CyberLink has now released the latest version of its popular and long-running DVD and Blu-ray playback software, PowerDVD. Similar to its predecessor (not surprisingly called PowerDVD 10), PowerDVD 11 is available in three forms: Standard, Deluxe and Ultra. Ultra is the most feature-packed version and the only one of the three editions to include support for playback of Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, recorded 3D TV and the AVCREC and AVCHD formats.
Although often categorized as movie playback software, PowerDVD has grown far beyond the limited range of applications that suggests. PowerDVD 11 supports viewing of movies, photos and videos as well as playback of music files. The photo viewing feature wasn't in previous versions of the program. These media can be played on or accessed from DVD and Blu-ray discs, the local PC, DLNA servers, YouTube, Facebook and Flickr. Another new feature is the ability to display photos and videos directly from an iPhone, iPad or Android device that has the PowerDVD 11 remote control app installed.
"While the PC remains central to the digital entertainment experience, portable devices and online content are playing increasingly important roles," Alice H. Chang, CEO of CyberLink, said in a press release. "PowerDVD 11 smoothes the flow between the PC, smart devices and online content so that users can get the most out of their digital entertainment anywhere."
Regardless of their source, low resolution videos can be upscaled using CyberLink's TrueTheater™ technology. This can be particularly useful for improving the quality of YouTube videos and movies recorded on older iPhones that are going to be played back on an HDTV. A CyberLink representative also told me that they have improved the algorithms that the software uses for converting 2D media to 3D.
Currently, 3D is the big push for the entertainment industry and CyberLink is on board. In addition to having the capability (in the Ultra version) to playback 3D Blu-ray movies and convert 2D DVDs to a variety of 3D formats on the fly, PowerDVD 11 (in the Deluxe and Ultra editions) allows users to convert 2D photos to 3D format using files stored on the local disk, an iPhone, iPad or Android device, a DLNA server or Facebook and Flickr. Native and converted 3D videos, meanwhile, can be uploaded to YouTube.