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CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite review

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Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

1 of 11

CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite
  • CyberLink ColorDirector
  • CyberLink ColorDirector
  • CyberLink ColorDirector
  • CyberLink AudioDirector
  • CyberLink AudioDirector

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Real-time editing engine uses all the latest hardware acceleration
  • Excellent new colour and audio apps
  • Lots of new effects and file format support

Cons

  • Best new features are in two new applications
  • Deluxe edition misses out on many new features
  • No loop-based music creation in AudioDirector

Key Features

  • Enhanced hardware effects acceleration
  • Context-aware editing mode
  • Support for 4K footage
  • ColorDirector colour adjustment tool
  • AudioDirector multi-track sound enhancement tool
  • Manufacturer: CyberLink
  • Review Price: £239.99

Introduction

CyberLink’s PowerDirector used to be a rather limited video editing software that was bundled with everything under the sun, from graphics cards to optical drives. But the company’s strong video patent portfolio and determination has lifted PowerDirector slowly and surely towards being taken seriously alongside the alternatives from Adobe, Corel / Ulead and Avid / Pinnacle. PowerDirector 10 is still the consumer video editing application with the most comprehensive support for 3D. With PowerDirector 11, however, CyberLink hopes to climb yet another rung up the ladder, and potentially topple its competitors.

CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite

CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Applications

The biggest news about PowerDirector 11 is that CyberLink has branched out to include two additional helper applications, ColorDirector and AudioDirector. We will be looking at the features of these two newcomers, which can also be purchased and used standalone, later in this review. For now, suffice it to say that ColorDirector brings features you would normally expect to see in a high-end video tool like Adobe After Effects, whilst AudioDirector provides powerful audio facilities akin to Adobe Audition or SoundForge. Used alongside PowerDirector 11, they both provide round-trip editing, where you can call them from within PowerDirector, with any changes you make being reflected back to the host app. This is broadly similar to Adobe’s DynamicLink, and makes ColorDirector and AudioDirector essentially function as super-powerful plug-ins.

However, the new apps are only included in the new, more expensive PowerDirector Ultimate and Director Suites, which cost £199.99 and £239.99 respectively, pushing the price for PowerDirector into new territory which not many video applications have inhabited for some years. If you purchase the PowerDirector 11 Director Suite bundle, you also get the increasingly powerful PhotoDirector, now in its fourth incarnation.

CyberLink PowerDirector 11 Director Suite

With such powerful new capabilities on hand from these two new additions, the main PowerDirector application doesn’t feel like it has quite such significant enhancements on its own. The interface isn’t noticeably different from the previous incarnation, with the fact that media library thumbnails can be resized easily using a slider being the most obvious enhancement. There have been some noticeable improvements under the hood, however. The rendering engine already seemed to support every hardware acceleration available. In version 10, aside from being 64-bit and multithreaded, to make the most of a multi-core CPU, it was accelerated by OpenCL and CUDA, so could harness the power of most recent AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards.

With version 11, PowerDirector can also harness multiple graphics cards, including Intel HD 3000 and 4000 integrated graphics alongside a discrete graphics chispet. There's also optimisation for AMD second-generation APUs as well as Fusion and Vision. However, only a portion of PowerDirector's effects are GPU-accelerated. We found scrubbing and playback pretty slick when we did use accelerated effects, although this will vary depending on the host hardware. Our test system was packing a 2.2GHz quad-core AMD Phenom 9550 with 6GB of DDR3 SDRAM and NVIDIA Quadro FX 1700 graphics, so a relatively modest specification by today's standards. But the software was very usable even with multiple layers of AVCHD test footage.

Haytham1112

November 23, 2012, 6:22 am

Thanks for you

Guest

May 28, 2013, 12:59 am

I've had their Ultimate Suite for a few months and it's gratifying to read your very positive review. The value for money is fantastic, and so is the feature set.

Nic Adair

October 5, 2013, 3:19 pm

A poor man's Sony Vegas and the blu ray authoring section is full of bugs.
If burning a bluray disc there is no 'previous or next' button so when you play on your bluray player you cannot forward to the next title or go back to the previous title.
Don't waste your money on this trash.

Cynic

March 2, 2014, 4:12 pm

I have been using NCH Software with some success but it has lots of glitches that are annoying. On top of that, my security provider locked the program out and informed me that NCH packages a lot of 3rd party software that is potentially harmful in their software with out telling the purchaser. I have cleaned it out of my computer and I'm looking for a replacement. This one looks interesting. has anyone who has used this program got any comments good or bad?

Nicholas Staines

January 3, 2016, 10:40 pm

I have tried it before and tends to be really buggy. This like a "poor person" version of Adobe Premier and Sony Vegas Pro. Use at your own risk guys.

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