The chore of editing and burning digital video onto DVDs seems sufficiently off-putting that, for many of us, our hard drives have become video bottlenecks.

The new edition of PowerProducer, with a quick-fire, step-by-step interface, aims to make it quick and easy to put your video creations on to disc, so they can be viewed on TV, as nature intended.

Basic editing options

All this speed and simplicity comes at the expense of versatility.

The editing facilities in PowerProducer are basic in the extreme, more or less just enabling you to split and merge video clips, or to apply some automatic brush-up tools to make digital photos and video look their best.

There's no shortage of video formats on offer. You can choose between various standard and high-definition delivery options, including Video CD, DVD, Blu-ray and the new AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition), recently introduced by Sony and Panasonic for enabling high-definition video to be used with standard DVD discs.

Hardware demands

Audio options are equally plentiful, ranging from standard MPEG to Dolby Digital 5.1. However, the hardware overheads increase dramatically with higher-spec output formats.

For example, the free hard disk space you need rises from 1GB for VCDs to 25GB for Blu-ray authoring, while the memory requirement goes up from 512MB to 2GB.

Limited templates

Ultimately, PowerProducer is best suited to those who don't mind sacrificing the finer points of creativity and control, in favour of simplicity and automation.

However, even for a quick-and-easy contender, there's precious little choice when it comes to pre-designed menu templates supplied with the program.

Additional, downloadable templates for individual themes like holidays, football and Valentine's day are available, but these cost nearly £10 per set. This makes PowerProducer look merely mediocre value for money.