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2.7 out of 5 stars47
2.7 out of 5 stars
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on 17 March 2012
And it has the EXACT same problems that powerDVD 11 had- crashing and bugging when playing blu rays from a BD ROM. VERY unstable. I read on a forum somewhere that power dvd doesn't work so well with nvidia graphic cards which is what I, as well as many others, use.

If your looking for a decent software that plays blu rays that is 100% stable and WON'T crash and have problems but doesn't have a nice and fancy interface (but what would you prefer?), do yourself a favour and try out the trial first. If it messes up like it did with mine, try Corel WinDVD 11 Pro (PC), but try the trial version first just in case. I've been using it for months now to play blu rays and never had any such problems as power DVD. 100% stable and reliable. Which is a shame, because the interface and some features of powerDVD 12 are very good, but not many other software companies seem to be making blu ray software. How come the likes of companies such as Sony haven't even caught on yet?

But to me, Cyberlink PowerDVD 12 Ultra (PC) has the EXACT problems it's preprocessor had. I hoped they would work on this issue, but it seems they haven't.

Shame on you, CYBERLINK.

Let's hope in the future, there'll be a FREE download of software to play Blu Rays. I'm hoping that VLC media player, STILL the best media player out there (yet it's free), may do a future version that plays them.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What does it do ?

Power DVD 12 is a media player that is supposed to be a one stop shop to play all your media files on. We all have many types of media files on our computers these days and one program won't display or play media from another. Software, like Power DVD, has many built in codecs so that you should be able to view all your media files in one place. I have used version 11 and that was OK but certainly was not comprehensive, I loaded version 12 expecting it to be a big improvement, It promises much on the box.

Does it deliver ?

Power DVD version 12 promises much but fails to deliver on many of these. I tried playing HD files from my JVC camcorder and got the message 'Power DVD does not support this file format' I also tried music from my Nokia phone and got the same message, not a good start. I tried some DVD's and a couple of Blue Ray disks and it played these easily. Some old camcorder footage also played but was very hit and miss about quality and frame sync. although it played fine in version 11.

Seems to need lots of system resources

Like others reviewing this software I found that it likes to eat CPU time and memory which generally slows everything down. I have a very powerful PC (core i7, 16Gb RAM and SSD drive) which runs video editing packages very well. However, this software was not happy and seemed very buggy.

I tried to like it

I really did give it a good workout but I feel the software is unfinished with a lot of rough edges. The claim on the box that it will 'play all media' is misleading to say the least as it won't. Version 11 was better than this, smoother, easier to use, less buggy and much cheaper. I think in this package adding 3D and multi device connection has diluted its appeal because it is not easy to get it to work. I tried syncing it with an iPad which was partly successful but not easy to do. Any software that is not easy to work, to me, fails big time. I am used to Dreamweaver, Photoshop and professional editing software but this software just not cut it for me due to the bugs, heavy system resource use and bugs, it just feel like it has been rushed out. I do hope they offer a patch as I want to like this software as it would solve so many problem for me! For the time I have uninstalled it and hope it gets updated soon.

Conclusion

Sorry Cyberlink, I know you can do better so wont write this off as I think it will get patched soon due to the less than favourable reviews and findings in the computer press. Until this happens I have uninstalled it for now.
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on 22 July 2012
I almost did not purchase this product when I read the other reviews and I am so pleased that I purchased it.
It does everything that I expected of it,I am able to play my Blu-Ray movies with no problems at all, along with all the other discs.The softwear includes an app to turn my smartphone into a remote. I have played several Blu-Ray movies with no buffering and I would recommend this product to anyone.It does require a good CPU and graphics card
if you have a slower computer it may not work, but if you have a newer computer you should not have any problems with this softwear.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I recently added a Blu-ray drive to my PC and after getting over my initial shock that even with the latest version of Windows (by that I mean 7, not the 8 beta/preview) there is no built-in support for Blu-ray playback, I began to consider my options.

It seems that there is no (full featured) free option for Blu-ray playback on PC at present, forcing someone who wants to invest in one of half-a-dozen software packages. I was given the option of Cyberlink PowerDVD 12 Ultra and jumped at the chance. Perfect, I thought!

The software arrived in an ominously large box which is adorned with details of the many features it offers. As I glanced at them I was mentally ticking off all the things I can already do on my PC with the included or free software. Hmmmm, I thought, this seems all a bit excessive just to allow me to watch my Blu-rays.

Undeterred I installed the software and then fired it up. The software insisted on scanning my hard drive for my media, whether I wanted it to or not, which I found a bit annoying. With that done I got into the main interface and it all seemed quite nice. Very responsive, unlike for instance iTunes, and I was beginning to warm to the product.

Then I put in a Blu-ray and it all changed. It started whirring and it recognised the disc, displaying some information about the film. That's swish, I thought, mind you I already knew all the information displayed from looking at the case I've just taken the disc out of!

Unfortunately then it threw up an error saying that my display was not HDCP compliant and therefore I could not watch a Blu-ray film. Ridiculous! So having spent out on a Blu-ray drive and this software I am now faced with having to purchase a new monitor?

No thank you. Has anyone else noticed how all these anti-piracy measures only make life more difficult for legitimate users? I'm sure things like HDCP do next to nothing to slow down or stop people determined to illegally copy and/or share films, so why is it having such an impact on me when all I want to do is watch the film I have bought and paid for?

I appreciate this review seems to be more about HDCP than the software, so I'll end on a further thought about the software. You recall me saying about all the included features that I didn't want or need? Well the net result of that is that the software takes up some 328 Mb of disc space when installed, versus 15 Mb for something like Media Player Classic. I appreciate that disc space isn't at the premium it once was, but that still seems excessive just for Blu-ray playback, no?
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you have a laptop or PC with a Blu-ray drive Windows doesn't come with a Blu-ray player so you need to buy one. PowerDVD takes up quite a lot of hard disk, over 300MB, it also seemed quite slow and personally I found the interface confusing.
One of the constant irritations with Cyberlink products are the frequent pop-ups urging you to upgrade or purchase other Cyberlink products and PowerDVD is no exception. I've found this worse when the product, although perfectly useable, has a newer version available.
In use it played DVDs and BluRay discs without problem, it also played files from my Sagem freeview PVR, these are in MPEG-2 transport stream format, with a .ts suffix; as PowerDVD claims to allow you to play the files on portable devices I tried to get these to play on my Samsung Galaxy Ace Android smart-phone but without success.
Overall a reasonable Blu-ray player but that's it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 January 2013
I did the following review for Cyberlink PowerDVD 12 Pro, but the same review also applies to the Ultra edition as I tested with the free download evaluation of the Ultra edition.
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I don't lightly dismiss software tools like this but I have tried out this one enough to arrive at this low rating. I have used PowerDVD and PowerDirector software (both from CyberLink) for years, and despite their adware annoyances (see for instance my review of a related product - Cyberlink PowerDirector 11 Ultra), I somehow managed to use them. Despite the built-in adware, I would consider PowerDirector to be one of the best video editing tools around (just to give credit where it's due ;-). This version of PowerDVD 12 Pro however seem to be an exception in lacking any positive attribute.

The PowerDVD version I used for nearly two years is version 9 which came my way as an OEM bundle and worked fine for playing Blu-Ray disc on my laptop. As an OEM bundle it lacks features and extras such as Dolby 5.1 decoding and playing online media (yes, a marketing ploy to make you upgrade) but it worked great for what is was intended (mainly as a 2-channel audio Blu-ray disc and some local media player).

With my laptop OS now upgraded to the all-new Windows 8, I thought it was a good idea to get the all-new PowerDVD 12 Pro (apparently tested for Windows 8 compatibility, and also with the expectation of getting the extra features of PowerDVD I never had before), and I didn't hesitate to place an order when, one evening, I came across a highly discounted January sale price at £24.99 here on Amazon.

With a few minutes of usage, PowerDVD 12 Pro revealed itself more like a beta version that has never been adequately tested to make it to consumers; in fact, I find version 9 relatively more stable and usable than this. To give you some idea, the following is a selection of issues I have encountered:

1) Playing Blu-ray disc:
When I click a Play button, I am constantly prompted that 'there is no disc in the drive'. This is despite the fact that the Play button is active- that is, only gets enabled when the disc is in. Also, in the same GUI, PowerDVD's own 'My Computer link' allows me to navigate the disk. So there are two other ways of checking that PowerDVD actually recognises the disc but at the same time it indicates 'there is no disc in the drive' upon hitting the Play button. The only way to initiate the BD Play is by Ejecting the disc and pushing it in. Not smart!

2) Attempting to play online media (e.g., YouTube):
PowerDVD crashes and disappears off screen, but Task Manager confirms that the PowerDVD processes are still in memory (at least 3 of them). When the program crashes, you will be shown the following error message:

PowerDVD12.exe has stopped working.
Please send us this error report to help us fix the problem and improve this software.

3) You will also find numerous error messages in the Event Viewer, some of these being:
- The 'CyberLink PowerDVD 12 Media Server Service' service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this N time(s). [N can be a number such as 3, 4 etc].
- The 'CyberLink PowerDVD 12 Media Server Monitor Service' service is marked as an interactive service. However, the system is configured to not allow interactive services. This service may not function properly.

4) Furthermore, I find the description of Product Features a bit misleading. There are video types this player cannot play (e.g., QuickTime MOV video file) but gives the impression that it can. I have some MOV video files from a Panasonic compact camera, which can be played with Windows 8 video player (I think ZuneVideo 1.1.134 App) as well as WMP12. I attempted to play these video files with PowerDVD 12 Pro but I was instead greeted with the message "PowerDVD does not support the playback of this media format". Incidentally, this error message only showed up after updating PowerDVD 12 Pro to Build 2118 (after downloading some 154MB patch software and installing it) , but before that it was playing the MOV video file with no video but only audio being decoded.

Well, I can go on writing more on the tribulations with this software tool, but it would suffice to say that this version of PowerDVD is not ready as consumer grade software. Just so that you know the test platform, it is a top range laptop - ASUS G74SX 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop  - with a powerful i7-2630QM processor, massive 16GB RAM, and very capable nVidia GTX 560M graphics. It is not as if the laptop wasn't capable of handling the processing tasks PowerDVD 12 Pro was throwing at it.

Finally, worth noting that this software is 32-bit, not 64-bit, just in case this info is relevant to you.

Sorry, not recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 April 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Problems with installation were encountered as mentioned by other reviewers. You click OK to install but nothing appears to happen. You click OK again and again then find it is trying to do multiple installations and crashes.
Once installed I selected just a few media folders as other reviewers had reported that initial building the media database was taking hours. I found the same with just selected folders.
I particularly wanted to use the feature to run PowerDVD Mobile on an Ipad but this has proved to be too unreliable and although satisfactorily paired and authorised I was getting constant error messages such as "Browse Unsuccessful" or "Not Authorised" or "Connection to the Device was lost check your network status or the media server". Repeated attempts gave some success but almost everything gave messages "Buffering" before anything happens.
I am using a high specification PC with fast wireless network connections and experience no problems using other software to access mobile devices.
No software updates are available to PowerDVD 12 Ultra as build v12.0.1331.54 is currently the latest.
I have spent about 8 hours trying to get it it to do anything better or more reliably than software already installed Picasa, WinDVD or Windows Media Player and decided it was just not worth all the delays and error messages.
I have now removed it and hope others can benefit from this experience.

Update after reading a user forum.Cyberlink Support have acknowledged that the fault I was experiencing is known to them and will be updated shortly.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you are not happy or want more from the default media player that comes with your Windows computer, then I would definitely recommend the PowerDVD 12 Ultra. Please note that you need a top of the range blu-ray compatible disc drive (integrated or external) with your computer to get the full functionality of this package. I like the fact that you can play 3D blu ray on it, because I don't have a 3D compatible TV, and do not plan to buy one (it's a gimmick in my opinion) but these days 3D discs (packaged with normal 2D) are forced on buyers of some blu ray movies and there seems to be no choice to get "vanilla" blu rays for some releases, so in order to make full use of the discs you get in the triple play offerings, this powerDVD software on a computer is a good option for trying the 3D on your PC rather tha splashing out on expensive new bluray player and tv.

Make sure you check the operating system and PC minimum requirement specs (which are quite high) before you buy.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The 2009 Ultra version of this program was slick, sharp and fully featured. This edition has a few more features and can play few more different formats but it does not have quite the same immediacy as the older program.

Start-up is much slower; the interface is very busy, in fact the whole program feels as though it needs to put on a diet but without losing its features. The interface becomes overly confusing and there is no easy way to navigate through it where at times it is like wading through treacle.
A little more emphasis on usability would have given the program more of an edge.

However it is not all doom and gloom, there is better audio, great Blu-ray playback, enhancement of standard DVD's into almost Blu-ray quality, increased format support, streaming media across a network, even to an iPad or iPhone.

There is also the ability to take a standard 2D video and play it back in 3D. Ok so this is a little gimmicky, a bit of fun but not practical enough to sit through a whole film wearing blue and red 3D glasses, of which a pair come with this package. Headache anyone?

You could on the other hand opt for the pro version, but no doubt you will end up kicking yourself for not spending that little extra for the extra audio formats and streaming facilities.
The program does what it does well, but at a cost as it sucks up processing and memory power which in turn may have an effect on less powerful computers. I run this on a Win 7, Core i7 laptop, with a 7500 speed hard drive and 8GB of memory, it still slows my computer down.

The bottom line is, I like the product and yet I don't like the product, with a few tweaks and updates it could be really good the 3D conversion of 2D video makes me smile.

Finally, the claim that it plays 'all forms of media' as printed on the box should be taken with a pinch of salt, there are on or two it can't do.
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on 18 July 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's slow to load, you have to load files into it to play them, it crashes if you try to use certain extensions or file types, it freezes frequently if playing movies, I could go on but there's no point - just leave well alone and use some of the excellent free software out there, this isn't a patch on the simplicity of VLC for example. A media player needs to just work, and work damned well to make it worth spending money on to beat the free stuff, and this actually makes life harder. Waste of time and money.
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