side
by side with the features we’ve come to expect from a top-notch viewer.
For example, a database called the Movie Encyclopedia allows you to look
up your favorite actor, director, etc. This feature is a good idea that
needs some smoothing out since it stumbles often while trying to access
the data on the internet. The second change , an enhanced bookmark
feature works very well in this version, allowing a return to favorite
scene in the movie, a real whizbang special effect or even an audio file
from a CD. While it doesn't have quite all the features of a
full-fledged music player program, it's almost robust enough to serve in
that capacity and a space-saver for the traveling user who wants to keep
the disk overhead low. A screen capture allows you to email a JPEG of
your favorite scene to a friend along with your bookmark files. For the
college student or distance learner, the AB repeat is the tailor-made
way to loop instructional videos until the message is quite clear.
The folks at Intervideo gave some thought to the
movie buff who watches DIVX films since that format is now supported in
this product as it is in their other new products like DVD Copy 2. If
you all are a laptop user or anyone in a hurry, you have to appreciate
the time stretching function which allows movies to be viewed more
rapidly. Adjustable all the way up to double speed, the viewer
automatically adjusts the audio track so that it doesn't sound like your
PC speakers are suddenly filled with helium or Alvin and the chipmunks
just got loose on your desk.
For even more functionality, several add-in packs
are available at additional cost. The Audio Booster Pack tricks the two
speaker laptop ,desktop or even TV speakers into an enhanced mode which
retains much of the quality of 5.1 channel sound. The graphic equalizer
also adjusts for speakers and headphones as well as individually
controlling the volume and the delay or each channel permitting the more
exacting among use to create their own virtual surround system.
If you're the user of an Intel CPU laptop and a
movie buff, a $40 add- in, the mobile technology pack , changes the
computer’s power scheme and memory management to maximize battery life.
While each function can be controlled individually, there is a
one-button setting to maximize of battery life for long play. Since
this product is not inexpensive it seems to make sense only for those
who must see the end of the movie before the battery runs down or for
those who don't want to pay the steeper price for a second battery.
A good product with features the competition
doesn’t have at the same price seems like a winner to this reviewer.,