Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

Official blog for the Windows Live Digital Memories Experience team

Video in Windows Vista

Video in Windows Vista

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Windows Vista introduces a wealth of new and improved media experiences for users.  The following highlights some key new video features you will find that make sharing your digital memories easier than ever before.   

Windows Photo Gallery
When making a home movie, I like to only include the best photos and videos.  The gallery makes this easy because I can now find and locate memories by using Photo Gallery’s rich sorting and filtering features.  For example, if I am making a video of my daughter’s birthday I can filter by my daughter’s birthday or filter by keywords like my daughters name and the category birthday. 

After filtering my photos and videos, I can preview them to ensure they are what I want to include in my movie and make fixes to photos by correcting red eye or improving the contrast.  After I have located my photos and videos I can choose to Make Movie or burn directly to DVD.  The Windows Photo Gallery saves me a lot of time by simplifying the workflow to create a movie.   

DVD Maker
Back in 1999 I purchased my first DVD burner for $500 and blank discs cost about $10 a piece.  The software back then was very difficult to use and creating a professional looking DVD was nearly impossible.  The tool I was using required a good understanding of the DVD specification and graphic tools like Adobes Photoshop.  I spent hours and hours trying to create great looking DVDs.  The entire process was very time consuming and the results were average. 

In Windows Vista, our goal was to allow users create professional looking DVDs that highlighted their content while requiring minimal effort.  I believe the DVD videos you can create with DVD Maker look outstanding.  It’s easy to create a great looking DVD which you will be proud to share with friends and family.
  
DVD Maker includes over 20 different DVD styles that allow you to create a professional looking DVD that matches the theme of your home movie.  You can choose to customize the DVD further by adding a disc title, a notes page and editing the menu text.  I love the ability to add a notes page to my DVD.  For example, I like to add the names of all the people in the video and time of year.  In the past, linking pages and laying out the disc has been very tedious.  Rarely would I add a notes page because the process was just too difficult.  When you add a notes page, DVD Maker automatically updates the menus, buttons and transitions. 

DVD Maker allows you to preview your DVD before you burn to disc.  The preview option quickly renders your video and includes full motion video.  This allows you to see exactly what your final disc will look like. 

Direct to video DVD
One of my favorite features is the ability to automatically create a professional looking DVD from my DV tapes.  While I enjoy creating home movies, I don’t always have the time.  With Vista, I can now capture and record directly to DVD with just a few clicks.  The Video Import wizard captures the entire tapes and the burns a DVD.  This saves a lot of time and allows me to easily archive my tapes to DVD. 

Movie Maker
Windows Movie Maker has some great new features too.  The two main features to highlight is the new rendering engine and HDV camcorder support.

Movie Maker has an entire new video rendering engine that takes full advantage of GPU.  This allows you to preview standard definition and high definition content with transitions and effects in real-time.   

Last year I purchased a new Sony HDR-HC1 HDV camcorder.  Up till now, capturing and editing content from the device has been difficult and cumbersome.  I am pleased to say that with Movie Maker we now support editing high definition content.  High definition content can be published to Windows Media HD for playback on PCs and the Xbox 360.  Windows Media HD allows you to preserve the high definition quality while reducing the storage space required on the hard drive.  I save all of my home movies on my Windows Media Center PC and then use my Xbox 360 to playback the movies in my living room.  It’s great.

- Michael Patten