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Video Quality

One of the tragic things in the movie TUCKER was that he never was quite able to build his car well enough. Perhaps if he had made it on time and with ALL the features he had promised, it would have been so undeniable, that they couldn't have forced him out of business?

For all the promise of VaroDVD's nice interface, and the basically easy install; the heart of any player is the video engine. VaroDVD's engine is a bit on the average side, and can be even worse than that when strained by the user on a slower system.

The usual TRINITY Vs COPS test on THE MATRIX showed the skips that other weaker players have shown. Not bad, but nonetheless there. The video clarity was usually very good, and even when zoomed it stayed pretty sharp. However when using interface buttons, bringing up menus, or anything aside from just watching the movie; it often made playback jerk or stutter. This is an area where you miss HARDWARE ACCELERATION. eMail from VaroDVD support seems to say they are aiming for the future. True, in a year or 2; we all will have 1ghz P3 and Athlon systems right? With such power the playback will be fine even without DVD hardware assist. However for now, the player shows the strain that software-only playback can be on a slower system. Several scenes in THE MATRIX could not be played without frame-drops. So it is not strictly one tough scene killing it. Ditto for SLEEPY HOLLOW and STARSHIP TROOPERS.

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