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All reviews for Pinnacle Studio

178 reviews, Showing 1 to 178 reviews

I have been using Corel Draw for 30 years and have used Pinnacle studio since version 7. I made over 300 professional diving videos with Studio 7-9. I loved the product and the results helped me land a gig with The Amazing Race. So when it came time to make videos for my employer for You Tube and Facebook naturally I chose Studio 25. Though a lot has been added over the years the appearance was recognizable and I went right to work. Since then it has been nothing short of a pain in the butt. I would add a clip and split the sound to adjust noise reduction and the sound in the edit mode shows graphically but you cannot hear it. I would have to close the program and go back in only have it to work until I made another adjustment. The same happened when i added music to the background. I was expecting this clip to take less than an hour to complete. I already have 8 hours on it and it is still not finished... making me look like an idiot in front of my boss. I would be happy if you brought back Studio 8! This version should have not made it out from Beta. WAIT... it gets worse. I contacted customer support last Thursday 2/9/22 (from some foreign country) and it is Monday 2/14/22 and I have yet to hear back from them. I gave it 2 stars simply because I love the original programs and know what it can do. Otherwise... 1 star!

Review by Tom S. on Feb 14, 2022 Version: 25 OS: Windows 11 64-bit Ease of use: 2/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Bought the studio Ultimate 24, but rarely made videos with it. I now tried to export a 4K video at it gets stuck at 99%. I tried HD format, same thing. Lowered the bit rate and it didn't help.

The software is packed with features but is definitely not intuitive. You can't do basic stuff without watching some kind of tutorial somewhere.

Definitely avoid this software, it may be packed with features, but basic usage is a real pain. In fact I had more success with open-source software like Pitivi.

Review by Kiren on Sep 30, 2021 Version: OS: Windows 10 Ease of use: 2/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

I've used Pinnacle for many years and have also dealt with issues. I recently was having a problem with crashing and inability to export with Studio 23 and 24.
I did some testing with different files and realized my drone footage worked fine which was .mp4 format. My file type with my Sony HD cameras is .MTS. That seemed to be the problem because I ran all my files through Handbrake and converted to .mp4 and had NO further issues with crashing or export.

Review by arspromo on Jul 7, 2021 Version: 24 Ultimate OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 8/10

For me the most stable and working version was Studio 12. After that it just turned to garbage.
Studio 12 still works with Windows 10 but unfortunately, because I have a 4K UHD monitor, there is no way to change the way it looks, even with compatibility mode the program looks "miniscule" and almost impossible to work with.

Review by tmelo67 on May 27, 2020 Version: Pinnacle Studio 23 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Yes, I know it's an old version. I've used it since v13 and it was fine up to that fateful day when I thought it was time to upgrade.

Not so much!

Since the upgrade I've had to cajole it with all sorts of tweaks that nobody should have to do to get it to function well. Yes although older, my desktop was hopefully upgraded to make it work: currently it a Dell Precision 490, dual quad-core Zeon 3.73GHz procs, 16GB fast ram, all SSD's, nVidia Quadro FX3500 GPU. I really don't think horsepower is the issue...

Numerous times I've submitted requests to the forums and....crickets from Avid; other users have responded well and THAT'S where I got 99.999% of my help...from folks who are in the same boat I'm in.

Sorry AVID, your boat's leaking badly (from what I can tell from these reviews) and I'm tired of baling the water with a thimble. At this point, I'm not sure whose software I'll use, but I can flatly say it won't be yours.

Review by Jimbo R on May 26, 2020 Version: Studio OS: Windows 7 64-bit Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 3/10

The software is a master at crashing down that too at the most important time. Initially I thought it was my computer problem (i7-4th gen,3.2ghz, 16GB ram,2gb dedicated) Hence I purchased the latest Dell XPS 15 i9 8th generation. Paid more than $2,000.

A simple task of editing a 25 minutes recording that too without adding any effects, all I did was trimming off unwanted parts of the video, no chroma, no transition, no effects but still it crashes. What a joke after spending all that amount on a system and on the latest version of Pinnacle.

The worst problem is the video and audio is always out of synch. Even though I have an avhd sony camcorder !

Review by PSM Kokkur on May 1, 2020 Version: ultimate 23 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

I was using Pinnacle/Avid/Corel products for ages. Since I think version 9. Till now. And now I have finally switched to Resolve Studio. And I feel like I have left some ugly prison. A great feeling. I am amazed by the ergonomy and functionality put into Resolve after struggling with Pinnacle's problems, which are:

* unreliability! the longer and more complicated project the bigger chance that it will never render correctly, start crashing including black or red fragments inside your movie etc. What is worse: the files become unusable and you have to re-create the project from scratch.
* lack of logic in basic edititng functions. The timeline was functioning logically till about version 11 and then they changed it so, that there is no possiblity to do true trim edit mode where all the material behind the cursor is logically pushed / pulled when you delete or extend the clip at the cursor. Such a simple thing and Pinnacle never did it right. At least after destroying it.
* overbloating software with a lot of pathetic effects and other crap - completely unnecesary. And what is worse: with every version those addons are incompatible with previous versions. You cannot expect re-rendering of the project created with earlier version of Studio. Theoretically it should work but my experience is - sorry no way. Unless project is very simple.

Now I have comparison with Resolve (which is FREE!!!! compared to paid version of Studio) and I don't believe I didn't trash it much earlier. The learning curve is much steeper but as soon as you learn basic editing concepts with that software the whole process is SO much faster.

My mind was blown by the possiblity (In Resolve) to very quickly go through many hours of footage, quickly choose clips I need, put them into timeline, edit, add titles/effects etc and render 4 different versions simultanously, and then automatically copy only used parts of source material to a backup drive deleting unused clips and extracting only used fragments of long clips. To do the same in Pinnacle would take 3-4 times more time. Even if it would not crash.

Don't understand me wrong: Pinnacle Studio is very easy to use, and has ALL the functinality any prosumer would ever need. And this is true since about 5 last versions or more. I think version 15 was more than enough for me. The problem is that those functionalities either crash/are buggy, or there is something illogical (like lack of true trim cut mode), or hidden in the pile of crapware (if you have 1000 transitions to choose from it does not make sense - even if you find the perfect one you will waste a lot of time searching).

The problem is not in the price (even if you compare it to free Resolve), not in the lack of functions. The problem is that for Pinnacle/Avid/Corel it was always more important to add new crap than to remove bugs, and polish existing functionalities.

Review by damago1 on Dec 17, 2019 Version: 23 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

Studio 23 ultimate wont install and customer service couldn't understand me enough to get the issue resolved
Bought Studio 23 Ultimate and it was bundled with other Corel software. I have been hesitating on upgrading for a couple of years because i had issues during installation, at least with studio 21 ultimate. I have been with the studio ultimate supporter since studio 11 but after this last experience i just cannot do it anymore. All the bundled software installed perfectly, had no issues. Studio 23 however turned into a nightmare, kept crashing at the beginning and told me to restart. I was on their live chat 5 or 6 times that night and the phone twice but could not get any resolution because all customer service inquires seemed to be outsourced from out of the country. I couldn't get very technical with my issue with someone reading a book or cue card, its kinda like calling 911 with an emergency only to find the operator speaks Hindi reading from a script, what are they thinking? Technical support is suppose to be TECHNICAL SUPPORT, how can you support my technical issues when you cant understand me? After about 4 days and countless hours, i finally got it installed but it will my last Studio installation i have to endure. I recommend spending the money for Adobe After Effects or Premier Pro, the installation is a breeze and you can skip customer service all together.

Review by Wade on Dec 9, 2019 Version: Studio 23 Ultimate OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Studio 23 ultimate wont install and customer service couldn't understand me enough to get the issue resolved
Bought Studio 23 Ultimate and it was bundled with other Corel software. I have been hesitating on upgrading for a couple of years because i had issues during installation, at least with studio 21 ultimate. I have been with the studio ultimate supporter since studio 11 but after this last experience i just cannot do it anymore. All the bundled software installed perfectly, had no issues. Studio 23 however turned into a nightmare, kept crashing at the beginning and told me to restart. I was on their live chat 5 or 6 times that night and the phone twice but could not get any resolution because all customer service inquires seemed to be outsourced from out of the country. I couldn't get very technical with my issue with someone reading a book or cue card, its kinda like calling 911 with an emergency only to find the operator speaks Hindi reading from a script, what are they thinking? Technical support is suppose to be TECHNICAL SUPPORT, how can you support my technical issues when you cant understand me? After about 4 days and countless hours, i finally got it installed but it will my last Studio installation i have to endure. I recommend spending the money for Adobe After Effects or Premier Pro, the installation is a breeze and you can skip customer service all together.

Review by Wade on Dec 9, 2019 Version: Studio 23 Ultimate OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I bought 23 Ultimate. The program works ok and is more stable than others seemed to have had with past versions. I've had experience in several other NLEs so learning the ropes was not too hard. The thing I hate about it is that support for importing HEVC is pretty useless. If you try to play them in the viewer from the media library, it will crash the program. If you put them on the timeline and have the program render a shadow file, sometimes it will render right and sometimes not. Then when you produce the video, sometimes it will render right or mostly, it will render upside down or have glitches in it. The funny thing is that VideoStudio, also from Corel has the same issues. Magix and Cyberlink software works great at importing/exporting HEVC.

Review by Alex on Nov 25, 2019 Version: 23 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 7/10

Purchased the Ultimate 21 not a year ago along with a new HP computer designed for editing videos. Program itself was ok but difficult to find files even though I put different names on files, would just read the date transferred to program. Worked on a 20 minute video for over 7 months for a firehouse 100th anniversary, and will only play from the software. Tried saving, burning, etc. for hours on different formats and to my computer and will play on disk on USB drive without flickering pictures. Called tech support, can't understand half of their broken english, just to get a tech ticket and hung up. CAN'T SAVE THE VIDEO!!!!

Review by Peskybird on May 16, 2019 Version: Pinnacle Ultimate 21 OS: Windows 10 Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 4/10 Value for money: 3/10 Overall: 2/10

Have tried many version of Pinnacle in the past and all have been unstable, crashing unexpectedly during crucial edits.
Not sure why I haven't tried anything else, just used to it I suppose …

Since v21 installed, all seemed ok, hadn't used it much on the laptop, then v22 come out and adverts all the time popping up (within about 3 to 4 months of me buying v21), since the update available, Pinnacle v21 constant crashing just as before.
Leads me to believe it's just a scam, purposely crashing the app to make you believe a newer version will fix all the problems.

Hate the UI on newer version compared to older, over complicated to apply just the most basics of features.
Will be hanging up supporting pinnacle and looking elsewhere.

PowerDirector on Android, works so much better than this, stable, quick and efficient.

Review by Daniel Stevens on Dec 28, 2018 Version: v21 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 3/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 3/10

I have been using Studio 15 for many years now, and apparently I still need to use it, it was the last really functional version. I was burned buying version 18, I paid good money for it, and it NEVER worked. I ended up simply uninstalling it and cutting my losses. I finally decided to try version 22 so I bit the bullet and paid for it. Astoundingly, it hasn't crashed on my Windows 7/64 machine, but they couldn't make burning a Blu-Ray or DVD any more difficult, in fact I still can't figure it out so I'm dead in the water again. If anyone actually knows how to edit files together and burn a disc please let me know!

Review by Nick Langdon on Nov 8, 2018 Version: 22 OS: Windows 7 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

Rating by CDJSO4 on Nov 7, 2018 Version: 22 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 7/10

Same issue. Can not use it. Upgraded my computer. Still crashes every time with all the specs Installed. Lost my money on this product. Its headed to the bin. DO NOT BUY!! I thought Coral would be legit. Going to ask for my money back under fair trade laws. Just wasted a full day trying to get it working. Bought a new computer!!!

Review by Jake on Nov 1, 2018 Version: OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Rating by Kev on Sep 18, 2018 Version: 22.01.199 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 2/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10


Review by ivan on Sep 9, 2018 Version: pinnacle studio 22 ultimate OS: Windows 10 Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

When I launch Studio 21, I get this window that is a sales pitch to upgrade to Studio 22. The first time it happened, I clicked on the "Do not show this again" button and began editing. However, when I opened Studio 21 again, this time I got the same window trying to force me to buy Studio 22, but with no option to bypass the ad and no way to get into Studio 21.

Since I bought the disk version, I uninstalled the program and reinstalled it. That didn't work. I still got their force me to buy version 22 window with no path to opening 21. I AM FURIOUS!!! I set this weekend aside to edit an important project and now I am dead in the water and will miss a critical deadline.

I so regret going to Pinnacle.


Review by Guy on Sep 1, 2018 Version: 21 OS: Windows 10 Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I always figured my problems with Pinnacle Studio Ultimate were that I just didn't have a powerful enough computer. But everytime I upgraded the computer, Pinnacle Studio continued to crash all the time, render was snail's pace, and oh, so many problems with it. Now, I have a computer with 4 gig of dedicated video, and 16 gig of system ram... and the same issues are still there!!!!! It's not my computer, and it's not your computer that's the problem. The problem is they've never been able to produce a stable Pinnacle Studio version, and so we keep upgrading because they keep promising that it's the better software that fixes all the old issues, and it's all a lie! I am done with it. Adobe, here I come.

Review by Manny on Sep 24, 2017 Version: Studio 17 Ultimate OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 4/10

Bought this Studio ver. 20 in Ultimate version, and have been using it for 9 months.
Program works with standard video files and HD video. Supports Hardware acceleration with Nvidea graphics card. So far so good.
3D video editing does not work even if advertised. I've not tested 4K. Many reports of errors, but mine version has worked. Have not used the expansions, witch for many has been an unsolved problem.
But suddenly comes the incredible inconvenient "update".
After an automatic patch update I'm nagged with a new "welcome" screen with som stupid buying options for the new version 21. This nag screen/Tap cannot be removed. Pinnacle support (fast answer) recommend "reinstall manually"
THIS IS NOT SHAREWARE BUT AN EXPENSIVE PROGRAM. What a way to treat buying customers. Don't want to spend my time or computer space looking at advertising for other programs in a full and paid program so the basic line:
Cannot recommend and
Don't buy.

Review by docjes777 on Sep 6, 2017 Version: 20.6 Ultimate OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 1/10

Rating by Ronz on Aug 4, 2017 Version: Pinnacle Studio 20.6 OS: Windows 7 64-bit Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Rating by BpbF on May 26, 2017 Version: 20.5 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

Just will confirm, that the program is very unstable and bugged. Incredible. Been using earlier versions for many years and this reminds me of the first version, that was also very unstable. - And had to upgrade because of upgrading to win 10. Also have Magix Movie Edit Pro Plus. No problems here. (slow rendering)

Review by docjes on Dec 22, 2016 Version: 20 ultimate OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 2/10

Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate is very unstable and cannot proceed to the exportation step whatever the various options and tests I made.
The software is then blocked !
In addition, there is no support available.
I lost my money : I do not recommend at all this software.

Review by piotralp38 on Aug 31, 2016 Version: 20 Ultimate OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Theres alot of better and free alternatives.

Review by iohanntachy on Oct 29, 2015 Version: 19 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

Using Avid Studio for AVCHD editing I moved to Pinnacle 16, skip version 17 and now installed version 18.

The overall impresion is very bad - unstable, crashing or doing secret things (GUI is dead, but the background process runs at 88% CPU on all 8 cores). After last update (18.0.2) I'm not able to render any kind of movie(AVCHD 1080p or MPEG-2 for DVD). After a short time (between 30 seconds to 2 minutes) of the movie rendering the GUI is dead and the background process runs for hours without any result.
Similar behaviour was typical for early version of Avid Studio while rendering AVCHD files.

I using INTEL i7 at 3.4 GHz, 16 GB RAM and two Samsung SSD's with 1 TB - so processing power is available. The problem seems to be Pinnacle Studio 18 (64 bit, Ultimate version).

My recommendation - look for Vegas. The knowledge transfer from Avid to Pinnacle to Corel was not good!

Review by drcq15 on Dec 27, 2014 Version: 18.0.2 OS: Windows 8 64-bit Ease of use: 3/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Studio 18 won't import from VHS without crashing on a regular basis & it keeps either crashing or writing to disc in a corrupt way. I have lost a host of discs thinking that they were written ok only to find that 2/3 of the way through the disc it either starts breaking up on the picture or the sound & picture bear no relationship to each other.
I have never had these problems before & am at a loss to know why Coral have released a product that is so bad.

Review by Ian Reed on Dec 20, 2014 Version: 18.0.2 OS: Windows 7 Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Been using studio since version 9 on wards. 17 is a big improvement. Apart from the odd crash, I have no problems does everything it says. Waiting for the 4k app to be released. I just find pinnacle a better all rounder I have tried / owned most of them. try the trial version. Hopefully with the new patch, most of the crashes will disappear

Review by Frana39 on Dec 13, 2013 Version: OS: Windows 8 64-bit Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

I started with Pinnacle many years ago. I changed to Ulead VideoStudio and found it to be more stable and easy to use. Pinnacle, though easy to use, had too many problem back then. From what I see, in this forum, they have continued to this day. Now, that Corel has bought out Pinnacle, I wonder how they will impact each other.
Which one may cannibalize the other? I hope this is not a negative for Corel. Corel needs up grading: 64 bit software, AVCHD 2 full compliance and a new interface. It will be interesting to see what happens down the road.

Review by pepegot1 on Jul 5, 2013 Version: 16 OS: Windows 7 64-bit Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 5/10

pinnacle is a joke
no customer service live. good luck with the email approach--a joke.
slow slow slow--another joke-- are you laughing yet.
blew my money down a rat hole. won't get anymore video edit software without a good service contact. considered cyber power or corel but they are a joke too. no good customer service. they must be all scams because of their return policices. i'm out 65 dollars and and can't get a return. sorry!

interface is not fast and easy as they would lead you to believe. i'm middle age and i don't have 20 yrs to learn this junk that don't half work anyway.
going back to movie maker--at least it is pretty reliable and simple. i guess the best things are free.
ordered corel video editor x5 and i'm not even going to take out of the box---it is going back as soon as it gets here. tired of wasting my time on easy and fast junk and did i mention sorry cus service.

i don't believe there is a good quality editing tool that is for sure simple and with good customer service over the phone that will honestly help you out or money back. bet you can't name one. if there is i apologize.

Review by arcey on Jul 4, 2013 Version: v 15 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

It is claiming 13millions+ customers can't be wrong and i can proof that they are just not wrong but fools living in paradise. First where is the frame rate 23.976fps projects and out put for it. That is the major issue for those who want to purchase this software and they shy away due to this limitation.

Review by addu on Dec 4, 2012 Version: 16 OS: Windows 7 64-bit Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 3/10 Overall: 3/10

I started with Pinnacle 8. Have had problem after problem. When I call support they tell me I need to upgrade. I've done that through Pinnacle 14, with the problems unresolved. I bought a new computer to try to get this to work. Then I upgraded it. I still get flickering. I can't find a way to add fonts I need. I've stayed with Pinnacle because I have created numerous videos and I don't want to redo them. But they can't seem to get it right. Time to leave.

Review by MaxVideo on Aug 23, 2011 Version: 14 OS: Windows 7 Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I had been using Pinnacle Studio v7 for ages. I guess it came bundled with my capture board.

Having to edit a somewhat longer video, I felt it was time for an upgrade. The version available for download as trial was v14. Being familiar with v7, it took me no time and no manual/help reading to get going with it. Though the skin is more fashionable, operation remains unchanged.

My very first editing session went OK. Surprisingly, after I shut down everything, and restarted on the next day, it seemed that I was using another computer, another software. Everything was so s-l-u-g-g-i-s-h, that it was unworkable. So I called their tech support via online chat, and it was very good. They asked the right questions, had the right answers, and were in no hurry at all.

The technician gave me a few tips on how to improve my overall computer performance, but said that I MUST have SP3 for Win XP. I have a faint recolection of deliberately not having installed SP3 because of some conflict with software I use, can't recall which. Anyway, if it caused trouble, I could roll back to SP2.

To install SP3 and all the updates released for it afterwards took longer than installing Windows XP from scratch... twice! But I did it. Studio, with SP3 still performed somewhat sluggishly, sound was never in sync with video (however it rendered OK). Work was definitely slow, but what would be the options?

Then my trial period came to an end, and I tried to buy a license. They don't sell v14 any longer. I'd have to download and install v15. Anyway, the payment process via PayPal failed twice (though I had the necessary amount there). Avid CSRs were helpful, but couldn't solve it. And I can't buy by phone and pay via PayPal when it doesn't work.

Amid this confusion, before downloading Pinaccle Studio v15, I downloaded a similarly-priced Sony Vegas v10 trial. The shift felt like moving from an AMC Gremlin into a brand new Lexus. While both will take you from A to B, there is a noticeable difference. Vegas has some excellent tutorials to fill me in on what's done differently there, and everything is done in real time, quickly, and in sync.

So I gave up on Pinnacle Studio, and bought Sony Vegas instead. The latter has been performing magnificently, any shortcomings being mine, as I'm not used to wade in such an immense "sea" of features.

As both offer free trials, I'd suggest anyone to TRY BOTH before buying either one. Maybe different hardware configurations will deliver different performance levels and results.

Review by johel on Mar 22, 2011 Version: 14 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 5/10

Overall I really like this software. I have tried numerous other packages over the past year and this one is just easy to use, includes lots of good effects and presets as well as several unique features that no other package has including

Generate Background Music
Generate Music Video

The first one I have used a lot and it works quite well.

The downsides though are
1. Its slightly buggy. Crashes on occasion. However it is decent at recovering
2. Doesn't seem to read my camera videos quite right. My camera shoots at 1920 by 1080 p but it sees them as interlaced. I have yet to verify if this is right or not.
3. Output is a problem. I have had to tinker with it, and contact tech support due to the output appearing very pixelated. It appears to be related to how the previews are generated.
4. Needs to make use of multi-core system. It does not utilize my i7 as good as others.

I been mostly happy with it but am growing tired of its poorer performance, and the output issues.

Review by nteeuwen on Jan 18, 2011 Version: 14 OS: Windows 7 Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 7/10

Easy to learn and has great features for the home user. Been using Pinnacle Studio from version 8 for all my AVI to MPG conversions. Not real hot on the DVD burning engine. Seems to choke and freeze my PC.

Review by Backpain on Nov 17, 2010 Version: 14 OS: Windows 7 Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

*** PINNCACLE STUDIO 14 ULTIMATE COLLECTION *** (my opinion and/or experience)


1) this software is NOT user friendly. There are multiple (many) serial numbers and registration codes, etc that you must keep track of making it IMPOSSIBLE to manage. I pay for all the software that I use, but this is IMPOSSIBLE. THAT'S NOT RIGHT.

2) Studio 14 Ultimate no longer supports Smartsounds as previous editions did. I paid $250 for my Smartsounds audio (music) collection and can no longer use them *as a plug-in) with Studio 14. THAT'S NO RIGHT !

3) Studio 14 has NEVER been updated with a patch to fix the many BUGS in the software. Is AVID trying to pull another by fixing the problems with Studio 15 and charging another $130 ?!!? THAT'S NOT RIGHT.

AVID could have a good product with Studio, but AVID (Pinnacle) refuses to make it user friendly and refuses to correct the problems associated with Studio. THAT'S NOT RIGHT.

BEWARE.... before you purchase this software !

Review by AVCHD on Jan 7, 2010 Version: 14 OS: Vista Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 6/10

Bought an HD camcorder recently and have been checking out editors. I installed the eval version of Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate and really like it. My PC is an i7 quad core PC with 6GB ram running Vista 64bit and a good graphics card with dual LCDs and tons of disk space. For video I use RAID 0. I think it is important to mention what AV (anti-virus) you use, as some can have a heavy burden and even cause problems. I use Prevx combined with ZoneAlarm free version.

PS 14 had hung a few times, but didn't bring down anything else with it, and when restarted it didn't loose any work. I am blown away by the feature set and ease of use, however I am aware of the huge negative press, and am reluctant to purchase this in spite of my favourite experiences. Too often I've bought s/w only to regret it later. Unfortunately the eval period is only 15 days, but I am sure I could repeat that for longer evaluation.

I am also looking at Vegas, which has better reputation, but fewer features.

Hope this helped...

Review by pszilard on Dec 28, 2009 Version: 14 OS: Vista 64-bit Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

I am a user of Pinnacle Studio 12.1. My PC is a 2.4 gHz core 2 duo with an Nvidia GF 8400M GT videocard, 4 gb of RAM, and lots of hard drive. I shoot 1440x1080i AVCHD and burn Blu-rays. My prior editing software experiences encompass the Sony 2003 MovieShaker, Nero 7, and the Windows Movie Maker. I have had success with all the products. I purchased PS 12.1 to edit AVCHD and burn Blu-rays with menus. I also burn some standard DVDs from the same project sources.

This thread contains lots of rants about Pinnacle, but few of the complainers clarify whether they found another product that worked better for the same purpose. If people have very simple standard definition video objectives, I'd suggest they use Windows Movie Maker and its companion DVD creator. If they want to edit HD video, they should first make sure they meet the RECOMMENDED PC specifications, not just the minimum.

Pinnacle has a simple editing interface, but so many effects features and plug-ins that one should not buy it unless prepared to learn them carefully. The Studio forum, supported mainly by users, is a very useful tool to find technical solutions or workarounds, but not a place to air beefs about account billings, download problems, or backorders. Studio 12.1 has some "bugs," but not of the sort that a novice would notice. The usual out-of-the-box obstacle is where someone tries to edit a project with a new HD videocam and has insufficient PC power, or has a hardware configuration that presents conflicts. Anyone contemplating purchase of an AVCHD videocam, especially if it shoots 1920x1080, would best consider getting a fast quad core PC and up-to-snuff graphics card.

People who expect to edit AVCHD and create loss-less results quick and fast must keep their expecations simple and use the simple software bundled with their videocams, which usually can create simple playback discs without recoding. Otherwise, the task demands some patience to learn a software product and bear with the extended rendering and processing times required for a dense, HD format.

Studio does not yet import DD 5.1 sound and preserve the channels. Its digital stabilizer does not work, so one must purchase a Mercalli plug-in to smooth out shaky video. Some Studio plug-ins are brilliant, but take more time to master than the usual household DW Griffith has available. Studio 12.1 does NOT support 1280x720 6op AVCHD "lite" and neither does the current PowerDirector. Sony Vegas can, but costs more, and it's not clear whether the Sony disc burning products can create a BD in 60p.

By August, 2009, Pinnacle's owner, Avid, is likely to release a new product that replaces Studio and Liquid. Version 1.0 may be buggy. Cautious buyers or bargain hunters will be better off buying Studio 12.1 at a discount. Avid may offer lots of plug-ins for free. People who have already mastered Nero or Total Media Extreme, and want more editing tools, will have little to lose by taking advantage. Sony Vegas or Premier Elements users may not give a hoot, except that Studio does something neither of the others can: burn HD video to ordinary DVD media. Of course, the playback must still be on a BD player or suitable PC. PowerDirector users will probably see few differences between their product and Studio, except that Studio's plug-ins and advanced features are a bit more extensive.

Avid bought too many products, including Pinnacle, at high prices between 2004 and 2006. It changed management in 2007 and wrote-off the good will in some of the inflated purchased in late 2008. Revenues of its professional and commercial broadcasting lines have been stagnant or falling. Now it is grappling to reposition itself and make some money. Its NexGen successor to Studio and Liquid will be a magnificent gamble. If it scores, fine. If not, and the firm disolves, people who scoop up Studio 12.1 Ultimate, with plug-ins, at steep discount will still get a good thing. Very likely, some firm will purchase the product rights and keep the Studio forum alive long enough to allow any new buyer to get FREE help.

Review by Persistence on Jun 5, 2009 Version: 12,1 OS: Vista Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 7/10

If only I had found this forum sooner!

I have been using Studio 9 now for a while, and am reasonable satisfied with it, but find myself "outgrowing" it, but my budget will not allow for me to purchase one of the higher end products. One of the logical things to do is to "upgrade"

Wow...what a mistake.

I went to Pinnacle sight and shopped. Actually called the support number to ensure that I was purchasing the correct upgrade for what I wanted to do and had them walk me through the purchase. I was elated while I waited on my upgrade to download.

I launched the installer and lo and behold, the file that I downloaded was NOT an upgrade to 12, but instead a plugin upgrade. I again contaced sales support, and they insure me that event he file name that I download was correct, but it was the wrong file...they send me to technical support.

I follow all the trouble shooting steps, all the while telling the robot on the other end of the hooked me up with the wrong file. He assures me that there has been an error, and that he would escalate it.

24 hours later...I'm setting without a product that I paid to download. I call back and wait on hold for them to tell me that the ETA is another 48 hours. But gets better.

I wait another 12 hours and call back. I get another person who instructs me that they will cancel the original order, which will close my trouble ticket, but I can simply re-purchase, and then download the correct file. In the back of my mind I know this is fundementally a bad idea...but what do I have to lose. So, they process the cancellation and refund, tell me that it's complete...and to go ahead and re-order. I actually have them tell me exactly what to select to get the upgrade, not the plugin! They walk me through the process....and guess what.

You got it...I got the plugin file again. So I ask for a refund....which they gladly refund the download price, but inform me that the back up DVD has already shipped, so they can not refund me that amount. When we get to looking, I'm not getting two copies of the backup DVD...which I'm stuck with. I can't get the correct file to upgrade, but have upgrade disks in the mail totalling 30 bucks....which I will never use.

I throw a fit...and they agree to escalate to the refunds department who promptly send me a URL for an agrement to destroy the disks. Funny thing is, the only option on the page is "decline".

So my suggestion to you is this. STAY AWAY...Pinnacle needs to rename itself to BOZO THE CLOWN software company.

Review by Oak Ridge on Apr 1, 2009 Version: 12.1 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I regret I didn't check out from website for the comments on this software. I have used many free software to edit home videos and got fairly good return. However, when I decided I would like more professional movie makers on my valuable home videos, I bought this software at 2007 Christmas, now it is August 2008, I have had single time work out a smallest piece of video for my 80 year old father-in-law in China who has been longing for watching his 4 now 5 year old grandson's daily life. Today I sit down since morning and tried again and again to make a simplest movie to allow my husband bring it to my father-in-law on the early morning's flight, I total give up now when there will be no time to make anything!

Shame on those who sale the junks!

Review by lalanawa on Aug 22, 2008 Version: pinnacle plus 11 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I bought Pinnacle Studio Moviebox about a month ago and I have to say its the biggest piece of crap software i have ever used. First it took at least 3 times to install the software since the pixietool.exe a registration tool kept crashing now finally that i have it installed it works once and a while. It doesnt always detect the usb input device that came with it. Now I am having the same install problem with their recent patch. It stoped at two bars and the was it. I waited an hour before I killed it. Stay away from this crap. I warn you.

Review by buttzilla on May 6, 2007 Version: 10.6 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Hi all, well as a past extremely frustrated user of Studio 10.5 I believe I have finally cracked an installation configuration which actually works, notwithstanding the occasional freeze. I have a Pentium 4 3Ghz with XP installed on a 200GB Sata drive (My "C" drive), 2 x 320GB Sata drives configured as a striped array giving 640Gb capacity, called my "D" drive, and 2000MB (2GB)DDR2 memory which doesn't seem to have much to do with the performance at all. I have installed the Studio 10.7 update but cannot honestly say whether that has solved the myriad of extremely frustrating problems I had before, or whether my latest installation configuration was the reason.
This is what I did:
Installed XP on the 200Gb "C" drive. Installed Studio on the 640 GB striped array "D" drive. Everything started to work really nicely, while working on a large slideshow project of some 850 slides with menu's, transitions, music etc. Then I setup Studio to capture my video straight to the same "D" drive on which the program was installed. Well the manure hit the fan so to speak. DROPPED FRAMES abounded. I tried all sorts of things to no avail then switched the program to capture video to the same "C" drive that XP was installed on. Eureka! Not a single dropped frame. Smooth as silk. Note also that when using the program to build your DVD, I have found that turning off background rendering makes things much faster, but takes longer to create the finished project, but nowhere near the 9 hours claimed by other users. Once you have captured your video to the "C" drive you can then move the whole lot to your super fast drive (My "D" drive which reads and writes at over 100MB/sec in the striped configuration)then build your project from there. Let's face it, we all love this program (or would if we could get the darn thing working properly) and I am pleased to say that I have finally got the darn thing working properly. The interfaces and facilities of the program are infinitely better than anything anyone else has to offer - including Adobe Premier Elements, which runs very smoothly but isn't a patch on the ease of use of Studio. Also, depsite the whinging of many users about having to purchase extra effects etc, don't even bother. There are more than enough that come with the program (and the others you can access after registration) to create a fantastic, fun project that will have your audience spellbound if you apply a little creative effort. The next thing I am going to try is uninstalling the program from the "D" drive, re-installing it on my "C" drive, then setting up Studio to capture to the super fast "D" drive. This should help to find out whether the improvement in performance was related to the latest patch or whether it was the drive configuration which saved my sanity! Note that if you can setup the program to save all of its files in the same directory, including the project files (the .stx files) you won't have any problems if you move any of the components around. I think the .stx file is a reference of sorts to where all the bits are kept. Moving any of those bits is a pretty good way to bugger up your project. Incidentally, I have noticed that even when Studio still occasionally hangs, when I reload and continue working on the same project, nothing seems to have been lost.

Review by cliffo22 on Jan 3, 2007 Version: Pinnacle Studio version 10.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 7/10

Using Studio software has been one of my strangest experiences. I've been all over the map from a flaming, disgusted user who gave up and quit the software, to an avid user and singer of its praises. My concise advice - If you are looking for a software product that works well right out of the box, and if you do not intend to do some work to get it working for you, then don't buy this product. You will be disappointed.

Now - why am I a satisfied user?? I have tried competetive products by Ulead, Sony, and Microsoft, and can't find the functionality for the value that is offered by the Studio line. But I need to put a huge qualifier on that. Pinnacle (now Avid) has a strange habit of selling their product prior to having it debugged. So you need always to have the latest patch, and most users don't update their software. So they work with a buggy product and get dissatisfied. Next, you need to use their forum (which they call a "Webboard.") There are lots of users there who have become like family to me and I generally can find an answer to my problems.

So there you have it. If you're willing to continually update the product and to post on the webboard for workarounds or to find out what you're dong wrong, then you won't find a better product for the money. If you want something that works as expected right out of the box, then forget it. Use MovieMaker or some other product. You'll be cussing Pinnacle frequently.

Review by lbeck on Nov 6, 2006 Version: 10.6 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 9/10

This product is very easy to use if you have the time and patience to restart every two minutes AND have NO expectation of ever producing anything. I continue to get error messages about insufficient just isn't so.
The support staff at Pinnacle Sys isn't much help at all. Remove, reinstall and so forth.
I've used version 7, 8, 9 and 10. By far Studio 10 was the worst of any product they have produced so I reverted back to v9.4.3. I will never do business with Pinnacle again.

Review by Jelly Bean on Nov 1, 2006 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 2/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I have recently begun the task of creating DVDs, mostly home videos so far.

I have yet to find one comprehensive package, and this product isn't it either.

For capturing I use PlextorGoCap. (My Plextor PX-TV402U PVR recorder came with an OEM version of InterVideo's WinDVR. That package would have been perfect for capturing except it would only schedule once and then have to be uninstalled and reinstalled to work again. I bought the commercial version of WinDVR and it wouldn't work at all with my Plextor. Kudos (a little) to InterVideo at least for refunding my money. I also purchased Roxio's package with VideoWave but don't like it. In the end I settled for the primitive but highly functional GoCap.)

For editing I use "Video Edit Magic v4.2". I love this tool and VERY highly recommend it.

For authoring and rendering I use Pinnacle Studio Plus. My only issue with this package is how EXTREMELY slow it is rendering.

It took the package 9 HOURS - yes HOURS - 540 MINUTES to render a 42 minute video. On average nearly 13 minutes per minute.

I know I'm at the current patch level of the current release on a very beefed system and am bothered by this seemingly excessive render times.

Review by johnaparker on Sep 24, 2006 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 7/10

I've spent the last two years trying to get my money's worth out of this software, but it seems an impossible task since I keep ending up spending more money on updates, plugins, and upgrades to my own system that are promised to solve all my problems. For the past year I've been working with an all-new system specifically chosen to work with Studio, and still it keeps coming up with new bugs to stump me. Besides the fact that it crashes about once every half hour (and this on three different systems,) hangs during rendering, and the dvd import function has never worked, it also likes to randomly pick effects and transitions to mess with. Like one week, the transitions will flicker, or another, the zoom option will keep disappearing and reappearing from the features menu. These are the kind of features that draw consumers to the product, because few if any other editing programs seem to offer such a level of editing control--but beware, just because Studio offers, doesn't mean it delivers. Like a hydra, every time one problem is "resolved" or worked around, another sprouts its ugly head. The support is clueless and I don't really blame them because with all the different kinds of bugs to keep track of they are probably dealing with new ones every day. I do blame Pinnacle, which should not be allowed to earn money off of this software without accountability for the endless hours, dollars, and yes, even priceless home video, it has wasted.

Review by meganann on Aug 9, 2006 Version: 9-10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 3/10

I don't get it ppl...on my system it runs great and yes, it has crashed on me too but it does what you tell it to do and is really easy to use. I grab the video with WinDV, edit in Studio and output it to DV and mpeg2. Have you tweaked your systems to run smoothly? I have had my XP installed for a year now with lots of installs and un-installs and yet Studio doesn't give me the nightmares you are writing about. Enough bashing already!

Review by pizzamandk on Aug 1, 2006 Version: 10.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

I've purchased a brand new HP Media Center PC, fully loaded for creating and editing video, but have not been able to get Pinnacle Studio 10.5 to successfully create a functional DVD. I've been pleased with the program's ability to capture and edit video, but none of the 15 DVDs I've attempted to create will play on my Panasonic home DVD player. Some come close, with "only" degraded images or dropped audio; some won't play at all. I've reinstalled the software twice, installed all the latest patches and updates, used multiple brands of DVD media, burned at slower speeds and using safe mode and slower bit rates--nothing helps. On the other hand, the basic Sonic MyDVD software that came with the new computer is rock solid--it creates functional DVDs every time (though it's nowhere near as sophisticated at editing video in the first place). I even burned a DVD with Sonic using a disc image created by Pinnacle and it worked perfectly. I've contacted Pinnacle by e-mail twice in the past two weeks and have got no response whatsoever. I called their phone help and was told that I'd tried everything they could suggest other than uninstalling the "competing" Sonic software, which I'm reluctant to do because it was resident on my computer and I have no way to reinstall it later. For all practical purposes (given that I bought the software to create DVDs), Pinnacle Studio 10.5 has been a waste of money.

Review by kbacher on Jul 6, 2006 Version: 10.5.2 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 3/10

I started back when studio 8 was out. It had a bug when adding text but you could drag the error box out of the way and keep working, Now I use Studio 9 with all the online updates. It works flawlessly. I have 2 gigs of ram, so don't try to edit video with a slow weak computer. I have used studio for years and most of the probs I have had I traced to a prob with computer settings. Hang ups in rendering is a corrupt frame or frames in your video, which can happen without dropping frames. Just because you have zero dropped frames doesn't mean you don't have some corrupt frames in there. If you hang up in rendering, stop and go to the edit window. Stretch out the time line to max, look at the audio for gaps where the audio breaks. Thats your clue for corruption. Cut these little sections out. Your video will jump slightly at the clipped point on the disc but it will play.

Review by habby on Jul 2, 2006 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

I feel I am in an abusive marriage with this product. I know I should walk away - no, run away - but I paid for it and want to get some use out of my money. I'm going to say - no more!!

When it works, the GUI is easy to use. But that is deceptive. Yo do your editting right, but then the software doesn't do what you told it to do.

But it crashes without warning. It locks up. It takes four hours to produce output only then to find problems like a menu that doesn't look as the editting WISIWYG showed, or black screen, or audio out of sync, or ... or ... So, another four hours trying to correct the problem. Then another 4 hours after that. Adding chapter bookmarks can be agonizingly slow. Mark one then wait minutes before it's ready to take the next. Oh - and sometimes after four hours, five hours, six hours, you find the make movie function has simply frozen up, so back to square one. Again.

It is without doubt the least trustworthy software I have ever bought. I upgraded from Studio 8 to Studio 9 thinking that the bugs should have been worked out, even if I had to pay. WRONG.

It sometimes produces adequate output first time, but other times, the problems are infuriating, and far, far too frequent.

OK, so writing software is complex. But don't stop fixing the bugs and leave a user hanging by moving on to an upgrade - at a price - which then has more bugs.

If a car broke down this often, the consumer protection people would be all over the manufacturer.

Do not ignore the overwhelming number of bad reviews. Do not buy this product.

Review by knonymouse on Jun 30, 2006 Version: Studio 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Pinnacle version 9 is impossible to reinstall. I followed the directions on the Pinnacle web site very carefully to no avail. Including the use of their registry cleaner. The program will simply not reinstall! This product was a waste of $90 as far as I am concerned.

Review by markstambaugh on Jun 29, 2006 Version: 2.513 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 4/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I got the Studio 9 Quick Start with a Dazzle product and used it under Windows 98 Second Edition. I upgraded to the Plus version and used that under Windows 98 Second Edition, then Windows 200 Professional, then Windows XP Professional. Now I have upgraded again to Studio Plus 10.5, still running on Windows XP Professional. There was a time along the way when I found the program sluggish, but adding RAM fixed that. There have been times when I would encounter freezes, but it was always when some other competing application was on my system -- Studio doesn't play well with others. Ever since I have just let Studio have the system all to itself, it has been an excellent tool for me. Nowadays, I have a box with a 200GB hard drive permanently installed for data, and the system drive(s) live in caddies that I swap out in a drive tray. I have a system drive just for Studio, and swapping it for another system drive packed with other applications takes less than a minute. It's very easy to go into video production mode, and just as easy to get out of that and into other things. Anyway, it works for me.


Review by Father X on May 26, 2006 Version: 10.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 8/10

Started to use Pinnacle 8 and was very satisfied but after updading to version 9, it was all to buggy.
And when version 10 came out with remade the source of the software I wanted to use it.

What the hell did they do, its keeping getting more functions and more buggs after every update.
Fix the buggs before you released a new version pinnacle.
Takes very long time to just start the software, just go to the pinnacle forum and see what people want to get things fixed.

Now Im using adobe premiere elements 2.0 thats more professional and 100% stable and fast.

Easy of use
Many transitions thats free
Easy to make menu
Layout looks nice

Unstable, so so many buggs
Takes very long time to just hit the button
Missing very much that Premiere elements can do
(premiere elements is more expensive and more proffesional)

I've tried all the pinnacle version from 8 to 10.5 and all I can say is: dont spend your time on this software, unless you can get the version 8 but it wont include todays optionals.

Review by vn souljah on May 25, 2006 Version: 10.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 3/10

This is a splendid package & very easy to use. The dificulties are only seen when you add captions to your captured video. The audio sync is completely johnsoned and it seems that it is just a 5 second title that throws the sync out. At first I thought it was the hard drive that was johnsoned but the capture had dropped no frames.

Review by timatton on May 25, 2006 Version: 9 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 6/10

Studio 9 plus with moviebox usb has caused trouble from day one. Running on Pentium IV 3,4Mhz, 1GB RAM
1 doesn't work with external HD
2 quits working when files become too large (app.20 min)
3 freezes for minutes if you work too fast!!
4 upgrade to studio 10 caused system to freeze after first successful(!) use
5 had to reinstall XP twice, losing lots of drivers, which had to be reinstalled
6 messes up drivers of CD/DVD drives
7 instant DVD out of sync by app. 2 seconds
8 support by pinnacle practically non-existent
9 USB drivers on support page older than the one installed by original application!
10 stupidly bought Pinnacle Instant Video Album because ads said easy transfer from VCR cassettes > no such transfer possible, only input from digital camera possible
P.S. I am IT expert/instructor, no novice

Review by burgvogt on Jan 18, 2006 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I'm using version 10.1 and I don't like it. It is very slow. It takes over 1 minute just to load. I tried importing an avi file. It seemed to freeze but actually it was trying to read the file but it gives no indication what it is doing. There is no progression bar so you just wait wondering what is happening. For a large file it can minutes before it finally says it can't read the file. The divx avi files I tried it couldn't read. At one point it said I should purchase a codec pack from them but I have no idea if that would work any better.
So far it seems I wasted my money on Pinnacle Studio 10.

Review by danzeb on Dec 30, 2005 Version: 10.1 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 5/10

I bought Studio v9 under a year ago and have had few problems up until I installed the latest software update from Pinnacle. Ever since then, I have been unable to render my project to DVD without the software freezing at a specific point in the project timeline. I contacted Pinnacle support and they said that this is a known bug and they advised me to defragment my hard drive. This did not work so they then advised me to edit out a few seconds of my movie around the time that the rendering failed. I did this and it worked, but then the project failed at a different point in the timeline. Since I did not feel that taking parts of my movie out was an acceptable option, I then tried to recapture the video and restarted my project from scratch, but this also did not work. I asked Pinnacle if they had a fix for this in any upcoming updates and they said no. I do not understand why they would let a known bug like this exist. This software is useless to me now since I bought it to make DVDs and it no longer can do that.

I would not advise anyone to purchase this product since Pinnacle has no intention of supporting it.

Review by embraer on Nov 28, 2005 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

i am using studio 9.4.3 using only win xp pro with sp1 only, not sp2. sp2 caused nothing but trouble [ why did they ever release it ], no other programs are installed, i did install win media player 10 only to find out that when i was capturing from my sony digital 8 camcorder it was dropping about one third of the frames, so when i uninstalled it and went back to media player 9 it worked ok. it seems to me that it doesn't like any other programs what i done was to install an udma 133 mobile rack connected as a primary master and i just slide out the rack and replace it with my full operating system [internet, antivirus, etc ]
i hope this will help others

Review by warraust on Oct 6, 2005 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 8/10

To be fair I want to continue my previos comment.
I went back to version 9.4 that was still installed on my computer.
1: The new Video card fix most of the performance issues.
2: Also I found out that ad-watch is slowing the process. On every file that studio write Ad-Watch scan it. You must shout it down when creating a video file.
I am quite happy now. Some bugs still exist but they are known.

Review by bonton1234 on Oct 6, 2005 Version: 9.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 7/10

I tried version 10. I hoped that this version would solve the old bugs.
From functionality point of view I didn't see any great features better than version 9.3.
From bugs point of view this version is as bad as the old version.
When I started it the SW told me my video card is not good. I had G-Force 440 MX with 64 MB. So I went and bought a new card G-Force 6600 with 256MB of memory.
It didn't help too much.
The SW is full of bugs:
1: It hangs too many times when you do save.
2: Performance degrades dramatically when you create a clip longer than 8 min.
3: The graphics icons lose the colors and you don't see any part of the clip or photo. You need to reboot the system to solve that.
4: The system write and read too much to the disk and slow the system.
5: The sound generator don't work.

The SW has a very nice and simple interface with a lot of capabilities. But you spent too much time on the bugs.
The funny part is that now after you kill the process it has a built in mechanism to sent bug report. so you spent additional 1 min on this tool. It is like using the users as lab testers.

For me this is the last time. I am moving to other SW.

Review by bonton1234 on Oct 4, 2005 Version: 10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

I used Pinnacle Studio Plus 9 for a while on a machine with Windows XP Professional and it worked fine. I have since moved it to my Windows 2000 Professional machine instead (my family doesn't surf the internet and get viruses and junk on the Windows 2000 box). With some other software and codecs competing with it it had problems, but since reinstalling the OS and adding Pinnacle Studio, pretty much letting it have the computer to itself, it works flawlessly and I've done some really good work with it. It's either very CPU intensive or a bit of a memory hog, because it can still pause for a few seconds when performing some tasks, but I can live with that. No real complaints here.

Review by Father X on Oct 2, 2005 Version: 9 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 8/10

Really disappoiting. It'a almost of no use.

I've played with DVC 80 before ans I got a good value for money. I recently acquired a DVC 150b with Studio 9.4.3. Studio hangs very often under edit mode in my 2,4 GHz P4 WinXP PC with 1 GB mem and 40 GB space.

I asked a friend to use her PC (3Ghz) and ... the same happened. How can this thing be sold ?

Regards, Alberto

Review by alberto.villar on Oct 2, 2005 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 2/10

Very very disappointed. I'm going to have to reload my system after installing this software. So many things are broken now, even Windows Explorer crashes since I've loaded studio. Was it necessary to have MS SQL server included in the disribution? This has been a terrible waste of time and money.

I congratulate everyone who has had a good experience with this package. My system has 3GHZ processor, 1GB RAM, 3 hard disks, 2 are SATA dedicated to the video use and I am a successful system administrator. Normally I'm patient with new software but this one spells heartache. When I saw a thick manual I thought I'd found a publisher that had done it right, but no.

Review by daddy-o on Sep 5, 2005 Version: 9.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

This is a good software for the beginner if it is used for "capture" and "editing" your DV foorage only. Along with a few of the nice transitions included, you can assemble a nice little flick.

I started out with Studio, and used other software to encode, author and burn the final dvds. So it worked for me at least for those few tasks.

You will outgrow this program if you are into DV editing. So I do recomend this for your starter kit, or just to learn the ropes. Then move on.

Review by hiptune on Sep 5, 2005 Version: 9 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 7/10

They have a forum titled "Render hangs" and suggest you remove the section of the file that causes the hang. This is inexcusable.

Review by ChipDart on Sep 4, 2005 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Although Studio 9 still crashes, I was able to burn a 45 minute video in DV quality successfully. First, I disconnected the cable modem, disable the antivirus, internet security and screensaver and it worked. I don't think the patch is necessary as long as your processor can handle the task. I am running a P4 3 gig HT.

Review by edex on Aug 3, 2005 Version: 9.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 6/10

Looks nice but this is the most buggy software i have ever seen. I guess a bunch of amateurs started programming this a long time ago, and they've just never rewritten the buggy source.
Lost of hangs and spontaneous closedowns. After burning the dual layer DVD from my 3 hour home made movie, i discovered the audio was out of sync, but the captured AVI is ok and in sync. So somewhere along the 5 hour rendering process, the audio shifts a little, very annoying and a lot of time and money wasted. In a second rendering the problem persisted. I don't know how to fix this problem.

It's a shame they sell this software-trash to people.

Review by bouncemeister on Jul 23, 2005 Version: 9.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 4/10

Sadly I was actually one of the satisfied users of this (after much perseverance) until a recent PC hardware failure necessitated a new board, cpu and a reinstallation of everything.

Since then it has run poorly, crashed regularly, has trouble performing even basic tasks and is generally unuseable. I'm a bit surprised with this as the graphics subsytem is unchanged (Radeo 9700 Pro) but I will keep persevering until I get it right.

In fairness it at least runs which is more than can be said for my newly upgraded Cyberlink Power Director 4 - it won't even start and doesn't report any errors either so tracking that problem down will be fun. It's companion product Power Producer works fine but it limited in what it can do.

In the interim I'm using the ever reliable Womble product MPEG Video Wizard to get my editing doen while burning heaps of midnight oil debugging software that should be mature enough by V9 to run.

If it didn't have a nice intuitive interface, a handy feature set and plenty of flexibility there is no way I would be bothering. For the lucky few it works for I have one piece of advice - change NOTHING. To the rest of us maybe we just have to wait for the next patch.

Review by russellw on Jun 13, 2005 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 4/10

After being tremendously disappointed with Pinnacle Studio 8 I hesitantly chose to install Studio 9. This new version was performing perfectly for months, until I installed Patch it seems that the program is reggressing to it's former self...the very disappointing Studio 8. The 9.4.3 Patch cause very sluggish editing, fast reverse, fast forward, pause and play. Two additional attempts to install the Patch fared no better. I guess my only cure will be to uninstall then reinstall the softward and not choose to update to Patch 9.4.3 I hope Pinnacle doesn't continue down this path again causing me to once more dump their software.

Review by heyflyboy on Jun 3, 2005 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 7/10

I use it to put together video clips taken with my Canon S1 IS camera. Clips are at 640x480 30fps and length varies from 10-15s to about 2 minutes. I also have some still photos. The whole video is only about 10 minutes. The first couple clips are OK, but later clips have out of sync problem, the video track also gets out of sync with the still images and audio track, as much as 3-4 seconds!

The features are good and the project is quite easy to use. I'll give it high "value for money" and "overall score" if there is no sync problem. At its current state, I cannot really use it.

Review by rkkl on Jun 2, 2005 Version: 9.4.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 3/10 Overall: 4/10

Sorry for my poor english.
I have a long experience with video capture and conversion. I have tryed for hard Premier, ProCoder and Studio 9 (CEE, TMPGEnc+, MC etc.). The most suitable for beginners and "middle-range" users is, in my opinion, Studio 9, because of easy to use / functionality raport. Especially for begginers, it's deffinitely a VERY good tool available for NLE. Time saving and intuitive GUI, easy to learn. The rendering machine results seems to be much like those obtained with MainConcept mpeg2 encoder, that means very good, if the source DV is good too. For me Studio 9.4.2 works great, no crashes, no synch problems, even after 4 hours without dropped frames capture. I own a Pinnacle DV/AV card, perhaps with its genuine cards Pinnacle Studio is realy working fine. Old 240 min VHS ordinary tapes (16 years old) captured without 1 dropped frame! Error free DVD writing, at least for me. If I'm not working for a national TV studio, I find all the tools needed for movies creation in this program. If the encoding capability is not good enough for you, you can capture and edit the DV AVI with Studio (very good here) and covert the resulted DV AVI with CEE or TMPGEnc and make the menu with DVD author. For all, I give un overall score of 9 for Studio 9.4.2.

Review by nicksson on Apr 25, 2005 Version: 9.4.2 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

Good SW for home use.
New version works better and has more features. Make sure you got enough RAM and CPU power.
Most negative - when you work with long files and doing lot's of editing, you get some problems such as slow responce and "Program not responding" state
I am using chip DVD-Rs Best place to find good prices for media and Hardware i found so far -

Review by Vboy on Mar 22, 2005 Version: 9 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 8/10

Well, I know it gets bad press, but the newest version of Studio is working well for me. I use it with the DC10+ capture card, do all my editing in Studio, then export to MPEG-2 and author in DVD-Lab. Since V9 the MPEG-2 codec is faster and produces better quality output. I've never used it to burn a disc, nor do fancy transitions; I just capture, edit and export - there are better tools out there for the clever stuff.

Review by pgb on Mar 21, 2005 Version: 9.4.2 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

This software makes me sick..even on VCD production, the main problem is the MPEG section, can't handle MPEG well, A/V out of sync. Well.. put some effect and try to render, it will hang on there..forever.

I have a Cel 2.4, 384MB RAM, 40GB ... PC.

The good feature is the smartsound & the holywood effect..well, whats the meaning if you can't see the final result on vcd?

If we're using this software just for fun,e.g capture,edit,burn ( minus the effect & trans ) it's OK, but for some serious editing, go for Vegas or Ulead.

Review by tulun on Mar 21, 2005 Version: 9.1 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 3/10

I apologize for posting different commennts, but preservative ratings proved correct. When using with the Dazzle 150 USB video capture device, the tool performs quite well. With the DV (Digital Video) from my Sony Camcorder, I found that after a long capture, the video and audio become out of sync. I thought it was my use of transitions and manipulation of the video before putting it on DVD, but with a quick view of the raw AVI file with Media Player revieled that after a certain period of capture, the video and audio, do indeed, become more and more out of sync the longer the capture is performed. I have had to recapture 3 8mm tapes via Sony Vegas 5 with no issues so far. If you are using this product with Dazzle, it works great. DV ... use something else. If you don't mind out of sync issues, it works great. We're waiting for v9.5!!!

Review by areinike on Mar 10, 2005 Version: 9.41 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 6/10

Update 9.4.1 just released 03/04/2005.

I upped the rating for this product as it seems to have resolved a lot of the issues I was having. Burned first DVD after update with no issues. Wow. We shall see as I'm still a little skeptical until I've used it for a little longer. I'm sure I'll hit a snag as it is "Finnacle." But as of now, it looks as if I'm able to use more of it's potential. I have to be honest, if all of my DVDs came out as good as the first with no issues, Studio 9 would actually be a very nice piece of software with lots of tools and possibilities.

Review by areinike on Mar 5, 2005 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 6/10

After 4 days, a system restore after upgrading to 9.3 and various crashes and failed compilations, I managed to create my first DVD. I'll just accept the fact that I paid $150 for the hardware and the software was free because it is basically way too much trouble and headache to be worth it. I strongly recommend anything other than this product. I remember using Pinnacle when CD burning was first introduced - talk about finnaky software. No thanks.

Review by areinike on Mar 4, 2005 Version: 9.1 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 3/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 3/10

Pinnacle should be ashamed of themselves for releasing software that barely works. This would be great software if it did work, if it would render, if it didn't crash, but the problem is it doesn't handle MPEG files correctly and that's where all the problems come in. They advertize that it does, but it doesn't. There are other software packages out there that handles MPEG better like Womble.

Review by kedavis on Mar 3, 2005 Version: 8.12 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 3/10

This product appears to have some issues. I recently purchased the Pinnacle Studio package including the capture card and I regret it. I am using a Sony Hi8 camcorder and the Pinnacle capture card. My computer is one I built myself with a P4 2.8 with 1M cache over-clocked a gig of DDR400 memory, and a set of SCSI U320 drives in a raid 0 attached to a raid card with 128MB cache that is only used for video capture the OS sits on a SATA drive. I disable just about every service on the machine when I try to do a capture all network cards are disabled during a capture even Norton antivirus every thing and I still drop frames like crazy. If you are going to use this for video capture highly recommend a digital camcorder or a fire wire capture device. To plug your analog camcorder into.

Review by harrisjtye on Jan 8, 2005 Version: 9.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Program runs great. I installed 9.3 with Hollywood FX5 and it runs perfect! A faster computer works better than the minimum Pinnacle recommends. My old Celeron 2.2 with two 80g 7200's ran version 8 ok, but was slow rendering large projects. Now I am using a raid 0 system with 4 western raptors 10k rpm using one partion for the os and the other for capture. I can capture at 9 MB per second with no dropouts for up to two hours! Just finished a wedding using three digital cameras, five hours of video! The dvd is two hours long. Only took two hours to render and burn.
I'v tried other video editing programs before and Pinnacle is the best for me. It work great even with my old computer, just slow.

Review by doctorsmog on Dec 27, 2004 Version: Pinnacle Studio 9.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

Just created my first DVD using Studio 9 Plus. Everything went absolutely smoothly.

I captured from an analog camcorder using Pinnacle's Studio AV/DV capture card. No synch problems, no lost frames, no perceptible difference between original Hi8 source and capture.

Editing/Authoring were pretty simple. I made a single 4-screen menu with links to 14 chapters total. I also added a couple of transitions and removed a couple of scenes from the captured video. These aren't exactly big editing operations, and fortunately they were simple to do in the software.

Based on the problems reported by so many people on this forum, I chose to create a disc image and then write that to DVD using stand-alone burning software. The video rendering took a LONG time, 7 hours on my P4-1.5GHz. That was for 90 minutes of content at 80% quality. The rest of the disc image creation took another 45 minutes.

Overall I am really pleased with the results. I didn't run into a single snag, and the final DVD looks as good as the original home movie, at least to my eyes. I wasn't sure I'd get 90 minutes of video on a single-layer DVD, but I actually had room to spare. My only complaint is how long it took to render, but since I have no experience with other rendering software I don't know if that's typical. I'm really hoping the rendering speed improves significantly when I get a new computer.

I spent $100 on Studio 9 AV/DV (it's the Studio Plus software plus the capture card). Since I didn't run into any of the problems others have reported, I think it was well worth the price.

Review by Archimel on Nov 1, 2004 Version: 9.3.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

Latest version of Studio 9 SE came out 10/30/04 9.3.5

Review by Tailgunner9 on Oct 30, 2004 Version: 9.3.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 6/10

This product is great for authoring a DVD. It is very user friendly. The problem comes when you go to render your masterpiece to a disc. It has problems with audio and video being out of sinc, the compression of the video leaves the picture quality dubious at best, and the tech support for the product is almost nonexistant. It is not a product I can reccommend in good faith. So it gets a 3 out of 10 from me.

Review by kingrat on Aug 13, 2004 Version: 9.02 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 3/10

This is absolutely great software!
I would highly recommend it for everyone who wants to have pleasure making home movies.
Previously I’ve tried Premiere, Ulead, Vision Express and some other video editing programs, but Studio9 is the only one that I have nothing wrong to say about.
Starting with capture section everything went great throughout entire DVD making process.
It with no problems or delays controlled my Panasonic DV camcorder. I’ve captured about 3 hours DV video at full quality in several sessions without any crashes or dropped frames. Scenes were detected very precisely and nicely “thumbnailed” in a handy album-like file browser.
Another step – editing section is just perfect! The timeline is a very similar timeline like in all other editing programs, but I found myself much more comfortable with accessing my scenes, transitions, special effects and sound files from the album. And the most important thing – you can preview edited material with transitions and effects immediately after dropping on timeline with no significant delay.
Making DVD disk menus was the most complicated issue, but with some practice I’ve managed to make multilevel menus with several pages, moving thumbnails and background music. For this task to complete I’ve also used Adobe Elements to edit background pictures. I would suggest for everyone to burn some short scenes with menus on rewritable dvd just to check the result on dvd player before final burning.
Rendering from edited avi (dv) to mpg2(dvd) took about 3 hours (1h length movie), but no crashes or surprises. Final result on dvd looks just great: the picture quality is excellent (8000 kbits) and I hope now my memories from a trip to Italy will remain safe for a long years:))!

My system is: WinXP SP1; P4(1.8); 512 RAM; ATI Radeon 9600SE 128MB; Panasonic NV-DS30; TEAC DVD; JVC XV-NP1SL DVD player.

Review by Luka Stain on Aug 9, 2004 Version: 9 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

I have been using this software for a few days intensively. As a software engineer myself, I have been formulating a number of ideas on what is going wrong in the background, and a large number of things do go wrong. For all intensive purposes, the software looks great at the front end interface, it didn't take me long to learn my way around the system and produce a full blown dvd project, with all sorts of filters, effects etc. Then I tried to render it. The rendering engine is pure garbage, it is slow, it falls over if you as much as sneeze at it while it is working, and the final result, if you get lucky, and you really need to get lucky to get a result, has a very high probability of missing frames, sections that skip, dropped sound, etc. I then went back to basics and looked at each section in detail, the capturing is hit and miss as far as audio/video sync is concerned, any fuzz on the input video will throw the audio sync. The editing is very good and only crashed once or twice, though there seems to be a problem with setting up chapter menus on dvd's that I'm currently discussing with Pinnacle support, of which, as noted by someone else on this forum, the suggestion to uninstall and re-install the software has already been put foreward. Given the number of crashes that the normal filters cause, I'd be very surprised if Pinnacle actually sell the unlock key for any of their extra filters ( that I'd love to loose visually on my menu's ). To sum up, I have to say that the software looks very good, which is why I bought it. I find it hard to believe that this is version 9 of a piece of software with this many bugs in. If all the many bugs were fixed, the software would be an excellent tool for video editing and dvd manufacturing.

Review by AlienBiker on Jul 20, 2004 Version: 9.1.2 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

v 9.1.2 is out ... age_id=992

Review by bhutchins on Jun 26, 2004 Version: 9.1.2 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10


Like other similar comments, I spent two weeks attempting to render/burn a DVD video with Studio 9. As noted in other similar comments, I ended all background processes and tried various DVD media - and + in my many attempts per Pinnacles useless support. I have 1024mb of RAM and a 1100mz processor on an IBM pc (more than enough power per their specifications).
I had no problems capturing video from my Sony miniDV camcorder, and the product has excellent editing features allowing me to add music and many different transitions to the project; leading to the ultimate frustration when the software proves to be absolutely worthless when it comes to rendering and/or burning a dvd.
Since then, I purchased ULEAD VideoStudio 8 for the same price and everything has worked flawlessly from day one, plus it has more transitions.

Review by michaelaperrett on Jun 7, 2004 Version: 9.0.8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Studio will not capture using our card. Customer support claims its OK to capture elsewhere and import. Well, it wouldn't work with those clips either. Why buy an all inclusive program if you can't use all the features? OK, so we encoded with another program, then imported. HOWEVER, we are yet to get a DVD burned. It hangs on rendering and has many bugs. Customer service is terrible. They know less than I do. Editing was the only step that worked and that does us no good because it wouldn't export in ANY format, even AVI, without hanging, so we couldn't burn using another program. Waste of $99!!

Review by Jon F on May 15, 2004 Version: 9.05 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I have had this for two weeks and have just gotten over numerous rendering problems and now I am having burning problems. Have yet to sucessfully burn a DVD-R. Useless support from Pinnacle Systems technical support and forums. This is very glitchy software and I regret all the lost hours frustration and still no DVD burned. Pinnacle Systems should be ashamed of the product and the useless support.

Review by sphillips2001 on May 13, 2004 Version: 2.513 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

Dissapointed to say the least. Since Circuit City had it on special for $49 I thought I'd give it a shot to make some transfers from Laser to DVD. I'm using an ATI TV Wonder VE, the cheapo unit. My experience was horrible. First off, it is limited as to what it can work with for an analog capture device... it captured with the ATI but only in VCD resolution. The manual says if you can't capture the way you'd like then try other alternatives and use 9 for your editing and burning. That's where things went to hell. During editing and many attempts to burn all I got was a big waste of time because of crashes and hang ups. I'm now working with the Ulead #8 and it captures wonderfully with the ATI. and although I haven;t tried a dorect burn yet, I have been able to convert the project into DVD files that I have burned with Nero and my fussiest standalones are playing them nicely. I returned the Pinnacle #9 for refund. It is to be avoided. Check out my comment on Ulead in that section of this site.

Review by filmking on May 13, 2004 Version: v9 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Do not get/use this software if you intend to burn DVD Video.

The software is quirky, but okay for simple authoring. For burning DVD Video or items that require some technical work, this software just doesn't cut it. WHat's sad is it comes bundled with several DVD burners. If you have this software, My suggestion is DO NOT INSTALL IT. You'll find more problems than you'll want to deal with. It is best to spend the money on software that will work well and not offer problems in any situation.

Review by doramius on May 4, 2004 Version: 9.0.8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 6/10

I upgraded to Studio 9 several weeks ago and used it to render a large project. I took over 15 hours of event video and reduced it to a 1 hour DVD. I'm working on a Dell 1.5Ghz Workstation, with 256Meg of RAM (more on order), and 300+Gigabytes of disk storage.
Here was my experience.
No problems with installation. It uninstalled Studio 8 and reinstalled Studio 9 without a hitch. I then downloaded the 9.0.2 upgrade and update without any issues.
I was able to capture some 15 hours of raw video (about 17 13Gigabyte AVI files) without any problems. The video came from both Digital 8 and Mini-DV cameras both of which Studio 9 handled well. I really liked the record in reduced mode option which was a nice way to reduce disk usage. Working with this many files and data was no problem for Studio 9. I jumped around between the files and sucessfully built the storyboard. I ended up with around 240 clips and transistions in the final video. Towards the end things got really sluggish, especially when editing audio, and I would have to patiently wait for Studio 9 to "do it's thing" before adding or editing the next clip but it never hung or core dumped. However, I did find myself just quiting the program on occasion to clean up memory and speed things up a bit.
Where I did find real problems was in the Effects area, both audio and visual. I tried to use the Stabalize effect on some jerky video and had some initial success. When I then tried to apply it across numerous jerky shots it actually made the video considerably worse. And it was a cumulative effect. The more shots that were sequenced together the worse the effect was. I removed that effect on most of the shots and used it sparingly on the worse offenders and that worked ok.
In the audio effects I had a similiar experience. I had a whole string of outdoor shots with people and lots of wind noise. I tried using the Wind reduction effect on a single clip and it reduced wind sound. So then I applied it to the entire 20 shot sequence. Bad idea. Now I can't render the movie. Each time it gets into that section Studio 9 stops rendering. It doesn't freeze Studio 9 it just stops rendering - sitting on the same frame for hours. I am able to kill the render but each time I retry it does the same thing. I finally suspect that it is the Noise reduction code, remove it from the 20 shot sequence and everything now renders fine.
I did find one area that will hang up Studi 9 every time. That was in selecting effects. If I looked at several effects (like stabalise, B&W video, fun effect, etc) in sequence, looking for that "right" effect for a shot, it would hang Studio 9 every time. I learned to never look at more than two effects in sequence before exiting the effects area. Eventually I knew what effect Studio 9 had and then could just go straight to the desired effect and apply it to a scene. This worked with no problems.
Last area of frustration was mentioned already by another reviewer - adding CD Music. I finally figured out the correct sequence for making it work but only after several hours of frustration. It defaults to placing all CD Music inserts to the front of the timeline even though you started with the cursor on the time tick where you want the music to go. The secret is to reset the cursor to the desired input frame immediatly before hitting the add-music button. Then it will work elsewise it stuffs the music at the head of timeline. WIth a big project this becomes a major nuisance to drag the music back to the correct time mark.
Those were the four big issues I had, none of which stopped me in my tracks. I have not reported these to Studio 9 support yet because, given my experience from 8.0, their answer will be "reload the software" or some other completly meaningless answer.
My overall evaluation is positive and I will continue to work with it though I look anxiously for the 9.1 upgrade. It makes working with video and audio clips very easy. We were able to pull off some pretty fancy tricks with this software.
It does have a lot of power for a $100 software package and in the end it worked well for me.

P.S. SInce this orginal post I've had Out of Sync errors with my project which I'm still struggling with.

Review by followthebits on May 3, 2004 Version: 9.0.8 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 7/10

If you like to edit your movies DO NOT get this product. If you want to save your MOVIES to DVD, SVCD, etc... then this tool will just transfer the movie and that is it. The other functions will you allow you to edit the movie but the rendering is crap as well as the burning. Buyer BEWARE!!!

I worked with their tech support and they told me to shut off everything in the background and also provided me freeware to shut down even more programs in the background. I had to shut off the wall paper as well. It was short of uninstalling everything off my computer except the operating system and the pinnacle software (at one point I did a fresh install of just the operating system (XP) and the pinnacle software and it still didn't work and that is when tech support gave up.

I have a P4 3.0 Gig with Hyperthreading, 1 G dual channel 400 RAM. SATA 120 G HD dedicated just to the video editing, Intel 875 board with a 9800 ATI pro card. I think this should be enough computer to handle the software but it still had problems. When the software renders it gets jumpy and the audio and video becomes out of sync.

To make matters worse the rebate for this product they would not honor because they said it was sent to the wrong place. I scanned the envelope of where the letter was addressed to and sent it back to them and they said the rebate time frame has passed now!!! wow what a bunch of %#$%$#!@ is that? I was so sick of this product and the company I returned my software and a letter explaining the disappointment to their complaints department and have not heard from them...

this is the last product that I wil ever purchase from them... upgrade? You got to be kidding me... why waste my money...

I got Sonicfoundary Vegas 4 and I have yet to crash it and the outcome is excellent. the product is very buggy and i felt sorry for the tech support group because they have to support an crap products the developers created.

Review by y2kexodus on Apr 18, 2004 Version: 8.0 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 2/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 3/10

As with Studio 8, I'm again pleased with Stuido 9. Works well for me.

Review by redd on Apr 15, 2004 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

I purchased Studio 8 and bought the upgrade to 9. The key to installing this software is to Format the Hard Drive, load your Operating system and service packs. DEFRAG your HDD and then install Pinnacle Studio 9 and then add the patches.

After that you can install video and audio drivers and any other drivers/software you may need. They (pinnacle) recommends that you install it in the Safe Mode. I tried this and it did not work.

I have burned several DVD's, SVCD's and VCD's flawlessly. My DVD burner is a Pioneer 107D. My other Burner is a Optorite 0201. Both work well. Be sure you have plenty of memory, I recommend at least 512MB. A fast CPU is desireable too.

I have the ATI AIW 9600Pro, so I do not use the video capture function for this program. I use ATI's capture software (TV) and shut off any anti-virus, firewall and internet connections. I do not have any dropped frames.

I like the results from this program. I am not by any means a professional, I am new to video editing. This program made it easy for me to drag and drop pictures, video, music, menus and trasnsitions. I like studio 9 for the added features. If you have selected a picture for your project, it places a small check mark in the corner. Studio 8 did not have this feature and I would often duplicate pictures on a DVD project.

For the money it's not too bad, if your serious about video editing and want professional results spend the money for the software. If video editing is a hobby, this is more than adequate. I plan on sending Christmas DVD's instead of the old Christmas card with a letter telling about what the family has done. Pinnacle will do just fine.

Review by skljohnson on Apr 6, 2004 Version: 9.0.8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 8/10

Great interface, lots of features, easy to use. Needs patch to work efficiently however. Capture section is a little weak.

Review by Ruude on Apr 1, 2004 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

the trail dont work, I own dazzle and they own dazzle now and now they dont want money for everything, moneyhogs

Review by hotjoe on Mar 31, 2004 Version: v908 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Hi jeffery500. I found a workaround.
After Rendering for DVD do NOT burn DVD immediately.
This would cause a crash.
Use option " more then one copy". target AVI is put on Harddisk.
After rendering save project and close Studio program.
Run Studio again and then write the DVD (+R)(+RW).
(Even necessary formatting is done okay)

Review by ikben on Mar 5, 2004 Version: 8.6 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

I have used Studio 7...Crapware. I have used Studio 8...Crapware. I am now using Studio 9.04...Cra...Wait a minute! This time it's working! No crashes?! Beautiful output?!

Yes. Here is my story: I just about gave up on the Studio series because of its buggy performance. Since I have become quite skilled at banging my head against the wall, I thought I'll give it one more try. When I attempted to install the upgrade version of Studio 9 it kept telling me that it was unsuccessful in uninstalling my previous version. I tried everything to remove the last remnants of Studio 8 to no avail. It clearly had some left over remnants in the registry that I could not remove. When I contacted Pinnacle Support, the geniuses there told me I should upgrade my video card! What a bunch a dummies!

I decided to bite the bullet and do what I have never done before; a clean install of my operating system, which was WinXP SP1. Because all my data files were on a second hard drive, and I only had a few programs on the C drive, I went ahead and did the reinstall. It really wasn't too painful. When I then tried to install Studio 9, it said to put the CD of the old version in the CD reader to confirm I owned a don't loose that old CD! After that, the installation went smoothly. I then loaded an existing video file I had and began editing and putting in transitions, a menu, and chapters all the while expecting everything to come crashing down any second. It didn't! I created an image file with Studio, which went rather quickly. I then burned the image file to a DVD using Nero 6 Recode 2. That went quickly as well. The result was great.

Clearly, the reinstall was what did the trick. That is the only way to get rid of all the extraneouos drivers and other code and garbage that may be interferring with a program such as Studio that demands a high use of the computer's resources. What I like best about Studio is that you can adjust the volume of just about any section of video. This was particularly important to me because my camcorder picks up a lot of wind noise. The dedicated wind reduction feature of Studio 9 works but it imparts a muffled, fake sound to the audio that I didn't like.

With my luck, the program will start crashing left and right as soon as I finish these comments but until then I'm a happy user of Studio 9.

P.S. Be sure download the patch that brings it up to ver. 9.04, especially if you have a Sony DRU 510 DVD writer.

Review by Studio9user on Mar 4, 2004 Version: 9.04 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 7/10

Still has a ways to go.

In edit mode, Pinnacle Studio 9 foesn't handle import of compliant MPEG-2 files as well as Pinnacle Studio 8; perhaps due to the Pixie MPEG encoder included in version 9.

Still doesn't support AC3; no third-party plug-ins listed on Pinnacle site. Pinnacle loves its LPCM; even though other software companies have added AC3 as part of their program. So, if you have an MPEG-2 with AC3, you'll have to demux and remux outside of the program with something like TMPGenc or other proggies.

Studio 8 is more stable, as well.

Review by robguy on Mar 1, 2004 Version: 9.04 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 7/10

this software is horribly unreliable.

the ONLY way I can get it to work is to ALWAYS uninstall it first, THEN install it. BUT - its worse than that. the install key I use (that came with the cdrom) works to install the cd version. but once you upgrade (via the net) to the new version, you'll NEVER be able to run the old version again! ;( so you must take the double hit of installing the base version with the right serial, THEN install the net update and THEN it might (might, if its on a day that doesn't end in -y) run.

the behavior is that it launches, you see splash screen, you see an icon in the taskbar, then the disk spins, then it TRIES to create a new icon in the task bar - but only for a split second and then that icon goes away and pinnacle never runs after that - it just sits there as an icon in the task bar but never expands when you click on it. the rest of the pc is always fine and I can always do anything BUT run pinnacle studio8.

no error log, no 'cant find file' no 'settings are corrupt' - nothing! no errors! NOTHING TO USE TO DEBUG THIS PIECE OF CRAPWARE!

do I call them and wait an hour?

or do I keep deinstalling and fully reinstalling the sw on EACH RUN? I won't pay for tech support for their bad programming (I write code so I know how it should be done - and this aint it, folks).

run away from this software. their gui is nice. I'll give them that. its simple and IF IT ONLY WORKED RELIABLY I'd use it.

run away. pinnalce can't handle complex software development, it seems.

Review by linux-works on Feb 29, 2004 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 2/10

I got Pinnacle Studio 8 with my DVD burner. I have some 30 minute VHSC tapes to convert to DVD. I am running them through an ADVC-100 then to my computer. The first capture with PS8 went well with one dropped frame. The second tape however had 2200 dropped frames in the first 5 minutes. Don't know why. Had no luck improving that so tried Scenalyzer. No dropped frames. Almost bought it, but found WinDV. No dropped frames and it is free.

Authoring with PS8 is fairly easy. Adding menu and chapters is straightforward. The rendering and burning directly to dvd did not take as long as I thought it would. The DVD quality is good. About as good as the original tapes. Overall, except for the bad DV capturing, PS8 seems to be working ok. However, once in a while when I start PS8, I get the message that there is a problem and it has to close. I restart and it works fine.

Review by jjvb on Jan 18, 2004 Version: 8.4.7 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

Can't beat this for what it is;a simple video capture and editing program. I have been using successfully for 3 weeks to capture minidv footage off of camcorder and also old vhs-c footage through the digital pass through. Works great to capture and then edit home movies(i.e. add transitions, titles). I followed several suggestions to use TMPGEnc to encode to mpeg, which provided better results than Studio. I also made menus with both Studio and the trial version of TMPGEnc and have found TMPGEnc better for that as well. I have also been using Goldwave to edit the low quality audio I get from the vhs-c tapes. Overall, this system of Studio, TMPGEnc and Goldwave has worked out well. No program seems to do everything well, so find a good combination and go. By the way, I have an AMD and ASUS and have had zero program crashes, but some conficts with other capture programs I tried to load (when removed, Studio worked perfectly again).

Review by jjnwcar on Dec 30, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 9/10

I used to use Pinnacle Studio 7 which came as part of Studio Deluse which provides for capature of Analog as well as DV. Using Studio 7 I generally captured most of my movies in 10-12 minute sections, which I rendered to both MPEG1 & MPEG2.

I used my CD-RW burner to save the MPEG2s as data files on CD-Rs, waiting for the day when I would buy a DVD-RW burner. In the meantime I would burn several of the MPEG1s in sequence to create VCDs. I successfully captured from VHS tapes and from my DV camcorder. I also successfully output to VHS, DV camcorder, MPEG1 & MPEG2.

About a week ago Ipurchased an LG GSA-4040B DVD burner. A also upgraded to the latest version of Studio 8. So far all I have done is create DVDs using MPEG2s which I had stored as data from my Studio 7 days.

My first attempt was to burn a 100 minute DVD with nested menus. Due to poor documentation it took me a long time to work out how to make the sub menus return to their parent menus(in this case the main menu), but having eventually solved this it is easy and obvious, once you know how. Due to the length of the movie Studio re-rendered it @ 51% quality.

The resulting DVD worked fine, menus and all, but I didn't much like the picture quality. Also due to the re-rendering it took ages (about 5 minutes per minute of DVD on my P4 1.6Ghz).

I then split my project into two and created two 50 minute DVDs. This also worked fine, picture quality was better (since the MPEG2s had all been created from analog sources, the picture quality was always going to have some limitations). I assume that because I was now working at 100% quality the rendering process was much much faster.

Out of 10 DVDs I've burned only one turned out to ba coaster and I guess that was because I tried to burn at 2X on a blank unbranded DVD which didn't say if it could handle 2X. So far all of the DVDs I've burned on Verbatim & Samsung media have been fine.

I did have Studio hang on me a couple of times when I tried to edit menus which I had already created and dropped into the project. apart from that I've had no problems.

I guess my next step will be to see if Studio 8, does as good a job of capture from analog and DV and then rendering into MPEG2 from AVI, as Studio 7 did.

Review by tonymt on Dec 29, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

Yep it's buggy, but so are a lot of the other programs. And I have about decided since so many of us have different probs with it maybe it's just conflicts. Welcome to the world of computers. Here is what I have found out & don't ask why just believe me. Ready to capture? Unplug the phone line. Just do it. Or drop frames like crazy. I drop 30 frames in 5 minits with the line plugged in/ Capture 90 minits with line unplugged with zero dropped frames. Go figure. Double click to add text & the old error pops up. Don't click on the error/ drag it off the screen and do your text. & as long as the old error box is hanging out there the next time it won't pop up. I capture full quality dv and burn DVD's. Never over 54 minits per disc. Don't put stills in front of any video or it will throw audio out of sync. Put stills at end of video. Godd Luck.......

Review by Habby on Dec 29, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

I realize that I'm in the minority but Studio 8 has been good for me in converting VHS to DVD. I started with 8.10.4 so maybe I missed some of the rocky times.

There are a couple of items on my "wish list." I prefer to capture in AVI format and Studio 8 won't use HuffYUV to compress. Their "compression" is either way too aggressive (reputed to be MPEG1) or not enough. So I just use Virtual VCR and HuffYUV. Then I edit the AVIs with Studio 8. A 120 GB hard drive makes this not a problem.

The second item on my "wish list" is the ability to encode as Half D1. I had used uLead Movie Factory 2 previously and it supports Half D1 but Studio 8 does not.

The editing tool is very capable but not intuitive to me. I've not used any of the special effects.

Rendering the DVD from the AVI files takes a long time, e.g. overnight for 2 hours of video (AMD Athlon XP 2000+ 1600 MHz, 512 MB RAM).

Studio 8 probably generates DVD "coasters" only about 10% of the time. I have created a couple of SVCDs and they seem to work OK for VHS input.

Review by fastoy on Dec 28, 2003 Version: 8.10.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 6/10

I totally agree with jeffery500.
I too not able to burn DVD using this.
Everytime it says disc need to be formatted but nothing is done on the drive. It just stays. Not good for burn DVD, only good for capturing/ Basic authoring.

Review by vcdgeeks on Dec 28, 2003 Version: 8,2 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 6/10

I purchased this software a year ago, having a P2 400 Mhz 256 ram computer it was worthless. I finally upgraded to a P4 800 Mhz 1 gig ram and I thought great I can finally use my software, I tried a MPEG capture only to see Studio 8 shutdown after a few minutes, I then do a DV capture and get all my video into the computer, edit the files and then go to make a DVD, my files were too big and the program wouldn't compress them to fit on a DVD. I then try and save it as a DVD file, the program took all night to render half the footage and froze.

My opinion is this, this is the second software Product I have tried to use from Pinnacle (Pinnacle express/expression was the first) for all the money I've given Pinnacle I have yet to have any kind of video output to show for it, I was thinking a new computer with the latest mother board (Intel D875PBZLK 2.6 478P CPU only one month old) would be able to run Pinnacle software. Nope, and Pinnacle doesn't believe in refunds so before you buy a Pinnacle product make sure you can throw away your money.

Review by Agent 0008 on Dec 27, 2003 Version: Studio 8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

As usual, listening to people who only say "this program is garbage" does not tell the whole picture. Studio 8 is a very good capturing and editing program that has issues with rendering.

With that said, I have used the program to both make DVD's, SCVD's and VCD's. I have rendered all of them, although with varrying degrees of success.

Where this program excells, is with the editing and caturing functions. If you have compatible hardware, it is one of the better capture utilities. The capture is quite stable and it will automatically separate out your content by scenes which is invaluable when making simple edits.

The program has most basic titling, transitions, and editing functions. They are all very easy to use and don't require a lot of work to make a nice looking product. If you purchase the HollywoodFX package, then you will find that this is an above average editing product as there is little that you can not do.

I tend to use it for capturing and editing. Then when finished I use Tmpgenc to render and DVD author to burn. On the 8.10 version the product has come a long way. There are some bugs, but for the most part it does a good job.

Review by bstripp on Dec 27, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

I have used this product for about 4 years from Analogue DC10+ to Studio DV (both cards still in use). I capture vhs footage at full capture rate (6mb/sec), edit with studio 8 and then encode to mpeg2. I then use DVD workshop v1.3 for DVD creation. I have found that if you are trying to capture to a HD that hasn't been defragged, forget it. Also forget menu creation etc as often, you will get freeze ups, so use something else for this.

Review by fredthered on Dec 27, 2003 Version: 8.8.17 OS: WinME Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 8/10

Using "ATI" version which came free with my Radeon 9000. Have done one round of updates, no more currently available.

Have done one major avi job dumped from Panasonic DV camera. Very nice download, learned editing interface pretty quickly, several attempts at building a menu and here's where the trouble started. Just allowing the mouse to drift over one of the menu building buttons causes it to freeze and shutdown. I don't mean clicking on the button, I mean just letting the arrow over that portion of the screen caused a shut down, over and over.

Once I figured that out I was able to build a rudimentary menu but the process was grueling and non-intuitive.

Made a very nice AVI dvd which it automatically shrunk to "91%" since it ran slightly over an hour. You know what happens next, of course. About 40 minutes into the program, audio went out of sync. The last few minutes had no audio at all.

I'll probably keep fiddling with it since I'm obviously new at this but from what I'm reading here I at least need a different encoder.

Review by kisrum on Dec 26, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 4/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 5/10

Pinnacle doesn't know how to produce stable software. I have both Studio, and Instant CD/DVD. Both crash like mad! I have installed them on two different computers, 1) 900 MHz Athlon with 512MB RAM, W98, and 2) 2.5 GHz Athlon XP with 512MB RAM W2K. I might like it if it would ever run without crashing. The W2K install was on a clean system, and it still bombed. I have a free copy of it coming due to a DV camcorder purchase, and I'm not going to even try it again. Customer service is of no help. Stay away.

Review by kamberk on Dec 24, 2003 Version: 8 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I own a Dazzle 150 and until I purchased this upgrade for $40, I was unable to capture from a vhs with out having problems. I have made a number of DVD's with out one problem. I have read the other postsclaiming that this software sucked and that it was buggy. But all I can say is that I am relieved that I do not have to use the software that came with the dazzle 150. Dazzle users know what I mean. Maybe the people that have had problems with this software are having conflicts with other software. How can you explain some people having problems and others not. I have a very clean install and nothing has gone wrong. Dazzle 150 users, this is a must have.

Review by pooorboy on Dec 23, 2003 Version: 8.10.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 9/10

Studio 9 announced

OK, as the comments show the posters here who seem to actually use Studio 8 and comment on it in the forums know this is a deeply flawed program with absolutley no support.

Perfectly in synch mpegs will almost NEVER end up as a usable authored project in Studio 8 which will invariable create out of synch DVDs.

My advice is for anyone even considering getting Studio 8 is to save wasting your money. Sudio 9 will be out in a copuple of months and people here will review it to see if it works.

Otherwise you will have to use AVIs, which of course are massive compared to mpegs.

Review by aero on Dec 21, 2003 Version: 8.10.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Great for capturing and editing... always a problem in making the output (in any format). I find the editing functionality in Studio 8 to be fairly feature rich and intuitive for the price, especially when you factor in the Hollywood F/X transitions. On the up side, with the past 2 or 3 versions, I've been able to make MPEG2s fairly regularly. I then bring the MPEG2s into Sonic's MyDVD to burn my DVDs. Have never had a problem with MyDVD (now on version 5) and it is a very straight forward app.

Review by mikeyg54 on Dec 18, 2003 Version: 8.10.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 7/10

OK, Prior to V8.8.17, this program was ABSOLUTE TRASH!! To the level of felony FRAUD! It actually "sort of" works in 8.8.17. By that I mean it doesn't crash anymore. What it does well is DV capture, edit and re-render back to DV AVI format. DO NOT TRY TO MAKE DISK, MPEG OR DVD WITH THIS PROGRAM! This has to be about the worst Mpeg2 encoder in the world! That's why you want to make an AVI file using the DV encoder.

Then you must take the DV AVI file into a good encoder, such as Tmpgenc or Mainconcept (both kind of expensive) and convert to MPEG. If doing a DVD, try using Ifoedit to author the DVD fileset and Nero to burn. You may be able to get PS8 to author the DVD fileset from the MPEG file just made. I haven't tried that yet.

Wish I hadn't bought this. At least the editting is good though.

Review by ray08 on Dec 18, 2003 Version: V8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 3/10 Overall: 5/10

The only thing that this program does well is capture .

very Buggy....

Review by fabiohcruz on Dec 18, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 3/10

I've had Studio on my system for a while (got it for free with my Canon DV camera), but never used it as I was happy with my Ulead VideoStudio 7 and Ulead MovieFactory software. But recently, I've wanted to start capturing in SVCD from DV (I use a DV encoder for analog capture), and found that Ulead's products won't do this - you have to capture in higher res and transcode, a very slow process with Ulead software.

I played with Studio and found it could do SVCD from DV with no problem, and with very good control over the encoding parameters. Studio worked flawlessly for me in this task, and was quite fast in producing the final MPEG file. It lacks a decent editor for removing commercials, the "Extract Video" feature of Ulead's products is superior and far simpler to use, so I just created the raw file in Studio, then edited/burned in VideoStudio 7. Studio worked fine for me, I'll have to delve into it more to see if I run into the problems others have related here.

Review by pbanders on Dec 18, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 7/10

Worst program ever.
Keep your money in your wallets.

Review by Unknown Username on Dec 16, 2003 Version: 8.x - 8.10.x OS: Win98 Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I have been using Pinnacle Studio from version 7 with DC-10 plus analog video capture card. Recently I upgraded to Studio 8 DV and it works great.

The DVD creation options are not as flexible as I need. The way I work with this program is:

1. I capture an AVI file using my DV card and a Sony miniDV camera as an Analog-Digital converter.
2. I edit the video using Studio 8 and render the final result to an MPEG-II file
3. Using Ulead DVD Workshop 1.0 I create the VCD/SVCD/DVD

This software is really easy to use and has great editing functionality. The only think I would add is the ability to add sound from WAV and MP3 files and not only from a micfrophone or from a CD.

Review by lcastro on Dec 13, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

I have been using Studio 8 Quickstart that came with my Dazzle 150 with the latest software updates.

Nice user interface and manual. Works fine for me for capture and editing with two exceptions:

I have to periodically remind it that I am using a Dazzle 150 capture device - it seems to forget.

I have to be careful in Edit mode. If I start clicking the mouse or scrolling too fast, it locks up.

Captured mpegs look great, but I have never been able to use them without rendering. I inevitably get lipsync problems if I try. It seems that this problem might be rather easy to correct, but I don't know - not a huge deal.

It also has trouble shutting down on my system. It always displays "program needs to close" and "send error report" messages even when I close it down intentionally using File>Exit commands from the file menu - again, no big problem.

My major gripe is that I have NEVER been able to burn a DVD with this application. Here is the problem:

After editing, I enter the "make movie" section of the program with the "make disc" option preselected. The status box tells me that the mpeg needs rendering. I choose to render. With a DVD quality movie of 100 minutes, this takes about an hour on my machine. After finishing, the status box indicates that the program is now ready to burn a disc. I click for it to proceed. When I insert a DVD+RW or DVD+R disc, I immediately get a message box warning me that the disc needs to be "formatted" and asking if I want that to happen. Answering no at this point leaves the user no out. Selecting no aborts the program and the rendered mpeg (worth an hour or more time) is lost in the ether - gone. So I answer "yes". The drive burn light on my Lite-On comes on for a while then goes off. The status box changes and tells me that the disc is now being burned (it never tells me that "formatting" is complete). Now I wait about 2 hours and the drive burn light goes out. But when this happens, the message box displays a message indicating that it is "completing background formatting". What? For all intents and purposes, the formatting was completed before the disc burning started, right? That would seem to be a logical assumption. Why would it now need to complete formatting anything? In addition, there is no drive "burn" light indication while it is supposedly "completing background formatting". So I once again enter into WAIT mode. I have stayed in this mode for as long as 12 hours just to see if it ever completed - guess what? It doesn't. Clicking on anything is useless, the user is very obviously locked out at this point. Pressing the drive "open" button causes the "burn" light on the drive to come on for just a few seconds and then it goes out and disc ejects. And I have a good, playable DVD disc, right? WRONG! Its trash. I have made one coaster with a DVD+R just to see if it was media-type related. DVD+RW discs have to be erased to be reused - so it is writing something, but still no explanation for why it never completes the process. To their credit, Pinnacle support answered my inquiries about the problem promptly, but have yet to offer a credible explanation as to why this is happening or to lend any beneficial advice. Preselecting "make mpeg" before getting to the rendering process has yielded excellent DVD-quality mpeg2 files that TMPGauthor burns readily into perfect DVD discs. My question remains, why do I have to pay an extra $70 for a third-party application in order to burn a DVD (using Pinnacle created files) that Pinnacle should be able to?

I really hope they get this software fixed. I would like to use it and would be very well pleased with it were it not for this last major bug. I consider the editing freeze-up bug and the capture device memory-loss bug to be only irritating. The shutdown glitch and necessity to render are minor inconveniences.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone else (short emails please) that has had a similar problem with this application.

Review by jeffery500 on Dec 13, 2003 Version: 8.10.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 3/10 Overall: 5/10

I deal with Avid Symphonies at work. The program uses specific hardware and software and a system costs about $ 40,000 without the external storage. It runs most of the time. But there are restrictions on what other programs are allowed on the machine (including Virus Scan) as well as updates to the OS. Even at that, we had one that started corrupting itself for no particular reason. It may be that a program can't be written that will work flawlessly on every piece of PC hardware, every operating system with every installed program on the market. I have had Studio 7 and 8 for a few years now. Early on, I couldn't make the program run at all because I had an A-sound audio card. It ran better on one mother board than another one. It has real issues with the via chipset, as do a lot of multimedia programs. I now have a Dell 4550 with the Intel 875 chipset and 512 meg of memory with a Verbatim DVD writer and I have had only one problem in the past year and a half and that was easily averted. And, as far as looking at the Pinnacle discussion forums, no one posts there unless there is a problem Reading the forum posts one would see that most of the posts would be answered if the poster would just read the manual. The users group there is very willing to help but most of the dispirited posters won't even fill in their profile. It speaks to the honesty of Pinnacle that they don't censor the flaming messages. I like the program. It works very well for me. I can capture, edit and burn. It would be great to hear from others who have installed and used multiple entry level editing programs to see which ones worked best for them.

Review by jterhar on Dec 12, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

I find this program to be super clean and neat. Easy to use, and fast perfect results. I use it to capture avi from the Canopus ADVC-100. Beautiful captures! Then I edit out bits and pieces or beg. and end, basically clean up capture and render the avi for encoding. I use other encoding software.

But for the capture and basic editing, Studio 8 does deliver.

I've never had a crash or frozen screen with this software.

While ST 8 may not be the choice for advanced editing, it is a great one for the newbie, or advanced user who needs a quick basic touch up on their captures. Fast, friendly, and it works. Try to find this in the boxed version for under $99.


PS Beware of multiple posts below that resemble flames! Some folks feel the need to comment again and again with nothing but negativity.

Review by hiptune on Dec 12, 2003 Version: 8.1 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 10/10

Great programme for capturing AVI, don't even think of MPEG's (huge amount of dropped frames) and writing directly to DVD (MPEG2). Don't try to edit or do anything else.

DV camera to DVD is good.

Review by Brpod on Dec 10, 2003 Version: Studio 8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 4/10

I love the way it's SUPPOSED to work, and usually for short projects it does a good job. However it is the single most unstable program I use, and I cannot count the hours I've wasted on lockups and crashes. Do NOT get this program if you want to do more than, say, a 1/2 hour program.

Review by MikeBlyth on Dec 8, 2003 Version: 8.10.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 3/10 Overall: 3/10

without a doubt the buggiest and most problem-ridden multimedia program ever sold.

Do NOT believe the minority of good reviews here! Go to Pinnacle's own support forum at:

You will find scores and scores of expert users with years of expereince and the most advanced and compliant PC's unable to get this product to actually successfully complete any of the basic tasks it advertises!

Looking at the reviews here you see a few suspicious glowing reviews that are very general and never address the real problems people, including expert users have. The great majority of reviews, from people who actually bought this peice of junk, show the product simply fails to produce.

Don't beleive just me, do yourself a favor look at the amazon reviews (whch show the software as almost the most problematic of any software they sell) or search the forums here where you will find people who do a lot of posting on video authoring and know what they are talking about all say the same thing: "forget Pinnacle studio 8"

Pinnacle studio 8 reviews on Amazon since my last note:
- Does anybody ever finish a project in Pinnacle Studio?, December 7, 2003
S"ometimes Pinnacle will be able to complete the project from start to finish. This is in my experience the happy exception. Something always goes wrong, and it is never a smooth as it should be. "

- Believe the reviews... run away., November 29, 2003

- Wishful Thinking, November 28, 2003
"Don't buy this software. I have wasted more time struggling with this software than editing video, and that's a lousy way to pursue a hobby! "

- Truly this is a triumph of marketing over execution, November 27, 2003
"All told, having worked in the software industry, I'm sad to think that Pinnacle would have the guts to sell such a dog of a product. "

- Sorry - Just plain sorry!!, November 22, 2003

-Don't Buy Pinnacle! It's Garbage!!!, November 21, 2003

- Absolutely LOUSY!!!, November 18, 2003

- Buggy software, November 17, 2003

- It just doesn't work, November 11, 2003

- Too bad, November 5, 2003

Review by fdaily on Dec 8, 2003 Version: 8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I have used this software since 7.0 and love it's simple interface. Made a DVD of my daughters soccer team and showed it at their team party. Gave them each a copy after and had heard nothing but praise from the parents. Adding MP3 is touch and go, but all WAV files have worked fine.

Review by gunslinger3 on Nov 16, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

Been using it for over a year now. My personal experience has been that the very latest patches (released September-October 2003) helped the stability of the program tremendously. I used to have very severe crashing problems prior to 8.8.17

The interface is very intuitive and I like it the best compared to others I've tried. I especially like the timeline view so that I can fine-tune video/audio and transitions by sliding the time bar. I've probably made about 10 high quality DVD movies and my family and friends have really liked the results.

All in all, the patched Studio 8 has been a great tool.

Review by work2fish on Nov 15, 2003 Version: 8.10.14 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

I've had two separate experiences with this product.

When I use it to capture, edit, produce,and burn a disc it works fine, just like it's suppossed to.

I have problems when I try using video from other sources, converted from .wmv, mpeg from other sources, etc. It seems the software is picky about the video and doesn't play well with others.

So if you're using 3 or 4 different programs to tweak and edit and render a professional presentation, this may not be for you. but for average joe wanting to add a little spice to his home movies, go for it. You won't find an easier to use program.

Review by rprice54 on Nov 14, 2003 Version: 8.8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 7/10

I have been working with Pinnacle Studio products for a while, starting with the Studio version of DC10Plus analog capture card. Later upgraded to version 7.0 and 8.0. I am currently using the studio for DV capture, editing and finalizing my home videos. I am impressed how easy it is to use this great product, and, honestly, never experienced anything that people complain about: the software is very stable, the output quality is great, and the features are awesome, especially with added Hollywood FX transitions. Overall, this is a great product for creating professionally looking home videos. Professionals should not complaint about lack of features, and should buy professional studio hardware and software products and spend thousands of dollars, but for the home studio this is an unbeatable product.

Review by tig2002 on Nov 13, 2003 Version: 8.10.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 9/10

I have been amazed by all the negative comments about this product. I have been using it for a couple months and have yet to experience any kind of crash or error whilst using it. It is so easy to use, and has a wealth of features that allow you to produce some really professional looking video's. Most of my projects have been over an hour with multiple menus, transitions, slideshows etc.

It may be that Studio is over sensitive to some peoples machines. I have a gig of ram and I think this is possibly why I have no problems running programs such as Studio.


Review by NobbyNohope on Nov 13, 2003 Version: 8.10.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

Pinnacle Studio 100% working here and on WinXP. Stable with excellent quality output. I use it for simple jobs and it's a great time saver. Anyway, this is to certify that it is possible to get it working and beautifully too. Although I admit sometimes it may take some time especially when system is full of junk. Need to learn how to clean it up, helps not only with Pinnacle products.

Review by proxyx99 on Nov 13, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

Here are the amazon reviews for the past couple of months. Everyone of them bad except one shilly one

Avoid This Program Like The Plague!, October 29, 2003
"....when it DID supposedly edit an MPG file the sound no longer matched up with the video!
Believe ALL the bad reviews of this product. It is a complete waste of time and money. I will never purchase from Pinnacle again. "

Too bad, November 5, 2003
The big downside is that the program is so buggy that you cannot reliably use it.

Crashes more than a blind truck driver, October 28, 2003

Possible fraud with major pc mag award and this program., October 26, 2003 '

Lot's of promise but not well executed, October 23, 2003

Simply put, it doesn't work, October 20, 2003
"So if you are a masocist....

Not worth your time and money., October 15, 2003

Don't waste your money!!, October 13, 2003
"I wish I would've looked into it more"

Clearly it's my fault, October 13, 2003

Do not buy!, October 12, 2003

Looks good but VERY unstable, October 12, 2003

I'd give it negative stars if I could, October 9, 2003
It has awesome features, which makes the experience all the more bitter.

Patience is a virtue and you will need alot of it., October 9, 2003
Abysmal technical support., October 9, 2003
Poor Pinnacle, September 25, 2003
This program has the basics of something great...but was never finished. It is extremely buggy and slow with an unimpressive final product. Pinnacles technical service is equally unimpressive.
It is the only program i ever purchased that i felt compelled to return.

Oh I wish I would have read these reviews first!, August 24, 2003

What a mess this is, August 23, 2003

Frustration Defined, August 16, 2003
I have never written a review on Amazon before,
but I felt compelled to warn you as to how my
experience has gone with the Pinnacle 8 software.

Review by fdaily on Nov 10, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

The product represents the simplist and fastest method to author a simple DVD from DV input. If the requirment is to simply do this with a few basic transitions, menus and titles, then its the one for you. However, failures increase exponentially with the sophistication of the production. Yes, audio sych problems are major, especially if you try and handle analogue input, soundtacks can completely disappear if you add effects and other audio tracks, and DVD menus can become random. The work-arounds, which include making a rough AVI production from the vid footage demands large drives/NTFS. Unfortunately, I have to agree that these failures suggest a basically buggy package. Pinnacle does try to respond, but what they have achieved is thousands of very annoyed beta-testers. If you need compexity and stability, look elsewhere. But for me, with realtively simple needs, the simple interface will keep it as my primary editing package.

Review by chrisdd on Nov 3, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

Even though I have access to almost every tool in the pro world (company stuff) I have yet to find easier program to use then Studio 8. As many others I went through my share of cursing the Pinnacle while trying to make it work (could not open graphic files, no matter what) I finally got it, using reg clean prog. from the Pinnacle support site (I BELIEVE 6TH ATTEMPT TO INSTALL). Well worth it. Editing hours of my private footege was a breeze utilizing scene detection feature. Can't beat the quality of the DV AVI as well. Tried Adobe PremierePro and... surprise, DV quality was less (too soft). This is what i did. Starting from MPEG2 original (that is my capture file from ADS box) converted it to DV AVI, edited it and reencoded to DVD quality. MPEG2 to DV AVI conversion with Adobe was not too sharp so I tried Trex from Pinnacle and... was more then amazed. Details were more distinct, sound in sync, what more could you ask for. Later comparison of such conv. in Vegas 4 only confirmed my my suspicion. I would rate it as follows (quality of DV file): Vegas-8, Adobe-9, TRex 1.7-10!.
Weird, cause 2 other are using same Mainconcept encoders (but probably only for MPEG2). AVI's seem to be Microsoft DV standard. I tested AVI output quality from all 3 and once again in terms of detail Pinnacle had the edge. Considering ease of use I chose it to be my tool for basic edit (too bad you cannot crop in Studio 8). the rest of postprod. will be done unfortunately in Vegas (I love the logic and simplicity of this product, up to this moment it was my favourite). As to Studio 8: editing 50 min. avi from 2.5 hr footage took me 1 day (5 hrs). Pretty amazing. Can't say I wasted a minute trying to learn the program because there is nothing to learn. Hardest part was outputting the whole AVI. No matter what I did it rendered only parts with transitions leaving the reat untouched. My goal was to save it all to 1 AVI and reencode it with Pinnacle Edition 5.1 which I consider No.1 in MPEG2 encoding quality (tried TMPEG, Procoder 1.5, CCE and MC 1.4).
Again, love MC1.4 for speed and quality (10), TMPEG (9) for weird handling of static backgrounds (it "refreshes" background every sec. or so giving the impression of slight stutter, not so with all others), Procoder (9) for softening backgrounds and
CCE... well never got the output that would match all others.
Found the way to render the whole AVI to 1 file as the default DV Encoder would not do that. Just use any other DV codec like Mainconcept and voila. One remark, it seems that audio has a tendency to jump ahead of video, pain in the... but that can be quickly fixed in Vegas. Overall great product this Studio 8, except for its software coding quality (fussy and prone to crashes). Never lost anything though due to autosave feature which I have set to 1 min. Last thing, MPEG 2 encoding part should preferably be done in other app. like TMPEG. You will get less noise due to better quality encoding.

Review by proxyx99 on Nov 3, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

Studio 8 is widely known to be among the most problem plagued multimedia authoring software ever released. It simply does not perform anywhere near to the level of comparable authoring programs.

The interface is attractive to neophytes, and that is exactly the type of user drawn to Pinnacle Sudio 8. Sadly, the program almost without fail produces unusable end results.

The constant stream of "bug fixes" which are really beta testing of software indicates that the company has created a product that keeps failing. If one checkl Pinnacle's site users are now being urged to go back several bug fix versions because the latest cause more trouble than previous bug fixes.

The main problem is this program will continuously produce videos with the audio and video out of synchronization, even though your original source files are in perfect synch.

Ratings on, google "groups" indicate that the purchasers of this product feel "ripped-off" by these problems and the abject failure of Pinnacle to provide support for this product. It is clear they have abandoned it and its purchasers.

There are many products out there in the same range without Pinnacle studio's fatal flaws.

Review by mkk1975 on Nov 1, 2003 Version: 8.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Pinnacle Studio 8 is an outstanding video authoring and editing program for the money. It is an extremely powerful tool, much more powerful than other "bundled" video software that comes with DVD/CD burners. A constant stream of bug fixes indicates the company's commitment to making this software work reliably on as many hardware setups as possible. The only problems I have had with it are when I have loaded multiple video authoring and editing software programs on the same hard drive. It does not seem to play well with others. If any of you are having problems with this software, I recommend that you remove other video editing and authoring software and reload Studio 8. Your problems with this program should be history. After searching high and low for an all around performer, this program is heads and tails above anything else.

Review by Ed561 on Oct 30, 2003 Version: 8.10 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

"I have had absolutely no problems with this system and don't understand all the negative feedback. I can only speculate that some here may be refering to Studio 8 SE which comes bundled with a lot of new PC's ... this is NOT the full version. Some may also be lacking the CPU power to run this software."

What a condescending and innacurate review. Just google. Here, at other media authoring help sites and studio 8's own site you will find literally thousands of posts by experienced users of the full version (and what are they up too, studio 8 beta#54,877,999.99 now?) using top-of-the-line machines show that this program fails to produce very very often.

Play your studio 8 movies sometime before writing your review. that 1970's kung fu dubbing feel, with the lips moving and the sound follwoing 30 seconds later is studio 8's most famous and consistant feature.

Newbies love the promised features. Too bad they don't work.

Do us a favor and post a reply for a specific question from Studio 8's support. You can't because they answer NO questions on their product.

Review by fdaily on Oct 28, 2003 Version: 8.5 beta gazillion OS: WinXP Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

As a new user of a video camcorder I wanted to make them into a easy to view and compact medium so I wanted to put them onto DVD's
Having been told that my card is the one to have I got Studio 8 along with the card and breakout box. My first effort a holiday approx 1hr long was a delight ( I know you allways think your work is great ) I had added music from CDs and made various cuts to scenes and changed the order of some shorts added titles, transitisions etc. it took a fair time to render and I then burnt it all on to a DVD and all worked fine.
I did have a little trouble with my machine crashing and was advised by a local expert to put the program on one HD and the files on the other since doing this all has been ok.
Will be changing to a Raid setup of my two HD in the not to distant future and am going to add a third drive for storage, watch this space.
So for me this program and its card has been a simple delight to use and so far it has done all I wanted, will be adding a menu on my next production so after that my opinion might chsnge. Mike

Review by mike one on Oct 26, 2003 Version: ver OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 9/10

I have Pinnacle Studio 8 Deluxe AV/DV which includes the software, capture card, and AV break out box (Blue Box).

I use this Pinnacle system to do it all, capture analog video, edit, and burn to vcd or dvd. I have had absolutely no problems with this system and don't understand all the negative feedback. I can only speculate that some here may be refering to Studio 8 SE which comes bundled with a lot of new PC's ... this is NOT the full version. Some may also be lacking the CPU power to run this software. I have an intel 2.6 GHZ P4 with an 800 MHZ FSB and HT technology ... I have _never_ encountered any problems with my Pinnacle Systems Studio 8, and I would recommend the Studio 8 Deluxe AV/DV system. It's an all in one package that does it all from capturing to finished product ... vcd, dvd, or even back to vhs tape.

Review by Big_Steve on Oct 25, 2003 Version: 8.4 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 8/10

With so many bad postings about Studio 8 its a wonder that so many people still/try to use it. The facts are that its one of the easiest all in one entry level video editing packages going and in the UK more and more PC manufacturers are bundling it with new PC's resulting in a high % of users.
Myself like so many have a love/hate relationship with Studio8 and why do we keep giving it another go..... because its pleasing and easy to use.
My main problems were hangups during editing and producing DVD coasters when burning. With a upgrade to 1 gig of RAM and a update of the latest S8 software things have dramatically improved IE editing is faster and smother, no hang ups or frozen screens and no DVD +R coasters now that I burn all projects to +RW and then copy this using Nero 5.5 to +R. (Studio8 will not burn +R DVD's on my and so many other peoples systems).

Just maybe Pinnacle will sort it out one day!

Review by richardt on Oct 24, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 8/10

I've been using Pinnacle since the Pinnacle 400.

Up to now I was a Pinnacle Fan.

Studio 8 was and is a dissappontment. Really liked the idea that I could do menus etc., for DVD's.

Problems right from the start.

I even bought the full version rather than an upgrade version.

I keep checking their help forum and it is a busy place with people still having problems.

I'm waiting for Studio 9, with the thought that maybe they have Studio 8 fixed before they come out with a new version.

My solution is to keep using Studio 7 which is stable but doesn't do DVD's.

The only thing that I can figure is that the software is trying to do too many things.

For DVD's I use Ulead Video Factory, and it does what I want it to do. Simple and straight forward. Although it doesn't like to burn the DVD's. For that I use Gear Software.

I've come the conclusion that it is better to have one piece of software do one aspect, such as editing, another to do the DVD menus and another to burn the blanks.

Getting the right color and contrast in my videos, good sound and paying attention to composition is enough of a challenge for me. I don't need endless software headaches.


Review by studio33 on Oct 22, 2003 Version: 8.17 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 5/10

Get this ONLY if you´re a newbie, or over 70 years old and want to edit a grandson´s birthday.
Pinnacle Studio is just that...a newbie capturing/editing software. You can´t go too far. Try Adobe Premiere for that.
If you still have a MJPG capture card, maybe you can use this just for capturing, but please edit the captured video somewhere else!.
If you´re crazy about Pinnacle software, you might want to try Pinnacle Edition. A mix of Adobe Premiere and Avid Xpress.

By the way...i work at Pinnacle...but shhh!!! :P

Review by haznut on Oct 9, 2003 Version: 8.10.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

version 8.10.3

I wish this rating had a section for bugs because I would give this software a 10 for ease of use, a 6 for functionality and a -10 for bugs.

Background: I got studio 8 with that came bundled with an ati aiw radion 9000, along with guide plus and catalyst for $150. I figure ati paid pinnacle about $20 for my copy (which is a full version.)

Learning curve: this is a wicked easy program to use. my nine-year-old can take three 30 minute episodes of jimmy neutron he captures off cable, make chapters and a menu with screen shots and have a dvd that plays perfectly in a stand alone player with ten minutes of labor (rendering, compiling and burning may take up to two hours, but that is unattended).

Overall the interface is quite intuitive and you get a very accurate "wsiwyg" before burning.

Bugs: One day after installing a new version of nero the "burn from previous project button permentantly shaded. What the heck? OK so one can burn from nero after figuring out two files to leave out, and nero burning verifies os not to bad. But, red flag, I wrote tech support and got the most idiotic form letter reply that had nothing to do with my issue but did communicate the message: forget support on this product.

Next I noticed that longer mpegs over 70 minutes or so always lost audio sync. I knew the capture wasn't a problem as the mpegs played perfectly from every player i had. but studio eight consistantly lost audio synch on long (say movie length mpegs) before and after rendering/compiling. So now i capture in avi and studio 8 doesnt have a problem.

[note: the latest beta, 8.10.3, seems to have mostly fixed this issue]

Support: Forget IT! I guess I don't blame them they bundle this product with boards costing less then $100 so they must be giving it away. Your only hope is the forums:

this software does a lot and very easy to use. It is also cheap. Thre are many projects it handles without a hitch. But if you run into a bug with a functionality that studio 8 should have, be ready to bang your head on a wall.

Review by aero on Oct 7, 2003 Version: 8.10.3 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 7/10

Pinnacle Studio Deluxe (Windows XP) capturing software is garbage. To capture correctly analog sound using Pinnacle hardware you have to use third party software (e.g. Scenalyzer, which does a good job). I am in process of thinking to return their whole package ($300 Studio Deluxe) and to sue them, or just to pay for non trial version of Scenalyzer Live. How come a small guy can write correct capturing software and big company is not able to find resources to fix its? They have ton of money to buy competition (Dazle and others), but are unable to provide correct capturing software for Windows XP. It took them more than year to release patch 8.8.17 which at least enabled users to see analog capture source on Windows XP. But the box has been saying "XP compatible" since XP was released. I have not found a single person that can capture correctly sound from analog source using their Studio Deluxe hardware and latest patches (as of Oct 05 2003). And if you ask for help not only you do not get any of it, but they confuse you and you spend weeks or months trying to fix your computer and problem is in their product.

Review by bohush on Oct 6, 2003 Version: 8.8.17 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I had a real problem coming up sith scores for this. The biggest issue that I have with S8 is performance as advertized, in which case I would give it a minus 10. That's why my overall score is low and the other 3 categories are high. I'm a heavy user of S8 -- probably have put in over 1000 hours of use. Unfortunately, about 300 of those hours have been spent troubleshooting the software. This was done mostly via the excellent webboard community. The bottom line is (w/o geting into all the gory details) the software is easy to learn and works well when it works. However, it is NOT for the easily frustrated and those who really expect to get it to work without a lot of work on the part of the user. For me personally, I have become aware of the major pitfalls and avoid them. I have found that there are certain things that it does very poorly but there is no way of knowing what they are without testing it on your own system and spending a lot of time reading the webboard. There is no clue from Pinnacle from their corporate hype on their www pages or what is on the box and documentation. HOwever, those of us who continue to use it anc frequent the webboards have become almost a cult in the way we dog the problems and help each other out. Also, you have to become familiar with the various personalities of the webboard contributors and know who to avoid and who to trust. Pinnacle engineers contribute to the webboard occasionally, but here again, they're apparently spread too thin and you can't count on any response from them. Also, I've found their help to be lame and/or actually counterproductive in a lot of the cases. Many times recommending really drastic measures like upgrading hardware (OS, HDD, CPU) or reinstalling Windows. Early in my experience I actually did some of the things recommended thinking that at least it will get S8 running and my problems would be fixed. No such luck.

I would strongly recommend against buying this software unless you are willing to join the cult and put in lots of hours of dialog and trial/error. However, if you're willing to put in the time/effort, you will ultimately learn how to use it with much trepidation and will be able to produce some really good work.

Review by lbeck on Oct 6, 2003 Version: 8.8.17 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 3/10

Pinnacle has dropped a bomb with Studio 8. Unfortunately, it's a dud. Believe me, ANY version of this software will give you nothing but headaches. I've tried all the updates and betas out there, reformatted, reinstalled, etc. It's a damn shame too because Studio is wonderful software for easy video editing when/if it works. I've gone back to the older Studio 7 software for stability reasons. I'm so used to the Studio interface that I really don't want to sit down and learn something new for the simple projects I'm working on.

My advice: Stay as far away from Studio 8 as you can.

Review by xiaNaix on Oct 5, 2003 Version: 8.0 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 4/10

I went with Studio 8 because it says it can import/edit mpeg2 files. Avi files take up too much room on my hard drive and you are restricted to 4 GB (Win98?) which is only about 3-4mins of video.
Here's my experience with Stuio 8 -
Running Win98SE, DX9.0a, 1.3Ghz, 80Gb hd, 512 MB ram, ATI AIW 8500.
Out of the box it didn't see my ATI video card as a capture driver. Only choice was DVcamcorder (which I don't have). The AMCapture program that tech support told me to try (on the cd) works and see's my ATI card as well as other capture drivers and captures video.
Also couldn't open any mpg, avi or jpg files in the edit screen.

Downloaded and installed the 8.5.21 update.
Capture still didn't work.
Can read files in Edit now but mpeg2 playback is so choppy that it's useless to try to edit.

Downloaded and installed 8.8Beta patch.
Still can't capture but mpeg2's play smoothly now.
Email tech support and after about a month I get a reply saying it should work with my video card as it works with the 9700. Back and forth with tech support with a 2 week or more lag between replies. Try different video drvers etc.

Eventually, the latest 8.8.17 was out. D/l and install.
Capture still doesn't work. Tech support eventually decide that my video card is not compatible!
Can import mpeg2's captured by my ATI and editing is a breeze. Everything works great. In the "DVD mode" all the buttons jump to the correct chapters. Looks great.
After burning to DVD or to the hd (playback thru' PowerDVD) nothing works. Buttons don't take you to the start of chapters. They always take you to the start of the video and when the video plays it seems to skip frames so that a 40min video is over in 30 sec. Tried everthing and get the same results everytime.
The only way Studio seems to work is if the files are in avi format. Then everything works.

So, at least for me, it doesn't work as advertised.
Capture doesn't work and it doesn't work with mpeg2's.
Was a waste of $100.
Be wary of this software.

Review by jpwilk on Oct 1, 2003 Version: 8.17 OS: Win98 Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 4/10

The following is based on my experiences with the earlier Studio 7.x, but I suspect that Pinnacle has changes neither the program nor its attitude towards its customer base, so I believe that the following applies to this version as well.

I originally bought S7 because of its function to actually display waveforms and to shift the video and/or audio tracks independently of each other. I wanted to get into creating music videos out of found footage and music, but I soon found out that that would be impossible because after I installed S7 on my Win98 machine, the Studio DC10plus card I was using started dropping frames left and right--something it only rarely did with the supplied capture program.

In addition, whenever I rendered a project, it seemed as if it was adding frames to it in order to keep the audio in sync, which produced a stuttering effect in the audio.

The problems only worsened once I switched to XP, only now there was the added problem of drifting audio sync. By the end of a 60-minute program, it began to look like a dubbed Hong Kong movie (with better picture quality, natch :)). That's when I discovered the other problem with Pinnacle Studio 7--Pinnacle itself. Their entire attitude towards users who are all having the same problem seems to be "I'm okay, you're the one that's screwy, pal," and they swear up and down that they have not encountered the problems that over half the board are complaining about and that they have no intention of fixing them.

That's why I ended up yanking the DC10plus out of my computer and replacing it with the AIW Radeon 8500DV, which came with Ulead VS6 (which I also loathe for its poor MPEG-2 quality).

I will never buy another Pinnacle product (and that includes Cubase, too!) until they change their attitude towards their user base and actually start listening to their complaints and doing something about them. Hint to Pinnacle: Hundreds of users complaining about the exact same problem is not a shared delusion--it's a software bug! Fix it!

Review by cubdukat on Oct 1, 2003 Version: n/a OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 4/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 4/10

I got PS8 about a year ago, about $20 after rebate. I tried like crazy to build VCD and SVCD or even a decent Make movie mpeg on a Windows 98SE system. It was fraught with system hangs and glitchy movies. It was pretty much junk.

A year later, I bought a DVD burner and a friend told me to try the latest update. I now have 8.8.x on a Windows XP system. THIS TIME, I was able to put together a DVD compilation in under an hour and create a DVD (using Nero to burn) in about two hours.... I worked GREAT!

If you can get it for cheap and are producing DVDs on a Windows XP system with a decent processor, then I recommend it. If you are doing "Make movie" on a Windows 98 system.... skip it.

Review by obeck on Sep 30, 2003 Version: 8.8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

One of the buggest software I've ever seen in my life. Great functionality if it ever worked. Studio 8 crashes in editing and specially when trying to render the video. Output to tape missing the audio etc.

Review by hkaukovu on Sep 27, 2003 Version: 8.8.17 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 2/10

I have been using studio7 for sometime now to make svcd's of my home movies from my panasonic dv camcorder.As a novice i find this software simple and easy to use. I recently bought a plextor 708 dvd re-writer (It's the best) studio 8se was included in the package. I captured 64minutes of dv, did a little bit of editing added transitions and chapter points.In studio 8 there is a function to make the disc after rendering instead of using nero. the end result was a very good quality home movie with dvd quality.
i did try to use nero to burn my movie but it could not handle the the fact it was bigger than 2gigs.
although pinnacle took over five hors to render and another 45 minutes to make the disc it makes the movie for me.

i think you need a decent spec computer for this software, but as i said i am only a novice in the movie world and it does fo me

Review by supertrooper105 on Sep 19, 2003 Version: SE OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 7/10

I capture at highest quality and never have any hangups, dropped frames, and have never made a coaster. I've used version 7 for over a year and recently updated to version 8.8.17. When I decide to make a video I know it's going to take some time, so there's no problem there. I'm prepared to wait. When I am making my video, I don't do anything else on the computer. No email, no chats, no surfing. I just let it do it's thing. I'd buy this product again.

Review by mcleod55 on Sep 13, 2003 Version: 8.8.17 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 9/10 Overall: 8/10

For anyone researchign this product, SKIP IT! There are too many bugs to get consistent successful results. It's a great program IF it worked right, but Pinnacle made a poor choice to release this product without working the bugs out first. They are not minor bugs. Problems include rendering hangups, jerky transitions, poor quality video, chapter hangups, menu hangs, etc. The biggest problem I hear is rendering. Not only is it slow, but rendering errors happen all the time! So, unless you get this product for free, don't waste your money on it. You won't get any help from their tech support either. I've had it for a year. I've been lucky and have been succesful in geting movies captured/edited/rendered/burned. But I went thru so many trial and error procedures. Had to figure out what caused what error and how to get around it. Sometimes there are no ways around "it". It's basically a crap shoot. But I'm lucky, I only spent $15 on it (with rebate)! I can live with it. If I spent over $20, I'd be really angry! Don't waste your hard earned money!

Review by JILYJO on Sep 11, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Well, the thing is that it came with my capture device (Pinnacle Moviebox USB), so one could say Pinnacle ripped me off by forcing me to buy the software as well cause one cant buy the moviebox without that blasted program, but its really total crap i.m.h.o. !

85 EURO for such a crappy program that comes with so many pesky bugs....just totally unbelievable.

The Pinnacle Moviebox USB performs very good by the way, no complaints about that Pinnacle product at all.

Review by Saber on Sep 11, 2003 Version: 8.8 OS: WinME Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 4/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 4/10

Very simple to use and GUI, but until now I still can't output my movie without problem. I spent few days to edit a home video and now I am stuck there, can't "Make Movie", everytime after long rendering, the result movie will miss some frames with absolutely no reason at all.

Review by hkmak on Sep 4, 2003 Version: 8 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

The program do its work,but with some big problems.
Furst of al I am using an Ahtlon 1800 Xp,and an hercules graphics board.
no frame drops wat so ever on my pc.
and no freesing stuff.
but.the program is way to slow.
For dv to dvd best qualitie 1 hour tape run almost forefer.
to make one DVD movie from tape.about 4 hour of work.
compiling to dvd format.
Importing a movie is way to long.

Review by demarren on Aug 30, 2003 Version: pinnacle OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 4/10

I have used Studio 8 for the last time, after so many low's and not many high's. This software suffers from so many hangups I have thrown the towel in and am currently using Ulead VideoStudio 6 without any problem and will upgrade to version 7 shortly.
Studio 8 is a great piece of software if you can get it to work!. Its screen interface is easy to use and understand and as Pinnacle say "Capture, Edit, Make Movie" its that simple but they don't tell you about the hours of frustration it takes you to get there.
Pinnacles support, I have to say were very supportive trying to get things sorted out. Things did improve when XP SP1,DirectX9 was installed, A separate hard drive for capture was added and numerous other things, which looking back were "a shot in the dark" but still with so many DVD +R coasters and hang ups I will not be using it until Pinnacle get it right and judging by their website forum they have many issues to fix.

Review by richardt on Aug 30, 2003 Version: 8.8.17 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 4/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 4/10

I guess I can consider myself very lucky when it comes to this Application. I installed version 8.1 and after two updates I believe it is up to 8.9. These uppdates were prompted by the program upon starting up. From what I have read in various groups, the bulk of the problems seems to be with the app bundled with certain video capture cards. I do not do analog capture as I simply firewire capture from my digital video cam. I've done many, many hours of captures without a single frame drop, at least as indicated by the indicator. Editing seems to go without a hitch and I finally render out to MPG2 which I author using another software app. So for at least that aspect of Studio 8, it seems to have performed perfectly well on my machine. I have not yet attempted to directly capture to MPG nor have I tried thir built in authoring utility. I think it is somwhat limited. I love to create my own music to a specific length using Smart Sound. I don't like the fact that you can not use an MP3 file. It must be a wave and must be in CD for. Long rendering times are also annoying but once it is done it seems to be exactly what I espected.

Review by jtoolman2000 on Aug 29, 2003 Version: 8.9 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

Studio 8.8.17 works well.
I've never seen any Pinnacle Tech recommend reloading Windows...period.

Review by redd on Aug 28, 2003 Version: 8.8.17 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 9/10

If this application were reliable, it would be the top entry-level video editing package, hands down. Very intuitive and easy to use when it works. Unfortunately, it is one of the most bug-riddled programs I have ever used. More than once I have seen a Pinnacle support technician on their webboard suggest to a poor soul reinstalling Windows in hopes a problem will go away! I shudder when I see a suggestion like this and it makes me wonder how fundamentally flawed the software really is.

Review by tdm on Aug 27, 2003 Version: 8.8.17 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 3/10

really buggy software, hangs. Stops capturing for no reason. Like a house of cards. Just when you think you have something working it falls apart.

Review by justjoe on Aug 27, 2003 Version: 8.8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 2/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

First of all I must note that my product version seems to be a bit different than any other that I have seen ( This came with Studio 8 AV/DV that includes a analog and DV combined capture card. I think it is a new product from Pinnacle and I only found it at CompUSA for $130.

This is my first extensive experience with capture/editing/authoring software. I have been using it for about a week and have had very good results. Surprisingly I have NOT had the audio OOS problems that seem to be everywhere on the Pinacle forum. I captured a 1 1/2 hour VHS, edited it and burned to DVD without a hitch. I have also done some smaller projects including VCD and SVCD (10 for 10 and no coasters yet). The other common problem I have NOT experienced is lock ups.

My biggest complaint is the amount of time required to render. I don't have a speed deamon (Athlon XP 2000, 512 Meg and 4 HDs striped into 2 with read and write speeds in the 60's) but I expected better than a 8 to 1 ratio. It also states that my system is not fast enough to capture directly into MPEG2. I tried but it was dropping 200 frames per minute. I have been capturing in AVI with 0 dropped frames in 90 minutes. I am going to tweak the system and remove all non-essentials to try to improve performance.

This software does not seem to be as buggy as some have stated here but once again my version is a bit higher that the others (

I will try some DV capture with my new MiniDV camera that just arrived and post back with results in a few weeks.

Review by pfloor on Aug 1, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

Studio 8 is software with great features BUT it has so many stability bugs that your initial out of box experience will be very frustrating. You have to work around many of these bugs and eventually it will work. I have a high end Pentium 4 2.66Ghz, 1 GIG RAM, two 100GIG hard drive system and high end ATI Radeon AGP card.

On one end, software features are good and very nice integration of video capture/DVD authoring/editing disk creation and very nice inclusion of transions. It can be had at a good deal... mine $70 including fireware PCI card and firewire cable.

On the other end, it has so much bugs that it can be very frustrating to use it. Initial end user experience will be frustrating even on a high end system. What it requires from you is ... lots of patience.

In my opinion, after going thru the initial pain of creating your 1st DVD and learning the tool and it's bugs, your 2nd DVD wont be as painful as you work around the bugs. As far as rating, initially it's 3/3/3 and 3 as overall score. Once you figure out the bugs and work around it, then 7/7/7/7

I'm a Windows developer and I believe the quality of this software is BETA quality and it is APPALING that Pinnacle would release this as a final product. PINNALCE must FIX these bugs!!!

Review by dvd_fan on Jul 31, 2003 Version: 8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 7/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 7/10

I tried the retail version of this sick program on both my WinXP and Win200 pro systems. All I can say is good luck doing anything with this sorry excuse for software. The only function I could get to work without it locking my computers solid is capturing from a VHS tape as a huge AVI file.

Review by Bob W on Jul 30, 2003 Version: 8.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 2/10

If a software program came with the capture card (in my case it's ATI AIW 9700 Pro), one would hope that it's been optimized to function seamlessly with the hardware. It didn't take long for that hope to be trampled, however.

First there was this annoying delay whenever a clip got imported into a project. I discovered that I had to do a coarse scroll across the entire hourlong MPEG2 clip (and endure about a half-dozen delays lasting a total of five to ten minutes) before the clip was ready for editing. This immediately put doubts into my mind as to whether the folks at Pinnacle even tested its "Special ATI Version" of Studio 8 with the hardware it came with.

Then came my biggest gripe with the software. Every now and then sharp audio spikes could be heard on the finished DVDs. (I will share another horror story with this part a little bit later). So I went back and replayed the original MPEG2 clips on Studio, and sure enough, spikes were heard on the same frames as the DVDs. The ironic thing is that I played the same clips on other multimedia players (WMP, WinDVD, PowerDVD, and other DVD authoring software) without hearing those spikes on any of them. So what I ended up having to do was re-capture a small MPEG2 clip around the audio blip, then "patch" it on to the larger clip, then re-produce the project. Again, why was I having this problem with ONLY the software that the friggin hardware came with?

And then we come to the actual DVD burning. First of all, it takes about eight hours to render a two-hour project onto the hard disk, EVEN IF the original clips are already DVD-compliant. And after burning a disc and playing it on several standalone DVD players, I found that the rewind and fast-forward buttons cause the disk to freeze. The disc is still playable, if you plan on watching the whole movie without using the REW/FF buttons. (I should also mention, however, that the REW/FF functions worked properly for WinDVD and PowerDVD.)

The bottom line: it gets the lowest overall score, taking into account that this piece-of-junk software came with the hardware, and Pinnacle had the audacity to embed the "ATI" brand onto its intro flash.

Review by desertnocal on Jul 30, 2003 Version: 8.5 OS: Win2K Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 3/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I really like this product. It has to be the easiest editing program out there, and I have tried most of them. The only drawback is as other people have stated...It's unstable.

I have had no problems editing. Where the major problem lies is doing conversions to MPEG2. However, if you capture and edit as an AVI, then save a finished project again as an AVI, before converting to MPEG2, there is usually no problem. Yes, that takes a bit longer, but the stability is worth it.

This program can be found for $20. or less when on special and with rebates. At that price, it is probably the best editing value out there.

Review by popee on Jul 9, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

Most people have a love hate relationship with this product. For me, it works...what can I say. I've experienced a few minor bugs, nothing that has impaired me from using this product. I did have one problem Re: rendering to mpeg2, but was able to resolve that problem and have had 100% success with everyone of my projects which totals two dozen edits, renders, authors and burns to DVD with no coasters. I do use scLive for capture because Studio 8 does have OOS (audio out of sync) where scLive does not. Having a second HD for video only, keeping your system free of parasites (sypware) and turning off all programs running in the background are keys to having this program function well. The rest seems that maybe I'm just lucky. At any rate, Studio 8 works for me and works well. I've had nothing but fun with it and made some nice movies.

Review by redd on Jul 8, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 9/10

I bought my Miro DC10 video capture card about 10 years ago. It came with crappy software so I tossed it in a corner for a long time. Then, much later, Pinnacle bought Miro and created the Studio program. They also updated the driver so now the board was recognized as a DC10Plus and supported full interlaced PAL (and NTSC but I was living in PAL land at the time). I liked the Studio software a lot and after a few updates to version 1.10 it was extremely stable and did pretty much everything I wanted to do with it: it even captured to multiple AVI's without dropping frames. There were a couple of minor flaws, e.g. when editing you still had to work with the separate AVI's, and there was no way to split audio and video, to do "insert" shots, but I didn't really mind too much.

I also purchased the Studio DV version which didn't capture to multiple AVI's but because it's a digital capture and the source material on my DV camcorder is rarely over 21 uninterrupted minutes, this was no big deal either. I hacked my PAL camcorder so I could write the video back (European camcorders are crippled so they can't record from DV because of import restrictions), and then used the program not only as editing tool but also as a way to make digital backups of my camcorder tapes. Cool!

But when I wanted to upgrade from Windows 98 to Windows XP, I had a problem: the old VFW drivers are no longer supported by Windows, and so Studio 1.10 didn't work anymore. I took the step of getting the demo version of Studio 7 which you can't download - it gets sent to you on CD (stupid marketing if you ask me). The program crashed a couple of times so I decided not to purchase the $59 update (normal price is $99 for the software alone).

When I got my DVD recorder, it included the SE (Special Edition) version (a whole mouthful), and I was hoping that this version would be more stable but alas. Various times the program crashed during capture, or - even worse - during editing, so I had to start all over again. Maybe my hardware is to blame (800MHz Athlon, 256MB RAM, 60GB Western Digital ATA100 drive, Radeon 64MB DDR VIVO video card) but I never have any other problems with it.

All in all the program is nice for simple projects like capturing a TV show and putting it on (S)VCD or DVD (by the way the built-in encoder has always been reeeeeeealllly slow so usually I use VirtualDub and other tools for that), but if you're doing anything complicated, it's not worth the money because having the program crash at random intervals is no fun, even though it DOES save your project automatically at regular intervals. Pinnacle has been adding lots of cool features and effects that I never use, but they should concentrate more on getting some bugs out.

Review by jacg on Jul 5, 2003 Version: OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 9/10 Value for money: 5/10 Overall: 6/10

I don't know how much easier a Windows video editing app can get than Studio 7 or 8! If you build a house on a sand dune, thanks to the unstable foundation, it will eventually collapse on you. Flawless functionality of an app running on Windows is absolutely unreasonable. S8 is as good as it gets for the price...even 5 times the price. If Pinnacle would care more about quality and less about releasing something, ANYTHING, then the product versions wouldn't look like DNS addresses and would likely work more reliably. If you want Flawless, out-of-the-box functionality, get a MAC ! I am tossing my PC's for good and getting a new G5. 64bit,1Ghz bus and OS X running W2k on virtual PC6 has made my wintel 1.6Ghz completely obsolete. (all you gamers who beg to differ can...copy c:\\opinions a:\\sundon'tshine [enter]

Review by stinkfist on Jul 4, 2003 Version: OS: Win2K Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 7/10

I've used Studio video editing Products for a couple of years now (Studio DV, Studio 7, and now S8). In my opinion, they cannot be matched for utility versus cost. However, my major complaint is that the ability for the casual user to have success with the software directly out of the box is almost nil. Or, if they have initial success, they will eventually have problems. This is not at all apparent from the Hype on the box or at Pinnacle's web presentation.

Then why am I somewhat of a fan? I have found that the peer-to-peer support is excellent. There is almost a cult-like following of us who enjoy using the software, going to the webboard (forum) if difficulties are encountered, and getting/providing help.

HOwever, as I said, this product is not for the casual PC user who expects faultless performance out of the box.

The major problems seem to occur with users with minimal system performance (P2 or lower, low RAM, small fragmented drives, etc.) However, even mega-systems will sometimes need tweaking to get the software to operate flawlessly.

Anyway, there's my advice. Excellent software if you have low expectations of first-try operability and plan to work with the thousands of other successful users on the webboard.

Review by lbeck on Jul 3, 2003 Version: 8.7.7c (beta) OS: Win2K Ease of use: 2/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 8/10

I like the ease of use of this product but also have had more than my share of frustration too. The farther along I get into my project (and the more transitions I add) the greater the chance of the program crashing. I wish I could find a more stable product with the same features and the same ease of use.

One suggestion I might make is to change the "autosave" feature to every 30 seconds or 1 minute. (I think the default is every 5 minutes). If the system crashes, which it will inevitably do, you can lose a lot of work in 5 minutes.

Review by Vanster on Jul 3, 2003 Version: 8.5 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 5/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 7/10

These guys ought to be shot for putting this out on the street. The screen shots look great but good luck getting this to work for you.

It seems a few people here & there can get it to work for basic functions, but to me, if you can't use it then what's the point of having it for only a small % of it's functions. I had much fewer issues than many and I had to abandon it b/c I couldn't complete a project.

If you get it for free or less than $10 then it's a good entry level tool to do some basic learning on, but for more than that it doesn't seem to work.

It's too bad b/c it was a great concept but they failed in execution - maybe trying to do too much for too little.

If I put out software to my clients that was as poor quality as this seems to be, I would be out on the street. My feeling is that the marketers probably rushed this to market and steamrollered the s/w guys but they should have said it couldn't be done.

Anyway, as for my review, I would avoid this - again, the screen shots and box are great but good luck if you try to use it - check the forums on & you'll stay away too.

Review by daves on Jul 2, 2003 Version: 8.5.21 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 7/10 Overall: 3/10

Would be great if it worked. Go lurk around the Pinnacle Studio User forum and see the issues there (at least 50-100 posts a day).

The "intelligent rendering" noted above was only introduced in the latest beta (read the outstanding issues of that too) and the jury is still out on if it works. We do know so far that it requires about 2-3x more HDD space to implement. Re-rendering is a very common problem with S8 (known bug: if the sum of your video is >2.8G it will re-render regardless).

S8 is approaching it's 1st birthday and many people are upset at the number of issues / problems that are still outstanding, particularily with audio sync.

Currently the users in the beta section of the online forum are recommending studio 7 as being the most stable at this point.

The editing is real easy, and the interface is great, but I cannot count the number of frustrated hours that I have wasted trying to get working output.

Review by andymo on Jun 17, 2003 Version: 8.5.23 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 2/10 Overall: 3/10

Despite much bashing over in the editing forum I love this program.
It's an absolute ease to use and the transitions and menu's are superb.
It produces stunning results and combined with it's simplistic interface is perfect for the new user/novice/people who don't want to take an age learning a new program just to a get a fraction better results.
One problem I had was using it to capture analogue footage. My source wasn't exactly reliable and as a result I suffered massive frame loss. I fixed this by using Virtualdub.
I haven't truly used the full capabilities of this program as I don't use it for encoding, I love TMPGEnc so encode with that.

Review by silky31 on Jun 17, 2003 Version: 8.50 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 9/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

I like Pinnacle Studio. It is true that the tool has many bugs. After a few
core dumps, you will know what you should not do and you will know how to
get your jobs done. I used it for about a year. I now hardly had any problem.
I think the tool has two major advantages. First, it is very easy to use.
Second, it is very affordable. I believe it costs me less than $30 (after
rebate) for Studio 7 DV (with a IEEE 1394 card). It costs me another $60
(after rebate) for Studio 8AV (with an analog to AVI capture card). (I have
received both rebates). I saw Studio 8 sold for under $20 several months ago
in Fry's. For me, it is easy to use, it does not cost me much, and it can get
my job done. What else should I expect? Well, I will rate the product as 9 out
of 10. It still has some bugs. Although the bugs do not bothers me a lot. But
10 means it is perfect.

Review by xxiangg on Jun 16, 2003 Version: Studio 8 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 8/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 9/10

It appears to have some pesky bugs when run under WinXP. It is an easy app to learn and do a quick edit. I would highly recommend it (9 out of 10) if Pinnacle can get the bugs worked out of it.... That's the only dissappointing thing about it... I guess I believe that when you spend over $100 for an app, you expect it to work with maybe a few tweaks needed, but not to the extreme that some XP systems need...

...on some XP systems, it runs flawlessly... I haven't been able to nail down the exact reason why....

Review by shoozleboy on Jun 16, 2003 Version: 8.5.21 OS: WinXP Ease of use: 8/10 Functionality: 6/10 Value for money: 8/10 Overall: 7/10

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