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InterVideo DVD Platinum 5
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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 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.,

Last Update:06/26/2007

 

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