With a price tag of just £45, PowerDirector 6.0 is steered towards newcomers rather than professional video editors. But despite its inevitable limitations, the program does a good job of achieving high-quality results in relatively little time. This is partly down to the simple interface, while the clear structure makes it easy to work through to the end of a project.

Editing mode gives the choice of a storyboard or a timeline layout. The latter enables greater control by adding elements such as titles and transitions, while storyboards are designed for basic video editing and don't support multiple tracks.

A Magic Movie Wizard provides step-by-step instructions for selecting clips, music and styles, but we felt that a better selection of templates would have considerably improved this feature. The same could be said of the DVD menu designer - most of the templates and styles were rather limited; some were tacky.

When it comes to sharing video, PowerDirector's Production Wizard lends a hand. Content can be prepared for use with PSPs (PlayStation Portables) and iPods, and it's easy to upload clips to YouTube and Mediamax.

Previous editions of the program featured Magic Tools; these are greatly improved in PowerDirector 6.0. You can enhance video and audio tracks with the assistance of Magic Clean, while the split-screen mode on Magic Fix makes it easier to see your changes. While styles and templates are limited, the application does support high-definition video.

CyberLink PowerDirector 6.0: Specs

  • 2.2GHz Intel Pentium 4 (3GHz for HD content) or AMD Athlon XP 2400+ processor
  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista
  • 512MB RAM
  • 15GB hard disk space
  • 2.2GHz Intel Pentium 4 (3GHz for HD content) or AMD Athlon XP 2400+ processor
  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista
  • 512MB RAM
  • 15GB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

An impressive budget video-editing package, PowerDirector is user-friendly and offers a great deal for the money. It makes editing, DVD authoring and uploading content quick, simple and enjoyable. Experienced users, however, should opt for a more advanced program such as Pinnacle Studio or Ulead VideoStudio.

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