WinDVD 5 Platinum

Quick look: Cross-format video playing software

In the old days, watching a video required knowing only whether you had a Betamax or VHS player'before VHS eliminated even that problem. Now you also need to know the medium'CD, DVD or hard drive?

Depending on whether it's an MPEG, Divix or AVI, you may need to tweak some settings and download additional software to run your video. Until now.

WinDVD 5 Platinum, the latest video playing software from InterVideo Inc. of Fremont, Calif., can play most file formats, including Divix 2.0 and MPEG 4.

Also, its custom-built firmware advancements let users speed up the video to a degree unnoticeable to the viewers but up to 15 to 30 minutes shorter. This function not only saves time but energy. Now a notebook with two hours of battery life can successfully show a two-hour presentation.

Likewise, the energy efficiency with WinDVD 5 trickles down to processor freedom. Hyperthreading support reduces by 20 percent the processor strength needed to play a video, which lets users multitask during the operation of WinDVD.

These features make it not only useful for travel but helpful in giving video presentations that require last-minute Internet research or desktop navigation.

WinDVD 5 Platinum comes with a gamma-correction feature for optimal digital video playback and progressive scan, which keeps the moving images in a movie more in focus. Likewise, Dolby Virtual Speaker Technology, which replicates surround sound in two speakers plus support for Dolby Pro Logic II, EX and DSP audio effects, is included.

Similar to Sharp Electronics Corp.'s Sharp Effects, which enhances a digital movie by sharpening the image, WinDVD 5 includes video effects that increase clarity. InterVideo kept in mind the various outputs for computers, such as plasma and LCD monitors, when incorporating Progressive De-Interlacing, a feature originally designed to create a better image on televisions but has been extended to these other platforms.

Likewise, the software comes equipped with presets for different viewing scenarios including resolution presets for LCD and DLP projectors, minimizing the setup time these machines usually require.

Price: $99
Phone: 510-651-0888

Online@ www.intervideo.com

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