Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate, Review

Check out my first software review (Pinnacle Studio 12 Ultimate, at the link.

Excellent review Rob

I really enjoyed the layout and flow you have done it with.


Ditto (excellent) - If you update it, how about including a suggested retail price.

Impressive first review Rob, really nice job :flower:

Thank You… Thank you one and all!

Thanks for the review. As a long time frustrated Pinnacle user I’ve passed on the last few versions (10 & 11) as they couldn’t get them to work reliably.

My first try with V 12 worked flawlessly. For the Home Movie type this is all you’d really want or need. As long as it works every time.

Now I’m looking forward to finally doing my Christmas 2007 DVD. …

I’m glad you like it Jim. Over the years, I had heard nothing but bad about Pinnacle stuff. I had reviewed the Liquid Edition tutorial, and I liked what I saw, so it wasn’t hard to get me to give this a try. Now I find myself using Studio 12 quite a bit.

The “feature Set” Studio had in earlier versions (7,8,9) was very attractive and when it worked you went Wow. :clap:

When it didn’t you cursed it :a as to make a decent, well thought out DVD with lots of transitions, background music, titles, menus, etc., requires you to invest significant hours in it. You’d never know if Studio would work until you rendered the DVD which took up to 8 or 9 hours (on a fairly decent Rig for the time by the way). I ended up running Studio 9 on a separate Drive, just to increase the chances of success and avoid conflicts. (I still do this with Studio 12.)

Studio 12 Ultimate rendered a 56 minute DVD on Best Quality, with all the above goodies, in less than an hour. I didn’t bother to burn the disk with it as I’ve got in the habit of using Nero for that part of the process.

My Brother, who purchased Studio 9 & 10, has also tried Studio 12 and it worked great on his old home movies. However, last summer he purchased a Sony HDR-SR12 third generation AVCHD camcorder recording to a 120 GB hard disk drive (HDD). Studio 12 “stutters” when processing these files.

I checked out the Studio requirements for AVCHD last night and his processor seems inadequate. (Pentium D 3.4 Ghz., 2 Mb Cache when you need a Quad Core for the best HD rendering.) So it seems he knows what he needs to buy himeself for Christmas.

I did offer (like any good Brother would) to trade him my Panasonic PV-GS70 which works great in Standard Definition :iagree: but he didn’t bite.:disagree: I think I know why. The output from the Sony HDR-SR12 is like watching a BluRay Movie on my PS3.:clap:

I’m surprised that his 3.4 won’t handle that. Makes me wonder if he has too many extra tasks running. And, things go much smoother, if you have your software on one drive, and your data on another. All major video software makers, recommend that you do this with the drives.

I too have a Panasonic PVGS70. I have found it to be a great camera. I even recorded my grandkids trickortreating when it was totally dark out. I just took the video and ran it through adobe premiere and adjusted the LEVELS. It looks great…

Pinnacle advises the requirement for a Quad Core Processor. (I think it was even in your review :confused:)

My Brother has Studio on a separate Operating System Drive as well. We don’t put anything else on it (no Office, Norton AntiVirus, => nothing!) I put his Box together, and there are separate drives for Data. I’ll check and see if he followed that instruction.

When I first build a Box I install Windows (XP for me - XP Media Center for him) with all the current drivers, and windows update. Then I make a Ghost Image of it. I then install Studio onto this “virgin” drive.:bigsmile:

After spending way too much money on Pinnacle 7,8, 9, being told that “This one works” and getting crummy arrogant “non-support”, even bought Pinnacle Instant CD/DVD which couldn’t lick the feet of ImgBurn. After uninstalling Pinnacle Instant CD/DVD I finally stopped getting Blue Screens of Death. I would never buy anything that has the name Pinnacle on it. My machines all surpassed every spec by at least double, remember “not enough memory” and the myriad of patches it took to fix it. Forget it. I would never buy anything with the name Pinnacle on it. Video processing takes a long time and to have so many hours into it, days even, and find out it all came to naught, never again.Their time is come and gone. ULEAD was much more supportive though they had their problems too. PowerDvd worked just as advertised. That’s just my opinion obviously. If the new one works great but just reading the few posts, any software/hardware that won’t work on 3.4G machine is engineered and written poorly. Just think about all the stuff out there that does work. I owned of lot of Mercedes-Benz’s too. Another line over engineered piles of poo. Though I always like the ride.


I too had punted Pinnacle Studio after years of effort and frustration.

I even got to play with Pinnacle Liquid Edition, Sony Vegas, and Adobe Premier some time ago and decided their learning / capability curves were far too vertical for me (it took me half an hour to figure out how to load a video file:doh:). Besides I wasn’t trying to make the next Star Wars Movie => just to document my wife and kids around the Christmas Tree, or on vacation somewhere.

However as I had “mastered” earlier versions of Studio, and the issue was always Studio’s failure at rendering, when they fixed (?) that I can easily pick it up again. I know it took many hours to learn Studio and have been reluctant to invest that precious time in learning another package.

I recently had been looking at other packages aimed at the “prosumer” with the latest being Cyber Link’s but for AVCHD and MPEG-2 HD Profiles it too requires more CPU horsepower => Pentium Core 2 Duo E6400 or Athlon 64 X2 5000+ than our Pentium Ds.

Mine’s an Intel Pentium D950 and we’ve both got 4 Gigs of Corsiar DDR2 Ram even though XP only uses ~3.25 Gigs => with my Alpha Dog XFX nVidia 8800 GTS 512 and my Brother’s Dual XFX nVidia SLI set-up. (For his Gamer Son…)

I’m not sure if our Motherboards will move up to a current Quad Core but I’ll check. My Brother will probably just have me build another Box just for him as his wife & 2 teenage boys consume all the time on the 3 Boxes I’ve already done for them over the years. (One of them a Vista Box.) Everyone here has already a Box of their own so justifying a new motherboard / chip would be a tough sell with the Misses right now…:sad:

Are you still using a ULEAD product? If so what version is it and is it a good / great package?

Thanks for the assist.:iagree:

I was doing a lot of VHS/VHS-C/Hi-8 conversions and streaming them together. As far as being vertical, I fell off the cliff. I could never get transitions and all the gimmicks to work. They worked on the computer but not on the final render. That was the problem. You did not get what you saw. If you burned it most of the times it wouldn’t play. There was a time when DVD blanks were expensive.

If you have mastered it then I think they should pay you. I spend most my days doing CAD and don’t have the time to do anything fancy. I think your way way past any level I got to and that was the problem. The investment of time. I learned how to design and build and weld recumbent trikes in the time it took me to learn how to string together a couple of home movies.

That being said, You will find yourself being a “Hub” of learning and questions from all lot of other people. I re-iterate, because of that, they should be paying you. I really believe it will all pay off for you now that you got this far. I could not afford them time. I’m too old.

(Remember that crappy DC10Plus card,:Z “Our own proprietary code”. It never worked and no other software would recognize it. I finally transferred all to my DVDs, straight, no editing, with a cheap CyberlinkPowerDirector Pro Video card that everything, even M$ Windows Movie Maker recognizes:eek:. It was the most (still is) reliable card I ever got. I don’t need it anymore so it sits in a box, in case. I not sure what model it is but is having a sale of their products (who isn’t) and that’s what I would return to. Sincerely, Good Luck to you. With your perseverance you can do what ever you want too.:iagree:

Just remember, that there are many things that determine how or if a software works on your system.
Installing it per the manufactures specs. Having separate HD’s for software and data. Other softwares can cause conflicts. Downloading other codecs can cause conflicts. Not properly understanding how the software works can be a problem.

Video is not one of those things that you can just jump into and do. It takes time and practice to get good at it. It isn’t much different than Adobe Photoshop. Many people hate it, and claim that it is too difficult. It takes some time going through tutorials, and reading some tips, to get good at it. Once you understand it, there is nothing that compares to it, as to what it can do.


You make some very valid points as most folks want software that’s “dumb” proof these days => as most don’t even want to read the manual!

The issue of dedicated hardware (drives) for these Apps floors people. They expect if it’s written to work on Windows it should work in Harmony with all other Apps, and on the same Drive.

I used to be there years ago but if you want positive results you change your methods and drive on. My definition of insanity is someone who does exactly the same thing over and over expecting different results. :wink:


You make some very valid points as most folks want software that’s “dumb” proof these days => as most don’t even want to read the manual!

The issue of dedicated hardware (drives) for these Apps floors people. They expect if it’s written to work on Windows it should work in Harmony with all other Apps, and on the same Drive.

I used to be there years ago but if you want positive results you change your methods and drive on. My definition of insanity is someone who does exactly the same thing over and over expecting different results. ;)[/QUOTE]

that’s right

I did end up changing out both my Brother’s CPU & mine (to a Q6700 and QX6850 respectively) as I got a Sony HDR-SR12 (like his) for Christmas and needed to get enough HP for HD rendering.

Last week I moved up to an EVGA GTX 260 and have been playing with Cyberlink’s Power Director 7. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Studio 12 but it processes HD far quicker with CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) algorithms enabled for video rendering execution on the GPU.

Neither one is bullet proof but they are better than older versions.

Excellent review of pinnacle 12, to bad for me I am unable to get the downloaded Studio 12 ultimate to work on my PC, have talked to Pinnacle support all together about 4 hours and have tried different things to try to get the program to recognize my Camcorder and so far zip.

My system is a Gateway DX4200-09 a 64 bit Quad core with 8 Gig of memory and the graphic card is an ATI Radeon HD-3200 my Processor speed is only 1.8 GHZ.

The program is unable to see my Canon VIXIA HV30 cam for some reason or another have taken the PC to BB and they said that the hardware is ok and they tried everything on trying to get my PC to see my Cam to no avail, today bought a new fire wire in the event that had a bad one and zip, I am also unable to capture on Windows movie maker.

What in the H - - - - , could it be???

zapper. My pc had two firewire ports. One for the tv tuner, and one for the motherboard. My tv tuner port would not see my camera. The motherboard one saw it just fine. I noticed that the ports have different drivers, so that could be the issue. I remember when I first started capturing video (way back when), there was something about drivers affecting capture ability on firewire ports. You might search, but if memory serves, the Texas Instruments driver was the one that was recommended (or not recommended) can’t remember which… Your issue could also be a 64 bit issue…

Thanks for your reply, have tried both firewires the front and the back one, I agree it could be my 64 bit, have a Sony Cam a digital one will try it on my new PC and here I thought by upgrading and getting a new PC would help me rendered my home movies faster, well it seems that NO editing software is reconnised by my PC or is it the camera??? will find out today and post back. It could be the Canon cam???