Similar as last year's road to DVD Catalyst 4 v4.1, I'm running another public beta again with DVD Catalyst 4.
Last year, DVD Catalyst 4.1 brought some big new functionality with it, including better multi-core support and of course basic Bluray conversion functionality (note: to convert Bluray, DVD Catalyst 4 has additional requirements). While this Beta doesn't bring as much to the table, it does offer some major improvements.
DVD Catalyst 4 is already one of the fastest DVD and video conversion tools on the market, and with the new engine in the 4.3 Beta 1 version, it is even faster, especially if you use a multi-core system. On an i7 quad-core processor (2630QM laptop model) from last year, a DVD conversion using DVD Catalyst 4 v4.2 runs at around 7.5x real time (16 minutes for a 2 hour movie), with the new 4.3 Beta 1, the same conversion runs at about 8.7x realtime (13 minutes for a 2 hour movie).
With Bluray conversions (with AnyDVD HD 22.214.171.124 running), the speed difference is similar. Using DVD Catalyst 4.2, a Bluray conversion runs at about 2.48x realtime (48 minutes for a 2 hour Bluray movie), with DVD Catalyst 4.3 Beta 1, the same conversion runs at 3.36x realtime (35 minutes for a 2 hour Bluray movie).
Important note: for both the DVD and the Bluray conversion, I used external USB drives. The speed (and processor usage) is somewhat affected by this. For comparison purposes, if I use MakeMKV (which just copies, it doesn't convert) to copy the DVD over to an MKV file I get a speed of about 9x realtime. Using MakeMKV on the Bluray, it runs at a speed of 3.4x realtime.
*Bluray track listings:
The scan-engine for Blurays used in DVD Catalyst 4.1 (and 4.2) has complications with a few (3 that I am aware of) Bluray movies. Fast Five, Sherlock Holmes 1 and Sherlock Holmes 2, after scanning, list the actual movie split into dozens of small, randomly organized pieces. With DVD Catalyst 4.3 Beta 1, these Blurays are scanned properly.
* Subtitles and Closed Captions:
With DVD Catalyst 4.3 Beta 1, I have also spend a considerable amount of time on subtitle tweaks. With previous versions, the subtitles on DVDs were often inverted and/or blurry.
With DVD Catalyst 4.3 Beta 1, the subtitles for DVDs turn out a lot better and are easier to read:
Aside from DVD subtitles, I've also worked on supporting so-called fan-subs for MKV files. In DVD Catalyst 4.2 (and older) some of these subtitles result in time-code information being displayed due to incompatible subtitle formatting, along with a generic font:
but with fan-subs, things look a lot nicer (that is, if your video file has them of course):
For Closed Captions, I decided to split the font-selection (Global Settings > Language), so that if you convert a mixture of different video content (such as MKV's and DVDs) you can select a font for that, and leave the font for MKV files as the original.
How to get the beta:
Before you download DVD Catalyst 4.3 Beta 1, please understand the reasoning behind a public beta.
This Beta version has been tested by both myself and the beta-testers, but the changes involved, along with with 1000's of different device profiles, 100's of different settings, different DVD's, video files it is impossible for me to test every possible combination. To my knowledge, everything in this Beta version is fully functional, however there are likely some combinations that do not work properly.
Because of possible issues, unlike with the previous Beta, it installs next to your existing DVD Catalyst 4 installation, and it uses its own settings, enabling you to play with the Beta, make changes to its settings, without affecting your "stable" DVD Catalyst 4.2 install. Some things, like the device profiles for example, are shared between the two though.
In my opinion, the improvements and features regarding conversion speed and subtitles are of such an extend that giving the Beta a try is worth the possibility of running into some quirks, but of course this is a personal choice. If you are in a big hurry (for a trip for example) to get some movies converted, sticking with the 4.2 version might be a better choice though.
To download the Beta version, first make sure you are running DVD Catalyst 4 v4.2. If you are using an older version, tap on the cat-eyes in the application to have DVD Catalyst 4 check for updates, or use the download link you received upon purchase to download the latest version.
After that, enable the Power User checkmark at the bottom right:
Then go into Global Settings:
and select the "Version Info" tab:
and tap on the Beta button on the bottom right:
and click Yes:
After the zip file is downloaded, install the Beta on top of your existing DVD Catalyst 4 installation. It needs to be installed in the same folder since it uses some of the same files.
* If you run into complications with the Beta, please try using the "official" 4.2 version of DVD Catalyst to see if it is an actual issue with the Beta, or something else.
* Try restarting your computer and see if the issue repeats itself.
* If the issue persists, send me an email (email@example.com) and try to include as much information as possible. At least the DVD/Bluray and/or video file type you are experiencing issues with and the profile you selected (iPad, Nook, Xoom etc). In addition, knowing what other settings you changed, output folder, advanced settings etc, as well as some basic computer specifications (Windows-version, processor brand (AMD/Intel) and model, and of course the problem description in detail.
The more information you can provide, the easier it is for me to figure out what is causing the complication and to prevent it from happening again.
Thank you for your time,