Review: Video Studio 2018 / Video Studio X10
There are a ton of Video editing software packages around. Recently we decided to take a step up, and chose Corel Video Studio 2018. It’s a recent release, and there are some good reviews online, so why not?
Review of Corel Video Studio 2018
The Corel company website is nice — lots of cool graphics, reasonably easy to navigate, and tons of propaganda about why their products are best. We’ve been using Corel Paint Shop Pro since the days before Corel bought it (originally produced by Jasc), so why not try Video Studio?
We went for the Pro version instead of the Ultimate since we’re just learning.
The download process was direct and easy. They send you a nice email with the product installation keys and explanations. So far, so good.
Installing the product was also easy. The initial program that downloads is just the launcher. Since the program is huge, it takes a while to download the rest during installation, but that’s OK. Approx. 3Gb download. Everything else with installation was smooth.
Trouble began when attempting to start the software. On launch, it fires up a typical splash screen, but after several seconds, the computer completely froze with this error on the screen:
Last time I checked, a video card is required to show video on a computer, so this message confused me. After several attempts, I contacted customer support.
Corel Customer Support
Email is the entry for Customer Support, so I sent a message. They are not fast with replies, but in a few hours I got a response.
The email back and forth went on for more than a week. Basically they don’t know what’s happening, and they wanted me to do their diagnostic and development for them. I don’t believe they have any clue about using higher end Video Cards such as the NVIDIA K4000 which I use to run CAD programs like SolidWorks.
Nothing they asked me to do changed the response of the system. Still, after more than a week, the software won’t launch.
Request for Video Studio X10
Since I really want the Software, I requested a downgrade to the past version, Video Studio X10. Corel customer support was nice enough to provide the installation files, but even after 2 weeks and many numbers, they were unable to send a valid installation key. Oh well. Installed the demo mode.
The X10 software installation experience was much the same as Video Studio 2018. It installed fine, and this time it also launched! Hurray, success at last.
Or was it?
It’s one thing to accomplish the loading, it’s quite another if the software doesn’t work right.
First Video Studio Editing Project
I coach a team of Junior Cyclists, so my first video project is combining some fun clips from the trail. Just something simple to learn the software. To make a complicated story short, I built the project, but had a ton of trouble with video quality. I finally started over with just one short clip.
Here is the original simple video straight from the GoPro (via YouTube).
Here is the same clip from Corel Video Studio X10. I did 2 very simple things — 1) Cut the video shorter; 2) Added a music track. I tried to cut the music length to match the video, but Video Studio crashed every time, so the music here is longer than the video.
All the chatter, recycling and noise are from Video Studio. There are no effects of any kind — just one clip with the tail cut off.
The same beginning of this project was attempted several times, each starting with the original video, but attempting different ways to accomplish it. Then, I tried other clips with a similar outcome. I tried running Video Studio with “High Performance NVIDIA Processor” and with “Integrated Graphics”, but with no difference. I even invited a friend who is skilled with Corel’s X7 product and he was baffled.
More Than Video Quality
Adding insult to injury, the program is a pig in usability. Huge delays, very little feedback about what it is doing and when you need to wait or if the software is waiting for you.
Slow is not an adequate description. Simple operations took minutes. This is a workstation class computer with tons of memory and an i7 quad core processor, and it is not slow with other heavy programs. I’m not sure what’s up, and Corel has no clue either. Again, via Corel technical support we did more diagnostic. Nothing changed.
Summary — 2+ Weeks In:
Overall, my experience with Video Studio is horrible. I’ll give them an “F” because even after 2 weeks of back and forth email with customer support, I’m no closer to actually editing video. I’ve wasted hours trying all sorts of things to fix it, but nothing is accomplished.
Many people say Video Studio is great, so I won’t argue with their experience. Mine is totally different. It would not be so bad if Customer Support knew what was happening, but they don’t. They have not done proper Quality Testing, and they don’t really know how their own software interacts.
My Conclusion After 2 Weeks: Stay away. Both Video Studio 2018 and Video Studio X10 are unusable and a complete waste of time, IMO.
Finally, after more persistence on my part, Corel offered to remote into my computer and see if they could fix the issues. I normally would not allow this for many reasons, but I decided I might learn something and it would certainly answer questions. I agreed. It took another week to set it up, but finally at 11:00pm one evening they could help.
I knew it was trouble when he first started to install, because the software was already installed. Maybe I should have stopped it there. I pointed out the obvious, then he uninstalled the existing software first. He then downloaded the installer twice. (I guess he couldn’t remember that he just did it a minute earlier.) He purged the %temp% and some other things previously done, then reinstalled. Again, it took a while.
The big difference? Service Pack 1.
During installation, he chose to install on the desktop. Sloppy and Amatuer! He also did not take a minute to clean up the orphans left behind from the previous uninstall. Unprofessional.
Side Note: When I asked him why he installed on the desktop, he said it was a “Workaround”. I asked “What does it workaround?” and he replied “We will end now the chat session.” What? By the way, if there is a technical reason or if this is really a “workaround” for something, please let me know. I wrote again to Corel customer support to see if I could get an answer, but they only sent a survey.
However, once the install was complete, the software did open.
Summary — 26 Days In:
After the very sloppy install by Corel tech support, Video Studio 2018 does work. Hurray!! Finally. A quick video creation using the same clips above, is here.
Well, it took most of a month with tech support with several hours of troubleshooting, head scratching and diagnosis, but it finally works. Sort of.
During the installation process, the tech disabled many functions using MSCONFIG. That makes other programs fail to start — like Solidworks and virus protection. Of course, that’s not acceptable. However, if we enable those functions again (so the other programs work), Video Studio 2018 fails. Back to the same issue of freezing the computer as the program starts — leaving the warning message “Problem Ejecting NVIDIA Quadro K4000” on the screen.
Knowing what I now know, I would not have purchased Corel Video Studio 2018 or any other version. I am TOTALLY unimpressed with their tech support — amatuer and unprofessional. To their credit, they do respond and they don’t just drop you because they can’t solve the problem. However, I do not recommend the 26 day installation process! And, it still does not work.
With very little user time, the software did work for a short time, but only when other programs are completely disabled. Because Corel has not done their homework, this is NOT a quality product.
Unfortunately, my opinion of Corel fell off a cliff in this process. I’m not willing to support such companies by purchasing or recommending their products. If you’re looking for video editing software, Corel gets some good reviews, but I can’t, in good conscience, recommend buying the product.