WinDVD 7.0 is again available in two main versions : Gold and Platinum. Gold is the "cut-down" version of Platinum, and the features that are unique to the Platinum version are :
UPnP media client (New)
MPEG4 AVC/ H.264 Main Profile (New)
3GPP/3GPP2 playback (New - Gold version has video only support)
AAC playback (New)
Philips Trimension advanced (Enhanced)
Dolby Digital EX
High Resolution (96 KHz/24 bit) Audio decoding
More explanation for some of the above features later on.
There is now only one add-on pack, for Interactual content support. All the previous add-on packs have been integrated into the two versions (most likely the Platinum version).
New Video Features
The most touted new feature of WinDVD 6.0 Platinum was Trimension™ DNM (Digital Natural Motion). This new feature was implemented to improve clarity in high motion scenes. The new version of WinDVD Platinum upgrades this technology in the form TrimensionDNM Advanced.
WinDVD 7.0 now also supports the playback of more video formats, including Real/Quicktime (third party software required), as well as MPEG4 AVC/H.264 Main Profile. H.264 is one of the standards chosen to be part of the new high definition DVD format. Another playback feature is the support for the playback of recorded HDTV transport streams, including navigation support. For mobile devices, 3GPP/3GPP2 is also fully supported, but with video only support in the cheaper Gold version.
Another new feature is the support for DivX/AVI subtitle. Subtitles are automatically checked for and loaded, and there are even controls to control the position and size of the subtitles.
Also updated is QuickClip (now QuickClip2), which is WinDVD's video to animated GIF capturing function. The updated function now allows you to set the resolution, a capture interval as well as the play speed of the captured GIF file.
New Audio Features
WinDVD now supports Hall Effects, which allows you to adjust the virtual room size and warmth of the listening environment. In addition, several presets are available, such as "Sydney theater", "Chicago theater" and "Broadway theater".
The newly revamped Audio Center now allows for more precise controls over the audio options of WinDVD, including the ability to set the individual volume and delay of each speaker.
AAC playback is now also supported in the Platinum version of WinDVD.
New Interface Features
The biggest change in WinDVD 7.0 is the interface. The previous skin and usage methods have been changed for a more simplified approach. The right hand sided tabs (can be attached or detached from the main playback area) and detachable main console still exists, but gone are the right hand side sub-panels extensions to the main console, which has been there since WinDVD 4.0. The functions covered by the multiple sub-panels are replaced now by just two control centers, the Audio Center and the Video Center.
The detachable main console is fairly small, but features most of the functions one would need. The layout will actually change depending on the type of video file that is being played. A new sub-panel exists, but does not increase the size of the console (merely covers up part of it), and this sub-panel will also change depending on the type of movie you are playing (eg. playing a DivX files with subtitles will display the subtitle controls, while playing a DVD will display the navigational controls).
A new "Info" button at the top of the screen (next to the usual help/minimize/maximize/close buttons) will show information about the current movie (eg. time, title, resolution, video bit-rate) as an on screen display. Like previous versions, button to access the stills capture, bookmark, QuickClip and playlist right hand sided tabs are still at the control bar at top of the screen, as well as the buttons for selecing the playback source, zoom and the new UPnP function.
There are more changes when the playback is in full-screen mode. A single click of the mouse button shows and hides the main console (in either attached or detached mode) and the top control bar, and so unlike Windows Media Player, the console won't be brought into view if the mouse is accidentally moved during playback. When paused, a separate previous/next button (see screenshot above) is shown on the playback area to allow users advanced through the video in slow motion.
The right click menu and the menu options (including setup) remain mostly unchanged, so it should still be familiar to users of the previous versions of WinDVD.
The other main feature of WinDVD 7.0 Platinum is the support for UPnP media servers. WinDVD 7.0 can now act as a client for these servers, which are increasingly becoming standard parts of home network and home theatre setups.