Friday, October 2, 2009

Video to DVD Transfer - Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate Collection

Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate Collection

Pinnacle Studio 14 was just released, and we've been using it (we have the Ultimate Collection version). The install process is much easier than previous Pinnacle Studio editions--in fact, almost every plugin and add-on that we had purchased and installed in Studio 12 was automatically unlocked in Studio 14 after the update. We're still having trouble with the Adorage video plugin and the Adorage transitions (Studio 14 accepts the keys and installs them, yet there is still a watermark on both of them). We're working with customer service to get it worked out.

For video to dvd transfer, there are a multitude of options for importing and working with video. You can import from DV, HDV, Digital8, and VCR using a firewire cable. You can also import from 8mm, Hi8, VHS, SVHS, VHS-C, or VCR using analog capture hardware. This analog footage will be converted to a digital file. You can also import from AVCHD, camcorders, digital cameras, mobile devices and webcams using the USB cable.

Also for video to dvd transfer, you can output your files into the following before burning to DVD: DV, HDV, Digital8 tape, analog videotape and you can also choose from the following export formats: AVCHD, BD, Blu-ray. HD-DVD, DVD (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD dual layer), S-VCD, VCD, iPod, PSP, PS3, Wii, Xbox, DV, HDV, AVI, DivX, RealVideo, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Adobe Flash, 3GP, WAV, MP3, and Quicktime.

This new version allows adding motion to titles, new DVD templates (both static and motion menus), and 80 Montage theme templates. It allows for stop motion capture to make your video into an animation. Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is included. You can also share you video straight to Youtube from within the program.

One big disappointment is that there are no new transitions included. One would think after so many new versions that past few years that new transitions would be a priority.

In Studio 14 you can still work in both the timeline mode and storyboard mode. Working in storyboard mode makes it easy to add all of your transitions and video effects, and then you can switch to timeline mode to add your titles, music, voiceovers, etc.

Overall Studio 14 has been very stable in video to dvd projects we have completed. We recommend turning off the background rendering if you are going to be making many changes in your project--sometimes when background rendering is on, when making an output file not all changes carry over to the output file. We also recommend, after completing your project, to restart your computer before making your output file.

Studio 14 does allow the use of previously purchased plugins such as Adorage, Heroglyph, Vitascene, borisFX, magic bullet, etc. but it does not allow for the use of soundsoap or smartsound (disappointing).

Some Studio 14 users have reported that when running Studio 14 and checking the task manager, they find that their stays at 100%. We have not found this at all--in fact, we have found that with a dual core processor Studio 14 is much less of a memory hog.

The online manual for this version of Pinnacle Studio 14 is very well done. We suggest opening Studio 14 and following along in the manual by actually trying each thing listed while reading the manual. This will get you very familiar with the program quickly.

The appearance of the program is much more professional looking--nice grays and blacks. Makes it much easier on the eyes when doing lots of video editing.

Overall, we like the upgrade. If you're worried about taking the plunge it may be prudent to wait until the first service pack is added (this usually happens 2-3 months after a new version is released).

One last note: it always seems that people that have the most problems with Pinnacle Studio are the ones which barely meet the CPU/hardware requirements. Note that the minimum requirements Pinnacle suggests are not really the requirements that will help you work easily in Studio 14. If you do not have a dedicated video card (256) or higher, you will have problems. If you have an integrated video card, don't waste your time.