Most smartphones these days are capable of handling a variety of video formats, either natively or via apps. However, dumping a bunch of 720p videos in your phone is not always the best solution as the file sizes can go into multiple gigabytes. 4Videosoft’s Video Converter Ultimate is one such software for converting videos for multiple platforms. Unlike many of the free software’s available, this one supports GPU-based hardware acceleration as well as converts your existing videos to 3D. Let’s find out if this is actually worth the $45 price tag.
Interface and Features
The user interface is pretty simple even for a novice user. You can directly drag and drop files into the window, select a preset profile and start encoding. Video Converter Ultimate also lets you rip a DVD if you wish to back it up. You also have editing tools right on the top that let you trim portions of the video, save certain sections etc. The 3D button lets you convert any video into 3D. You can choose between anaglyph, if you have the red/blue glasses or stereoscopic 3D if you have a 3D TV. This is a very handy feature as you’ll never be short of content for your shiny new 3D TV. You can even add a watermark to your videos, which is neat if you’re editing your home videos. In the ‘Preferences’ option, you can even set the number of cores that will be used during the encoding process. There’s also full support for GPU acceleration so we have Nvidia’s CUDA technology and AMD’s APP acceleration. Most of the free softwares usually only have CUDA support so it’s nice to see support for AMD cards as well.
Easy to find your way around
Most of the options can be accessed from the main interface itself and the buttons are clearly labeled so it’s easy to find your way around the UI. When it comes to choosing your output format, 4Videosoft has included a wide range of popular platform presets like PS3, Xbox, Blackberry, Android, iOS, Windows Phone and lots more that you can see in the image. It doesn’t simply end there though, within these presets you have sub-menus for individual devices, say for instance, if you were to select Android, you then have the option to select a specific phone so any video that you convert will be optimised for your screen. There are also 3D video presets.
Plenty of presets available
Video Converter Ultimate supports a wide variety of video and audio formats allowing you to convert practically any format to any other format. You can see the full list of video and audio formats in the above image. Overall, Video Converter Ultimate comes with a good set of features in a simple and easy to use interface.
To test how well the software actually works, we tried converting a five minute 720p MKV file to H.264 AVI format. Out test system consisted of an Intel Core i7-2600K and an Nvidia GTX 560 Ti. We also added some post processing effects like adjusting the brightness and contrast ratios as well as adding a watermark. We then did two runs of conversion, one with GPU acceleration and one without it. With only the CPU to convert the video, our output file was ready in 2min 36sec. Enabling GPU acceleration didn’t shave off too much of time, just 4sec. We tried using a different output codec as well but got similar results.
Convert your standard 2D videos to 3D
We then swapped the Nvidia card with an AMD HD 6870, but for some reason the software refused to detect the card. We faced the same issue on an AMD GPU powered notebook as well. For some reason, the software simply refused to detect an AMD GPU on two separate machines. The 3D conversion works well, but not all the scenes look right since the depth remains constant and does not change depending on the scene at hand. One feature that we found missing in this software is that you don’t get the approximate size of the output file when tweaking the bitrate of the video, a feature that’s found in most free software.
4Videosoft Video Converter Ultimate is priced at $45 (Rs.2,500), which is a bit on the expensive side. Besides the 3D conversion feature, most of the other functions are easily available in free softwares in the market. If you have an Nvidia card, then Freemake Video Converter is a very good alternative that uses CUDA and has a very nice interface. Besides being on the expensive side, the GPU acceleration doesn’t seem to be working too well. Moreover, it doesn’t seem to work well with AMD cards, too, so we say give this one a pass.
Updated 24 May, 2013, 7:53 pm IST
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