CyberLink Media Suite 8 Ultra review

£100
Price when reviewed

Windows is so stuffed with extra bits and bobs these days, that media software bundles have a tough time justifying themselves. Even advanced functions, such as video editing, are covered by Microsoft’s Live Essentials, while photo management and editing can be had for free via the excellent Google Picasa 3.5. So is there any reason to buy CyberLink’s Media Suite 8 bundle?

At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking not – after all, its main selling points are its media management, video and photo editing capabilities – but take a closer look, and you might start changing your mind. The main reason is that, instead of bit-part applications, which bundles such as this so often include, Media Suite 8 wraps up grown up versions of the company’s video and photo applications.

On the video side, you get a full version of PowerDirector 8, a video editing tool that not only supports a wide range of video codecs (including the all-important AVCHD), but is also absolutely packed with features. You get GPU acceleration support for both ATI Stream and Nvidia CUDA, plus advanced features such as particle effects, video noise reduction, and interpolated slow-motion.

CyberLink PowerDirector

There are plenty of video and audio tracks to play with, plus there’s a decent selection of output options, including the ability to write AVCHD footage to DVD media so you can watch Full HD on a standalone Blu-ray player. Other neat features include the ability to have the video editor transcode AVCHD clips in the background to a less demanding format, so they preview smoothly on less powerful PCs. It’s not as good as Adobe Premiere Elements 8, but it’s not far off.

Details

Software subcategory Media software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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