Nero has announced that they've added support for Blu-ray data recording to Nero 7. According to their press release, the suite also includes new and updated applications like Nero Search and Nero Home.
Nero, leaders in digital media technology, unveil today the newest and most powerful version of the Nero 7 software suite to-date. An all-in-one solution for the management of data, audio, video, photo and TV content, Nero 7 is a comprehensive tool for today's digital home. Nero 7 now enables Blu-ray data recording and adds many new and updated applications such as Nero Search and Nero Home to empower users even more than before. Current Nero 7 customers will be able to receive a free online update at

"Nero 7 supports the digital lifestyle with a very powerful suite of applications," said Jim Corbett, Executive Director, Nero AG. "From the new Blu-ray recording capability to the convenience of Nero Search, Nero 7's features and performance makes it an unbeatable solution for just about anything you would want to do within the networked home."

Nero Burning ROM and Nero Express enable Blu-ray data recording that is readable on every operating system (Windows 98 SE/Me, Windows 2000, XP and Vista), multi-session writing on BD-R/RE media and the creation of 1:1 copies of any unprotected BD media.
While its great that Nero continues to include new features, they really need to fix up some of the existing bugs. As it is, people are already reporting issues with the latest version. Anyway, if you'd like to read more, Nero's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Nero released a new version of Nero 7 this morning. There still is no change log. However, this new update brings the version count up to . If you'd like to check it out, the update can be downloaded here or via BitTorrent. As usual, feel free to share your experiences in our forum. Add a comment
Sonic Solutions has announced that they've started shipping the world's first high-definition authoring systems, Scenarist 4 and CineVision. Here's part of their press release:
Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC),released the world's first professional high-definition authoring and encoding systems, Scenarist 4 and CineVision, to enable major motion picture studios to begin the rollout of Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD commercial titles. Designed for professional content creators who demand the highest level of creative control, Scenarist 4 offers complete support for HDMV (Movie Mode) and BD-J Blu-ray Disc authoring in addition to Standard and Advanced Content HD DVD authoring. Also delivering comprehensive next-generation format support is CineVision, Sonic's Hollywood-quality encoding workstation that provides expert control over all three HD video codes: AVC/H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2. Sonic will be demonstrating Scenarist 4 and CineVision during the National Association of Broadcasters show taking place this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth SL3750.

Scenarist 4 and CineVision were developed in collaboration with the High Definition Authoring Alliance (HDAA), an association of top authoring and post-production facilities around the globe, that Sonic formed in 2005 to help facilitate the successful launch of high-definition titles. Both Scenarist 4 and CineVision were refined based on feedback from content creators who used pre-release versions to produce the industry's first replicated discs using the advanced interactive modes of Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD.
More information on both Scenarist 4 and CineVision can be found here. Add a comment
InterVideo and Ulead have announced two new versions of their VideoStudio software. According to their press release, VideoStudio 10 And VideoStudio 10 Plus offer enhanced ease of use, expanded creative options and full, and high-definition video support.
InterVideo, Inc. (NASDAQ:IVII - News) and its partner Ulead Systems, Inc. announced today VideoStudio 10 and VideoStudio 10 Plus, the newest versions of its consumer video editing and DVD authoring software. The new releases allow users of all levels to easily turn photos and video into high-quality productions for sharing on DVD, tape, the Internet or mobile devices.

"With version 10, VideoStudio adds some exciting new features," said Eldon C. M. Liu, president of Ulead. "Users new to video editing will find the software easier than ever. Advanced users can now take advantage of multiple overlay tracks, true 5.1 channel surround sound and complete support for high-definition video."

For the first time, VideoStudio will be offered in two versions. VideoStudio 10 gives entry-level users affordable and easy-to-use editing and authoring tools for great home movies. An advanced version, VideoStudio 10 Plus, delivers unique and powerful features for next-generation quality and creativity.
While boxed versions of VideoStudio 10 won't hit store shelves until May, it can be purchased now through Ulead's website. More information can be found here. Add a comment
Intervideo and Ulead have announced that they will be demonstrating their HD DVD playback and disc authoring software at the upcoming HD DVD seminar in Shanghai, China.
InterVideo, Inc. (NASDAQ:IVII - News) and its partner Ulead Systems, Inc. (TSE:2487 - News), industry leaders in video, image and DVD software, members of the HD DVD Promotion Group, today announced that they will showcase their complete HD DVD solutions, from authoring and burning to playback, at the HD DVD seminar in Shanghai, China on April 22rd.

HD DVD has been selected by the DVD Forum to be the next-generation, post-DVD standard for high-capacity, high-definition HD DVD discs. In addition to DVD's MPEG-2, HD DVD also adopts core video formats such as H.264/AVC and VC-1 as well as advanced technologies for enhanced disc interaction.

The global HD DVD seminar is held for its members to exchange views and to share technological advances. It aims to encourage the broad acceptance of HD DVD on a world-wide basis among members of the group, related industries and the public. Attendees of the seminar include Toshiba, NEC, Sanyo, Memory-Tech, Ulead and InterVideo.
If you'd like to read more, InterVideo's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
InterVideo sent out a press release today, announcing that their WinDVD HD software is being bundled with Toshiba's new HD DVD read laptop, the Qosmio G30.
InterVideo, Inc. (NASDAQ:IVII - News) announced today that InterVideo WinDVD HD(TM) is being bundled with Toshiba Corporation's new Dynabook Qosmio G30/697HS Series Notebook PCs -- the world's first notebook PC with an integrated HD DVD-ROM drive. The new Qosmio G30 will be available throughout Japan in mid-May.

Offering all of the benefits of the high-definition experience without the complexity, InterVideo's WinDVD HD can be used to navigate and play back the crystal-clear, interactive content on HD DVD discs. The universal player also supports all DVD/video/audio in any format, eliminating media compatibility issues. With WinDVD HD, the viewing experience is further enhanced with a mixture of unprecedented audio effects, including Dolby surround sound and DTS(TM)-HD audio support for the highest-quality audio performance available.
If you'd like to read more, InterVideo's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Roxio has announced the release of their new Mac DVD backup software, Popcorn 2. This new version features a number of improvements including the ability to convert videos for play back on the iPod, PSP and other portable video players.
Roxio, a division of Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC), the leader in digital media software, today released Popcorn 2, which makes it easy for Mac users to transfer their favorite personal video entertainment to DVDs and portable devices such as an iPod, PSP or mobile phone. These innovations enhance the already highly regarded features for creating backup copies of non-copy protected personal DVDs. Popcorn 2, a Universal application, is available in retail stores across North America and direct at for a suggested price of $49.99. Popcorn 2 is also being simultaneously released in Europe and Asia. Previous owners of Toast and Popcorn may be eligible for special upgrade pricing direct from Roxio.

"To keep pace with the growing demand for portable media devices, the new mobile capabilities of Popcorn 2 provide an excellent solution for those who want the flexibility to enjoy personal video wherever and whenever they choose," said Stan Wong, general manager, Roxio division, Sonic Solutions. "Now consumers can make the most of their players by easily creating mobile-friendly versions of their video."

Popcorn 2 enables users to create portable compatible versions of all popular formats including non-protected DVD-Video, QuickTime movies, MPEG files, iMovie projects and other popular video formats. Popcorn 2 includes predefined settings optimized for standard or high-quality video output, or users can define their own custom DivX, MPEG4, or H.264 levels for bit rate, frame rate, and image size.
Popcorn 2 is available now for a suggested retail price of $49.99. More information is available on Roxio's website. Add a comment
Xilisoft has announced their new all-in-one DVD ripping software, DVD Ripper Platinum. Combining the features of DVD Ripper and DVD Audio Ripper, DVD Ripper Platinum promises to be the "most powerful and comprehensive DVD ripping tool on the market."
Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum is designed to be easy enough for a beginner to use, while still offering great customization capabilities to satisfy the needs of more experienced users. Intuitive default settings can automatically adjust the sound levels and ripping speed of the conversion files. Or high end output settings can be used to allow the user to adjust these features selectively.

DVD's can be ripped to any custom file size necessary. Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum also auto-splits output files into several files to fit on a CD-R or for use on other personal media devices. Media devices such as MP4, PSP, iPod, mobile phones and PDA's are supported. Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum allows you to rip any segment of a DVD, also allows ripping of target subtitle and audio tracks.
If you'd like to try it out, a trial version of DVD Ripper Platinum can be downloaded from Xilisoft's website. Otherwise, more information can be found here. Add a comment
InterVideo has announced that their MediaOne Gallery software suite is being bundled with ASUS's Deluxe motherboards. Here's part of their press release:
InterVideo, Inc. (NASDAQ:IVII - News) announced today that ASUSTeK Computer Inc (ASUS), the worldwide leader in motherboards, is bundling InterVideo MediaOne Gallery with new ASUS motherboards. Using this software suite, consumers can easily create, organize, burn, and share their video, audio and photo files with a single, tightly-integrated interface. This collaboration underscores ASUS's strategy to provide a total value-added multimedia solution for users, so that they can fully enjoy the advantages of digital convergence.

"We're delighted that ASUSTeK has chosen InterVideo's MediaOne Gallery for their Deluxe motherboards," said Steve Ro, CEO and President of InterVideo. "The MediaOne Gallery software suite combined with ASUS motherboards are an unbeatable combination delivering amazing performance and convenience. Together, they provide the perfect blend of power, productivity and entertainment."
If you'd like to read more, InterVideo's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Ulead has reportedly dropped Blu-ray Disc support from the latest version of DVD MovieFactory. According to The Register, the software did not have full Blu-ray Disc verification before it shipped.
Media software maker Ulead has dropped Blu-ray Disc support from the latest release of its DVD MovieFactory video capture and disk-mastering application - even though the software has only been shipping for just over a week.

DVD MovieFactory 5 went on sale on 20 March complete with BD-R support. Today, Ulead said it would be yanking the direct BD recording module from the application and would remove the software's BD authoring support. HD DVD authoring and recording will remain available to users, Ulead said.
The article also points out that Ulead has tried to cover their tracks by removing all mention of Blu-ray. Unfortunately, they've done a poor job of doing so. If you'd like to read more, head on over to The Register. Add a comment