Tsunami MPEG DVD EasyPack Suite DVD Authoring Software Review
$80

TMPG Inc.

P.O. Box 569

Gardena, CA. 90248

www.tmpg-inc.com

Easy DVD Packed

Creating desktop DVD video is now a social norm. For those who are challenged by the pervasive technology comes a cool little inexpensive tool from Tsunami, the MPEG DVD EasyPack Suite.

Baby Steps

Simple Wizards are the interface of the Tsunami MPEG DVD EasyPack Suite, which look more like a kiosk than a software front end. No elaborate menus or user preferences to confuse the technophobe here. The Tsunami MPEG DVD EasyPack Suite gets your video to DVD in three simple steps–encode, edit and author–
without a lot of fluff at any juncture.

Come One Come All

The first steppingstone in Tsunami's MPEG DVD EasyPack Suite is the Video Encoder Xpress. All of the Suite's components are tagged with the moniker "Easy Edition" to hammer home the simplicity of the tools. The strength of the Video Encoder Xpress is in its volume of supported formats that can be put through the compression mill (see Specs). Assuming of course that the user can get their video source material onto a hard drive in one of the many supported input formats, the Video Encoder Xpress will output to a variety of Wizard modes creating more types of media than is for most intents and purposes useful. But you never know when you're going to need to output an obscure format type or compression scheme. We converted standard AVI files into MPEG-2 for DVD at the default VBR (Variable Bit Rate) template and found the Video Encoder Xpress did the conversion quickly with excellent result and clear indication where the compressed file was being saved.

Post Post

Tsunami's MPEG DVD EasyPack Suite even includes an editor after the compression process. MPEG compression puts the individual frames of standard video into GOPs (Groups Of Pictures) to reduce the size of the file data. In that process you usually give up the option to navigate to an individual frame if it's not at the beginning or end of one of these groups. The Tsunami MPEG DVD Author-Easy Edition allows you to regain the access to discreet frames and make cut edits to your program along with the ability to; color correct, analyze and reduce video noise, fade in and out video and audio and adjust audio levels just to name a few of the editorial features.

In using the above features, color correction and noise reduction did not provide a preview of the resulting changes in the editor. The cut editing of the video worked well, from taking out a few frames to whole scenes. Playback of the edit in the preview window showed a bit of hesitation at the edit point but on the completed DVD it worked fine.

Graphic Template & Burn

Select one of the menu pages from the provided themes in Tsunami MPEG DVD Author, attach your program to the provided buttons and you're ready to burn. Although the graphics are not the slickest out there, the reliability, speed and ease of use is a big plus for the Tsunami MPEG DVD Author. We made a motion background and motion buttons with clips from our program and all ran surprisingly smooth. Many times motion menus and backgrounds can skip and stutter but the Tsunami MPEG DVD Author seemed to handle this task well.

TECH SPECS

Operating System: Windows 2000/XP

CPU: 1GHz (2GHz recommended)

RAM: 256MB (512MB recommended)

Input Video: AVI; M MPEG-1 System stream (.mpg); MPEG-1 Elementary stream (.m1v);
MPEG-2 Program stream (.mpg, .m2p); MPEG-2 Elementary stream (.m2v);
Windows Media (.wmv); QuickTime Movie; Windows XP Media Center (.dvr-ms files);

Input Audio:: Linear PCM; MPEG-1 Audio Layer I,II; WAV; Dolby Digital; WMA

Output Video: DVD-Video compliant MPEG file format (MP@ML); MPEG-2 file format NTSC/PAL
(MP@LL, MP@ML); MPEG-1 file format NTSC (Film)/PAL; Video-CD NTSC/PAL;
Super Video-CD NTSC/PAL

Output Audio: MPEG-1 Audio Layer II (.mp2); Dolby Digital; Linear PCM (.wav Uncompressed)

Other: Internet connection

STRENGTHS

  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • WEAKNESSES

  • Weak menu graphics
  • SUMMARY

    Good introductory software for making DVDs on the desktop.

    Bruce Coykendall is an Audio/Video Production
    Professional.

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