In the same way that countless home-makeover programs have ensured that every house must be in tiptop shape before it can be sold, the combination of today's supercharged PCs and sophisticated software means that our photos and home movies must look almost as polished as those of professionals.

Not that this should bother those who buy MovieFactory – this program offers a user-friendly interface and the promise of a highly professional end product.

MovieFactory's remit is wide-ranging, but the clean menu system is designed to let you tap into its features. And it has many nice touches. For example, contents can be copied to a disc without the need for a temporary storage device, while the trim facilities make it easy to narrow down video to just the crucial bits. Even more invaluable is the Ad-Zapper tool, which automatically detects and removes commercials.

Videos can be automatically enhanced and recordings made when you're away from the PC. There's a huge collection of templates and the range of transition effects seamlessly link sections together.

MovieFactory can work with HD (high-definition) camcorders, but it's not all good news on this front. Ulead has already had to back-pedal on its claims for next-gen DVD formats, having been forced to remove its support for Blu-ray. Nonetheless, MovieFactory continues to offer compatibility with HD-DVD. Unfortunately, since such devices are not yet available, we were unable to verify this claim.

Ulead DVD MovieFactory 5.0: Specs

  • 800MHz Pentium III or Athlon XP 1800+, Windows 2000/XP
  • 512MB RAM
  • 900MB hard disk space
  • 800MHz Pentium III or Athlon XP 1800+, Windows 2000/XP
  • 512MB RAM
  • 900MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

DVD MovieFactory isn't an expensive package and what it does, it does well – and with considerable ease of use. We've yet to see how it'll work with next-gen equipment, but for £30 it's worth the gamble.

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