WinAVI Video Converter is a nice little video conversion utility that creates VCDs, SVCDs, and DVDs.

We converted a number of files to WMV, AVI, RM (Realmedia) and MPEG-1/2 using the program and created a single DVD with nary a problem. However, it doesn't convert to iPod or any other MPEG-4/h.264 format.

As well as in effect counting out the world's number one media player, this aspect if WinAVI Video Converter is an issue in terms of disk space - h.264 can save you a lot of it compared to AVI, WMV and MPEG-1/2.

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The other thing lacking in WinAVI Video Converter is FLV import (the favoured format of YouTube and may other video sites), for which you'll need to buy a different product from the company - WinAVI FLV Converter.

The WinAVI Video Converter interface is elegant and simple. Choose the destination format using the buttons on the main screen, choose a file to convert and its destination, then click ok and wait.

Unfortunately, though we had the latest version of Quicktime Lite installed, WinAVI Video Converter didn't recognise it. We went to the full version of Quicktime and WinAVI Converter still balked. This seemed odd, as it did seem to recognise other DirectShow filters such as Xvid.

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WinAVI Video Converter: Specs

  • Pentium II 233 PC or higher
  • 32MB RAM or more
  • DVDRW/CDRW burner (Optional)
  • Windows NT/2000/9.x/Me/XP/Server 2003
  • 800x600 pixel screen
  • Pentium II 233 PC or higher
  • 32MB RAM or more
  • DVDRW/CDRW burner (Optional)
  • Windows NT/2000/9.x/Me/XP/Server 2003
  • 800x600 pixel screen

OUR VERDICT

WinAVI Video Converter works as advertised, although to get rid of the free demo version's watermarks you'll need to shell out $30 (the price is in dollars, even on the UK site). Our only caveat is that if you work with video often, you might be happier in the long run with something more full-featured (if more expensive). Cyberlink's PowerDirector, for instance, supports more formats (including FLV and h.264), and offers video editing to boot.

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