Home / Computing / Software / Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate

Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate review



1 of 5

Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate
  • Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate


Our Score:



  • Archiving tool lets you transport whole projects
  • Enhanced import and export file format support
  • Still the easiest video editor to use


  • Avid's own-branded Studio better value than Ultra versions
  • SmartSound plug-in and effects packs still cost extra
  • No 64-bit version yet

Key Features

  • Project archive tool
  • MKV import
  • QuickTime HD, DivX Plus HD and AVCHD Lite export
  • YouTube output extended to Full HD
  • Performance enhancements
  • Manufacturer: Pinnacle
  • Review Price: £64.99

When a piece of software reaches its 15th version, you would expect it to be a pretty finely honed experience. But, like Star Trek movies, there have been Pinnacle Studio updates of greater or lesser excellence along the way. Taking a scan down the feature list, Pinnacle Studio HD 15 isn't a huge improvement over its predecessor. However, it does have just about enough new features to warrant the number revision.

Pinnacle was purchased by Avid a few years ago, and the company's semi-professional Liquid software was discontinued after version 7. Although Studio persists, it too now has a questionable future since Avid released its own-branded Studio software.

However, there are clear interface distinctions between the two. Although both share the same underlying code base, their interfaces are rather different, and Pinnacle Studio still holds the upper hand for ease of use. This was the first mainstream consumer-grade video editing app to take a tabbed approach to the stages of the process, and it's still the easiest app for novices to get to grips with in its class.

Pinnacle Studio HD 15 Ultimate

The most major feature enhancement with Studio HD 15 is its ability to archive projects. This is much more sophisticated than simply saving your editing decisions, as transferring just the file containing these to a new system will leave all the media they refer to behind. Even if you do copy over your media directory, it's still easy to miss the odd file. The new archive facility gathers every file referenced in the project timeline and puts these with an archive reference file in a single folder you can copy to removable storage.

This can then be imported into any system running Studio HD 15, although it will also need any plug-ins used to be installed and activated. Since only the files included on the timeline are stored in the archive, the latter's size can be deceptively small, although you are told this right at the beginning of the process so you can choose storage with sufficient remaining capacity.

Glyn Martin

February 14, 2012, 5:33 pm

I am looking to get this software to edit footage from my new Panasonic HDC SD80 camera on the top setting. Will this program run on a laptop with i5 2410 processor, 6 Gb Ram and a 1GB graphics card? Off their webpage they recommend Intel Core™ 2 or i7 2.4 GHz required for AVCHD* (2.66 GHz for AVCHD* 1920)

Many Thanks


February 14, 2012, 6:16 pm

I see no reason why that system should have a problem running that software. Might be a bit slow (though I doubt it) but it should run.


May 20, 2012, 11:26 pm

Pinnacle Dazzle STUDIO HD DVD is an extremely resource-intensive application. On my Core-i5 with 6GB RAM, the CPU stays peaked between 60% and 94% of CPU while rendering videos that are a mere 500MB. That's a resource pig. Also, the user interface where media is chosen and the video timeline is assembled is very sluggish; the context menus and option property windows are VERY slow to open. The #1 complaint I have, however, is that the rendering process HALTS if the screen-saver launches and/or you manually lock (WINDOWS KEY+L) the computer. That is absolutely the biggest oversight yet; no one wants to wiggle the mouse or disable screen-saver preferences just to suit one application.
Lastly, despite have purchased a license, in-app nag advertisements are STILL presented and nearly 90% of features are considered PAY-FOR add-ons.
In summary, I would not recommend this sluggish, limited product to anyone. I've used PROSHOW GOLD in the past and felt that it out-performed Pinnacle's product, hands down.


May 21, 2012, 4:20 am

To continue with my prior comments, there are significant bugs in the Pinnacle Dazzle STUDIO HD DVD Version 14 release, as of May 2012, and they are eaily replicated.

Amongst the list is a GREEN SCREEN that suddenly appears in the Preview window, while working in the Edit pane, instead of the photo or video that is otherwise shown in the timeline at that location. The only way I was able to get rid of the green screen was to click FILE then DELETE AUXILLARY FILES (ALL). And, no, I didn't have Chroma Key enabled.

The other consistent issue I have experienced is, again; while editing, the Preview window will only show the photo or video that is at the currently-selected location in the timeline when Play was clicked.

I am forever in wonder if companies like Pinnacle have a QA quality assurance department at all. If it weren't for needing the Dazzler hardware, I would certainly be returning this product for a FULL refund.


November 28, 2012, 8:53 am

Yes it is true this program is one slow program, i am using 14 ultimate on I7 latest window processor and still it get stuck and i have a lot of ram, so i am moving to adobe cost more, get a student version or even sony is much better.
Avid you need to improve your platform of making your program,

Nic Adair

September 29, 2013, 5:48 pm

Another 'also ran' piece of editing software.
A poor man's Sony Vegas.


February 25, 2014, 11:13 pm

would this program be good for editing video from a gopro? we just got the GoPro and cant edit via movie maker

comments powered by Disqus