Corel Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus

Corel Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus
  • Corel Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus
  • Corel Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Edit footage captured in AVCHD and HDV, you can pause the intensive rendering operation

Cons

  • You may need to upgrade your PC, doesn't support Blu-ray drives

Bottom Line

Strong performer with high-def video; all video editors could use its "pause rendering" feature.

Would you buy this?

Video editing applications are starting to accept high-definition footage. But you may need to crank your PC up a notch: The shipping versions of Corel's Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus requires serious computing horsepower for editing in high def.

This app is one of the first to let you edit footage captured in AVCHD (Advanced Video Codec High Definition, the newer of the two high-def formats); it also lets you edit footage taken in HDV (High Definition Video). Both formats use very high compression, so they need a powerful processor to do the decoding.

Make that very powerful: for editing AVCHD footage, Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 11.0 demands at least a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, a 256MB graphics card, and 1.5GB of RAM -- 2GB of RAM if you run the software on a Windows Vista PC. The program's requirements for HDV editing are lower. Corel's Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus specifies at least a 3GHz Pentium 4 with hyperthreading technology and 1GB of RAM for AVCHD or HDV.

We tried the application on a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 system and a new Polywell 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo Extreme system. Our older PC comfortably met the application's minimum requirements for standard-definition video, and it had sufficient power to run the application. VideoStudio ran much more smoothly on the new system, of course, but VideoStudio outperformed its rival (Studio Ultimate 11.0) when working with high-definition video.

When outputting video in VideoStudio, you can pause the intensive rendering operation. This is a great feature if you need to use your computer for something else while you're exporting a movie.

You can burn HD movies to HD-DVD discs or standard DVD discs, and the burned discs will play in a PC's DVD drive with the aid of an application such as WinDVD 8 (which Corel includes with the Plus version of VideoStudio) or in an Xbox 360. At this point VideoStudio doesn't support Blu-ray drives, but Corel is planning to release free patches to offer such support.

If you own a camcorder that records in AVCHD format, we would recommend VideoStudio Plus on the strength of its stability and less onerous system requirements.

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