People who don't need the back-up, burning, and mobile transferring functionality offered by Nero's full-service Multimedia Suite might be better served by Nero Video Premium HD, which is the developer's standalone video-editing tool. This program is essentially a more feature-packed version of Nero Vision Xtra, which has also enjoyed some upgrades lately (namely improved background rendering and the ability for users to export movies to Flash Video).
Video Premium HD is a straightforward and fairly quick install that will require a system reboot and a whopping 1.7GB of space on your hard drive (by comparison, Sony Vegas takes up about 230MB). The interface is clean and intuitive as video editors go. Upon launching the program, you're greeted with a variety of project options, such as make a movie, capture video to hard drive, and make a Blu-Ray disc.
The movie creation pane is much less cluttered than that of Vegas Movie Studio Platinu and as such it's the friendlier option for entry-level users. The top-left corner contains a preview pane, whereas directly to the right are three clearly tabbed sections for managing media, selecting effects, and viewing properties. The bottom half of the window is dominated by the editing section, which is viewable as a timeline or storyboard. Adding content to this pane is as simple as dragging and dropping, and the actual editing will be a piece of cake for anyone who has any experience with basic audio or video production apps.
In addition to including all of the standard video-editing tools found in Xtra, Video Premium HD offers Blu-ray disc authoring and playback as well as the Nero Creative CollectionPack. This feature pack consists of 50 unique transitions effects; a picture-in-picture effects generator with more than 65 layouts; and 25 movie theme packs with menu templates, transitions, backgrounds and music tracks. The program supports a variety of file formats for importing, and will export to eight different video types, including Flash, WMV, and MP4. As with pretty much any video manipulation software these days, Nero will also let you upload your creations directly to the Web.
Nero Video Premium HD offered up some mixed results during our performance testing. Our system slowed noticeably while using it, which in itself isn't a huge problem considering you aren't likely to be doing much else while editing a video. However, the time it took to start a new project seemed interminable compared to the competition--it took a full seven minutes to launch a new movie editing job, which is slow for consumer-level software. However, rendering speed for exported video files is right on target, and the results played back smoothly in our tests.