The Video quality is generally clear if you don't mess with any buttons
during playback, but use of some features drags it to a stuttering halt.
VaroDVD supports CLOSED CAPTION and SUBTITLES. They are two different
ways to get the dialogue of the movie printed in text. One uses the
player to generate the text, the other is actually part of the DVD. I
suggest VaroDVD users stick with SUBTITLES. When CLOSED CAPTION was on,
playback skipped badly. When using SUBTITLES, it was clear. VaroDVD
claims to have sub-picture alpha blending to smooth out text, but either
it isn't working in CLOSED CAPTION mode, or the engine/system is just
too taxed when the feature is turned on. CLOSED CAPTION does have a neat
option for writing it in a WINDOW with full text history that can be
saved. It worked decently as long as the ON-SCREEN captions were OFF,
The window captions didn't seem to affect playback.
The video does the job. The playback controls are awe inspiring, and the
Zoom is great! With a P3/Athlon it probably can hold it's own with
the big boys, but Celeron/K6 owners should test the demo version before
purchasing (Unless you own an S3 Video Card!). There were simply too many
issues with it on the test system to proclaim it ready to challenge for
the crown on slower systems. Maybe VaroVision has a point? Soon we all
will have P3s/Athlons and not need any Hardware assist for playback? But
I run the ATI player on the test system: Motion Compensation and iDCT
both on, Me on the web, DVD in a window, Burning a CD in the back, Word
Processor open to a review; and no playback stutters or coasters burned!
With Hardware support, you have POWER to do more. Other players ALL have
major hardware support for that reason. Someday it may not matter, but
for now... it still does.