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DVD

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RealNetworks recently released the RealDVD software that provides DVD copying functionality for customers.  With it, DVD owners can make a single copy of a video for hard drive storage. RealNetworks claims the software offers the required encryption security to protect DVDs copied with it from being illegally shared online.

The MPAA filed a suit against RealNetworks alleging violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and breach of contract in an effort to prevent the selling of RealDVD.  A judge has now ordered RealNetworks to cease selling RealDVD until the case has been reviewed.

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We have reviewed numerous options in network media players, ranging back to the now defunct GoVideo D2730 Network DVD Player.  While every option has a shortcoming here and there, the DViCo TViX M-6500A Network Media Player is overall the best option we have thus far reviewed.  In addition to the network playback support from a PC or NAS, it also offers internal hard drive support for playback without any external source being powered on.  The new M-6500A features a black aluminum enclosure, Sigma’s latest SMP8635 processor, HDMI output, increased main memory, and more.

Formats supported for playback include WMV9, WMV-HD, DIVX, XVid, HDV, MKV, H.264, VOB (DVD layouts), ISO, MP3, WMA, FLAC, WavPack, PCM, DTS, and more.  Unfortunately, the player does not support WMV8.

DViCo M-6500A Network Media PlayerAnother beneficial feature of the TViX player is the bi-directional USB support.  That is, the unit can be connected to the PC to transfer files to and from the internal drive and external drives (USB slave) and USB flash drives can be connected as an additional source for video playback.  The latter is particularly useful for single-use content since users can simply copy a desired file onto a USB flash drive, connect it, and immediately play the video.  Both NTFS and FAT32 are supported for media file systems.

In addition to video, the player also offers music playback and image display.  All multimedia formats can be streamed via a LAN connection, played from the internal HDD, or accessed from an external USB device.

As for shortcomings, while the DViCo TViX M-6500A Network Media Player provides excellent overall format support, we have experienced playback trouble with some AVI videos.  The fact that high-definition formats and video content as fully supported (HD 1080i/720p/1080p Video output) is indeed a plus.  However, due to the player’s UI being specifically designed for hi-def display, if you have an older TV that does not support HD or does not support it well, the UI will be difficult to read.  Remember that having a LCD TV does not automatically mean that it is HD-ready.  In fact, we had to replace one of the test LCD TVs for this very reason.

The TViX M-6500A sells for about $399.  Note:  The TViX M-7000A model also exists.  However, it is not readily available in the US.  Also, feature-wise, it is almost idential to the M-6500A, while costing more and possessing a shape that does not fit well with most home theater systems.

Blaze Media Pro is a powerful all-in-one audio and video converter for CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, AVI, WMV, MOV, Flash (SWF and FLV), iPod, PSP, 3GP, etc.; editor; recorder; CD/DVD ripper; audio, video, data CD/DVD burner for DVD, VCD, and SVCD; and much more.  Joe Tex from Shareware Junkies has written a review for the all-in-one multimedia software that gives newcomers an idea of what to expect.

"The installation of Blaze Media Pro is easy and intuitive, you can place the program files where you want them.

It has been awhile since we have done a review of Blaze Media Pro and WOW what a change! Now Blaze Media Pro does everything but wash the dishes.

Can you believe it? Simply amazing is what I have to say. With Blaze Media Pro I’ve been able to save lots of money because it does so many things. For instance I was just going to go out and look for a good program for burning CD/DVDs and as I’m sure you are aware most of the top names in that business are bloatware and cost lots more than Blaze Media Pro.

Don’t get the idea though that Blaze Media Pro because it does all of these things isn’t sophisticated, for instance I have on my computer some high end studio recording hardware. Windows recording software won’t find it, and it took me half an hour to get Adobe Audition to find it and it then took a reboot to use it. Blaze Media Pro found it right away and it was ready to go. It even has a built in Audio Tag editor!

If there something in the Audio/Video field that Blaze Media Pro doesn’t do and do well I sure don’t know what it is.

In conclusion run don’t walk to the Blaze Media Pro website and download it.  I guarantee you will like it."

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