Pros / With more than 1,500 options out of the box, the transitions and effects libraries dwarf those of the competition.
Cons / You only get six tracks to edit with. That's enough to accomplish your goals, but not enough for the fine-tuning work that advanced users want.
Verdict / Once learned, this software is a powerful tool that offers a great deal of control over your video project and new DVDs.
Pinnacle Studio 19 made a strong showing in our review of the best DVD authoring software. The combination of a nearly exhaustive selection of video editing options and a versatile disc builder makes this a nearly perfect application for serious film and video makers. It earned the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for DVD maker software.
- Time to Create Test Disc
- Editing Tracks
- Effects and Transitions
- Usability Score
There are three modules in this DVD authoring software: Organize, Edit and Author. The Author tab is where you’ll find all the DVD maker tools in this program. The disc designer gives you a high degree of control over the look and feel of your new DVD. The menu builder allows you to pick a template in just seconds. You can also build a menu from the ground up. These are great options both for the novice who wants to pick something that works quickly and the seasoned user who wants more control over their new disc.
This DVD moviemaker also allows you to program the new disc’s navigation. Setting chapter markers allows you to not only add a “scene selection” screen to your video, but also to quickly skip between chapters of your video.
Some DVD authoring applications will only video projects that are built in the editing module. Pinnacle Studio allows you to add as many videos as your disc will hold. This is great if you want to include bonus features, just like the commercially produced DVDs you buy at the store.
One tool this DVD maker left out is the ability to burn your project ISO file to your hard drive. An ISO file (or ISO image) is the blueprint of a DVD. If you have it on your computer, you can use it either as a virtual disc that will work with your DVD player software or as an archive file that you can use to burn new copies of your DVD in the future.
Video Editing Tools
This DVD maker software provides six video editing tracks. This may be enough for simple projects, but it is insufficient for advanced users who want to fine-tune their complex video creations. If you require more than six editing tracks, you can upgrade Pinnacle Studio 19 to the Plus or Ultimate editions for more flexibility.
Pinnacle Studio's transitions and effects libraries are larger than those of any other DVD maker we reviewed. There are more than 1,500 transitions available and an equal or greater number of effects. You'll never use most of these transitions, but the fact that so many are available means that you'll never need a transition that you don't already have.
Ease of Use
The interface of this DVD creator will be intimidating to first-time users. You're going to have to invest at least a few hours to get to know your way around the software and learn how to use its tools. But it's worth the time and effort if you're looking for a program to transform your raw video footage into a polished DVD that you can share with your family and friends.
Another feature that makes Pinnacle Studio attractive to the novice user is its themes: These are pre-built templates centered on motifs such as holiday, tropical vacation and historical architecture. These can be quite useful for creating video projects that have a distinct flavor without the hassle of searching for all the individual elements yourself.
Help & Support
Corel, the maker of Pinnacle Studio, offers a wide variety of customer and technical support on their official website. If you have a problem with your DVD authoring software, you can consult the online knowledgebase and FAQ section to find the answers to common problems. They also offer free tutorials that teach you the ins and outs of the software’s tools. It’s a great resource and should be the first place you go if you have a problem.
If you have an issue that isn’t covered in the knowledgebase, you can send an email to the company through their online form. They usually respond to emails within 24 hours. You can also use the live chat option that will connect you with a customer service representative. If you choose live chat, expect to wait about 10 minutes for someone to help you.
Pinnacle Studio 19 is a handy application for people who don't mind getting into the weeds of DVD authoring. While the interface and the workflow can be daunting, it's worth learning, because the software provides you a great deal of control. If you have a very specific idea of what you want from your new DVD, Pinnacle Studio can give it to you.