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Cyberlink PowerDVD 11 Review

PowerDVD has always been one of our favourite programs and we use it often in our reviews on Kitguru to measure CPU and GPU performance. V11 adds a wealth of new features, bug fixes and performance enhancements. For the social networking userbase, the inclusion of indepth YouTube, Facebook and Twitter support with certainly enhance product appeal.

In other areas, the program builds upon its strengths. Codec support is strong, and there are various new options to adjust and improve image quality, with even 2D to 3D ‘on the fly’ conversions offered. We particularly like that many of these new features can be added to photo slideshows and online functionality. Music playback is intuitive, with many options to customise the quality of sound and the addition of playlists with full network drive support ‘out of the box’ is almost perfect. For instance, the program automatically found album covers without us having to laboriously scroll through pages of settings and options.

For us, the most important area of performance is with high definition playback, and it doesn’t disappoint – Cyberlink have finally added full support for playback of  Bluray discs stored in file structure on hard drives. It may be a niche request, but it was a feature we always missed – resulting in an annoying change of programs to fulfill the demand. This new addition is a major plus point and ensures that this program is now the ‘one stop shop’ for all media demands.

Hardware acceleration, as expected, works fantastically, allowing people with less processing power to offload the workload to the graphics processing unit. Even those with relatively powerful systems should avail of the feature, as it will reduce processor temperatures and allow for smoother multitasking if the need arises.

Is there anything we would change? Personally, I feel they need to change the name of the program because many people we have polled recently think that the software is still a ‘DVD’ oriented package. V11 is one of the most powerful, versatile media programs available and the name is not reflective of its capabilities.

KitGuru says: If you buy one piece of software for high definition media playback this year, this has to be it.

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Rating: 9.0.

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