For this weeks Tech post I want to look at the new software from Cyberlink, PowerDVD 12 Ultra. Could it be the Media player to kill all Media players?
Last week on the 31st of January Cyberlink launched its latest incarnation of its very successful and highly popular PowerDVD. Now on it’s 12th version could this be the greatest version of the Media player?
Well on paper it looks very impressive indeed, it is a Universal player that can cope with any file thrown at it in any format, but it also has some very handy and clever tricks up it’s sleeve. Most impressively the ability to convert 2D Blu-Rays on the fly into 3D! But it is not just a PC media player, it also can act as a home server for all of your media and transcode your files to any mobile device on Apple iOS or Android.
“PowerDVD 12 Ultra delivers the total freedom to enjoy all types of media content in enhanced quality on any device at home or on-the-go. With the proliferation of devices and operating systems, PowerDVD automatically converts videos at the optimal quality to play on iPads, iPhones and Android devices. PowerDVD 12 Ultra is truly a premium media experience for the consumers”
These are the words of Alice H. Chang, CEO of Cyberlink, and it sums up the essence of what this great leap forward in the software is capable of.
The latest version of PowerDVD comes with over 30 new features and additional media support. Here are some of the KEY features…
- Play Blu-Ray, 3D, DVD and any HD media – Whether it is Blu-Ray, upscaled DVDs, videos or photos, PowerDVD Ultra can play them all flawlessly and optimized for the CPU/GPU hardware acceleration; new ultra-fast Instant seek lets you search for movies scenes in your Blu-Ray or DVD Movies in a flash.
- Turn any media into HD & 3D with TrueTheater(R) technology – Premium TrueTheater enhancements upscale DVD movies to HD quality, or turn 2D movies and photos into 3D, including new support to convert Blu-Ray movies into 3D.
- Enhance player experience for ultimate enjoyment - PowerDVD 12 Ultra provides several enhanced features to provide total flexibility and ease of use for media browsing, including Smart Media Library, instant seek, Instant zoom, Instant View and Instant Scale.
- Sync Media gallery to portable devices – Smart Sync allows users to set up rules for syncing the PowerDVD media library to Android devices automatically; better yet PowerDVD 12 will automatically choose the best fit video format for your mobile devices.
- Social Media, enhanced & convenient - Watch videos from YouTube and view Facebook and Flickr and slideshows all from PowerDVD. You can also apply TrueTheater enhancements to the media for a “better than browser” viewing experience.
So as you can see Cyberlink have made good steps into turning PowerDVD in to a one stop media centre experience, and then some. But how does it handle?
In simple terms, which we all know is best for me, it works very well.
The installation process is easy and painless and within in minutes I was up and running. The next step was to find my media, which is all stored on a NAS drive on the network. Again PowerDVD was showing all of my photos backed up Blu-Rays and music very quickly indeed. So far so good. In fact I have no issues at all. OK there was not a meta data trawler like in XBMC or PLEX but I can live with out that because of all the extra features at hand.
Blu-Ray playback was a dream and PowerDVD 12 can be accessed from within Media Centre to play your films, but if I am honest you have no need to do that as the front end of the software is very easy and intuitive to use.
My favourite feature has to go to the 3D conversion. It works like a dream. Simply select the media you want to play, whether it is a blu-ray or a DVD or even a MKV file, and then simply hit the 3D button on the transport. That is it, the software does all the hard work behind the scenes and converts the output into a 3D signal. All you need to have is a HDMI 1.4 compatible Graphics card and a 3D display and you could watch your entire film collection in eye-popping 3D. Because let’s face it, there simply isn’t enough 3D media out there at the moment.
The other fantastic feature is the mobile side of things. When you purchase PowerDVD 12 Ultra you get the mobile app for free (£14.59 if you have the Pro/Standard version). This again is very easy to set up and the fact that I can reach all of my media from any device at the optimum viewing experience was very cool to see in action.
The whole feel of the software was very Apple in the user-friendly, intuitive way it does things. You simply tell it what you want and it does it for you, you have no need to know that behind the scenes it is transcoding your 1080p MKV file down to the best resolution for you to watch on your phone, you just want to know it works. Which it does in spades.
If you have a HTPC this version of the software is an essential upgrade.
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Cyberlink Power DVD 12 Ultra is available from all good computer retailers for £79.99
Have you got a HTPC? Would this software appeal to you? Comment below.