CyberLink PowerDVD

CyberLink PowerDVD 18.0

Plays DVDs and Blu-rays
3.9  (5,110 votes)
18.0 (See all)
Play DVDs and Blu-Rays while experiencing a cinema-like environment with the possibility to tweak display features. Supports HD BD, VR headsets, and HDR for improved image quality.

If only for its perfect playback of full Blu-ray discs and folders (native menus and extras included), CyberLink PowerDVD is the tool to look for when in search of the perfect software-based replacement for your hardware Blu-ray and video player. On top of that, this tool can also play any video file, folder, and YouTube or Vimeo online videos, which you can “pin” (i.e., download) and enjoy offline when required.

Seriously, finding the right software player for your BD collection is tougher than anyone might think. Especially when you want that tool to play back your Blu-ray discs as any hardware player would – starting from the BD menu and allowing you to use whatever navigation options it offers. It may not sound as a very sophisticated requirement, but for some reason the vast majority of software video players are unable to behave as hardware players do, thus ruining your viewing experience. CyberLink PowerDVD, for a change, is capable of showing you the native BD menu and let you make your pick and set your preferences with just the same flexibility that hardware players offer you.

The program offers a PC Mode and a TV Mode, which will let you make the most of both your computers and your home theater system with just one all-purpose media player. Actually, video is only of the media formats it can deal with – it allows you to build libraries for your images (playing back any set of images on your computer as a stylish and configurable slideshow), local videos, and music files in the most common formats. As for the image and audio quality, this software player comes with support for all HD codecs, including Ultra HD, 4K HDR, Ultra HD 4K, and even HEVC H.265 videos, which you can play and watch seamlessly on your Windows platform. Besides, its “better-than-original” approach and technology is capable of upgrading the quality of BDs, DVDs and any other video file or disc of inferior quality, improving their quality to the best your TV set can provide. Likewise, Virtual and Mixed Reality headsets and content are not a problem for PowerDVD, allowing you to pin online 360º content from a wide variety of Web-based libraries. Finally, if you happen to be a Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Fire TV user, you can now cast content from these services directly on your HD TV using this tool.

CyberLink PowerDVD has been around for quite a while now, and it shows in every new version. Its experience in media playback and its innovative features make it the reference software player when it comes to Blu-ray discs and other HD video codecs. Its support for VR and MR content, and its connectivity with your home theater systems are but add-ons to an already impressive list of functions and features. This is not a cheap media player, but, then again, it is much more than just a media player.

Francisco Martínez
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Allows you to build different media libraries
  • Plays Blu-ray native menus
  • Includes video settings and enhancements
  • Pins (downloads) online videos for offline viewing
  • Supports virtual and mixed reality sets
  • Compatible with home theatre equipment

Cons

  • YouTube searches may show thumbnails with a Vevo logo
  • It freezes occasionally for unknown reasons and forces you to lauch it again
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