After trying a bunch of different authoring programs, DVD Lab Pro has finally taken first place and now that I'm comfortable with it, I like it more and more every day.
If you want to do anything more than basic authoring (motion menus, custom navigation, etc.), this program is worth every penny. It has features many of the MUCH higher priced programs do not. At $199 it is the best deal around. But don't let the low price fool you.
I've used TMPGEnc DVD Author 1.6 (great and probably the best program if you just want simple menus FAST), Sonic DVDIt!, Sony DVD Architect 2.0 (not bad, but more complicated than it needs to be and lacks features it should have), Ulead DVD Workshop 2 (decent, but advanced navigation, etc. is limited), and others.
DVD Lab Pro beats them all hands down.
Even if you only want simple menus, it's a snap. I find it has a TON of useful little features and tools like mux/demux, bit-rate analyzers, etc. Too many to list. The ability to easily create beautiful customized menu transitions can really make your DVD look quite professional. If you are graphically inclined, creating and using your own objects (buttons, backgrounds, images, etc) is easy.
The quality of the output is fantastic. And the speed is unbelievable. It will author a 2 hour movie with multiple menu transitions normally in less than 15 minutes.
At first the interface can look a little duanting, but once you dig into it you'll find it organized quite logically and you understand why things are set up the way they are. The software is well thought out and the author paid great attention to the little details that make using this program a joy.
There will be a learning curve no matter what software you use. I found DVD Lab to have just about the lowest learning curve of all. Within a couple hours I was comfortable. Within a couple days I was breezing along. After a month now I "almost" feel like an expert.
If you're looking for a great piece of software at an unbeatable price, this is it. The features are too many to list here. Give it an honest workout and I think you'll be impressed.
Review by cincyreds
Feb 15, 2005 Version: 1.0 Build 041103
OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10
Value for money: 10/10