Summary

Our Score

9/10

Pros

  • Comprehensive 3D file import
  • Capable 3D editing
  • Wide range of 3D output options

Cons

  • Only a few new non-3D features
  • Not all 3D files recognised automatically

Review Price £49.10

Key Features: Comprehensive 3D video file import; 3D video editing features; Improved performance with Open CL hardware support; Animated painting tool; 3D output to Blu-ray, DVD and YouTube

Manufacturer: CyberLink

CyberLink PowerDirector 10 Ultra

CyberLink took a technology lead with thelast version of PowerDirector, which was the first consumer-grade video editing app to go 64-bit. The tenth incarnation doesn't have anything quite so groundbreaking to brag about, but it still has plenty of reasons to proffer as to why you should be considering it alongside Adobe Premiere Elements and Corel VideoStudio. Not only has the rendering engine been further improved, but there's also significant support for 3D.

The major performance enhancements, apart from general engine tweaking, are in the Open CL support and H.264 encoding. The former is a system a bit like DirectX, but aimed more generally at any compute-intensive tasks. It harnesses the media processing abilities of CPUs and the graphics processing abilities of GPUs for other tasks, in this case effects rendering. During testing, enabling this mode did result in smoother playback, although it was more of an incremental improvement than sea change. PowerDirector already had one of the smoothest real-time rendering engines of any consumer-grade video editing app, and this merely cements its abilities. CyberLink is also promising one of the quickest H.264 encoding engines, and there's SVRT technology to help out here, which only renders video sections which have been changed, although this isn't standard for H.264 and can produce files with incorrect Bitstreams. Together with the Open CL support and other performance improvements, CyberLink is calling the new rendering engine TrueVelocity 2.
CyberLink PowerDirector 10 Ultra
The 3D support is very extensive. You can import 3D video and still images in all the main formats, including side-by-side and most notably Multiview Video Coding (MVC) video. This is the format used by JVC's dual-CMOS Everio GS-TD1, and we've not come across any mainstream editing app with the ability to handle these files correctly until now, which is a shame as they maintain Full HD resolution in 3D, unlike the side-by-side alternative. Some 3D files are detected automatically, but we didn't find this is true of every file type. Some side-by-side 3D we imported was initially displayed as 2D. Fortunately, you can tweak the properties of files manually, and set these up correctly. It's also possible to watch your video onscreen in 3D, with a simple button beneath the monitor window toggling anaglyphic display off and on.

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