Video quality issue

Having tried several video editors (Trial version of Sony Vegas and bought version Pinnacle 11) I find the quality is often nowhere near as good as expected, even on highest quality setting. Strange thing is for example when saving in .wmv the best results I get are from the free Windows Movie Maker!

Its a shame WMM is otherwise pretty useless as it often freezes, has limited editing facilities, etc. But when it does work the wmv files are definitely better than Pinnacle (which is not cheap)
I’m at a loss to understand why an expensive product like Pinnacle 11 cant match the free WMM!

The output quality is highly dependant on the input quality. What is the source of your video? What settings are you using for the encoding (what bitrate are you encoding at)?

What are your original files? DV or avi? Why not edit in the original format then use Windows Media Encoder to convert to .wmv?

I’m not a fan of .wmv, so I’m not sure how much editing this encoder can do. I know you can trim ends of the video, but since this isn’t a tool I use, you’d have to explore its capabilities yourself. It is free to download and use.
http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Windows_Media_Encoder

If you are starting with mpeg files, you’ll need something that can do edits without reencoding the whole thing. The Womble and VideoReDo programs come to mind for this.

thanks for the advice
re the bitrate on wmv normally use 1.0 or 1.5 Mbps. Originals used both avi and DV