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CyberLink PowerDirector 8 review

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CyberLink PowerDirector 8
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 8
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 8
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 8
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 8
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 8
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 8

Summary

Our Score:

8

CyberLink PowerDirector used to be held back by a distinct lack of features compared to the Adobe and Corel/Ulead alternatives. It was fine for simple edits, but very easy to outgrow. With PowerDirector 7, however, CyberLink brought the app much closer to the competition, making it worthy of consideration. PowerDirector 8 is another huge upgrade, with both new effects capabilities and changes to the underlying engine.

However, one area which hasn't seen a massive change is the interface, at least not in appearance. The icons for the Magic functions to the left of the timeline are now coloured, but other than that things look the same. There are some new features, here, though. In particular, CyberLink has increased the number of timeline tracks still further over version 7, to 16 in total. Nine of these are for picture-in-picture video, up from the previous six. But the increase to four audio tracks is the most significant upgrade. The two audio tracks allowed by the previous version were too much of a limitation if you wanted to create a complex soundtrack involving music, voiceover and foleys at the same time.

You can now have up to 16 tracks on the timeline, including nine for video and four for audio

There are more fundamental changes to the code beneath the interface, however. Two main innovations have been added to help boost productivity. The most generally useful is the new Shadow Editing system. This creates proxy files when you import high definition footage. It's an optional feature, and you're prompted to turn it on when you import the files. When enabled, Shadow Editing mirrors your HD with standard definition MPEG-2 files, which are substituted during the editing process.

Shadow Editing creates lower-resolution proxies for HD files to speed up editing workflow

The files are rendered in the background, and take a little while to create. But you can start editing straight away. When the Shadow Editing proxies are ready, the workflow becomes a lot smoother. Even when we layered multiple clips and added effects to each, a real-time preview remained available, albeit not without dropped frames, although the use of lower-resolution proxies was obvious. Still, editing the HD directly would have made the preview far too sluggish. The full resolution files are then used again for final rendering, so this is performed at the best possible quality.

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Runadumb

August 15, 2009, 12:05 am

ive just tried this and I cant trim videos ive taken with my samsung NV8. The output has sound but the video is utterly screwed up. Any idea what im doing wrong? Kinda useless to me if I cant edit videos I take. Probably my fault though

HDedit

August 30, 2009, 12:15 am

Excellent review format and detail in information. I'm evaluating several video editing software options and this review is the closest to the actual experience of trying out the trial version (which I am doing currently). The primary advantage of PD8 is it's ability to write high quality AVCHD DVD disc which Adobe still cannot do.

HDedit

September 15, 2009, 5:57 am

Good visual method of assembling video, image, and audio into a finished project. BUT, the product crashes frequently even on the fastest PC running only 1 application, PowerDirector. The menuing system is very poor and a let down after the very good editing options offered for the project overall.

Howard Martin

October 6, 2009, 10:27 pm

On the face of it, this is an excellent program but in reality it has numerous bugs and problems. It crashes regularly and things don't work as they say they should.





What is worse, tech support seems to ignore you if their first suggestions don't fix the problem - and their suggestions seem much the same for all problems.





When it works it does an excellent job but be prepared for much heartache on the way.....

Robert H

October 30, 2009, 7:49 pm

First try it worked for 20 mins then I got the Blue Screen of Death. Uninstalled, contacted tech support who told me to edit registry and run MS clean up tool. Second try no blue screen of death, PC just froze and wouldn't even load Task Manager. System Restore in safe mode took 3 hours. I've Paid £49.99 for something that is completely useless - for the 20 mins it did work I did like what I saw, but this is unacceptable. No reply after 24 hours from Tech Support on pc crash caused by PD8. Very disappointed!!!

HDedit

November 30, 2009, 6:56 am

If you're into state of the art HD video, this package will frustrate you. It cannot reliably edit true HD material without constant hangs - just check out their forum.

CAGGER

December 19, 2009, 6:19 am

I also agree with HDedit. But what is even worse I have been posting on their forums and watched them get deleted by the moderator. They dont like posts about crashing / hanging / messed up my PC. Tech support response is at best 3 7 days and they usually dont answer your questions or have no solutions at all. The only good thing I found when the program worked, is that it was fast encoding to H264 content from MPEG2 HD content. This is a waste of money until the program is stablized. Also watch there price promotions. When I first trialed the software the price as 99.95 with $15 off. total 84.95. 2 Weeks later the price went to $119.95 with $30 off. Looks like a better deal. Wrong you now paid $89.95. This stayed on for about 2 weeks. The price today is $25 off from 99.95. Best deal for the past 2 months.

Dave 24

June 14, 2010, 6:13 pm

I feel like I made a donation to Cyberlink ! I could not get this program to work at all. I am a very experienced windows user with a degree in computer service technology. I called tech support multiple times and spent a lot of time on hold and being handed off to different techs. I even had a hard time restoring my computer to normal working conditions after the suggested fixes I got from them. When I finally requested a refund they said, "Sorry, you are past the 30-day refund time period." What can I say, they conned me out of the price of this program. I think they deliberately dragged their feet to get past the 30 day refund period. I will never buy any Cyberlink program in the future.

eghanson

August 6, 2010, 7:44 am

PowerDirector 8 performs very well on my Dell Core i7 with 8GB of memory and 1TB of disk. Unfortunately, on import, there is a limit of 2500 media clips (pictures, video, and audio) and I have over 15000 that I want to manage using PowerDirector. I stop receiving anything from Cyberlink after I sent them screen shots of there error and answered all there questions.

Al Swilling

August 24, 2010, 3:04 pm

I'm running a Pentium 4, 2.53GHz processor with a meager 512MB of RAM and two 180GB hard drives--probably the most modest machine of those represented here, and I had no problems running Powerdirector 8, even with other apps running. For example, I used a separate still image editor to alter some graphics that I was including in a video I was putting together and adding sound files, as well; and I had no problems whatsoever. No crashing, no stalling, no glitches at all. However, the menus are hard to get accustomed to, and the program lacks one of the most basic, and arguably the most used, feature of all: the ability to trim video clips. Still images can be adjusted any way the user pleases, but video clips cannot be trimmed--or if they can be trimmed, I haven't found the tools with which to accomplish that feat. A video editor/creator program worth its salt, not to mention its exorbitant price, should not require the purchase and installation of yet another video editor solely for trimming video clips.





There are other features that PowerDirector 8 should have but doesn't. Overall, it isn't worth the price.

SisP

August 30, 2010, 2:33 am

I agree with Dave (June 14 post). PowerDirector 8 is the worse software I have ever purchased. I am running it off my HP laptop (one of the latest from HP) with 6GB RAM and i7 processor and PD8 crashes constantly since day one (3 months ago). I too felt like I got conned from "good reviews". I also have an IT background and still cannot get this software to stop crashing...it is so frustrating. Tech Support? don't even bother. Before PD8 I had Adobe PRemier and decided to switch to PD8 from reading reviews about special affect features - I should have stuck with Adobe Premier, it may not have many special affects but it works and rarely crashes or freeze. BTW do not trust Cyberlink Forum, you cannot post anything on that forum related to PD8 crashes or stop working error message anymore, it will not get posted.

saphire

September 20, 2010, 1:05 am

If this program actually worked, it would offer everything I am looking for in editing software. However, the program crashes so often, you can barely get any editing done. I agree that the money I spent was a donation to a company that could care less. I have video editing in my background and cannot figure out how to stop this program from crashing continuously. Can anyone recommend a better brand of software?

omnigate

October 8, 2010, 11:44 pm

Seems a lot of people are having issues with this software, I would like to add negative experience as well. While most of it works, there are some major stability issues with this software. Adding new templates is the biggest issue I experienced. When attempting to download any template the system hangs at 89%. After closing and reopening, the system now crashes periodically and broke the menu bar (when clicking the menu button, won't open the menu items anymore). There is no help online and if you send them information, they just blow you off. Please look elswhere for this type of software, it's not worth the frustrations.

Silvabak

November 11, 2010, 3:44 am

My son, my neighbour and I have all been running PD8 for some months now and have not experienced any crashes. Far from it, we found it very stable and the only program that could import mpeg4 files direct from a Sanyo camcorder without crashing. We have tried various versions of Pinnacle, Corel Studio, Adobe and Movie Maker in an attempt to import files of various formats, stop crashes and be able to do voice overs. Pinnacle would not recognise a microphone (although Windows did)and their tech support eventually gave up. So far PD8 has been the answer to all of our problems experienced with numerous other editing programs. I found it very quick to burn a DVD from Fuji HS10 video files of various definitions including HD. Some features require a fair bit of searching to find but all work as I expected. We have had no problem whatsoever with clipping as Al Swilling reported and in fact were very impressed how you could zoom in to the exact frames you want to include or exclude. The first time I used it I made a short clip of just 2 seconds of a surfing move and used in sequentially several times, with suitable sound effects, into an example for my son. Having struggled with all sorts of problems with Corel, Movie Maker, Adobe and Pinnacle including system freezes, very slow speed and files unrecognised etc I found PD8 an absolute delight and have been more productive than ever before in a very short time. To me it seems that the above bad reviews are about a completely different program.

Henk

December 22, 2012, 10:12 am

I can hardly take this review serious. The software is very bad and works hardly without failures. My verdict: crap.
PS. The version i am talking about is 8. I don't know about version 11

Emma Foote

February 5, 2013, 12:37 am

Try powerdierctor 11, I have the free trial.. It's crappy when you produce it to youtube, but when it uploads your computer is fast again..

Emma Foote

February 5, 2013, 12:40 am

Power dierctor 9, 10 11 are better.

juzt23

December 5, 2013, 4:54 am

is power director 8 compatible with windows xp??

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