|DVDfab Platinum Review|
Ranked # 2
Ease Of Setup
Manufacturer: Fengtao Software Inc.
Upgrades, Add-ons and Options
If you look around you will seldom see DVDfab Platinum DVD copy software ranked as number 1 or number 2. You may see it ranked third, but usually it's ranked even lower or not ranked at all. We'll I'm going to let you in on a little secret, even though I know I'll get flak for it.. Are you ready? Here it is: The ranking for this software has little to do with the quality of the software itself and has alot to do with economics. Yes folks, something wicked is afoot in the underbelly of DVD copy software marketing. You see, review sites, like this one, receive a small incentive whenever a piece of software is sold through their site. This helps keep the sites going and there is absolutely no difference in the price to the customer. Unfortunately the incentive for DVDfab Platinum is quite small and this in turn translates into less than stellar rankings. There, I've said it, and now you know.
We (as in me and DVD Mike) here at backupmydvd.com thought it only befitting to break the mold and honor DVDfab Platinum for the great piece of software it is. I use a variety of software for my DVD copy and backup needs, but I find that I use DVDfab Platinum more frequently than others. This is simply because it's a piece of software that I'm used to, since it was around long before some of the others came to market. So let me declare here and now that, DVD Platinum is one of the best pieces of DVD Copy software on the market!
One of the reasons DVDfab Platinum missed the number 1 spot was because of it was found wanting on user friendliness. Don't get me wrong, I like the way the software handles, but that's because I'm used to it and I'm not a novice. Unlike 1Click DVD Copy, the user interface for DVDfab Platinum throws a whole bunch of things at you at once and this can be confusing for many. Granted that this is the "platinum" (equivalent to 1Click DVD Copy Pro but at a lower price) version of the software and it's bound to be more involved, but things are not simple enough in the lower version either. If you're not easily intimidated and like to jump into things with both feet, learn new terminology, and new ways of doing things, then this is the software for you.
DVDfab Platinum comes with a feature set as good as any DVD copy software on the market. It's an advanced piece of software so it allows you to customize the output to a great extent, but, as I discuss below, it does miss out on one feature that you would expect "Pro" level DVD copy software to have. Support for episodic discs is included so can easily make backups of your TV series DVDs. I was easily able to copy my disc of the sixth season of Smallville. Yes, I am a Superman fan (or Superboy in this case).
Beyond this there are various copying options you can take advantage of. To be specific there are 8 different DVD to DVD modes you can use. They are: Full Disc, Main Movie, Split, Customize, Customize Split, Clone, Merge and Write Data. Lets take a quick look at some of these and see what they mean.
Full Disc: This does exactly what it says. It copies the full DVD (movies, menus, trailer, extras, etc..) to the hard disk or another DVD. A little caveat with this. If the original DVD is larger than the blank DVD you are copying to, then some compression of the original DVD contents will be involved.
Split: This allows you to copy the original movie (which is usually recorded on a DVD-9)by splitting it over to blank DVDs (DVD-5). This especially useful if don't have a dual layer DVD burner and you want to avoid compression and retain full quality.
Customize: Choose only the content you want to copy from the original DVD.
Clone: This is great if you have a dual layer DVD burner and want to make a perfect lossless backup copy of your original DVD.
Merge: This is a cool feature and allows you to copy content from different DVDs and create your own custom DVD.
With all these choices for copying there's something for everyone.
One feature that I did miss was the ability to adjust the compression settings for individual content items. For example, there may be a case where you want to give up some quality in the extras so you can have better quality in the main movie. Granted that the automatically set compression is usually the best combination and custom compression is rarely used by most users, it would still be nice to have this feature if and when needed. If you're a control freak like me and you want to have this option, you might want to check out 1Click DVD Copy Pro. It's funny though, even without this feature, I still end up using DVDfab Platinum quite a bit.
This is where DVDfab Platinum stumbles a bit. It has a generally nice clean layout that's not overwhelmed by unnecessary graphics, but it also gives you so many choices at once that it can be confusing for new users. It's not that those choices are very difficult to understand or learn, it's just that there's too much going on on screen at once. The user interface could have been a little cleaner if there were some pull down menus in some places.
As I've mentioned before, it would have been nice to have the ability to manually control compression in this pro level software, but it does a very good job off automatically calculating the needed compression. If you are a hands off kind of person then this feature is perfect for you.
Unlike 1Click DVD Copy you do not have to install an external decrypter to backup copy protected DVDs. DVDfab Platinum comes with a built in decrypter right out of the box. As you may or may not know, most Hollywood DVDs have one form of copy protection or another to prevent unauthorized duplication, so a decrypter is needed to overcome this copy protection to make a backup copy of your DVD. DVDfab Platinum is able to overcome all current copy protection schemes.
The people behind DVDfab Platinum have been on the DVD Copy "scene" since it first became possible to copy DVDs. So these folks know what they're doing. DVDfab Platinum is updated constantly to keep with all the fresh ways that Hollywood studios try to scuttle your DVD copying efforts. As new, difficult to copy movies come out on DVD the software is updated to overcome the difficulty. The updates come out just about once a month if not more. If you're a DVD collector like me, then you don't want to wait months for the software to be updated to be able make a backup copy of a movie you just bought. With DVDfab Platinum, this isn't even an issue. Just sit back, chill and relax and you'll have an update soon enough.
As usual we did our tests with 2 different DVDs. One movie was an action movie and the other had lots of shadowy scenes. Both copies came out excellent. Now keep in mind that when compression is used the copy will not be as good as the original, no matter what DVD copy software you use, but to the naked eye it is very difficult to tell the difference unless you are an experienced video professional. The one to one copies, of course, were perfect since they are exact bit for bit copies of the original.
Customer support for DVDfab Platinum is next to none. For test purposes, I sent a query to support for a non existent problem. They state that a response should be received within 24 to 72 hours. I received a response within 1 day, which is quite good. Many issues can be solved just by browsing the forum since it's quite active. Between the online FAQs, the forum and the direct contact with support most issues will be resolved in a timely and efficient manner.
I did not experience any stability issues using DVDfab Platinum, even with a burdened CPU. As stated in other reviews, normally when doing any kind of resource intensive work (usually audio or video) it's best not to have too many applications open. This slows down the processor, so it takes a bit longer for tasks to complete. For our test case the overburdened CPU did not hinder DVDfab Platinum from doing it's job.
Installing DVDfab Platinum was simple, easy and quick. Just double click the install icon and you are guided through the rest. The installation is a 2 step process. In the first step the main program is installed. In the second step the "Patin-Couffin" software is installed. Don't worry about the cryptic name, it's just a piece of software that allows enhanced access to you CD/DVD drive for better performance.
This is one of the places that DVDfab Platinum truly shines. For the price you pay, you get a whole bunch. It's a "Pro" level piece of software that comes at a price that most manufacturers sell their standard level software for. So if you ask me "Does DVDfab Platinum offer good value for the money?" I'd say "Absolutely!".
DVDfab Platinum Screenshots: Please click a thumbnail to view