What's the best video-editing package for a beginner? Pt.2

With more and more people using their video cameras to record those precious memories, PC Retail sent its Mystery Shopper to find out what the retailers believe is the best video-editing suite for beginners.
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Currys

Milton Keynes

I was greeted by a store colleague and explained that I was looking for a video editing package and asked what her recommendations were? She told me that she didn't stock any video editing software and that I ought to go to PC World for either Roxio or Ulead.

With no software in stock, she added it was important to ensure that I had a: "top of the range PC as specifications are very important with video editing." She asked if money was going to be an obstruction. I told her that it wasn't as long as I got a machine that met my needs.

She offered one laptop – a HP DV2750 laptop priced £799. Its specification included a 250GB hard drive, 14.1-inch monitor, Windows Vista, Intel Core2Duo Processor, 2GB RAM, remote control, webcam, an Nvidia GeForce 8400 Graphics card, 5-in-1 Memory card reader and Bluetooth connectivity.

She was trying to sell me something that I could not see due to the product not being on display. Of the stores visited so far, at no point did any of the sales people indicate that I could use Vista's Movie Maker whilst showing me hardware that they had for sale.

Both Currys stores I visited didn't stock a wide range of software packages which left me wondering what I would be thinking if I was an actual customer.
5/10

John Lewis

Milton Keynes

I approached a member of staff and told him what I was looking for. He smiled and asked me which type of camera I had. I explained that I had a miniDV camcorder. 'OK – well it will be difficult to edit as the format of these are AVI and you cannot edit, you will need a DVD encryption.' This was a bit too 'jargon' for me.

Anyhow, I pursued the enquiry. There was no software recommendation so I asked him about hardware.

He took me to the HP Slimline S3350 Desktop PC priced for a 19-inch monitor. With no software editing package, I asked him to explain Microsoft MovieMaker included in Windows.

He launched the program and explained how it could be utilised to edit video. I found this helpful, but would have preferred to see some other software titles.

Before leaving, I noticed there was an Adobe editing software on the shelf, putting a dampner on what had otherwise been a fairly informative demonstration.
5/10

Comet

Milton Keynes

After about ten minutes I was approached by a saleswoman, who clearly wasn't the 'best person to speak to' referring me quickly onto a colleague.

He asked what I was looking for and I quickly explained that I was looking for a way to transfer my video to PC then edit it. He told me to buy a Belkin Firewire four-to-six pin cable priced £14.99 to transfer data.

He asked how much l wanted to spend on a PC. I didn't give him a price, allowing him to have a free reign on his recommendations. He went straight for the Sony VGN-FZ31M.CEK laptop priced £799.99. This had a 15.4-inch monitor, Intel Core2Duo processor, 200GB hard drive, Windows Vista, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M and Blu-Ray.

He opened up Windows Movie Maker reminding me that the laptop also had VAIO Video and Photosuite. He told me that whatever software l wanted to put on it, the laptop would be fast enough. Whilst there were no other recommendations the knowledge gained was very good.
8/10

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