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on 4 October 2013
why necessary? well, if you wish to view blu-ray on your PC with windows 8, you'll need this. Windows 8 no longer provide a media centre as part of the Windows 8 home premium version, thus forcing you to buy the software separately. This software does all you need and more but it does carry a hefty price tag just to be able to view over-priced blu-ray movies. I need it, i like it, i didnt like the price. [in saying that, you'll find it much cheaper here than you will straight from Cyberlink]
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VINE VOICEon 1 August 2013
Platform: PC|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have not been impressed with the previous editions of CyberLink's PowerDVD series, though they seem to have worked out some of the bugs with this one. Overall, their products are still unfortuately in the 'shoddy' category, but they are getting ever so slightly better.

PowerDVD 13 Ultra does, sadly, come with bloatware. After installing it will take about an hour to whittle down the features to your basic needs. At first glance the package seems impressive, with its Blu-ray 3D capabilities and multiple codec playbacks, but you'll still need a PC or laptop capable of handling it, especially the 3D part. Now, when you can buy an actual Blu-ray player for less than the asking price of this package then do you really need it?

I have been looking forward to something that can replace the current version of Windows Media Player, and PowerDVD 13 is just about level with it, especially since supports FLAC, which I have never been able to play on WMM. The snapshot feature is also quite fun if you like playing screencap games on Facebook or whatever.

The most logical reason to buy this package would be to hook it up to your 3DTV and watch 3D movies that way, but it still seems like a long way for a short cut. Either buy a dedicated player, or this bloated media player. That's all it is really. Maybe when 14 comes out next year CyberLink will finally get it right.
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on 4 December 2013
First I thought, what a big box for a CD and a guide, but hey, why not. I added some more CDs for my PC in there as well and now it's not such a waste anymore. :)
Anyway, the program was easily to be installed, navigation is lovely. movies and songs are played without any problems - even those with most exotic data types. :D oh, and it's working perfectly with all Blue Ray DVDs, also if you think that your PC might not make it, it works.
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on 4 July 2013
This Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra is loaded with features, but the only noteworthy one is the movie player; the rest are half-hearted add-ons and are quite unnecessary. For example, the PowerDVD 13 plays music CDs, but the free Microsoft Media Player that comes with Windows not only plays them but also can rip them into audio tracks of various formats and organize them in a library with album arts. The PowerDVD 13 doesn't do that. The PowerDVD 13 reads picture files, but the picture reader of the Internet Explorer does it better with additional editing functions.

On the other hand, the PowerDVD 13 movie player is decent. It plays DVD, Blu-ray, 3-D DVD, and 3-D Blu-ray discs. It has a video enhancement and noise reduction function known as TrueTheater with noticeable improvements in DVD movies. It can even convert 2-D DVD into their 3-D versions. I am not a fan of 3-D movies. They give me headaches and nausea; so I leave them to other reviewers. The PowerDVD 13 movie player has a snapshot function in the DVD mode that works as a screen print. It captures fixed pictures of DVD movies and stores them in a file. It is cool. The movie window can be minimized and resized and the player has a resume function in the DVD mode that remembers the last location played even when the disc has been swapped previously. However, there is no resume, snapshot, or 3-D conversion function in the Blu-ray mode. Contrary to the DVD player, the PowerDVD 13 Blu-ray player is quite basic.

Before making the purchase, the shopper should realize that this PowerDVD software is only half of the equation; he must also have an optical drive that can read DVD and Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray discs are relative new; a lot of existing optical drives cannot read them. Furthermore, if he wants to play the latest HDCP-encrypted Blu-ray discs, his graphics card and monitor have to be HDCP compliant. Generally, if his computer video output and his monitor input are either DVI or HDMI, he will be okay. (See Note below). The price of this PowerDVD 13 at seventy pounds is a high for a DVD/Blu-ray player. I will give it one extra star if the price drops down to fifty.

Note: In short, don't buy this software to play Blu-ray movies unless: (1) you have a Blu-ray optical drive and (2) you have either DVI or HDMI connectors on your computer and monitor. Perhaps the best way to play Blu-ray discs is to purchase a stand-alone Blu-ray disc player. That will eliminate a lot of headaches with computer hardware and software.
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VINE VOICEon 7 November 2013
Platform: PC|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
No problem installing on a clean install of Windows 7 64bit on my HP desktop which of course has a Blu-Ray drive.

Playback of movies works well connected to my HDMI Full HD monitor (Only stereo sound on my set-up so no test of other sound formats).

Save a still frame, resume etc also work well (no save a still frame on a Blu-Ray disc).

It has also played all my other video files including raw files form my GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition.

My only small negative is the adverts for other Cyberlink products and upgrades.

You can also try before you buy with most Cyberlink products, download a 30 day trial and if you like it, buy a copy from Amazon which is oddly cheaper and you get a printed manual.
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VINE VOICEon 7 August 2013
Platform: PC|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This comes with a huge instruction booklet which I approve of - I'm fed up with a 2 page quick start guide & having to download a PDF set of instructions. Hardcopy is easier to refer to when you are setting software up.

Anyway the product itself - it is easy to install & is intuitive to use. The appearance is easy on the eye. You can tinker with the settings & do a split screen comparison of with or without the true theatre enhancement which shows how impressive it is. I watched a downloaded movie & one recorded off the TV to test out the features & liked what I saw. However, my Acer laptop comes with Clear.fi ready loaded which I normally use for movies. Comparing the same scene using PowerDVD & Clear.fi shows little difference. You can enhance the sound as well & that worked really well. You have the ability to convert 2D movies to 3D apparently although I didn't waste much time on it as 3D doesn't work for me. Apparently the software can integrate Ultraviolet but having tried to figure out how, I checked the Cyberlink site & it doesn't appear to be available yet although it will be rolled out at some point in an update. There are other features related to smartphones but as I have a Windows one they don't appear to work with mine. If you have an Android or iPhone you should be okay.

So in conclusion it's not a bad bit of software but it is quite pricey & there is free stuff out there which can do some of the enhancement almost as well. Luckily for me I was able to trial it for free.
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VINE VOICEon 24 July 2013
Platform: PC|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This software suggests that it is the all singing, all dancing answer to your needs. It doesn't tell you it also tries to install other programmes that are superfluous software to your PC, which I find unbelievable for software you paid quite a lot of money for.
It allows you to play blu-ray on your PC, but be aware you will need Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP and you'll also need at minimum a 2.2GHz Intel Core2 Duo CPU.
It's quite easy to use, although I have heard reports of the programme crashing - although to be fair that hasn't happened to me.
Pros -
Pleasing interface. Makes movies look better than their native source content. Ultraviolet integration. Mobile apps for remote control and playback. Image stabilization for home videos. Surprisingly good 2D-to-3D conversion.
Cons - Expensive. Installer adds extraneous software. Somewhat feature-laden.
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on 12 October 2013
expensive bit of software but still better than windows media player.

plays all of my titles but keeps pausing then resuming on some titles tried altering setting and buffer but doesn't seem to make any difference.
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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2013
Platform: PC|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a comprehensive media player especially great for movies. The video enhancements such as Truetheater lighting, Truetheter surround and TrueTheater stabilisation among other features. The videos are noticeably clear and more pleasing the eyes. I tweaked the video settings manually and could control things like lighting amount of denoising and so on.

The mobile apps works just fine. I downloaded the PowerDVD Ultra for android from Google play and activated it using the serial number provided on the home tab of the PowerDVD for PC. I also downloaded the PowerDVD Remote control and entered the passcode found in the PowerDVD Ultra for PC, found when you click the PowerDVD Remote link. Just after entering the passcode, my laptop appeared on the remote control and I selected it.On the phone you have atoiuchpad where your phone becomes the mouse and you can navigate to things and tap on them to open them. There is also the controls which makes the phone a real remote in that you get the buttons: Play, Previous, Forward, fast forward, rewind (within a file), plus/ minus for volume up/ down, mute and stop. So you toggle between controls and touchpad depending on whether you want to navigate your media or want to playback a file.

It's effortless to playback content on my phone as I am able to browse content by media type. You even choose if you want to download from the phone into the computer. A nice feature would be to be able to play content stored on a PC with PowerDVD Ultra using a connected smartphone!

All in all a good media player especially for movies, not so good for music but your taste will vary.
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Platform: PC|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A basic version of Cyberlink PowerDVD came bundled with my PC's Blu-ray player and I thought I was all set, if not for advanced features, at least to play Blu-ray and DVD movies. It worked for some movies, then I bought a Blu-ray disc that would not play. The problem is that changes to the the Blu-ray specification and copy protection require updates to the player, and after a while Cyberlink stops issuing updates to old versions and suggests that you buy their latest and greatest. That's fair enough, though note that you can get a Blu-ray drive or even a standalone player for less than the cost of PowerDVD Ultra so it is somewhat annoying.

Still, this is a nice package. This is the boxed version that comes with a smart 142 page book (all in English) and a license for PowerDVD Mobile for Windows 8 (not Windows Phone 8), iOS and Android as well as the main Windows software.

There are three versions of PowerDVD, leaving aside any free bundled editions. Deluxe lacks Blu-ray and 3D support. Pro does Blu-ray but not 3D, only 5.1 rather 7.1 multi-channel, and lacks the mobile license. Another feature only in Ultra is the ability to stream media to other devices using the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) standard. Unless you are into 3D though, Pro may be all you need.

The good news is that PowerDVD 13 Ultra plays all the Blu-ray and DVD discs I've tried flawlessly, including the Rolling Stones high-res audio Blu-ray Grrr! as well as movies. I am running Windows 8 64-bit with an Nvidia GTS 450 graphics card and a Samsung monitor connected with HDMI. Unfortunately I do not have 3D capability so cannot test that aspect.

Note that to play Blu-ray you MUST have an HDCP (High-bandwidth digital content protection) compliant display. This means a digital connection (HDMI or DVI, not VGA) to a display that support HDCP. If in doubt, you can download the BD & 3D Advisor diagnostic tool from Cyberlink to check.

PowerDVD ease of use is good - pretty much just stick the disc in the drive and hit play. A toolbar at the bottom of the screen, and right-click menus, give access to preferences and features. Sound quality is excellent on the right material as it should be.

You can also play video from files in formats including MKV, MP4, AVCHD and more.

PowerDVD also lets you view photos and play music. Personally I am less interested in these features as I already have other applications for this and PowerDVD did not particularly impress me. I did notice that the PowerDVD media library seems to struggle with the music I have ripped to a network drive and still has not indexed them. However it does play Flac files which is good for me as most of my CDs are ripped in this format.

There is one feature which may be of use, which is using PowerDVD as a DLNA server. This has to be enabled in preferences: "Stream PowerDVD library content to other home media computers/devices". Once enabled I had some success playing media on other devices. For example, I installed the PowerDVD mobile app on an iPhone and was able to play some (not all) videos via DLNA, and music where it has been indexed.

Talking of mobile, you get several apps. The most impressive is PowerDVD Remote, though this is free anyway. You install the app on iOS or Android (no Windows Phone), pair it with your PC by entering a code, and then you can control both PowerDVD and the PC from your device. A control tab gives you playback controls, and a touchpad tab lets you move the mouse and send clicks anywhere you like. Handy if you are watching the PC from a distance.

PowerDVD mobile works as a client for PowerDVD streaming and other DLNA servers, though in my case the PowerDVD server was the only one it picked up successfully on iOS and Android. The Windows 8 version is similar though I experienced some video stuttering on a Surface RT device.

In the end you will buy this not for the mobile add-ons, but because it does an excellent job of playing Blu-ray and DVD on your PC.
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