With the merging of the Roxio and Sonic brands continuing, we find that MyDVD 8 comes along no longer as a Sonic product but sporting the Roxio name.

However, it’s a logic upgrade of previous versions with the most noticeable change being the new cleaner interface.

The package is a set of DVD authoring tools aimed at the home user with little or no experience. Based around a project tree down the left-hand side of the screen, you’ll be able to view at a glance any footage you have to hand. You’ll also notice that support is now offered for both 4:3 as well as widescreen, with a range of templates natively supporting both formats.

When you click on any footage you’ll be able to play a preview of it, while a right-click allows you to open VideoWave, which is an editing tool. There is nothing particularly new here, as it allows you to edit footage either in a timeline or by a storyboard, which is easier for first-time users to get to grips with. Alongside the standard editing tools, Roxio has included well over 200 different effects, so even the most ambitious first-time user can get to grips with, which means you can experiment.

If you haven’t got time, or the confidence, to create a DVD, you can opt for the wizard-based assistant. This is a simple but powerful tool that allows you to add the footage and the text you want into pre-defined templates.

With the UK about to experience Hi-Def fever is makes perfect sense for Roxio to bundle in support for the format into MyDVD. In this version you can either take your recorded HD TV shows, or even DivX HD files, and import as you would any footage to be edited and burnt to disc as DivX HD files. Support is now offered for DivXHD, MPEG2 HD, and Windows MCE HDTV video file formats.

If you don’t want to worry about editing and simply want to copy your HD camera footage to disc, the new Plug & Burn feature allows you to simply do so, with the added bonus of wizard created menus screens.

It’s not all-good news, as you’ll find some tasks really draw on the power of your computer. We tested it on a Pentium M with 2.8GHz processor, backed by 512MB and 160GB hard drive with 7200rpm rotational speed and found that things would some times start slowing down.

Price when reviewed:

Roxio has done a great job with this product. As an entry-level DVD authoring tool it’s as easy to use as ever and really takes the strain out of copying you files to disc.

If you’ve invested in an Hi-Def TV this summer, you’ll need the right software to go with it and you could do a lot worse than MyDVD 8.