The title is to help Google!
First hiccup, the Adobe ID entry box won't work unless your Adobe ID is an email address. Mine isn't. Fortunately you can skip that stage.
Choose "New Project" and the program crashes... ah, I see it's trying to read my VST's. Bad design - that should be enabled if the user wants to later on. Fortunately most of mine are where PE9 won't find them.
There's a promising set of presets (though as before, the PE requirement to choose precise presets is not found in other such programs, but that's probably buried too deep in the software to change).
Drag a Panasonic GH1 1080i clip onto the timeline, and it wants to change the preset I chose, so I click "yes". And it plays, which is something. Now I drag a 720p clip onto the timeline, and it displays a red line above the clip on the timescale, and only shows the watermark (which oddly does not appear in the 1080i clip playback). When I hit "enter" to render that portion, it still just displays the watermark. Ah, click on the window and the video is displayed under the watermark. But the video will not play without going back to the watermark only display.
Going from earlier posts, I have now to decide whether to ignore the claim that this is a fully functional demo and pay to make it fully functional, or wonder forever how well it might have worked if I'd bought it.
Aha again - I delete everything so far, and drag the 720p clip on its own onto the timeline. The project preset is automatically changed again (after confirmation), and it plays fine with no watermark. Good! Put the 1080i clip afterwards, and that gets the watermark treatment.
Let's try rendering the present state of the timeline to H264 1080i - off it goes, at a render speed a bit less than half speed (2 minutes of material in 4 minutes on the Q6300 quad core PC) which in comparison with programs seems slow, especially with all cores going flat out. Does this program support Cuda? No sign of it at a glance.
Completed render plays back fine and (apart from the watermark) looks perfectly OK in picture quality and resolution terms.
A minor annoyance which might not apply to anyone else - here I have two PCs using a shared keyboard and mouse using "Maxivista" to swap the mouse and keyboard to whichever screen the mouse is on. When I go to the PC not running PE9, playback stops.
Well, if only to make my earlier investment in PE8 worthwhile, I'll go for it and I'll add more detailed comments once the program is really fully functional... then I'll test whether G13 footage (Panasonic GH1 footage using non-standard firmware, giving much higher than standard bitrates) works or not.
Well, before plonking down my money I've tried a couple of "GH13" 1080i clips, which have bitrates outside the official AVCHD spec (eg around 35mbps in this case) and they play fine too.
I notice that when I click on "full screen" at the top of the interface that the playback then has artifacts which are caused by the timeline refreshing under the full screen playback - a bar across the screen which comes from elsewhere in the picture being played. Anyone else see that? That's with standard AVCHD or mpeg footage. Just possibly the kind of thing which checking for current NVIDIA drivers might fix?
As soon as I try to put a picture in picture with AVCHD material, the playback framerate drops drastically - that part of the timeline has to be rendered. In other recent software that's not required - off the top of my head I'd get four tracks to play at once. I'd say PE9 is well behind the game in terms of the efficiency of the timeline playback engine. Even rendering that part of the timeline is painfully slow. Still, maybe there are quality tradeoffs - one program I use doesn't attempt to give full definition playback from the timeline, leading to a slighly blurred look in the playback monitoring window, but that does mean it can show more complex timelines unrendered.