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Professional DVD Authoring Features

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/1/2011

Here are some features to expect when you upgrade from consumer DVD authoring software to a professional version.

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    Making Decisions

    When you are deciding on what type of DVD authoring software you want to purchase you may be debating between the professional programs and the ones that are aimed at the conventional consumer. Both will do the job, but you are not sure what you are missing out by going with the cheaper home version. Here are a few things that you should expect from a professional DVD authoring program.

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    Multiple Angles

    Many of the nicer professional DVD programs will allow you to do multiple angle video tracks on a single video track. This means that the user will be able to watch whatever the video segment is from multiple angles, depending on their preference. This is something that you tend to only get on the most advanced film and sports DVDs, so it is not expected by most consumers. If you are very interested in publishing your home movie with extras or if you are trying to do an interactive video-art piece this may be an intriguing feature.

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    If you want to do multiple audio and subtitle tracks, such as you would with language dubbing or subtitling, then these are often included. The standard film DVD used by a production company offers eight to nine audio tracks and over thirty subtitles. This is unnecessary for most home digital video producers, but it is a thought. Again, if you are trying to create a DVD project that is more than just a display for your film then you may want to consider this. If you are trying to give it to friends and family that have a distant nationality, then this may help bridge the language barrier.

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    The programs also tend to have features to ensure the success of your project. This includes content checking, which makes sure that all the tracks and specified areas actually have the appropriate content, and link checking, which makes sure all the button links and standard DVD links are working. This will make sure that you do not burn multiple copies of the DVD just to realize that the Menu button doesn’t work.

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    One thing that separates home DVDs from professional DVDs is right protection software that stops them from being copied. This protective measure, often called the Content Scrambling System, blocks people that would make captured copies of the DVD. This usually does not work anyway, and unless you are trying to personally distribute your film there really is no reason to do this.

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    You will also want to have Blu-ray capabilities, dual disc burning options, a large amount of menu and button templates, and the ability to customize menus much more than you would with a standard program. The likelihood is that most consumer programs will allow you to do most of these things anyway. That may not be true of the free downloadable authoring programs, but is true of package software like DVD Studio Pro.

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    Go With Consumer

    The truth is that buying something like Adobe Encore is nice, but for those who do not want to spend the money on features that are not that worthwhile then you may want to just stick with a packaged program. The DVD authoring software that came with your editing package is usually sufficient, and there are even a few free and open source programs on the internet that are worth looking at.