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Presentations Magazine May 2004
Pinnacle Systems Studio 9 Review
Pinnacle Systems
Studio 9

PROS: New video- and audio-correction tools, automated SmartMovie feature, 16:9 support. Interface consistent with past versions; easy to use.

CONS: Requires a lot of processing and graphics power as well as ample memory to perform its tasks.

RATED: 5 (out of 5).
Anyone familiar with Pinnacle Systems' Studio digital-editing software knows it's a boon for presenters. The program provides an easy-to-use interface and tools for drag-and-drop video-editing, as well as other powerful features that allow presenters to add that extra touch to a video file. With the introduction of Studio 9, I decided to test the program to see whether upgrading from version 8 is indeed worth it.

New features

When launched, Studio 9's support for wide-screen monitors was immediately apparent as it filled my 1,600 x 1,200-pixel monitor. Version 8's 1,024 x 768-pixel limitation is an annoying waste of screen real estate for those working on SXGA monitors (1,280 x 1,024 pixels) and above. There is little visible change to the interface layout in Studio 9, something longtime users will appreciate, yet the program is packed with exciting new features.

One of my favorites is the automatic color-correction filter. I was able to restore the white balance in a greenish-looking, badly lit video clip with relative ease. Other new tools include image stabilization to improve shaky handheld shots; analog cleaning to restore standard videotape files within a digital environment; and noise reduction to remove wind, hiss and camcorder sounds. These tools can be extremely helpful in eliminating common video and audio distractions.

For those new to digital video-editing, Studio 9's SmartMovie feature is sure to be appreciated. Using this automated editor, the user picks a video clip and a song clip, then selects an editing style. The software automatically creates a movie file, complete with audio, video and transitions.

The final word

Overall, Studio 9 is a worthy upgrade for anyone who edits video from time to time. I especially enjoyed the new video- and audio-correction tools. My only concern with the program is its system requirements. To ensure the program runs without too many hiccups, your machine needs an 800 MHz or faster processor; 256MB of RAM; Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP operating system; DirectX 9-compatible (or higher) graphics card; and DirectX 9-compatible (or higher) sound card.

Prices: Pinnacle Systems Studio 9, full version, software only, $99; upgrade from Studio 8, $69. Other versions available with or without PCI breakout box, USB capture or FireWire capture.
Contact: Pinnacle Systems Inc., 800.522.8783,

Harry Waldman

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