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over 18 months since the arrival of V6.5 of Ulead's MediaStudio Pro
video editing suite, so the launch of V7 comes none too soon. But what
does the new release offer, and how does it compare with its closest
The big new feature
with MediaStudio Pro 7 is its claimed real-time preview capability (on-screen
and on an external monitor) using a PC equipped only with a standard
FireWire port, and without the aid of specialist RT hardware. To put
MediaStudio in context, we looked at it alongside two leading contenders
- Adobe Premiere 6.5 and Sonic Foundry Vegas 4.
MSPro 7 supports dual CPUs, as well as the Hyper-Threading that's available
in Intel's 3.06GHz P4 CPU and due to be implemented in forthcoming P4s.
Our main review machine was a self-built Win XP Pro PC with an Athlon
XP 1700+ processor, but we also looked at the program running on a number
of other systems. These included a Win XP Pro PC running dual Athlon
XP MP 2600+ (2.13GHz) processors; and a Pentium 4 PC with a 3.06GHz
Hyper-Threading CPU that we only had access to for a short time. The
P4 and dual-Athlon systems used Matrox Parhelia three-head graphics
cards, which simultaneously support two PC monitors and analogue output
to a TV set when paired with MSPro 7.
MediaStudio Pro offers a comprehensive and well-featured bundle
of tools for enthusiastic video editors. Version 7 has been enhanced
by the addition of much improved real-time previewing, support for an
extended range of media and formats, and the inclusion of DVD MovieFactory
2.1SE. Although MovieFactory is limited, it offers as much as many users
need for DVD creation.
MSPro 7's real-time previewing is impressive, as is its speed of rendering.
But both aspects are best appreciated on a PC with a high-speed processor
(or two) because the program clearly is able to take considerable advantage
of such power. We weren't happy about the sound tracks bug, but we were
pleased to see that Ulead had sorted out a patch, and has now made available
a service pack to fix various other bugs, including some stability issues.
We've held back from awarding five for performance because of the sound
bug - and a tendency for the program to crash on some of our test machines
- but if Ulead fixes the problems quickly in the shipping version, MSPro
7 will deserve full performance marks. Whatever score it gets, though,
MSPro 7 is clearly competitively priced and offers a lot of functionality
for the money.
Version 7 is a must-have for most MSPro users, even if owners of earlier
versions might think the £150 upgrade price a little stiff. Whether
upgrading or buying outright, MSPro 7 can be recommended.
Read the full
review in August 2003's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in August's
MediaStudio Pro 7
Roxio WinOnCD 6 DVD Edition
Pinnacle Hollywood FX Pro 4.6
In August's news:
Analogue/DV on OHCI-compliant card
Avid Xpress Pro professional encoding
Component<>DV conversion on a budget
Pioneer DVD about face
Pocket-sized DVD-RW burners
Plextor dual-interface +R/+RW burner
Multi-format NEC DVD burner
High-speed +R/+RW Ricoh
Video editing graphics cards
LaCie giant high-speed HDDs