Innovative solutions for post production professionals

Sonic BD PowerStation

The Sonic BD PowerStation is the ultimate professional encoding solution for authoring Blu-ray or DVD discs, based on the same core technology as Scenarist, the encoder of choice for Hollywood movie releases on DVD and Blu-ray. This suite is used to encode video, create DVD or Blu-ray menus, and run simulations on the result. Completed projects may be burned direct to DVD and Blu-ray, or compliant master files may be output for replication.

BD PowerStation uses a USB dongle for security, but is very easy to install quickly using the online download and verification system. Three applications are included – Sonic CineVision for video encoding, Sonic DVDit Pro HD for disc authoring, and Sonic Scenarist QC for emulation/checking of projects.

The CineVision app is used to encode source video using the VC-1 or MPEG-2 codecs for Blu-ray, and MPEG-2 for DVD. CineVision provides unprecedented control over the encoding process, so advanced users will be able to tweak every aspect of encoding for optimum results. After an initial encode, the results can be analyzed and individual segments may then be optimized and re-encoded without encoding the entire video again.

While working on a full 1920×1080 HD video for Blu-ray, I found that by simply pressing a hotkey during review of the encoded video, I could get a full-resolution HD preview on my 24″ PC display! This is a welcome feature, and an NVIDIA Quadro FX GPU with SDI output can also be used for professional-quality output preview.

After encoding the video to either the Blu-ray or DVD specs, the DVDit Pro HD software is used to create custom motion menus. Many pre-built menu templates are included to get the user up and running immediately. Photoshop is the recommended choice to create the layered graphics necessary for the menus and buttons.

Users can choose to burn direct to disc for one-offs and proofing, or create the proper files to send out for replication. The AACS and CSS copy protection schemes may be set up in the files for replication. If you wish to create both Blu-ray and DVD versions of the same project, you only need to author once and can then output to either Blu-ray or DVD as needed.

Note that while CineVision only encodes videos to VC-1 or MPEG-2 for Blu-ray use, the DVDit Pro HD software accepts H.264 files as well, so all Blu-ray-legal formats may be used for authoring.

Sonic Scenarist QC is then used to check the final composition to ensure that the disc will be completely within specifications for Blu-ray or DVD for the ultimate compatibility. Tracing and logs are available for advanced step-by-step troubleshooting and debugging.

Sonic BD PowerStation is clearly aimed at professionals. While there are plenty of inexpensive options out there to burn DVDs and Blu-ray discs, the Sonic solution offers the tools necessary to create fully compliant Blu-ray projects for replication, something lesser programs just don’t offer. If you’re ready to move up to the next level of professional disc production, you’ll appreciate the features and power of the Sonic BD PowerStation.

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Sonic BD PowerStation