Digital video editing is one of those ideas that sounds great in principle. In practice, unfortunately, the process is generally quite complicated, and the end results often fall short of polished perfection. As a result, all your priceless films continue to gather dust on unwatched tapes.

Step forward, CyberLink PowerDirector Premium 5.0. This program contains a batch of Magic video-editing tools designed to speed up and simplify the process of creating a watchable film from your footage. It comes with DVD templates – with the range of subjects varying from football to holidays – to help theme your movies with matching menus and designs.

This version allows you to take films from your PC and transfer them on to portable devices by converting them to Mpeg4 format. Other features include improved HD (high-definition) format support – HD-Mpeg, HDV and DVB-T – plus the ability to upload movies to Youtube.com and convert standard footage to widescreen.

Having reviewed a fair few video editing packages that claim to be easy to use, we were sceptical as to how simple PowerDirector would be. The clear, relatively uncluttered interface was a pleasant surprise. Tools are clearly labelled and it’s easy to navigate to what you need. Buttons running along the top take you directly to the capture, edit, produce and create disc tools.

Equally, once you start using the software, everything is either wizard-based or simple to use. The Magic video-editing tools allow you to add soundtracks, clean up video or add a style at the click of a button. They may be a little cheesy, but they make things much easier for a novice user.

CyberLink PowerDirector Premium 5.0: Specs

  • Pentium 4 3GHz processor
  • Microsoft Windows XP/2000
  • 512MB RAM
  • 15MB hard disk space
  • CD or DVD writer
  • video capture device
  • microphone for voice overs
  • Pentium 4 3GHz processor
  • Microsoft Windows XP/2000
  • 512MB RAM
  • 15MB hard disk space
  • CD or DVD writer
  • video capture device
  • microphone for voice overs

OUR VERDICT

PowerDirector 5.0 will not appeal to experts, as the features on offer are too limited – such users should opt for Adobe or Ulead. But for novice users, the program delivers on the promise of a simple way to turn footage into a watchable movie.

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