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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid, long-established performer; possibly the best available all-round media player
This is an old favourite and now in its 14th release. It comes as three versions with a common core to which various additions are made in the more advanced and costlier versions; they are in progression, Standard (the basic package), Pro (adds PowerDVD Remote and provides Blu-Ray and 4K video support) and Ultra (adds PowerMedia Player and 3D support to the previous...
Published 4 months ago by Andy_atGC

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Do you need the Power?
The new version of PowerDVD is here, and it's a lot like the old version. In fact it feels like the last few versions, which have seen very small incremental improvements over the past few years. That isn't necessarily a bad thing as it keeps everything consistent for old users, but it does mean if you've owned a PowerDVD from the past few years there is little here to...
Published 2 months ago by M. Smith


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've been using PowerDVD for years now and have been very happy with it, 20 July 2014
By 
K. Trebell (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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Power DVD 14 Ultra is the latest version of the PowerDVD Media player and builds further on the extensive feature set of previous versions. The biggest addition to this is the addition of cloud storage allowing you store your media in the cloud and then play it within PowerDVD from anywhere you install it. It also comes now with a free digital copy if you sign up for an account.

There are three versions of PowerDVD, the standard version with DVD playback, Pro which adds Blu Ray (pretty essential), 4k support and a remote app for tablets and phones and this ultra version which includes media sharing and 3d playback.

I've been using PowerDVD for years now and have been very happy with it. I've continued to use it since and had no problems with it meeting my needs so am more than happy to stick with it.

As with the previous version this Ultra Edition of PowerDVD also includes media sharing capability, enabling you to import your media libary from your PC in and share it out to a number of different devices.

It's worth noting that this doesn't un-install the previous version of PowerDVD as part of installation, so be sure to manually remove it first so the software all works correctly.

Overall this is still a good media player with a solid set of features and good quality Blu Ray playback. I'm not sure it has enough features to be an essential upgrade for recent buyers but it's an excellent option if you don't have it yet or have an older version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid, long-established performer; possibly the best available all-round media player, 19 July 2014
By 
Andy_atGC (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This is an old favourite and now in its 14th release. It comes as three versions with a common core to which various additions are made in the more advanced and costlier versions; they are in progression, Standard (the basic package), Pro (adds PowerDVD Remote and provides Blu-Ray and 4K video support) and Ultra (adds PowerMedia Player and 3D support to the previous package). Also with Ultra, it adds the capability to sync your various media files including photos to the Cloud and adds DLNA support for NAS devices.

There are other broadly similar alternatives of which WinDVD (now part of Corel) is one. Each have their own loyal followers, but one brand may support something that others do not. If that feature is important, then go for it. However, CyberLink have other media-centric software packages and others that have a photo- or video-editing function with which PowerDVD may interlink.

PowerDVD is primarily an advanced media player, not just for videos but for audio files too, and is claimed to provide superior video performance compared with some of the less costly or freebie packages. If your needs are modest or you don't play a lot of video one of the freebies will probably suffice but, if you are more demanding and have some of the less common formats within your varied collection, then PowerDVD may well be a more effective answer. It supports most formats of both audio and video files and has sufficient inbuilt technology to use the more advanced capabilities of today's video adapters which few of the freebies are able to provide.

A downloadable app, PowerDVD Remote, may be used with any Android, iPhone or iPad to act together as a remote control with PowerDVD and your computer. There are other free CyberLink apps that are available, details of which are included within the limited documentation. Together, they add much functionality to a fully-featured package. Installation is normally via the DVD but, in the event that your computer does not have the necessary optical drive, you now have the option to download the full package via a members' page (Signup required) and to install via a USB stick, hard drive or an SD card. This should relieve concerns of some of its potential users.

It has had issues in the past that have attracted adverse comments from some users using specific hardware. Many will have never encounterd any such problem. Hopefully, all those past problems have now been resolved.

There was a hiccup at the end of installation when inputting the key; a character may have been incorrect as an error message appeared and the sequence was then about to be checked and corrected. However, the program instantly uninstalled without warning and left no traces. On reinstallation, much faster this time, the key installed without error.

As PowerDVD can be a moderately costly package in its advanced versions, you may want to ensure that you purchase the most appropriate package for your own requirements. For example, there is no need to buy the Ultra if you never play 3D movies and have no means to view them on your PC, or don't need Cloud or NAS support; a lesser version would probably suffice. You could upgrade at a later date should your needs change.

Some PC manufacturers provide an older version of the basic package as part of their installations. Cyberlink provide an upgrade path and a discounted price should you wish to upgrade and update.

As a long-established package, the program is a solid performer that is likely to be around for several years to come. There should be few reasons not to consider its purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another notable upgrade, but ads spoil it, 3 Aug 2014
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
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As I have said before in previous reviews of PowerDVD I am not keen on Windows Media Player or it's limited functionality. CyberLink are slowly evolving into a respectable software developer, however they need to eliminate the cheap tricks. Ads interrupting programs on TV is fine, but ads interrupting programs on my computer is unacceptable.

The streaming services are great if your broadband can accommodate it, personally I'd rather download films on a time-limit but that's just me. The search function only seems to work for newer movies too. Virtually all media formats are catered for here including 4k playback for those of you who have 4k TVs. But you'll be limited to self-shot camcorder footage for that codec as there are currently no movies available on physical media or downloadable (to my knowledge) that are in 4k. That is a resolution which will not be made fully available to the consumer for a while (if ever - as I doubt people will want to upgrade from BD to whatever the 4k format arrives on).

It'll work on your laptops, tablets and phones too, if you are the kind of person who enjoys watching things on tiny screens. I do find the YouTube and other social media accessibility to be quite good though. I currently use my PS3 for such browsing, but PowerDVD offers a rival counterpart that is just as good.

I'm not currently big on cloud storage, so I never bothered with that. But please do make sure that you have a Blu-ray drive before you load BDs into it. Not making assumptions about other reviewers, but you do need the hardware to go with the software.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb DVD and Blu-Ray player for your PC but not an essential upgrade if you have 13, 28 July 2014
By 
Mr. T. Anderson "onlyconnect" - See all my reviews
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Another year, another PowerDVD - though it really should be called Power Blu-Ray now since you really do not need this for DVD; there are free alternatives that work fine. For Blu-Ray though Cyberlink's offering works well and you probably do need it; even if you got a free one with your PC, extra features and the fact that it is kept updated make the commercial version worth having.

Short version: despite some annoyances like a tendency to badger you to upgrade, PowerDVD is superb for its core feature, playing Blu-Ray movies and even Blu-Ray audio, if you have any of the recent audio-only releases. There's also a lot of extra stuff that has some merit, but it's not essential.

There are now four ways to buy PowerDVD. There's a subscription version (PowerDVD Live) for which the cost is similar to what you pay anyway if you upgrade Ultra every year, but more expensive if you tend to skip some of the upgrades. There's Ultra (this version) which includes a 3D playback and a year's subscription to Cyberlink Cloud (see below). There's Pro which has almost everything except 3D and the Cloud subscription, but doesn't cost much less. And there's Standard, which is significantly cheaper but in addition lacks BD-Live (extra content delivered from the internet), Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD,mobile media apps and a few other things; probably no big deal if you don't need 3D.

New in this version is H.265 support - High Efficiency Video Coding or HEVC - important for 4K (ultra high resolution) in future but not critical right now; Cyberlink Cloud support; the ability to play YouTube videos offline; and better audio support including the ability to play Apple's lossless format ALAC and to use WASAPI in Windows for bit-perfect output. If you really want to use PowerDVD for music as well as video these are nice features; but I prefer to use a dedicated music player so no big deal for me.

Cyberlink Cloud is a subscription service for storing music on the internet; you get 10GB free for a year. You can play media from a web browser, or from mobile apps (with offline sync) if you have iOS or Android, not Windows Phone sadly.

Cyberlink Cloud would be really cool if there wasn't so much competition in this space. As it is, there are free and commercial offerings that have similar features, and cloud support tends to be integrated into mobile operating systems, so the added value of Cyberlink Cloud is not so obvious.

Still, the product overall is easily worth four stars since it plays every Blu-Ray I throw at it without any issues. There are mobile remote apps which are handy if you have iOS or Android and want to set back and control the big screen from your smartphone.

I'd give it five stars if Cyberlink could break the habit of nagging you to upgrade every year; I'd also like to see better support for Windows Phone but realise I am in a minority there (and really, I can live without the remote app).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, high-performing 5-star all-media player - but at a price, 20 Aug 2014
By 
KWren "KWren" (Wye Valley) - See all my reviews
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Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Power DVD14 Ultra is the latest media player from Cyberlink and plays absolutely everything from Blu-Ray, 3D, HD, DVD, AVCHD, 4K (untested) to MP4 and MTS movie files which can be imported straight from the camera/camcorder as well as batching photos together for slideshows. The ‘True Theater’ feature is superb - poor colours on original files can be brought to life in better quality visuals than the original files. As a dedicated YouTube fan (and with several channels of my own) a feature I especially enjoy is watching upscaled and enhanced YouTube and Facebook videos with all the wobbliness removed.

This version also offers a generous 10GB of Cloud storage so files can be viewed anywhere on a PC, laptop, smartphone (android or iphone) and files on these can be seamlessly synched to the Cloud storage.

It’s a powerful package for anyone regularly using multimedia files, especially when on the move. It’s intuitive to use, can be remotely controlled via smartphone. There’s really nothing at all not like – other than the high price point. It’s undoubtedly the best media-playing package I have ever used and while I am thoroughly enjoying its features and benefits which deserve its 5-star rating on performance, I have to question whether I would pay £67 for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A big programme, 18 Aug 2014
By 
Love Halloween! "Happy to haunt" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was a bit overwhelmed by what's contained in this package. You get to play DVD, Blu Ray and Youtube videos etc but you have the addition of cloud storage which then makes your files available on your other devices to stream over the net. Having trailed an earlier version I had to remove that first as I didn't want loading problems between the new and older software and also I wanted to free up the space on my laptop. Basically you get cloud storage space free for a year, its worth thinking though that if you do decide that's going to be your primary storage online it will cost you after 12 months. The video and sound playback is excellent. Storing my favourite Youtube videos to play offline is a massive benefit, you can't always get a signal everywhere but with time to kill on occasion its essential. Enjoyable functional software, loses one star because of the time it took for me to set up and cloud registration, maybe that's because I not entirely tech savvy but I did spend an afternoon doing it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Product, 12 Oct 2014
By 
M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK) - See all my reviews
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Probably the best overall media player available but if I'm honest more than I need. There are also alternatives such as Plex and XBMC for those who are building a multi pc home house system that are free and powerful. I have no doubt PowerDVD is better but if you are running four or five pc's then it can get expensive.

However, assuming you have knocked up a great media PC for the all in one experience then this is as good as it gets. It will play all music formats and all video formats - something Windows Media Center did when packaged in once the extra codecs had been downloaded.

Interface is clean neat and simple. Previous edition users will not have a problem.

The software promises to enhance your streamed and downloaded media and on some PC's that might work well. I put PowerDVD 14 onto my W8 tablet and the results were 'varied.' In the end I use it for straight playback as I suspect my tablet PC isn't quite good enough for the extras.

This version supports 3d and the latest H4 standard TV. 3d seems to have died a death and the 4k tv's cost makes them a rarity right now.

This version like the last comes with an app for your Android or Apple product. I like this a lot to be honest as I have the previous version running as a media player in my front room.

No pc tv tuner support though which is a bit odd given that this is supposed to be an all on one solution.

Overall, the best software available, but you can achieve similar with free products if you want to mess about a bit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superb all-around media player, 25 Aug 2014
By 
Timbertwig (UK) - See all my reviews
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My main reason for purchasing Cyberlink PowerDVD 14 Ultra is to be able to watch Blu-ray discs on my laptop. The external Blu-ray drive I bought did not come with the relevant drivers/software and it took an expensive dedicated program such as PowerDVD to make it work.

Expensive PowerDVD certainly is but in my opinion it is worth it. The pleasant looking interface is easy to get around with its Explorer-type navigation on the left. It turns your computer into a media hub with its many features and high quality playback.

PowerDVD 14 Ultra is equipped with the latest audio and video standards to ensure the best Blu-ray viewing no matter what your PC configuration is. Its upscaling capabilities are superb - for example, the program can convert SD DVDs and videos to HD. And don't thnk PowerDVD is just for DVDs - it's a great universal player which can handle every format you can think of.

PowerDVD offers something unique that sets it apart from rival programs: it can act as a virtual platform which alows youto watch HD videos on smartphones and other gadgets. PowerDVD can also be set to be controlled using a mobile device.

Any niggles? PowerDVD 14 can sometimes take a while to load, and I have yet to figure out how to play videos from YouTube.

This is a great program that has come to replace VLC as my preferred media player. Though originally I bought it to play Blu-ray discs, I now use it to play all my video files (and it's also a very good music player).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Do you need the Power?, 1 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The new version of PowerDVD is here, and it's a lot like the old version. In fact it feels like the last few versions, which have seen very small incremental improvements over the past few years. That isn't necessarily a bad thing as it keeps everything consistent for old users, but it does mean if you've owned a PowerDVD from the past few years there is little here to make an upgrade worthwhile. The interface is much more Win7/8 friendly, but really that's the only real difference I can see after using it for an hour or two. In terms of playback it is as good as ever, it plays everything I've tried so far (except for some that even VLC wouldn't play, so I can't blame it for that, they may be corrupted files). It is smooth with perfect seeking, no judder, and all the options work as you would expect. Even very high bitrates didn't slow it. This also applies to disc playback, both DVD and BluRay.

Compared to 'free' or bundled software this is a big step above in terms of support and performance, so it comes down to the price. Are you going to use it enough to justify that premium price? If you watch several hours of good quality video a week then I'd recommend the investment - this will last you for a good few years before any upgrade is needed. If you're just watching low-bitrate downloads then I'd personally not bother - get a cheaper alternative.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good program. I like this a lot., 5 Aug 2014
By 
J D Tilston (London) - See all my reviews
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After a problem with the first attempt at installation (I was seen as being logged in with a non administrator account but there is only one account on my computer) I got this installed. It immediately told me there was an update but that was done very easily so no problems there. After getting it all done I was able to open it and finally have a look at it. Well, I really like it. It's clear and very nice to look at. The first run is pulling together all the media on the computer and it did that fairly quickly and without a problem. I will mainly use this for watching DVDs on my laptop so watched part of a film to see how it runs. Seamless. Beautifully fluid and easy. The mouse/trackpad buttons control the moving on or back and how that works is easy to pick up. Music is as easy to play as it is in Windows Media Player. Photos can be viewed in three different views, one being calendar view which is lovely if you want to see photos set on the date they were installed on your computer. I set mine to folder but did really like the calendar view. All in all this is an excellent program. I've only given it four stars because I haven't had it that long and I want to see if it still works well for me after a while.
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