Pinnacle Studio Plus - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Pinnacle Studio Plus

CNET Editors' review

When it comes to video, you're not a pro, but neither are you a noob. You can use better video tools, but the best is way out of your price range. Pinnacle Studio Plus 16 might be what you're looking for. This full-featured video suite is compatible with the latest HD and 3D standards, including Blu-ray and AVCHD. It offers 24-track editing, multilayer special effects, animated graphics, custom titles, and hi-fi audio quality. You can save your productions in a variety of formats, share them online, or burn them to disk. Pinnacle Studio Plus 16 is free to try and costs $99.99; not cheap, certainly, but within the budget for many sophisticated amateurs. The latest release has an improved user interface, better 3D editing, and integrated cloud storage.

Pinnacle Studio's installer includes an Advanced Option that let us decide what Bonus Content to download and install. An interesting "Learn while installing" feature lets you view a Guided Tour, video tutorials, a manual, and Help flyers (the registered free trial includes technical support) during the lengthy process. The Standard Content Pack is a substantial (but recommended) optional download that needs Pando Media Booster, which required an additional installation step, as well as a current DirectX release.

Pinnacle Studio Plus 16 has an up-to-date user interface featuring a timeline with previews and drag-and-drop compatibility. Despite its many features, this program is actually easy enough for beginners. Pinnacle Studio is first and foremost a video-editing suite, but it also imported all our digital media files, including images and music, to its Library file manager. One of the first things we did in Pinnacle Studio was set up our Watchfolders for automatic updates. Pinnacle Studio's image quality is excellent, and it has too many features to summarize (more than 1,800 effects alone). Like similar tools, some processes take time, though how the program performs obviously depends on your system's capabilities. We started small but achieved better results than we expected the first time out. Though it's no lightweight, Pinnacle Studio Plus 16's trial release is well worth the time it takes to download and install.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1.

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.3 stars

    out of 24 votes

    • 5 star: 2
    • 4 star: 6
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 13
  • Current version:

    2.3 stars

    out of 24 votes

    • 5 star: 2
    • 4 star: 6
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 13
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 24

  • 1.0 stars

    "Pinnacle Studio 12 included 'Search Protect virus'."

    February 11, 2014  |   By gthurman

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    Much faster than previous versions.

    Cons

    Much more than needed to just transfer home video to DVD.

    Summary

    CNet and Pinnacle have been great providers in the past. I'm disappointed this got by Norton 360.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Don't like it at all"

    April 18, 2013  |   By raggedclaw

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    None that I could find -- I was do busy deleting the garbage that was installed by the downloader.

    Cons

    It is a Pinnacle program.

    Summary

    Long, long ago (it seems so, after all the trouble I've experienced with this line of programs) I bought Studio 10 and the Dazzle hardware for importing analog video. Bought it at Circuit City in June 2008 and installed it on a new Vista Home Premium computer. Upgraded the video card, etc.
    It worked fine for importing analog, but I soon discovered that Windows Movie Maker was a superior program for my needs. (Let me emphasize -- the Movie Maker that came with Visat, not the Movie Maker that comes with Windows 7, which is worthless.)
    A year ago, I had a hard drive crash on the Vista 'puter, so I bought a new one with Windows 7. After discovering how bad MM is in 7, I bought and downloaded Studio 14. It was clumsy, non-intuitive, and wouldn't capture analog.
    Wanting to do a video of a recent 3-month trip to Europe, I had the old 'puter repaired and Vista re-installed. Stuck my Studio 10 CDs in and -- not compatible!
    So, here I am with $200 of Studio programs that don't function. I know, I know -- must be Windows, eh?
    Maybe. But you know what -- who in 'ell did Pinnacle write these program for? Take a guess. Yep -- Windows! So who is to blame here?
    Pinnacle is to blame, especially in light of their absolutely worthless support site.
    If you want to do fairly complex home videos, get a Vista 'puter with MM. If you want to upload old analog video, buy a digital video camera that has S-vido pluts and the pass-through function.
    That's what I did, and it works great. And it is a lot easier and cheaper than a Pinnacle program.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "I can't redownload this program, I purchased earlier?"

    March 7, 2013  |   By peterdenaeldre

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    Well, I have worked with this program for several years and I have never had any problems with it. It works just perfectly. My problem is that it is impossible to redownload and register it again. I have all the license keys, but it seems impossible to get any information about a reactivation of this program. I had (unfortunately) to change my computersoftware from WindowsXP to Windows7 and I have tried to communcate with Avid about the problem, but no solution was available. I am really frustrated about that, because I purchased this product and I am not interested in newer versions. I would even be ready to buy this trial version, but your system will not let me. It says that this product is not available - so why a trial version.
    Peter

    Cons

    I just wonder what 4.Cons: means?

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  • 3.0 stars

    "could not get it to right. Did better with version 11"

    January 26, 2013  |   By Gerald L Richy

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    Good program

    Cons

    having trouble with music & sounds

    Summary

    will have to pass for now

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  • 1.0 stars

    "This software is the WORST."

    December 13, 2012  |   By SJCTALLS

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    Cannot think of any. The good reviews posted must be employees of Pinnacle.

    Cons

    Crashes: Crashes all the time when you try to create the DVD.

    Titles: Weak. Simple.

    Inconsistant drop-downs - drop-down selections change.

    Will not memorize settings used to make disks or files.

    Help files are weak.

    Summary

    This software is the WORST. Crashes all the time when you try to create the DVD. Adding titles? They offer only the very basic of titles. Nothing like what you can create in Apple Movie Maker. In fact this software is years, no decades, behind Apple Movie Maker. I do not even own an Apple product, but I watched my brother-in-law create movies... WOW. I will be purchasing an Apple notebook soon. DO NOT BUY THIS SOFTWARE. There must be somthing better for PC users.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Pinnacle Studio is a DISASTER and NOT recommended"

    May 20, 2012  |   By westchaser

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    The Pinnacle Dazzle DVC 100 hardware allows for easy connection of old video devices using Composite (RCA) Red, White, Yellow cables.

    Cons

    Even as of 2012, the product's user interface has numerous easily-replicated bugs, is extremely SLOW, CPU-intensive and very limited in regard to video editing effects and features; even for someone at an amateur / beginner level.

    Summary

    Pinnacle Dazzle STUDIO HD DVD is an extremely resource-intensive application. On my Core-i5 with 6GB RAM, the CPU stays peaked between 60% and 94% of CPU while rendering videos that are a mere 500MB. That's a resource pig. Also, the user interface where media is chosen and the video timeline is assembled is very sluggish; the context menus and option property windows are VERY slow to open. The #1 complaint I have, however, is that the rendering process HALTS if the screen-saver launches and/or you manually lock (WINDOWS KEY+L) the computer. That is absolutely the biggest oversight yet; no one wants to wiggle the mouse or disable screen-saver preferences just to suit one application.

    Also, despite have purchased a license, in-app nag advertisements are STILL presented and nearly 90% of features are considered PAY-FOR add-ons which are displayed as links that take you to their storefront. Lame and pathetic.

    Additionally, there are significant bugs in the Pinnacle Dazzle STUDIO HD DVD Version 14 release, as of May 2012, and they are easily replicated.

    Amongst the list is a GREEN SCREEN that suddenly appears in the Preview window, while working in the Edit pane, instead of the photo or video that is otherwise shown in the timeline at that location. The only way I was able to get rid of the green screen was to click FILE then DELETE AUXILLARY FILES (ALL). And, no, I didn't have Chroma Key enabled.

    The other consistent issue I have experienced is, again; while editing, the Preview window will only show the photo or video that is at the currently-selected location in the timeline when Play was clicked.

    I am forever in wonder if companies like Pinnacle have a QA quality assurance department at all. If it weren't for needing the Dazzle hardware, I would certainly be returning this product for a FULL refund.

    In summary, I would not recommend this sluggish, limited product to anyone. I've used PROSHOW GOLD in the past and felt that it out-performed Pinnacle's product, hands down.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Pretty good."

    March 9, 2012  |   By btak

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    - some nice transitions and other effects.

    Cons

    - very slow
    - CPU hungry
    - lousy user interface

    Summary

    I don't have much to compare it with other than 'Movie Maker'.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Slow, awkward, not user friendly, freezes for no reason"

    October 28, 2011  |   By Bobbie_A

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    Good graphics

    Cons

    Terrible response and space utilisation, freezes constantly for no, apparent reason, pathetic customer support(except when trying to sell you something). Overall overpriced and under peformed

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Didn't work as advertised"

    August 15, 2011  |   By glenmodom

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    Loved the appearance and user interface.

    Cons

    I guess I'm just stuped-38 years as a systems analyst didn't help me to get this stuff working as advertised. I tried it with the highest hopes, having over 100 VHS tape and almost as many rrecords to rescue.

    Summary

    Never did get this stuff to work as advertised. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Output quality is pixelated"

    March 15, 2011  |   By jonquil38

    Version: Pinnacle Studio Plus 12.1

    Pros

    It does make full length movies with pretty good effects

    Cons

    Slow, crashes, but so does MovieMaker. Movie Maker is much smoother. I have a sony camcorder and the quality is pretty good going in but sucky whether I make DVD best quality, MP4 or anything... So frustrated

    Summary

    If it wasn't for the output quality, I would be happy with my purchase. The tracking and pixelation are embarrassing.

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Results 1-10 of 24

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