Pinnacle Studio 14 HD review

Price when reviewed

With its origins in the broadcast-oriented TitleDeko, this has long been a strong point for Studio, but its titles had previously remained resolutely static. In this version, Pinnacle allows you to add motion. The animations provided are non-editable, but they’ll add a spark to your productions.

Finally, export options haven’t changed much, but this isn’t surprising since they were comprehensive to begin with. There are settings for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox, and YouTube output now supports a widescreen aspect ratio. Annoyingly, there’s no YouTube HD.

As with numerous previous releases of Studio, version 14 is available at three different levels with slightly varying capabilities and add-in software. The names of these have changed, but the good news is that even the entry-level Studio HD version supports all the mainstream HD formats.

So you will be able to capture from HDV camcorders and import AVCHD plus Blu-ray. However, while you can output to AVCHD and HDV, you can’t burn directly to Blu-ray discs. For this you need either the Ultimate or Ultimate Collection versions.

Pinnacle Studio 14 HD Red Giant plug-ins

With Ultimate, you also get a couple of Red Giant plugins – ToonIt and Knoll Light Factory – both of which are new to version 14. Ultimate Collection, meanwhile, adds a chroma key green screen (although upgraders inexplicably miss out) and four extra plugins from Red Giant. These include Magic Bullet Looks, Trapcode Shine, 3D Stroke, and Particular, for which Pinnacle claims a rather ridiculous overall value of US$1,800. The bundle replaces the ProDAD Vitascene and Boris Graffiti provided with the previous version.

With all the new bundles, additions, and the interface overhaul, Pinnacle Studio 14 feels like a bigger upgrade than Adobe Premiere Elements 8 (web ID: 351892), particularly the Ultimate Collection with its host of new plugins. Once you get past the spruced-up look of the interface, though, the core feature set remains very similar, as does our conclusion. Studio is easier to use than Elements, but lags behind in raw power. For that reason, Adobe remains atop our A List.


Software subcategory Video editing software

Operating system support

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

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