With all the video-editing kudos the Serif name entails, a raft of new features and an inexpensive price tag, we expected MoviePlus 5.0 to be a winner. Well, if you're a confident and experienced video-editor it will certainly suffice, but beginners may find the MoviePlus interface a little tricky to swallow. The basics are covered. Serif's MoviePlus series has always had a powerful and responsive editor at its heart. And this release is both well priced and feature-rich.

The headline good news is that this iteration supports HD (high-definition) video. This is a timely addition that keeps MoviePlus in line with more expensive competitors, but you'll need a powerful computer to take full advantage of it. The listed system requirements certainly seem a trifle optimistic for use with HD video.

There's a fine new DVD-authoring function, with easy-to-use chapter-marking, text and menu capabilities.

We found some of the more complex DVD-export features slightly counter-intuitive in use, but the bundled user guide is detailed and easy to follow. There's a hefty resource disc included.

MoviePlus 5.0's interface will look familiar to those who use video-editing software. Unfortunately, people who are unused to such programs may find the traditional tri-pane combination – timeline, library and preview windows – difficult to get to grips with. Some regularly used commands are hidden in separate drop-down menus.

We were very impressed with Serif's inclusion of QuickTime import and export. And we expect that video iPod users will be equally pleased. It's a sensible and timely addition that could attract a whole new breed of video-editor – editing and exporting clips from cameras and phones to iPods.

Serif MoviePlus 5.0: Specs

  • Intel Pentium II or AMD Athlon XP processor
  • Microsoft Windows 2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 149MB hard disk space (2-5GB of additional space may be required during the composition and export of video projects)
  • graphics card and monitor capable of 800x600 display size and 24bit colour depth
  • Windows-compatible sound controller
  • CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive
  • Intel Pentium II or AMD Athlon XP processor
  • Microsoft Windows 2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 149MB hard disk space (2-5GB of additional space may be required during the composition and export of video projects)
  • graphics card and monitor capable of 800x600 display size and 24bit colour depth
  • Windows-compatible sound controller
  • CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive

OUR VERDICT

Serif MoviePlus 5.0 is a powerful video-editor with a solid feature set. It's not high-end, but novice video editors who are attracted by the reasonable price tag may be better served by purchasing more user-friendly programs such as the similarly-priced Pinnacle Studio 10.0 or Ulead VideoStudio 10.0.

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