Until recently, Ulead was a well-established brand in its own right, which is why Corel bought the company and thereby strengthened its own video editing portfolio.

If you own a camcorder, then it’s likely you’ve experienced what Microsoft’s own Movie Maker has to offer and if you’re ready for a more accomplished package, Corel Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus is a great example of how to make your movie clips into more than you thought possible.

For instance, there are some quite sophisticated tools included, such as chromakey – green screens – that allow you to superimpose your own backgrounds, so livening up even the dullest of family videos. To be fair, if you already own Version 10, you won’t find this a major upgrade and there is little here to tempt you to upgrade. However, first-time buyers will find it easy to use, with results being immediate and satisfying.

The changes that have been incorporated have been designed to make things a little easier on the end user. For instance, you can now pause your PC during the encoding process, which depending on the length of the film, can often take hours. This may not sound like a big deal but it’s a nice touch if you need to check email, or do something else while encoding. Then there are the array of movie wizard templates, which speed up getting your movies up and running in no time.

Perhaps the biggest new addition is the MPEG Optimiser, which effectively double-checks your editing before you encode the footage and audio together.

This would hardly be the latest package if there wasn’t support for high-def content, so if you’ve splashed out on a high-def camcorder recently, you’ll find yourself in luck. You can edit in HD as well as write to HD DVD optical drives. Considering the size of files involved, we found the program actually handled editing in responsible time.

If you don’t want support for high-def, or don’t own an iPod so don’t need encoding into H.264 MP4 format, then you can save money by opting for VideoStudio 11 (£40 inc. VAT) but this is a little short sighted, as how often are you likely to buy new software?

Price when reviewed:

Corel VideoStudio 11 Plus offers great value for money and the number of tools you get should keep you happy for some time to come.

True, if you use the previous version there is no real need to upgrade. That said, the introduction of the Optimser might well make it worth considering.

However, if you’ve outgrown Movie Maker and are looking for a versatile suite that will help you achieve your video aims, this is the one for you.