HomeMovie.Com has built a powerful web-based interface for the DVDVirtuoso authoring system from Spruce Technologies Inc. that provides consumers and professional videographers with the world’s first affordable Video-to-DVD transfer service bureau.

The HomeMovie.Com facility features 20 workstations — 10 Spruce DVDVirtuoso authoring systems and 10 Spruce MPX-3000 encoding systems. Spruce made its application programming interface (API) available to enable HomeMovie.Com to build the system. HomeMovie.Com then constructed a web-based interface that leverages the API to create command sets for controlling a DVDVirtuoso system. This interface leverages the Spruce API to create a package of commands that can be fed directly to Spruce DVDVirtuoso to automatically create a finished DVD title.

According to HomeMovie.Com President John Larsen, “I first looked at Spruce because of the overwhelming recommendations I heard while doing my research. I tried a wide variety of ‘low-range’ systems, but for the most part it was obvious to me that at that level you really only get what you pay for — which wasn’t much. Spruce DVDVirtuoso offered an affordable solution that had the level of sophistication I needed. The MPX3000 encoders offered excellent image quality. Most importantly, Spruce was clearly prepared to provide the level of support I needed to build my business. Coming from a software background, I know the value of great support. Once I spoke with the staff at Spruce, I stopped looking immediately.”

HomeMovie.Com is offering two forms of its services, one geared at the home video market and the other at professional videographers. Consumers can take advantage of HomeMovie.Com to permanently preserve irreplaceable family videos by transferring them from rapidly degrading videotape to DVD. Professionals can leverage a broader set of customization tools to provide full service DVD production to their customers without having to invest in additional equipment.

According to Larsen, “Customers actually do most of the work because our interface gives them virtual control over the DVDVirtuoso authoring process. They come to our web site and log in their tape based on the time codes on their VCR or video camera. They give editing instructions and can freely define their chapter points and other DVD-style information. We provide them with a wide variety of menu styles to choose from as well. Then they just label their tape and ship it off to us in the packaging we provide.”

Once HomeMovie.Com receives the video, the operator just places it in the appropriate deck and begins the encoding process. The Spruce MPX-3000 used by HomeMovie.Com is the same system being used by major Hollywood and corporate production facilities. This enables HomeMovie.Com to apply sophisticated techniques such as variable bit rate encoding to ensure customers receive the highest quality digital video and audio from their originals. HomeMovie.Com is equipped to handle a wide array of popular video formats including VHS, VHS-C, SVHS, 8MM, Hi8, Mini-DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, and BetaCamSP. After encoding, the digitized video footage is sent to DVDVirtuoso where the customer’s instructions, submitted via the web site, automatically direct the authoring process.

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