NCH Software is a software development company founded in 1993 in Canberra, Australia. The Colorado office was started in April 2008 due to the large U.S. customer base. NCH Software primarily sells to individuals via their website.
NCH Software provides a wide range of software programs for audio, video, business, dictation and transcription, graphics, telephony and other utilities. They are particularly well known for their audio suite, of which WavePad is the flagship product.
During the installation process NCH Software also by default (but you can uncheck the option during install) installs Google Chrome. This can be unselected during install or removed after install. In older versions of their software a browser toolbar powered by Conduit, was installed as well as making changes to the default homepage and search engine.
Some users have reported finding unexpected additional software when installing NCH programs. However, WOT Services and McAfee SiteAdvisor both claim NCH Software website to be free of Adware/Malware. Nevertheless, most NCH software products are known to install on-demand components such as codecs.
After uninstalling certain NCH products, the on-demand installer remains installed and will continue attempting to install NCH software in certain circumstances. After uninstalling Debut Video Capture, the on-demand installer file name is prism.exe and can be located in (program files) \NCH Software\Prism. This may vary with different NCH products. For example, the following registry key was found after uninstalling Debut Video Capture: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinRAR\Shell\NCHextract. The key displays a link to the on-demand installer for Express Zip whenever a winRAR context menu is displayed. This issue can be solved by a simple registry search for "NCHextract" however, there appears to be no official solution provided by NCH.
Certain NCH products hijack already - registered file extensions without permission, bringing up the NCH on-demand installer when a file with this extension is clicked, instead of the previously registered program. This is confirmed with Debut Video Capture and ISO file extensions.
A lot of users have reported Blue Screens (BSOD) by using NCH products such as Debut or Sound Tap, especially in Windows 7 64-bit systems. The blue screen critical crash always points to an NCH device driver named stdriver64.sys. In some systems the BSOD can be reproduced by installing Debut and Voxal Voice Changer, and clicking "preview". This bug has now been fixed and the remedy is to re-download the new version from www.nchsoftware.com.
Prism Video Converter has been reported to include FFmpeg in violation of the LGPL license.
There is a dubiously limited software update policy: NCH only allow access to their software updates and bug-fixes for a period of 3 months, after which point the end user may have to re-purchase the software to receive updates and fixes for a further 3 months. Response to bugs are typically very slow, so a bug reported in software bought today may not get fixes within the 3 month update period and the user will need to re-purchase the software to receive the fix or update when released.