posted 12/14/2002 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
nVidia is well known for their video cards but they’re recently expanding to other areas. But today’s review of a nVidia product doesn’t involve a GeForce card. Today we look at nVidia’s DVD player entitled NVDVD.

nVidia recently released version 2.0 of their NVDVD software and this is what we’re going to look at today. The competition for the software consists of Cyberlink’s PowerDVD and Intersoft’s WinDVD. It’s actually evolving from being a DVD player to being more of a multimedia solution. While it’s optimized for a nVidia GPU, the software will work with a lot of other video cards from other manufacturers that support DirectX 8.0 and higher. For my testing purposes, I used the ABIT Siluro GF4 MX-8X with an AMD Duron 1.2 GHz. Specifically, I tested the software with my homemade PVR that I built a few months ago.

Besides DVD, all the major video and audio formats are also playable. You can use the NVDVD player for MP3s, MPEGs, VCDs, AVIs, JPEGS, and GIFs to name a few. From the list of formats it supports, the program can replace a lot of your other multimedia applications providing and all in one solution for all your playback needs. There’s even karaoke support so you can sing along to your favorite hits if you so desire.

From the looks of the screenshots, you can see how clean the interface is. All the player controls are located in the bottom center of the player. You aren’t limited to the GUI as the player is skinnable. The default skin is pretty nice though. It has a nice clean professional look and all the buttons are clearly labeled. In fact, I preferred the default skin over WinDVD’s. I had no problems accessing the specific function I needed as the design makes it easy to use.h

Sceneshare allows users to share bookmarks of DVDs with other users of NVDVD. You can email or post to a website the file and any user with the same DVD and NVDVD can go to the scene easily. This is pretty helpful for those who want to share easter eggs with their friends such as the Star Wars blooper reels. NVDVD has a nice toolbar to help manage each Sceneshare and you can easily see which one it is that you have saved.

If you have experienced ATi’s TV functionality, you know you can replace your desktop with the TV image so you can work and watch TV at the same time. NVDVD also features this video on the desktop and you can replace your background with a video file you are watching. Now you’re not stuck with a static background but have your favorite movie playing there instead.

Not only can you play DVDs but you can also utilize NVDVD for a picture slideshow with music involved. This is one of the features that help make the NVDVD software a more versatile piece of software. You can easily grab a few pictures and specify various music file formats to play in the background as you flip through the pictures.

If you don’t have time to finish a movie, a nice feature of NVDVD is that the program will automatically save the position of the DVD when you stop it. You can pop in another other movie or CD but once you put the movie that you stopped again, it will start up at the correct spot and you can continue watching without any hassle. You can also keep an index of your favorite scenes so you can jump to them easily.
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