movies has never been easier and more productive than with Pinnacle's new
Studio MovieBox Ultimate. This powerful package provides a simple way for
users to convert their analog and digital content to modern playable formats.
The system includes the 710-USB Video Capture hardware and the highly acclaimed
Studio Ultimate (version 11) software. Also included in the package are
USB and FireWire cables, Green Screen backdrop, and the user's guide. Earlier
this year, we reviewed Pinnacle's Studio
Ultimate software and were impressed with the performance. Now, with the Studio
MovieBox Ultimate system, the software is mated with the 710-USB video capture
hardware and brings a whole new level of capabilities to the user. Converting
older 8mm or Hi-8 video recordings from your aging camcorder to DVD or Video-CD
is a simple process.
sets the Studio MovieBox Ultimate apart from other software-only Pinnacle
products is the addition of the stylish looking 710-USB
Video Capture hardware. The A/V hub provides an easy way to connect analog
and digital video sources to the computer that is used to capture and edit video
content. Once mated to the Studio Ultimate software, capturing and editing video
from virtually all formats is possible.
Pinnacle's 710-USB capture device includes composite and
s-video inputs along with two channel audio inputs. In addition, an IEEE-1394
(FireWire) input is also available for today's digital camcorders. Both standard
definition as well as high definition camcorders are supported including DV, HDV
and AVCHD formats. Our JVC GR-DVL9500U camcorder provided standard definition,
while our Sony HDR-HC1 HDV camcorder provided high definition content.
Similar to the inputs, the same set of analog audio and video
interfaces are provided as outputs on the 710-USB capture module. This
makes it convenient when connecting a television to the A/V hub for monitoring
the edited video. The USB 2.0 interface connects to any compatible computer and
provides a high speed link for the data. The 710-USB capture module sits firmly
on any flat surface and has feet to keep it from sliding.
Ultimate Version 11
The Studio MovieBox Ultimate comes equipped
with the powerful Studio Ultimate software, designed to capture, edit and
create professional quality video with DVD authoring in a single package. Pinnacle
Studio Ultimate takes advantage of the latest in technology including high
definition (HDV & AVCHD), Windows Vista, Web Publishing and more. A variety
of fully-integrated pro audio and video tools give the user complete control over
the quality and style of their video content. Studio Ultimate version 11
is fully compatible with Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. Features
include HDV & AVCHD native editing with HD DVD and Blu-ray output compatibility,
picture-in-picture (PIP) and Chromakey effects, Keyframeable effects, Dolby 5.1
Film looks and FXs, Advanced
Sound Cleaning, Precision
Pan & Zoom (Ken Burns), and Green screen capability. The Powerful Film
looks and special effects comes from proDAD© VitaScene with tools to add
high quality effects such as rays, blurs and more that really give your movies
a professional look. Advanced Sound Cleaning is made possible with the BIAS SoundSoap
Pinnacle Edition with audio noise cleaning tools and complete Dolby® Digital
5.1 audio encoding. Finally, precision pan and zoom effects are handled by StageTools
MovingPicture where the software lets you use the same tool the professionals
use to create precision pans and zooms.
We installed Studio Ultimate on our Sony Vaio VGC-RB34G (3.2GHz, 512 MB
RAM) desktop machine as a test platform. This is not the fastest PC, yet provided
us with enough processing power and hard drive storage to create impressive videos.
This PC also has a dual layer (DVD+R DL) recordable drive used to create our test
the Studio software is installed it requires the user to enter several activation
codes for enabling different features such as Dolby 2CH/5.1 Encoding/Decoding,
MPEG-4 Encoding/Decoding and Dream Glow RTFx. Several premium options are also
available at an additional cost.
Studio 11 has a new user interface that is scalable, making
it perfect for working on widescreen monitors or optimizing the window sizes to
get the tools you need. The basic features are not all that different from previous
versions, so the learning curve is minimal for experienced users. Pinnacle has
also improved the speed and performance in many areas with version 11. The software
now installs faster and exports files of any type at twice the speeds of previous
versions. However, results may vary depending on the machine being used.
Something relatively new to many editing tools is the AVCHD (Advanced
Video Codec High Definition) format developed by Panasonic and Sony for use in
their consumer-based HD camcorders. This format supports both 1080i and 720p and
is more space efficient (twice) than the MPEG-2/MPEG-4 formats making it possible
to store more content on recordable media. Pinnacle Studio Plus and Ultimate
users can now import and edit their HD content using the latest AVCHD format (projected
to become the primary HDV format for Camcorder leaders like Panasonic and Sony).
This is an important feature since many other camcorders may begin to use this
format. HDV editing is also fully supported from other high definition camcorders
such as our Sony HDR-HC1.
Studio 11 offers advanced editing features, special effects, and integrated
DVD authoring, all within their intuitive user interface. The picture-in-picture
feature gives the user several options and includes 3-D shadowing effects. The
PIP position and size can be changed with simple mouse strokes. Users also have
access to HD editing, custom key frames, Surround Sound editing, graphic overlays,
scrolling titles, Picture-in-Picture or ChromaKey (green screen) for the ultimate
in creating backgrounds without having to be on site.
you ever wanted to create a background on a person or object for a cool visual
effect? Well Studio Ultimate version 11 makes this all possible with the Green
Screen backdrop included with the software. Now it is possible for users can
create professional looking ChromaKey effects with full adjustments to optimize
the performance of the setup. Proper lighting is important so that the software
will recognize the unique background color and replace it with any background
the user chooses. Controls are provided for Video Transparency, Tolerance,
Minimum Saturation, Softness and Spill Suppression. Choosing
the optimal color for detecting the green drop is selectable by the software using
the color chart. This allows for the color differences found in different video
cameras that are used to capture the picture.
Creating videos for the web has never been easier than with
the latest Studio 11. As more people begin to place their video content
on the web, Pinnacle Studio makes publishing it virtually automatic using Yahoo!
Videos. Other file formats are also supported for the web and portable media players.
Creating different file formats is easy and there are many file types to choose
from. AVI, DivX, Apple iPod, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Real Media, Sony PSP and
Windows media are available options. Each of the file formats has additional options
for optimizing picture quality or minimizing file size.
As mentioned, Pinnacle offers a complete HD workflow with HD
DVD format authoring on standard DVD media. This provides a way to capture high
resolution content and store the media on inexpensive, readily available recordable
DVDs. Studio supports native HDV or AVCHD content and can authors HD DVD format
discs that will play on the latest HD-DVD players. Video will be up-sampled
to HD resolution when mixing content that includes both standard and high definition
video as well as photos. The workflow shows the user a timeline that includes
video, audio, text, and music
the content is created, the user has the option to choose the media type, which
includes AVCHD (Blu-ray), HD-DVD, DVD, S-VCD, and VCD. The content can then be
targeted for disc, file, tape or the web.
Our version of the Studio Ultimate 11 came with version 11.1. This update
is also available for download from the Pinnacle
website for those who need it for the initial version 11 release. We have to admit
we anticipated computer crashes during our review period, but never encountered
any. The stability of this new version put a smile on our face especially as we
began to work with high definition content from our HDR-HC1 camcorder. Editing
HD content was just as easy using the workflow environment.
were fortunate to have both HD-DVD and Blu-ray in our arsenal of products for
review. This came in handy during our tests as we wanted to see just how good
the high definition content looked when we created it. We used our Sony HDR-HC1
HD camcorder to capture video in 1080i. Using a standard 4-pin IEEE-1394 cable,
data was transferred from the camera with full control of the playback functions.
In the end, we were able to create professional looking DVDs, HD DVDs, and AVCHD
discs for Blu-ray players.
definition content can also be recorded onto standard DVD discs and used in both
HD-DVD and Blu-ray players. I didn't realize this was actually possible until
I ran some tests and lo and behold I was watching my HD content using both my
Toshiba DV-A1 and Sony PS3 players.
Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Ultimate is a comprehensive video
editing software package that brings a new level of performance at a very affordable
price. The hardware included with this system adds a powerful way to increase
the capabilities of video capturing and editing. Full support of HDV & AVCHD
native editing for Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs is where the future is going and Pinnacle
is providing users with this now. The Blu-ray and HD-DVD support allowed us to
capture, edit and render high-definition video content that could be played back
on our PlayStation 3 and Toshiba HD-DVD players. Once you see high-definition
content captured on the screen, it is difficult to go back to standard definition
Video. The video we created was absolutely amazing and with more and more users
migrating to high definition formats, it won't be long before everyone will want
movies in high definition. Pinnacle's Studio MovieBox Ultimate brings it
home, right here, right now and it's actually affordable. For those wanting a
more affordable version of this system while still maintaining most of the core
features, Pinnacle also offers the Studio MovieBox Plus version for only