Sonic Solutions has announced the long awaited update of DVDit 6 to the new and improved DVDit Pro HD ($499). What's new? Well, you basically get everything DVDit 6 has as far as functionality, but now with the capability to do all of it for Blu-ray authoring. This is the first product to give such robust Blu-ray DVD authoring tools to the prosumer market. And, yes, of course the format war is not over, but at least you can compete with the Hollywood studios. In fact, when Sonic Solutions walked us through the product they told us that this DVD authoring engine is the same as the one most Hollywood studios are using to burn their multi-million dollar releases. With Sonic DVDit Pro HD you're limited to MPEG 2 encoding (no H.264 or VC1) as well as single layer burns. This means you won't be taking advantage of 50 GB Blu-ray discs, although, who can seriously afford them at about $48 a pop. While we would have liked to have seen H.264 and VC1 in the mix, we realize that these encodes take a toll on system resources. In other words, if you've got an audience will Blu-ray readers on PCs that barely meet system requirements, playback might be a little iffy with H.264 or VC1. The hope is that MPEG 2 streams will be much friendlier to your audience. This reminds us of the early days of DVD when many computers had to have additional hardware to process MPEG 2 video. We're excited to see Sonic Solutions pushing forward and giving videographers the tools to stay competitive (at a very reasonable price, as well). We'll be reviewing Sonic DVDit Pro HD in our magazine soon. Check back for more details.

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