CyberLink Introduces PowerDVD 18, PC Media Player for Ultra HD Blu-ray and 4K HDR
I have mixed feelings about UltraHD Blu-ray on the PC. On one hand, it is fantastic that the PC, and therefore the home theater PC (HTPC), continues to evolve to support the latest and greatest formats (ignoring Dolby Vision of course). I love the flexibility that having a HTPC in my A/V stack provides, so this is awesome. But, on the other, the hardware requirements to actually make this work are obscene. In addition to a 7th/8th Gen Intel Core CPU with “Intel SGX” (sorry AMD), you need a motherboard that supports Intel SGX, and a compatible UltraHD Blu-ray drive, and even that combo won’t guarantee that it will always work…
It is unfortunate that it’s simply not possible to make it happen without spending a lot, and crossing your fingers. Naturally, all of this complexity is necessary to combat “piracy”, and make it impossible to rip and watch UltraHD movies without the plastic on a HTPC. If this was even a marginally successful strategy, I still wouldn’t like it, but at least I’d understand. But, as it turns out it is shockingly easy to free the 4K bits + HDR from its polycarbonate prison. You just need a ~$60 “UHD friendly” drive, some time, and lots of storage space…
CyberLink Introduces New PowerDVD 18, the World’s No. 1 Media Player for Ultra HD Blu-ray and 4K HDR
Designed to Provide the Ultimate, End-to-End Media Experience for PCs, Home Theater, VR/MR Headsets and Streaming Devices
Taipei, Taiwan — April 17, 2018 —CyberLink Corp. (5203.TW), today released PowerDVD 18, the latest version of its flagship movie and media player for 4K high dynamic range (HDR), Ultra-HD Blu-ray, virtual reality (VR), 360o and online streaming content. PowerDVD remains the world’s most complete and reliable home entertainment center, providing playback for all types of digital media – from physical movie discs, video files and online streaming to photos and music.
“In today’s digital age, people expect to watch high-definition movies and stream videos with zero hassle, no questions asked. PowerDVD continues to lead the way on bringing a premium multimedia experience to users around the world,” said Dr. Jau Huang, CEO of CyberLink. “With a number of enhancements added in this release, PowerDVD raises the bar in combining the world of online media with high-definition playback, live videos and 360o content, truly creating an end-to-end solution for users and their entertainment needs. PowerDVD 18 is a best-in-class media player enabling people to maximize the full potential of their VR headsets, Ultra HD 4K TVs, home theater systems—even their PC.”
With the trend moving from full HD to 4K, PowerDVD 18 is designed to satisfy home theater PC users by supporting the latest video formats, including Ultra HD Blu-ray, HDR 10 content and HEVC/H.265 videos.
PowerDVD 18 continues to build on CyberLink’s leadership in 360o video and photo playback, making more content accessible to more users than ever before. Users who don’t yet own a VR headset can now easily watch 360o video on their PC with a new viewing mode enabling users to see every angle simultaneously. Now boasting integrated playback support for both YouTube and Vimeo 360o, PowerDVD 18 brings a world of curated VR content straight to user’s headsets or PCs. This extends to owners of new Windows Mixed Reality headsets who can access the same extensive library of online 360o video through CyberLink’s Power Media Player MR app.
In addition, PowerDVD 18 brings a new “Mini View” player to the program. This highly demanded feature keeps the player on top of other windows, ensuring uninterrupted viewing of local or online videos. When coupled with the new YouTube Live integration, the Mini View player allows users to multitask on their PCs, while never missing a moment of whatever they’re watching. With over 300 hours of video content being uploaded to YouTube every minute, PowerDVD allows users to enjoy the best of online media in 4K, HDR, 360o or full HD.
PowerDVD also now supports Fire TV™ casting, in addition to Roku®, Apple TV® and Chromecast™ streaming devices. It offers the easiest way to send movies, music and photos wirelessly from PCs to a TV. By using PowerDVD, users can apply CyberLink’s unique TrueTheater® HDR, Color and Sound technologies to any streamed media content for playback that looks the way it should on a big-screen TV – with crystal clear picture quality and pitch-perfect audio.
Key Features of PowerDVD 18 include:
- Ultra HD Blu-ray—the world’s first solution to play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray titles on Windows PCs.
- HDR 10—PowerDVD 18 provides the capability to play HDR 10 videos, which provides better resolution, higher framerate and high dynamic range.
- H.265/HEVC on Windows 10—PowerDVD 18 enables users to watch videos shot using the H.265 codec (common across popular video recording devices like iPhones and GoPros), even though Windows 10 does not natively support.
- Tri-View 360° Viewing Mode—an updated interface that shows every angle at a glance so that you never miss a moment of a 360° video, perfect for watching on a PC.
- Live Streaming—watch live content on YouTube with better picture quality and HDR support, delivering the best viewing experience possible.
- Play & Pin Online Videos—save online videos so they can be watched later, even without an internet connection.
- Mini View—watch video content in a separate mini window that’s always on top of your desktop screen, making on-screen multitasking easier than ever.
- Media Casting—newly added support for Fire TV™, in addition to Roku®, Apple TV® and Chromecast™ enables users to cast video, photo or music files to their TV, even in formats that aren’t natively supported by their streaming device.
- True Full Screen for Blu-ray—when watching a Blu-ray disc on an ultra-widescreen TV (21:9 or 2.35:1 aspect ratio), PowerDVD intelligently adjusts playback so that content fits your screen. No more letterboxing.
- TrueTheater® HDR—upscales standard video to HDR-like quality for better viewing on HDR displays. Combine with a host of other TrueTheater technologies for the ultimate visual and audio quality.
- Power Media Player MR—dive into a world of virtual and mixed reality content with curated online content for the latest Windows MR headsets.
PowerDVD 18 is available today from the CyberLink online store in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese, Korean, Russian and Portuguese.
PowerDVD offers both subscription and perpetual licenses so users can choose a purchase option that best suits their requirements. PowerDVD Live is available in annual and quarterly subscription options. Lifetime licenses are available for three versions of PowerDVD 18.
- PowerDVD Live: US$44.99/12 month or US $14.99/3 month subscription
- PowerDVD 18 Ultra: US$99.95
- PowerDVD 18 Pro: US$79.95
- PowerDVD 18 Standard: US$59.95
To see the differences between each version visit the PowerDVD product page. Upgrades from previous PowerDVD versions are also available starting from $49.95.