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on 29 January 2009
I've been trialling this software for a few days now, and for my purposes I think it deserves a better rating than the 2 stars it has at present. I set out looking for a video editing package that a) can import, join or create simple transitions, and output the AVCHD files produced by my Panasonic HDC-SD9 camcorder very quickly and without loss of quality option (i.e. has a smart render option); b) has decent DVD authoring software that can author AVCHD files to DVD as well as Blu-ray; c) supported 5.1 surround sound; d) is reasonably quick to render and renders to as small as possible file sizes; e) has flexibility to output to HDD as well as DVD and produces files that play on my PS3; f) is very easy to use but flexible enough to play around with settings; g) doesn't cost the earth. I also wanted a decent selection of transitions and effects but as I am not big on creating all singing and dancing movies these features were very much secondary. My purpose we to easily capture, create, and easily distribute family video that is capable of being played back via a variety of mediums.
So to start I did a bit of research on the net and found the following 5 packages to be front runners: Serif MoviePlus X3, Pinnacle Studio 12 Plus/Ultimate, Adobe Premier Elements 7, Corel Video Studio x2 Pro Ultimate, and Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 Pro Pack. I then downloaded the trial versions as set about testing according to my criteria. Remember I am an amateur so I am only looking for the easiest or most obvious way to do something from each package. That is my disclaimer.
So now down to the results... First the rendered output quality of all packages appeared similar, although the rendering time did vary slightly (by about 15%). Corel was the only package that supported an obvious Smart Rendering option. Adobe and Pinnacle provided most transitions and effects as standard. Serif and Corel were the easiest to use.
Adobe PE7 does not support 5.1 surround sound and its output capabilities appeared limited. I did however find one setting that produced an AVCHD H.264 file that played back on my PS3. -> Eliminated.
Serif would not recognise the .MTS files produced by my camcorder; however renaming them all the .M2TS worked. Also it will only produce output with max 1440x1080 res, not the 1920x1080 I wanted. -> Eliminated.
Pinnacle would only produce AVCHD output to DVD/Blu-ray disc and not directly to HDD and even then settings are limited to only one ("Best Quality"). Also it's worth noting 5.1 audio is only supported by the Ultimate version and I could only find the Plus version to trial. -> Eliminated.
That left Sony and Corel; both met my above basic requirements pretty well. Initially I liked the Sony as it offered a lot more for not too much more cash and I looked hard for reasons to buy it over the Corel; but the deeper I dug the more times Corel came out on top... I found the Sony DVD authoring package harder to use, the Corel editing UI was cleaner and it was easier to find the features you needed, Corel did obviously Smart Render but Sony did not, and finally the Sony crashed and I did not experience same with Corel. So the final verdict is Corel Video Studio x2 Pro Ultimate. It's far from perfect (hence 4 stars) but for my purposes it's the pick of the bunch. One small niggle I have with Corel is that the application window can only be full screen or minimised, so you can't resize it to get at other apps while it's rendering.
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VINE VOICEon 8 March 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 Ultimate comprises four main applications: VideoStudio X2 (a video editor), WinDVD 9 (video playback), DVD Copy 6 Plus (for copying and converting discs), and WaveLab LE 6 (an audio editor).

A true mark of a good application is if it allows you to do what you want without having to read the manual.I applied this test to VideoStudio and I'm happy to say that it passed with flying colours. I created a professional looking photo slidshow, complete with audio, effects, and titles, not once having to refer to the bulky manual supplied.

The program's minimalist interface makes it easy for to find your way around. On the left is the preview player which allows you to check that your project is looking like you intend it to. Next to it on the right is where I could import and organise my library items (such as images and) videos. And at the bottom, you'll find the timeline where you can drag and drop images, videos, effects, titles, and audio to create my slideshow.

As with most video editors, VideoStudio splits video production into three stages: caputre, edit and share. The tabs at the top make it intuitive to accomplish each stage. Click on "Capture" and you can import media from a DV camera, discs, and even mobile devices. I was rather disappointed not to be able to capture video using my built-in webcam, however.

Once you've captured what you need to (or if you already have the media files saved on your hard disk), you can start editing. This process really is as simple as dragging and dropping. The hard part is deciding which effects, overlays, titles, and audio to use - but you'll have fun experimenting and deciding.

When you're happy with your video, you're ready to "Share". This stage allows you to output your project to many different formats. You could create a video file (like AVI), burn it to a disc, export it to a mobile device, or upload it to YouTube.

You'll find that there are probably different ways of doing what you want. For example, I went straight to the main video editor to create my slideshow but I found out later, after exploring the program more fully, that there was an easier way of creating slides. When you launch the program you have three choices: go straight to the video editor, go to the "movie wizard", or go to the DV-to-DVD wizard. Had I chosen the movie wizard, I would have seen the many slideshow templates on offer.

So my advice is to experiment and you'll be rewarded with a video production that you'll be proud showing off to your family and friends.

Even though I've focused on VideoStudio in this review, the other applications in the suite are well worth exploring too. WinDVD 9 played everything I threw at it without problems, and even supported HD DVD. Again, I liked the uncluttered interface and was pleased to find the A-B repeat function (which most other media players don't have).

DVD Copy 6 converts files for the Web or mobile devices like iPods. An animated and rotating menu in the left-hand corner guides you through all the options. If you have a video or audio file, the chances are you could convert it to something that your gadgets will be able to recognise.

WaveLab is a competent audio editor. It's great for editing the sound files that you use as background music for your videos. If you've never used an audio editor before it takes a bit of getting used to. But if you've used Audacity or someting similar you'll feel right at home. I have one gripe about this program, though: launching it always prompts the User Account Control which is very annoying.
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on 14 November 2009
I have had a couple of video editiing packages and would say to any beginner (like me) or slightly more advanced hobbyist, the plethora of help videos from absolute basic to sophisticated over the internet, such as on uTUBE, makes this product unbeatable on price and in use. It also does AVCHD files without any hastle from first installation, which was what I wanted.

Great Product with tons of help on line for beginners upwards and if you really can't be bothered, its' movie wizard will do it all for you.

NB you really do need a good system to run video editing software on -I don't mean uTube stuff, they are small files, I mean your wedding videos for a widescreen hdtv at home etc, - if you have not got a modern fast machine, eg more than 5 years old, or only just above the basic specification recommended by Corel, then working with high quality video files- (not small, 300 x 300 pixel stuff, for a very small screen on your handheld,) can be a trial. Try it and you'll quickly - err, rather s-l-o-w-l-y - f -- i --- n -- d -- o --- u --- t --- w --- h --- y --- t --- h --- i--- s --- i--- s.

I don't mean to sound patronising but a slow computer can really ruin the enjoyment of working with video, and Video Studio x2 is a good way to start ...if your machine is upto it!
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on 7 November 2009
I have over 10 years digital video editing experience (a subject I also teach) using a variety of applications. I purchased Videostudio in order to produce AVCHD DVD from my recently purchased Panasonic SD-20 camcorder. The problem occurs when producing AVCHD DVDs at the original recorded resolution (1920 x 1080 bit rate 16800) when creating the DVD an error in the internal DVD engine is reported when multiplexing the video and audio. This only occurs when transitions or titles are added, which is the purpose of the software. I have since gathered from discussion forums that this is a common problem that occurs with footage from Panasonic cameras which is believed to be due to how Panasonic use reference frames. I contacted Corel by email and they told me to phone their technical support that is a non-UK number at my expense! Lower resolution DVDs can be produced however, the footage has to transferred from the camcorder using the Corel Software, if the footage transferred using the Panasonic software is used the final video has lots of artefacts with waves rippling through it. I have given the software 2 stars since is does not do what is required, I cannot get the support I require and I will probably be waiting a long time for a patch to solve the problem. However, it is straightforward to use with a comprehensive set of sharing options. I would recommend that the trial version of the software is downloaded and thoroughly tested before purchasing, unfortunately when I tested it using footage from a show my daughter was in I did not add transitions.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Corel's VideoStudio X2 Pro Ultimate does offer a lot of features but, at around £80, is more expensive than some of its competitors. As is common with this type of software Amazon has provided a good description of the product and its features so I won't go through all the details again here. I have used Adobe's Premier Elements previously, and also the basic editing software that came with my Sony camcorder, but I have got the best results so far with this package from Corel.

There are a wide range of ratings for this product from Amazon's other reviewers and I think that shows the problem with it. It is going to suit some users very well but others will be troubled by the little niggles that crop up from time to time. Personally I found it very intuitive to use and got started ok without too much reference to the manual. The results were good and the features useful, but there are also many features that I may never need.

I will probably use this software as my default editing suite for making DVDs from my camcorder footage, and the playback features are nicely done too. I have a number of DVD players on my laptop but this one from Coral has upscaling software for better results if using an HD monitor. I have not had any crashes when editing - although I do take great care these days as I've had problems before when using the Adobe Elements.

My experience makes Corel's package a four star rating from me; if it was about £20 cheaper I would have given it a full five stars. So check the price and if it is around £60 when you are looking then add the extra star for me!
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on 1 August 2009
I bought this when on offer. A price that made it excellent value for money. It seems that this package is one of the few if not the only editing suite that will work properly with the full-HD output from the Canon SX1. I've, at this stage, only managed a few "trial" videos and slide shows with it which it has handled well. There are a few minor buggettes in that it seems to "forget" the links to some pictures you add to the library even though you don't move them. But it is a very "full" package that is very capable... more investigation of all the "fancy" features will take quite some time. It comes with a "real" instruction book - a real bonus these days and though this runs to over 220 pages you will still need to experiment a little to get some things working just the way you want. Good quality output.
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on 24 May 2009
Im quite surprised that great piece of software like this has only got three stars. I'll start by explaining about the installation itself. The installation of the software was surprisingly speedy when you compare it to larger software like Sony Vegas.

Next the price. For the price you get a meaty software for a fairly low price. Remember, Sony Vegas and Premier may be 5 times better, but VideoStudio is also 5 times cheaper. Watered down versions of such as Premeier and Vegas were released, but it feels disappointing knowing that you have only a watered down (and often very poor) versions of the actual software itself.

And it satisfies what it was targeted for: Entry level consumers who want to ride the video editing horse. Having said that, there is more than enough effects to satisfy the causal user, however, the effects etc may seem a little limiting to those that are hard core video editors. Adding these effects are as simple as drag-and-drop.

interface. I like the simplistic look in the interface, I am a complete novice when it comes to video editing and I really don't have the patience to learn bloatware and confusing software such as Sony Vegas, but using this, I pretty much picked up the software instantly. In this, you can do picture in picture, decent credits, even doodle on the pictures themselves!

That said, the stuff that you want to do with it is split into categories in the top, such as share, overlay, effects, edit, and capture. Instantly this got my vote, finally you can thumb through categories and you can find what you want without thumbing through complex menus!

Finalising videos in terms of what it options it can give you are a little overwhelming. You have the options to record to Blu-Ray (yes, its true!), even WMV, AVI, MPEG, and even burn the contents to disc! (Not tried that option, though).

I have a few gripes on this software. One of them is that video seem to take ages to finalise. I remember waiting something like 20minutes just to get this 4 minute clip done. My other gripe is that such an amazing piece of software comes equipped with lame audio editing tools. Henceforth, I dont use them. Instead, I use open source Audacity. I knocked a star for that alone. Another and thankfully last gripe is that if you already have Ulead VideoStudio 11(x) then this might not seem a worthy purchase, as it merely is just a name change with possibly a revamp in it.

Having said that, there is a free 30-Day trial on this software over at Corel, which can be found by doing a simple Google search. Download and install that, and I can guarantee that you will instantly fall in love with it. If you have already got Ulead 11(x), this might not seem a worthy product, but if you haven't already, go buy this product. Don't even hesitate. Or at least try the trial, and comment at me if you do not think that the software is decent. And please explain why.

Chad Bronson.
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having used Video editing software for a fair while now, I've accustomed myself to crashes and bugs that seem to be present in every piece of software I've owned or tested. Videostudio X2 is no exception, it does crash in places, though these have been fewer than a few of the other big name packages.

What you get in the box is more than a Video editing program though and I'll go through each one seperately.

Corel WinDVD 9 gives you a great interface for watching DVDs on your PC or even HDDVD and Bluray if you have the technology. Its simple to use and does what you expect. Although Windows now has decent DVD playback, this improves things and makes it feel like you have a full featured DVD/Blu-ray player as well as upscaling DVD to a higher definition.

DVD Copy 6 Plus is great if you have a PSP or Video MP3 player (like the iPhone). It will convert to many different formats and even let me make an AVI from a DVD. Obviously it won't let you copy protected DVDs such as films (well, not without help anyway) but it works well and is invaluable for iPods.

Steinberg WaveLab LE 6 allows you to import WAV and MP3 and chop them up, resaving them in either format or a choice of other formats. This can be useful for adding soundtracks to your video (though Videostudio already does a basic version of this) or to create ringtones for mobile phones that use the MP3 format. It has a really good zoomable graphical display but I did find it a bit tricky to get just the piece of music I wanted cut out.

Videostudio itself is full of options and if you delve deeper than the basic wizards it can produce quite professional looking videos. However, if you're worried about getting involved in loads of choices or are not interested in the bells and whistles but just want a nice video from your camera then the wizards are pretty straightforward.

However, it was with the wizards I had the most problem with crashing. As with any other video editing software, the best advice is to save as often as possible. It seems to be more a problem with Windows stability as a platform than with the individual software titles though.

Once you've finished your video the output options are impressive. You get the choice of either DVD, HD authoring or to a file on the Hard Disc, I like the latter option as it makes everything a bit easier to carry around on a USB stick and since a lot of TVs, DVD players and games consoles play HD content from USB now it makes more sense than using lots of discs.

All in all, the Corel suite is a well rounded package with plenty of options and while it crashed from time to time, it still managed to be more stable than many of the other titles I've used on my current Vista PC.
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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After struggling to get to grips with an expensive video editing software package that I recently got, I was sceptical as to whether this cheaper package would be any better. However I have had great success with it so far and it does almost everything I want it to do.

The software is quite easy to use and reasonably intuitive although parts of it can be a little fiddly. It is clearly set out with a preview box on the left hand side where you can preview or cut clips, and you can adjust the place of cutting or splitting to the absolute millisecond which is great for accuracy. Underneath the preview box are the tracks where you can add images, overlap images, effects, voice and music. The separate voice and music tracks are particularly useful to me and I always bemoaned the lack of them on simpler programmes such as Windows Movie Maker. You can adjust the volume of all clips throughout the track, so music can rise and fall as you wish.

Importing music and video into the programme is easy. The effect are also simple to add although the range is not as wide or as good as the effects on offer in Sony Vegas, in my opinion. However you can adjust the colour saturation, hue, gamma, brightness, contrast etc of clips which is all useful.

There are some downsides to the programme. It takes a long time to install and an incredibly long time to render files (saving your completed project as the file type you want). It took over half an hour to render a 4 minute video as a wmv file. I haven't tried rendering a longer file but at this rate it would seem an hour long video could take 7 hours to render! As I only make short ones though this is not too much of an issue for me.

This programme is not perfect but I am finding it very useful and the accompanying manual is clear and expansive. I would recommend this software over and above many of the more expensive ones if you want to make short videos.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 March 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I like to tinker with my home movies. Up until now, I have been quite dissatisfied with the DVD authoring software I have tried. Many keep you bound with restriction on how the menus will look (even when they're customised) they usually only have a few different configuration on how to format the start up screen. This one is different, and isn't just a DVD authoring program; you can use this to clean up sound files, convert video formats (as far as I can see, most if not all video formats are compatible) and you can even use a number of different disc image formats.

It doesn't allow to build menus from scratch but you can at least re-position everything in the menu screen. It's a very complicated program, its user interface isn't as intuitive as some of the others, but it would seem those others give inferior results in comparison.

I think it's best if the user has had some experience in DVD authoring with some of the simpler programs as I think this could be daunting (I still haven't used every function) or at least have a real desire and interest in creating something quite unique and more professional looking than normally possible for an amateur.

However, like said, this isn't just a DVD authoring package I think as I use this program more and more I will find functions that I never knew I needed and wonder how I ever did without them.
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