WinDVD 7 Platinum Delivers Its Promise of the Ultimate DVD Viewing Experience

Free is always good.  Since my laptop came loaded with Power DVD and Window's Media Player, and after downloading the free Real Player, I'd have to be a real video buff to want to invest anymore than I needed. After all, I'm satisfied when I can hit play and watch my DVD in relative peace.  When I finally tried Intervideo's WinDVD 7 Platinum, I was pleasantly surprised.  This new version lives up to its promise of a 'viewing and listening experience,' delivering clean, crystal clear video with superior sound.

Installation is painless, with a few simple clicks of the mouse at key points. WinDVD automatically selects the default video and audio (Dolby Digital) options during installation.  In a few minutes, I was ready to grab my popcorn and pop-in the third season DVD of 'The Sopranos.'

Opening screen of WinDVD

Double-clicking the program from a desktop icon and clicking on the play button instantly starts the DVD.  I decided to watch the movie simultaneously in Power DVD to compare the two packages.  The differences were amazing.  The picture quality in WinDVD was crisper, cleaner, and smoother compared to the same image in Power DVD.  Action sequences really jumped out at me, and the bright, stunning color overwhelmed the freezing and fragmented frames of the same sequence in Power DVD. Even with the audio controls cranked to full power, Power DVD could not match the audio power of WinDVD.  In fact, the audio coming from my laptop overshadowed the audio from my television set.

WinDVD 7 comes with an easy-to-use interface and customizable video and audio controls. 

WinDVD 7 comes with easy-to-use controls.

The Audio Support Center is new to this version of WinDVD and comes with support for headphones, simulated Hall Effect stereo sound (Chicago Theater, New York Theater, Sydney Theater), and sliding controls to adjust your speakers and balance. 

Adjust your sound quality and speaker levels using Audio Center.

Audio center allows you to optimize your audio environment with sliding controls.

Optimize your viewing experience by selecting the controls you want.  Under the Video Center, you can adjust video quality to suit your hardware needs.  New features take into account the different power and memory schemes that maximize battery life while running the program on a laptop. 

Control video output using the Video Center.

WinDVD 7 comes with Smart Stretch capability, which lets you customize your image according to your display type so you don't lose parts of the movie to some video la-la land.  Also new to this version is support for high-definition audio and video, including DVD-Audio, Intel High-Definition Audio, and WMV-HD.  Other media formats are supported, including Real Player, Quick Time, and Windows Media Player formats.
Niceties include the enhanced Quick Clips feature and image captures.  Screen captures can now be saved as JPEG or BMP files and be emailed from within WinDVD using your email client.

With the Quick Clips feature, you can create your own running movie of favorite clips. 

Make your own video short using Quick Clips.

WinDVD even remembers where you left off in a movie. Power DVD put me at the opening page.  I could take breaks knowing I could come back later to the clip I last saw.

At $69.95, WinDVD is a considerably pricier option to either Real Player or Window's Media Player.  If you're satisfied with freebies, like me, stick with Real Player.  If you have dollars to burn and are really gung-ho about your movie experience, I recommend going with this product. 

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