'PowerDVD 8 Ultra' “The number 1 DVD experience on the PC” ....not for long. *** Software Review 082208


The Product = ***
Do you play DVDs on your computer? Do want to play Blu-ray discs or HD-DVDs on your computer? If you do, one of the most stable and relIable programs around is something called 'PowerDVD 8 Ultra'. I don't normally write software reviews but after recently purchasing 'PowerDVD 8 Ultra' so I could play Blu-ray discs I feel there needs to be some sort of review out there to warn people about 'PowerDVD's latest incarnation.

Here's the deal: the latest release is indeed stable and while it requires fairly hefty system requirements it will play Blu-ray discs smoothly. However, arguably the best feature of 'PowerDVD' (outside of its stability) its screen capture feature, has been disabled for Blu-ray discs and HD-DVDs. This is a major let down and I suspect it is disabled because of the paranoia surrounding people defeating copy protection by copying images from a Blu-ray disc in succession and then putting them together in a video file to make a copy of a Blu-ray disc. This is a real shame and frankly makes it hard to recommend the software which now carries a hefty $100.00 price tag.

I bought the software, it works, it plays HD formats with ease and for that I can give it a modest recommendation. However, the disabling of the screen capture feature negates the cost and is a very disappointing turn from manufacturer Cyberlink. I have purchased their software for a long time and recommended to anyone I can. Now with this idiotic turn, I can only recommend it with the warning that you will not be able to make screen captures of high def discs with Cyberlink 'PowerDVD 8 Ultra'. I used the software for my DVD reviews and was planning to do so with my high def reviews.

If you are reading this thinking I'm a lunatic for writing about all this screen capture nonsense, you are probably right. However, I know I am not alone in using the software for its screen capture ability. I wish I had known before I bought the software, I would have saved myself some cash. If you are thinking about a purchase, only do so if you don't mind losing the screen capture feature. Anything I can do to help spread the word about this foolish step by Cyberlink will hopefully keep people from wasting their hard earned coin. To be fair to Cyberlink, it is probably not their fault. They probably were pressured to remove the feature by Microsoft. I can recommended only for playback, if you want screen capture ability, save your money and wait for a competitor to release something with the feature enabled. Very dissapointing, Cyberlink, it seems like you dropped the ball. Be aware. If you want an alternative, try ArcSoft 'TotalMedia Theatre', reviewed HERE.


'PowerDVD 8 Ultra' Links:

My review of another Blu-ray playback program: ArcSoft 'TotalMedia Theatre'.

'Blu-ray Special or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blue-ray' (a short article I wrote about switching to the format.

Cyberlink's 'PowerDVD' page (which includes 'PowerDVD's system requirements and a demo version.)

Click here for a sample review of mine that uses 'PowerDVD's screen capture feature.


Copyright 2005 - 2012 Nate Bundy. All rights reserved.