There can be many different causes for poor preview performance in Studio. The following steps should help to resolve the problem.
1. Minimum Requirements
Verify that the computer being used meets the minimum system requirements for Studio.
- Studio 14 - click here for the system requirements for Studio which are listed on the box and online.
- Studio 15- click here for the system requirements for Studio which are listed on the box and online.
2. AVCHD and HD Video
This is mentioned in the Minimum System Requirements in Step1, but if you are working with HD or AVCHD video, make sure your system is up to spec for this kind of video. Some features such as HD (High Definition) and AVCHD video editing require more RAM and a higher performance graphics card and processor compared to working with SD (Standard Definition) video material. See the FAQs on system requirements above.
Even if you meet the minimum requirements for HD or AVCHD, editing performance may be decreased compared to SD video editing.
3. Make sure that you have the latest version of Studio installed.
- If you have Studio version 14, there is no update at this time.
- If you have Studio version 15, there is no update at this time.
4. Video Preview Settings
Within Studio go to Setup - Video and audio preferences. In the video preview section of these settings are the following checkboxes:
- Enable full-resolution preview
- Enable hardware acceleration
Try ticking and un-ticking both of these options to see if any combination of these settings has an effect on the preview problem. You need to restart Studio in order to take effect.
- Background Rendering
Within Studio go to Setup - Video and audio preferences. In the background rendering section is a setting called Enable background rendering. If this option is selected, before preview the project, make sure that background rendering has fully completed. If background rendering is still occurring, the project will not play back smoothly. An easy way to identify if background rendering is occurring is the appearance of a green bar at on the timeline at the point where the rendering is taking place.
It may also be helpful to completely disable background rendering. To do this, simply uncheck the Enable background rendering checkbox.
- Graphics Card Hardware Acceleration
Try lowering the hardware acceleration for the graphics card. First, close the Studio software. Next go to the Windows START button - Control Panel - Display - Settings - Advanced - Troubleshoot.
In this settings window there is a horizontal slider that allows the adjustment of the hardware acceleration setting of the graphics cards. Try adjusting it one setting lower, then restart Studio and see if the performance has improved. If it has not, close Studio again and move the slider one more notch to the left. Then Start Studio and try again. Repeat this until all Hardware Acceleration settings have been tried.
7. Project Format
Make sure that the media in the timeline matches the timeline format. If the size or frame rate do not match, the performance might be much worse than it could be. For example, if the project format is set to NTSC Standard (720 x 480, 29.97 frames/sec. 4:3, interlaced), it would be best to add video clips in that same format.
8. Update Drivers
Make sure that you have the latest sound and video card drivers loaded from their manufacturer's websites.
Determine what sound and video card is on the system by checking in Device Manager. To get to Device Manager by right click on the My Computer icon and select Properties. Next, select the Hardware tab then click the Device Manager button.
To determine what video card is on the system, click the plus sign in front of Display Adapters in the Device Manager list. The video card will be displayed. To determine the manufacturer and date of the video card driver, double click on the video card name. Now click the Driver tab and you will see all the driver information including Driver Provider and Driver Date.
The process for the sound card is very similar. In Device Manager the sound card is displayed in the Sound, video and game controllers section. You can double click on the sound card to determine the driver information in the same fashion as the video card.
Please note that a sound card is required in order to have smooth video playback (even without using audio in the project).
Here are some links to common sound and video card manufacturers websites that would have driver updates available:
Sound Blaster (SB): www.creative.com
9. Background Processes
Make sure there are not too many extra background processes running that may interfere with Studio.Click here for the FAQ on how to do this.
10. Virus scanners or continuous media scanning applications
Virus scanner software can hinder performance. As a test, try disabling the virus scanner and see if it helps.
Note: For safety reasons, it is recommended to disconnect from the internet while the virus scanner is disabled.
If it helps, try to exclude media directories from the scanning paths and/or remove media files (MPG, AVI, WAV, BMP, JPG, etc.) from the files to be scanned. Contact the virus scanner vendor for instructions on how to do this.
Try disabling indexing tools or services from running such as Google Desktop Search, Yahoo Desktop Search, Adobe Photoshop Album Importer, etc.
11. Increase the Priority of Studio
In some cases it can be helpful to increase the priority of the Studio application in Windows. Here is how to do that:
- With Studio open, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete on the keyboard. This will open the Windows Security window.
- Select the Task Manager button. This will open the Windows Task Manager.
- Select the Processes tab.
- Locate Studio.exe in the list.
- Right-click on Studio.exe and select Set Priority.
- In the Set Priority section, try selecting AboveNormal or High.
- Once the change is made it will prompt a warning asking if you are sure you want to change the priority class. Select Yes to this. If there is any undesirable change, simply change the priority back to Normal.
12. Display Settings
Sometimes with higher graphics card display settings selected, the video preview window in Studio may not perform as expected. Close Studio and check the graphics card display settings by going to the Windows START button - Control Panel - Display - Settings. There are two options in this settings window that may need to be changed:
- Screen Resolution
- Color Quality
Try resolutions such as 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768, with 32 bit color selected. Once changed, start Studio and see if there is improved performance in the preview window. If there is no improvement, try different resolution settings. In some cases a lower resolution may work better.
13. Multiple Monitors
If multiple monitors are being used, try using only one monitor and see if performance improves.
14. Direct X Diagnostic Tool
Go to the Windows START button - RUN and type in DXDIAG to run the DirectX Diagnostics Tool.
Check for any errors that may be displayed with the graphics card or sound card. To check for errors in the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, check the Notes section in the various tabs of the tool. If there is a problem, it would make note of it in this section. If there is a problem, please contact the vendor of the device displaying the problem for assistance.
15. Try the video that came with Studio
If this Video plays, then the problem may be with the footage with the problem. If it does not play, there may be a problem with Studio. Try uninstalling and reinstall.