The biggest hurdle for any player seeking an InMatrix seal of approval!
As bad as we rated the interface of previous SoftDVD players, we were
equally disappointed by the video. The player strained BADLY on many
titles, to the point of lockups and stutters even with ATI Hardware Acceleration
working in full force.
This is where MGI made the biggest and most important gains. The
playback of SoftDVD v.6 is Much improved over previous versions. Still
not at the level of WinDVD or Cinemaster for overall quality and
smoothness, but it works well enough to satisfy most users. When Hardware
Acceleration was on, I achieved smooth playback most of the time, including on
The Matrix, which was a title that previous versions of SoftDVD could
Never play smoothly! Watching The Patriot, I did not have the ATI
induced distortions that PowerDVD's recent builds have, so the ATI
support seems at least a little better developed. Explosions played
clean with no artifacts or stuttering.
One thing I have to hand to them is their Color Saturation. Those users
with TV-OUT video cards are aware that the TV-OUT images are never
quite as sharp or well colored as the identical ones playing on the
monitor. Many TV-OUT cards seem to wash out colors to some extent, and
even maximizing PC color controls only achieves adequate levels. Three
different people watched DVDs on my Sony TV with SoftDVD sending the
images, all 3 have also watched most of my other reviews. The opinions
were unanimous: This thing has Nice color saturation! For TV-OUT, this
is a major victory, as it really makes the image warmer and more
vibrant. I was very happy to see this, and I would have to rank the
latest build of SoftDVD very close to or even with WinDVD for the
quality of its TV-OUT image. Well done!