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Review: TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 30 Jul 2009 16:43 User comments (7)

Review: TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4

Review: TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4

Today we will be reviewing the excellent shareware program TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4, powerful software used to author DVDs from all types of video sources.

If you would like to download a free trial of the software from Pegasys, you can do so here: Free trial

Getting Started





At first glance, TMPGEnc has an easy interface. There are four options, Start a new project, disc writing tool, open a project file and batch authoring file. As can be deduced, starting a new project will lead you to the starting steps of authoring a new project. You can open an older, saved project with the second option, or you can burn a project with the disc writing tool.


Starting a New Project



I would first implore you to head over to Options and set all output folders to where you want them. Then head over to Start a New Project. You can choose between using a file from your PC, from a camcorder, from a disc (including Blu-ray) or even from a color matte. I chose an HD trailer, from my computer. It was a WMV file, but most file types work.


Editing the file





You can now edit the file to your liking, cutting, adding transitions, boosting audio (in Audio Filters) or even adding Subtitles, via the subtitles editing tab, on the top (next to clip properties and cut edit). In clip properties, you have more powerful options as well, including the ability to add more files, add new audio streams, or set the framerate, aspect ratio or display mode. If you are unprepared to set these manually, the program smartly does it automatically. The subtitle menu is straightforward as well, allowing you to add multiple subtitle streams (different languages, perhaps) as well as allowing you to go to exact seconds to start the subtitles (as well as change font, size, etc).





Menu





The next tab is the Menu screen. You can manually choose the format (either Widescreen or 4:3 full screen) and then whether you want to make a menu based on a template or completely custom. There are some nice templates, and all are easily editable. You can also choose to have no menu, choice is up to the user. I have selected custom menu.






From here you can choose from tons of top menus, top tracks, navigational buttons, thumbnail frames and backgrounds. If you make a mistake, you can always go back and edit. The program will also save your preferences in case you forget to save and will remain there the next time you open. To edit the text in the menu, as well as colors, or add audio, and even effects, hit the Page Editor




I have not made the prettiest menu in the world, but if you take your time you can make some excellent work.


Simulation




The next part of the progression is the Stimulation, aka the "preview. Here you can preview your menu and your edited clip before actually encoding. You can always go back and edit if you do not like what you see.



Output



All that is left is to output your file, so head to the output tab and choose the target size you want your file authored too (I chose single layer DVD). Also, select where you want the files outputted to. You can also choose to burn the output to disc, by selecting Write to the media disc after output completion. If you do not, you can always burn the authored video later using TMPGenc and their Disc Writing tool.



Disc Writing Tool




If you did not choose to burn before, you can do so from the starting page, using the disc writing tool. Hit add file or folder and select the file. Choose your burner and your speed (8x should be standard).

Overall, the software is very easy to follow, has a good interface, and is very powerful. Authored video gives good quality and the variety of inputs and file formats is great as well. If you like simple, but powerful authoring software, TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4 is a smart choice.

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7 user comments

131.7.2009 2:03

Quote:
If you would like to download a free trial of the software from Pegasus
TMPGEnc is from Pegasys, not Pegasus ;)

and thanks for the review :D

231.7.2009 2:25

Quote:
Quote:
If you would like to download a free trial of the software from Pegasus
TMPGEnc is from Pegasys, not Pegasus ;)

and thanks for the review :D
Thanks for that, typo edited, that was a biggie too :S

33.8.2009 5:18

Thanks for this review - all looks pretty cool I must say!

I have an important question. For me, the main attraction and usefulness of TMPGEnc DVD Author 1.6 was its complete lack of any re-encoding capability. This made it ideal for me to author captured digital TV programs (which are already in DVD-compatible mpeg2 format... well almost, DVD Author would always bring up a "black" - i.e. not terribly serious - warning about the bitrates, this warning could be easily ignored and I've never had a DVD player refuse to play a resultant disc).

The old program's inability to re-encode (as opposed to the likes of NeroVision etc. which insist on re-encoding even when it isn't necessary) made it perfect for my application, as I was always getting the best possible result, and quickly too.

Can you please tell me if this new version works in a similar way - and if not, is it possible to shut off its desire to re-encode?

Thanks!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Aug 2009 @ 5:20

43.8.2009 18:23

Quote:
Can you please tell me if this new version works in a similar way - and if not, is it possible to shut off its desire to re-encode?
TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4 is similar in that it won't re-encode anything that's already compliant with your output format (DVD, BD, DivX too I think). By default it is set to not re-encode compliant video, however you can always force it to re-encode everything if you so desire.

I say download the trial and test it for yourself to make sure your recorded TV programs aren't re-encoded before purchasing the software.

516.1.2010 10:22

I have been using this software since version 1.6 and am now running the latest version on Windows 7. I am having trouble with the disk writing tool. Many of the disks appear to burn correctly but then will not play. The computer still sees the disk as a blank disk. It I burn the same disk using Roxio it plays fine. Anyone else having this trouble?

67.8.2010 15:45
MheAd80
Unverified new user

Originally posted by gyoshi:
Quote:
Can you please tell me if this new version works in a similar way - and if not, is it possible to shut off its desire to re-encode?
TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4 is similar in that it won't re-encode anything that's already compliant with your output format (DVD, BD, DivX too I think). By default it is set to not re-encode compliant video, however you can always force it to re-encode everything if you so desire.

I say download the trial and test it for yourself to make sure your recorded TV programs aren't re-encoded before purchasing the software.
I can confirm that the re-encoding does happen! Never trust any application that has "smart" functions! This app re-encodes thiny segments of all of my videos which are MPEG-2 tv-captures or already authored DVDs (that I wanted to reauthor). Of course, it only takes just few minutes so one can easily be fooled that no re-encoding takes place. Several of the re-authored products of mine had visual glitches or pixelization at the spots where thiny re-encodings were done (originals were clean!). Good that I noticed this before getting rid of original sources. I have to find new application now. Even old TMPG Enc DVD Author 3.0 had this smart rendering option, but it appeared to be actually smart. I can't use the old apps on Win 7 64bit though. This new thing is just worthless. I mean HOW HARD IS IT TO ADD 'DO NOT RE-ENCODE OPTION' IN AN APPLICATION!? I'm never gona pay for something like this. This even made me paranoid so I'll have to re-check my old videos that I did back in the day with TMPGEnc Author 3.0 that also has smart rendering.

715.6.2011 15:23

Can you easily make ISO files and later burn them to disc with this version like in prior versions? Thanks.

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