We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Video software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Stoik Video Enhancer review

£42 inc VAT

Manufacturer: STOIK Software

Our Rating: We rate this 2.5 out of 5

Stoik Video Enhancer is software that aims to convert and enhance mobile phone video footage.

Almost everyone has a mobile phone with a camera that can record both still images and video nowadays. The only problem is that mobile video codecs don't exactly produce video of the highest quality. In fact, phone video is typically blocky, out of focus, shaky, and, well, pretty much useless for anything other than showing grandma your latest kids-in-the-garden masterpiece.

So I had really high hopes for this nifty-sounding tool from Stoik Imaging, makers of the very well-received Imagic and Panorama Maker image editing and management applications. Their work on techniques that improve the quality of marginal still images is really out on the cutting edge. Could their free demo do the same for mobile video? Unfortunately, in this first version of Stoik Video Enhancer (£42, free demo with watermarks), the answer is a resounding no.

I certainly wasn't expecting the kind of fantasy, CSI Miami-esque super resolution enhancement that's only possible in the world of television and movies, but almost anything would be an improvement. The software supports a wide range of mobile video codecs, which is good because most desktop PC media players or organizers offer spotty coverage to replay video from phones. That's about where the good news ends.

Stoik Video Enhancer requires the latest version of Windows Media Player and DirectX, so factor in the storage and time-to-download and -install these products into your consideration. If you're already up to date, great. If not, it could add another 15 minutes, a reboot, and about 75MB of hard drive space to the installation requirements.

I started out by picking some short (under one minute) clips of standard-definition video from my Android mobile phone (352 by 288 resolution, encoded in h.263). The largest was about 1.6MB in size and 33 seconds in length. The program, by default, has some modifications checked -- these are the real powerhouses of the program, and the reason you might pay £42 for Video Enhancer instead of just transcoding your mobile video into a more compatible format using something free, like FFMPEG.

By default, Stoik Video Enhancer opts to perform noise reduction and deblurring, and to make adjustments to the color balance and exposure levels, which (again, in theory) should drastically improve most of the things that are wrong with your average mobile phone video. It does not, by default, perform image stabilization or deinterlace videos, but you can check off boxes that will add those tasks to the video's enhancement to-do list, as well.

I clicked the Start button but I'm not really sure what happened next. The program informed me that it would take about 30 minutes to complete the tasks I selected, so I walked away. About an hour later, I came back to the PC to find that the program had crashed. I tried again and again on different test systems running 32-bit XP, disabling one of the enhancement features at a time, but each time something prevented the file from completing. The vendor was unable to replicate or explain this issue.

Eventually a different error message began to appear and, after a little closer analysis, I realized that the program had completely filled every last byte of storage space on my hard drive with its attempts, and those files were massively too large: Even when I simply tried to transcode video with no enhancement options whatsoever, Video Enhancer generated about 1GB of output for about every three seconds of video. That would make my 33 second video into an 11GB opus that could make James Cameron's IT director cry. Even with a terabyte of storage free, I found that the program chewed through the hard drive with reckless abandon.

Stoik Video Enhancer Expert Verdict »

1024 by 768 minimum display resolution
latest version of Windows Media Player and DirectX
  • Overall: We give this item 5 of 10 overall

Sadly, this version of Video Enhancer doesn't really make the cut, but perhaps your mileage may vary. Maybe the next release will be better, but for now, Stoik Video Enhancer is a great hard drive stress-test tool that, if you're luckier than me, may be able to convert and enhance your mobile phone videos as well.

  • Roxio MyDVD 9.0 Studio Premier

    Roxio MyDVD 9.0 Studio Premier

    Compiling a DVD project isn't the easiest task in the world. Roxio's MyDVD 9.0 Studio Premier offers a user-friendly interface that makes it simple to pick out the right tool for the job.

  • HTC HD Mini review

    HTC HD Mini

    The HTC HD Mini is a cut down version of the HTC HD2, and is sleeker and slimmer mobile phone device overall.

  • RealPlayer review


    RealPlayer, the venerable (if oft-maligned) multimedia playback software is back with a new beta. With the latest version of the software, it's number 14 but is simply being called RealPlayer, RealNetworks has enhanced the player's mobile capabilities, smartly taking aim at Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones that lack the native media syncing solution that Apple's iPhone and iPod enjoy with iTunes.

  • Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 review

    Ashampoo Photo Commander 9

    Ashampoo Photo Commander 9 isn't much of an upgrade on the previous iteration, but Photo Commander was already a comprehensive photo organizer and editor.

  • AKVIS Enhancer 9.1 review

    AKVIS Enhancer 9.1

    AKVIS Enhancer 9.1 is a tool which can reveal hidden details in unevenly exposed digital photos. It is available as a standalone application or as a plug-in to a photo editor such as Photoshop.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model