Adobe Encore DVD

In het discussieforum voor DVD-lab ( werd laatst door Mark Hamilton een eerste impressie van het nieuwe authoring programma Adobe Encore DVD geplaatst.
Het artikel beschrijft de eerste indrukken die Mark van het programma heeft opgedaan. Hij vergelijkt het met het (veel goedkopere) programma DVD-lab (
Met toestemming van Mark heb ik hier zijn tekst geplaatst.
Voor videohobbyisten die over de aanschaf van Encore denken kan het wellicht helpen bij het nemen van een besluit.

14 september 2003
Johan de Jong

There's been a certain amount of interest in this new authoring tool, so I thought I'd give you my initial impressions.

First off, it's an Adobe product so if you're used to Photoshop, After Effects or Premiere, you'll find the user-interface paradigm reassuringly familiar. It's an XP-only program - it won't run on Windows 2000 or any earlier version of Windows - and there's no version for the Mac.

Installation is easy and DirectX version 9 is included in the installation routine. Curiously, there's no check to see if DirectX is up to date (or a later version installed), it blithely overwrites whatever's there. This means of course, a reboot when the installation is complete.

Assets do not need to be encoded before adding them to a project. Encore accepts AVIs as well as MPEGs: this means that encoders and transcoders are necessarily part of the product and Adobe includes Main Concept's MPEG and DV encoders/decoders. Adobe appears to have produced its own AC3 encoder which is a tad curious because this is not included in Premiere Pro (which has a trial copy of Minnetonka's Surcode 5.1 encoder) which has also just been released.

Multiple audio and subtitle tracks are supported but only a single video track for each VTS. This is a major limitation compounded by the lack of scripting and access to SPRMs and GPRMs. You cannot, therefore, test the capabilities of the player and switch audio tracks to the best supported by the player. The only way to switch audio and subtitle tracks is by including menus and having buttons to make the selection.

It is possible to play a movie in its entirety and have a scene selection menu from which just the selected chapter is played but the omission of scripting and playlists limits creativity.

Slideshows are easy to set up. Each slide defaults to 6 seconds duration but this can be modified on a slide by slide basis. But there seems to be no transitions available between slides.

Even with pre-prepared assets, compiling a project is quite slow and here DVD Lab has the definite edge. From raw AVIs, be prepared for a long wait for your finished DVD particularly if you opt for multi-pass VBR encoding.

Encore will create mini-DVDs (DVD video recorded onto CDs) as well as DVDs direct, or write IFOs, BUPs and VOBs to an output folder or it will write a DVD image to DLT. None of this is a surprise as, under the hood, Encore uses Sonic Solutions' technology (probably that from ReelDVD). It will create DVD-9s (to DLT) but there doesn't seem to be any way to manually select where the layer break will occur or how the second layer is to be recorded (outer tracks inwards or inner tracks outwards).

Encore has nice features - its menu designer borrows some neat technology from Photoshop and Illustrator and the preview window is the clearest I've seen in a product of this type. But it is let down by its lack of high-end authoring features.

Compared to DVD Lab, Encore really only offers multiple audio and subtitle tracks. Oh, yes, there are the encoders but at what cost? For someone who already has good MPEG and AC3 encoders, do I really need more? (No!) So will it replace DVD Lab for my work: No. Will it replace DVD Maestro for my more complex projects? Again no, because of its lack of high-end features.

Mark Hamilton