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Pinnacle Studio Plus version 11 - Pinnacle Studio Plus version 11

By Simon Williams

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Pinnacle Studio Plus version 11

Summary

Our Score:

9

There are a couple of interesting improvements to edit mode. The first takes advantage of widescreen displays thereby giving you more editing room to display clips or sections of a timeline - a first for a consumer video editor, yet an obvious improvement for a program which needs to display more data than a screen can hold.

The second improvement is Scorefitter - now bundled with Studio Plus 11 - for adding musical backgrounds to video. Cheesy, but this does a better job than most. You select the type of music, indicate how much of the video you want the track to cover and the software produces music of exactly that length. The instruments sound real and not like something out of a cheap, club keyboard.

In the same way you could record short video to CDs before DVD rewriters really took off, short HD DVD clips can be saved to standard 4.7GB DVD discs. That’s if you don't already have either an HD DVD or Blu-ray drive attached to your PC. You can squeeze up to 20 minutes or so of HD content onto a normal DVD.

If your thing is to go for Internet or MPEG playback rather than HD DVD, Studio Plus 11 helps there too. It now supports output to iPod and Sony PSP and has an improved Web interface so you can export directly to services such as Yahoo! Video. You simply click for the type of output you want: disk, file, tape or Web, and select the file type and a quality preset. It really is dead easy.

There are numerous other little improvements to the software, including literally hundreds of transitions and special effects, very easy titles and DVD front-end menus and advanced effects such as green screen Chroma Key, overlay channels and picture-in-picture.

Verdict

By making most of the hard work in video editing transparent, Pinnacle has managed to keep the whole process of capturing, compiling and saving a video pretty painless. The new version of the software has boosted the program in line with current hardware developments and the full support for HD formats and best-selling media players keeps Studio well up there with its competition.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Value 9
  • Usability 9
  • Features 8

T David Pattison

June 25, 2008, 3:18 pm

I have been a regular user of Pinnacle Studio software since version 8. All versions have contained either, instabilities, glitches or limitations that have caused hours of work to resolve, almost driving me to distraction over the years. However, its user interface is a joy.





I have a new Dell Inspiron 531 desktop with AMD 64 Live 2800+ (5600) dual core processor, Vista 2Gb fast ram, 320Gb hard drive (all this is better than the specification recommended by Pinnacle).





Good Points





• intuitive and easy to understand user interface


• more stable than previous versions of Studio


• easy placement and trimming of audio and video on the timeline


• good (but lack of choice) moving menus, including chapters within main menus


• placeable (ie doesn’t need to be the start of a chapter) moving thumbnails within menus


• some excellent transitions





Bad points





• very difficult to handle standard definition widescreen projects of 1 hour that include transitions, menus, titles and sound (yet DVD can take 1 hour 12 mins of good quality SD content)


• can’t get more than 20 mins HD project saved to file. The DVD only writes to SD mode.


• crashes without warning when working at he limits stated


• poor quality titles


• very slow project processing while editing even with background rendering switched off


• picture stabilisation poor


• Even to get this level of operability, one has to: adjust the Vista system performance management properties for ‘best performance’ close antivirus software, the firewall, and all processes that appear with your username; run ‘End it All’ software and, obviously disconnect from the internet


• If the program crashes, a dialogue box requests you send to Pinnacle information on the problem BUT it doesn’t work because you’re disconnected from the internet!!


• useless support from Pinnacle – they don’t read the questions and offer (at best) standard and/or incorrect answers


• you must pay for extra service modules (that I’ve never purchased!)


• Pinnacle charge you for activating services that you’ve already paid for if you must reinstall the software (which I’ve had to!)

John Read

September 3, 2008, 9:21 pm

Like David Pattison, I have been long-term Pinnacle user, in my case since Pinnacle Seven.





I also experienced all the glitches he mentioned, and found it to be a totally frustrating product to own and use. However, my Pinnacle TNine finally worked faultlessly, and I was happy with it at last. Happy, because the interface really is pleasant and a joy to use.





When my XP machine went belly up I bought into Vista, which does not support Pinnacle Nine. I bought a retail Pinnacle 11, which does work with Vista, and which also purports to edit HD video, so I also bought an HD camcorder.





I foolishly imagined that Pinnacle Eleven would have all the bugs removed, as Version nine had ... but I was s-o-o-o-o-o wrong. I have not yet succeeded in making a single HD DVD, or even got beyond adding the first transition to my work-in-progress. So I am cursing myself for "the triumph of hope over experience" that made me wast my money on Pinnacle 11. I am waiting for an entirely different program to arrive from an ebay seller.





Don't buy this product unless you enjoy exploring dozens of work-arounds and can put up with hours of lost work.





But, in fairness, I must say that it IS very pretty on the screen.





Shame it doesn't work!

Raman

February 27, 2009, 9:08 pm

I have experienced exactly the same problems as David & John.


I think the most common and frustrating one for me is when the program exits without warning. So far there is no pattern, so I have to save the project every minute (at most). Having to close all other applications and processes can also be annoying but will live with it if it means everything works well within the application.


But there are other features which makes things rather useful. In particular the ability to cut scenes & music easily.


Oh well you can't have everything. Hopefully they will make things more stable and then it will be a brilliant product.

nereg76

June 21, 2009, 10:06 pm

I am using Studio 11 Plus and or ultimate. It works soooo badddd. Can anyone help me. I had just finished editing a movie and was burning it to a dvd to preview it on my dvd player which I had already done before and it seemed to be okay. This is the second time I lose my work. Okay. While I was burning it, the studio window closed and it didn't eject the dvd so I figured it didn't finish burning. I said, ok, I'll just reopen it and it should be okay. Well, now, it's telling me that the associated file is missing and I cannot open the file. It has been months of work because it is a 2 hr movie that we filmed to release it on DVD. Can anyone help me??? I hope I can save the file. I have it saved on an external drive, so I know it's not due to space. HELP!!!

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