No or poor quality video preview in Studio 16 and Avid Studio

This article applies to Studio 16 and Avid Studio

There can be several causes for no or poor quality video preview in the Studio. This FAQ will help to resolve most cases of this problem.

1. Minimum Requirements

Verify that the computer being used meets the minimum system requirements for Studio. 

Avid Studio System Requirements
Pinnacle Studio 16 System Requirements

Note: Some features such as HD (High Definition) video editing require a higher performance graphics card compared to working with SD (Standard Definition) video material.

2. Direct X Download

In cases, if you have no video preview at all, downloading and installing the DirectX End-User Runtimes from Microsoft will resolve the problem.

Click here to download the DirectX End-User Runtimes

3. Video Preview Settings

You can determine the Preview quality under Preview tab of the Avid Studio Control Panel.

Go to Setup > Control Panel > Preview.  There are some settings in this section that may be adjusted to get better results.

Quality: Select “Best Quality” and see if your results improve.

Background Playback Optimization:  Try activating Background Playback Optimization on the Preview tab of the Avid Studio Control Panel. With this option, all effects sequences are pre-rendered to ensure optimum display.

If the option Background Playback Optimization 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.

Render While Play:  Try changing this to OFF if you notice jerks while previewing your project.

4. 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 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:


Nvidia :

Sound Blaster (SB) :

Note: Even if your computer is new, it may have older drivers installed. Do not skip this step because the 'computer is new.


5. Direct X Diagnostic Tool

Go to the Windows START button and type in DXDIAG in the search window 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.


6. 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.


7. 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. 
  • Select Start Task Manager.
  • Select the Processes tab.
  • Locate NGStudio.exe in the list.
  • Right-click on NGStudio.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.


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