Creating your own custom DVDs and VideoCDs becomes fairly simple with Adaptec's MyDVD Video Suite 4.0 from Sonic Solutions.
While MyDVD is by no means a fully featured video editing suite, it is easy to use and can quickly transform video and still images into an impressive personal DVD recording including custom menus and transitions.
The application first prompts you to build a navigation menu, by applying one of the 26 templates or creating your own. It then assists you through the process of importing video clips and still images. You can edit this footage, adding music and different effects. MyDVD lets you preview your new creation and burn it onto a recordable DVD.
It includes features such as support for video backgrounds and motion menus that loop up to 60 seconds of footage. It can record directly from video to DVD, create custom slide shows and offers support for the OpenDVD re-recordable format.
MyDVD also comes with two useful helper programs: Arcsoft Showbiz and Sonic Cineplayer.
Showbiz, a basic video-editing tool, lets you add effects, transitions, text and additional audio to your footage.
Cineplayer, a preview application, offers some advantages over standard media players by supporting frame-by-frame, 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 speed playback and frame capture. Edited clips can be imported directly into MyDVD.
However MyDVD does have several serious limitations. Menus can only be rectangular buttons evenly arranged on the screen. There is no support for preview windows or more creatively designed interfaces. The software is also poorly supported. While the tutorial covers basics, sophisticated editing help is limited. Tech support is available free for 30 days, however this involves calling the USA.
Finally and most importantly, the end product isn't up to DVD quality standards. While it depends on the quality of initial footage, overall there was a significant fall in the resolution of the final DVD.