CyberLink launches PowerDirector 9

Designed for 64-bit, multi-core and GPU acceleration

HOME VIDEO EDITING is a growing market segment in the world of software, one only need to take a look at the massive amounts of new content being uploaded daily to YouTube to understand that any company that makes video editing software is going to want a slice of the action. Today, CyberLink has announced the release of PowerDirector 9 which the company claims is the world’s first native 64-bit consumer video editing software.

PowerDirector 9 has three headline features, TrueVelocity 64, TrueVelocity Parallel, and TrueVelocity Accelerator. TrueVelocity 64 is as the name implies the 64-bit part of PowerDirector 9 and the idea is simply that it gives PowerDirector 9 access to more memory if your system is kitted out with more than 4GB. CyberLink also claims that this will help speed things up in general when working with HD video; although more memory tends to help in this case no matter what if you’re working with large files.

TrueVelocity Parallel is the improved usage of multiple processor cores and threads. At a demo we attended a little over a week ago, CyberLink showed off PowerDirector 9 running on an Intel Core i7 980X with six cores and twelve threads.  It was indeed flying on this particular system. However, most of us don’t have access to that kind of a system, but PowerDirector 9 should pretty much take advantage of anything beyond two cores much better than earlier versions.

TrueVelocity Accelerator is the GPUGPU acceleration and CyberLink supports both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. We have to report that we did run into some problems here though during our brief testing, as although it worked just fine on a desktop system with an Nvidia card in it, it wasn’t at all happy on a notebook with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470. We tried contacting CyberLink about it that was unable to provide a solution to the problem, then tried AMD which was equally unable to come up with a solution and finally tried Acer who fobbed us off as the notebook was from the wrong part of the world and the support person wouldn’t even listen to our questions. 

So sadly we haven’t managed to pin-point the problem as to why we were unable to get any kind of hardware acceleration with the Mobility Radeon HD 5470, as you can enable the feature in the settings menu, it’s just not possible to select it in the render menu. AMD kindly suggested that Acer might’ve disabled this feature, as “it is possible that ACER (laptop manufacturer) has not enabled it” according to a support email that we were sent from AMD.  It seems like an odd feature in a graphics card to be controlled by the system manufacturer, but apparently this is possible on mobile graphics cards. We just wanted to give a heads up that the hardware acceleration feature might not work on some graphics cards, even though they’re technically supported.

Moving on, CyberLink has three more TrueVelocity features, Rapid Effect, Ultra Seek and Fast Render. Rapid Effect again leverages the power of GPGPU by speeding up the rendering of various effects that can be added to the video and it also allows for instant preview of said effects. Ultra Seek improves the seek time of HD videos to make previewing quicker.  Finally Fast Render is a smart preview renderer that only renders the portions of the video that have been altered during editing, which again, helps make the preview process a lot quicker.

Other new features include a 100 track timeline, although we’re not quite sure if that’s really needed in a consumer video editing package. CyberLink has also added various video enhancement technologies, keyframe control and new audio tools. For those that like effects PowerDirector 9 comes with customized particle effects and 3D-style templates for cut scenes and intros. Support for MKV and FLV files is included, as well as support for camera RAW stills.  With the RAW still you can only import files in these formats, not actually render out your videos in MKV or FLV. Finally CyberLink has added support for the new 128GB BDXL format so that you can burn your finished creations straight onto a Blu-ray disc with menus and all as soon as you’ve finished rendering the video.

Overall we’d say that PowerDirector 9 is a worthy upgrade over PowerDirector 8, especially as we didn’t have a lot of luck with the previous version. CyberLink offers two different versions of PowerDirector 9, the Deluxe for $69.95 which oddly enough doesn’t have 64-bit support and it also lacks Blu-ray support. The fully featured Ultra64 version will set you back $99.95 but it includes all the features we’ve mentioned and then some. For those that are interested in taking PowerDirector 9 for a spin, CyberLink offers a free trial version on its website.S|A

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