I currently film & burn to DVD a variety of video for some local events I am involved in. For the past few years I've been primarily doing this just in Nero Vision - it is basic, but it did exactly what I need. Pretty much I just need to select the segments I am using from the source tapes, and have a basic transition between each segment used (either a cross fade, or a fade in/out to black). Very occaisionally I'd add some titles also.
That was fine for the video edit, and I would then use Nero to generate the DVD menus also. Again, I'd just throw on a basic chapter menu, and Nero (version 6) would just let me pick an arrangement of animated buttons with some simple templates - easily choosing the appropriate number of menu buttons to how many chapters were in the edited video. Once done, hit burn, and the VOBs are written to disk and ready to go. I know it's simple - but it was exactly what I need, with minimal work, and I loved the convenience of having one package do the whole lot - I've been using this setup the past 4 or 5 years.
This had been working so well that I was hesitant to upgrade. Nero did crash a bit more often than I liked when editing though, and then in January I was handed some video from a HD (AVCHD) camcorder, and the old Nero just didn't understand it. So I upgraded - and met problems.
The new versions of Nero (8/9) have a much more stable video editor. Faster, no crashes so far - all this was good. The DVD Menus have taken a major backward step. They've opted for more complex animated templates in the new versions - offering less flexibility to the user. I'm now also forced to have a Title Menu as well as the Chapter Menu - I've never used this before, I don't need it, I don't want it. But there's no way to turn the Title Menu off! You're locked into the new template layouts, and it is heaps more work to alter the button arrangements - lots of hand configuring required if you don't like the templates as is. Etc. Lots more work, and an end product that still ends up looking plain clumsy to me with the extra unwanted menus, which I just don't want to hand out to people. I ended up exporting to MPG from Nero and creating the menus / VOBs through TMPG DVD Express - a two step process I'd rather avoid. And one DVD I've handed out from my most recent work has had an audio sync issue reported (even though it does play fine on all my gear here), so no idea where that one has crept in from.
I could reinstall the old version of Nero, but I know I'll ultimately be editing more HD, and that seems a backwards step. I've used some of the other software over the years, but nothing recent (other than TMPGEnc, which I still like for certain jobs - great tool for quick DVD authoring and menus, but rarely do I want the complexity of their MPG encoder these days).
Based on the type of work I'm doing as described above, what software would you guys recommend? If I'm spending the money on further software, I wouldn't mind getting something that also let me easily edit together from two different cameras / angles that shot the same event, and something that let me overlay audio as well (without losing the original - I film some dance events, I'd like to keep the theatre audience noise, but lay a cleaner copy of the backing audio in at better volume, if that makes sense). Not sure if any package makes that easier than others - I know I did the two camera thing once in Nero, and it was a pig to align the footage (a very manual process).
Should I just download demos for Adobe/Pinnacle/Ulead and try them out? Are the demos sufficient? Other packages I should consider? I'm not opposed to buying something, I'm just trying to avoid shelling out further $$$ on something that is not fit for purpose at this point, as happened with the most recent Nero upgrades I purchased.
Happy to provide more info if it helps. I've browsed through here a fair bit (and elsewhere), but despite lots of comparison charts, I couldn't find anything that significantly pointed me to one package over everything else for what I want to do.