Product Review (July 2009) - CyberLink's
PowerDVD 9 Ultra and IR Remote

By Kevin Nakano


CyberLink has established itself as the leader in PC playback software for DVD and Blu-ray discs. PowerDVD 9 Ultra for Windows 7, Vista, or XP is CyberLink's latest flagship software that offers an array of advanced features including support for HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) 1.3. This allows for uncompressed high-definition audio (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD) using one simple cable with supported hardware (Realtek ALC885, ALC889, or Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD cards). Standard Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 are also available for those lacking the latest compatible hardware. PowerDVD 9 supports all HD video formats such as AVCHD, AVCREC, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), MPEG-2 HD and WMV-HD, and includes advanced scaling algorithms that make standard DVDs look better on high definition displays. CyberLink TrueTheater™ Technology provides key advancements that improve picture quality by upsampling 480p DVD quality to 1080p. Film-based content (24 fps) is converted to 60 fps or 72 fps for accurate motion, providing a smoother, judder-free playback. TrueTheater™ also has automatic adjustments for brightness and contrast as well as automatic and manual settings for video enhancements.

PowerDVD 9 provides Blu-ray Disc (BD-J, Bonus View, BD-Live) playback even on low-spec PCs. Users can explore their favorite Blu-ray movies with animated menus, web-enabled features like downloading trailers, instant messaging functions, uploading videos, and lots more with BD-Live and Bonus View. As an alternative to the Classic Mode, which is used to control the software from a standard mouse and keyboard, CyberLink's Cinema Mode is IR remote friendly and seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Windows Media Center to provide simple Blu-ray and DVD Disc playback. This mode displays menu items and movie information in a larger format for home theater viewing on larger displays. PowerDVD 9 supports multiple languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish , Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Japanese, and Korean.

CyberLink PowerDVD 3D ViewDVD Collection
PowerDVD 9
includes a Movie Collection feature for movie fans that lets users collect an array of movie facts & figures, trivia, reviews & ratings, and more. Users can upload data and share it with others using MoovieLive (www.moovielive.com), the global community where PowerDVD users reside. The Movie Collection feature has been updated to allow users to input and share comprehensive information on Blu-ray Disc titles as well as DVDs. Users can browse the titles in their Movie Collection using FancyView. As users roll though the titles they have watched using PowerDVD, the Flash Back display will show scenes from the movie.

CyberLink PowerDVD Comparison ChartPowerDVD 9 Versions
CyberLink PowerDVD 9 is available in 3 versions depending on users' needs. PowerDVD 9 Ultra for Blu-ray Disc and home theater enthusiasts ($99.95) provides the highest level of audio and video decoding capabilities including support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. PowerDVD 9 Deluxe for DVD and HD video file enthusiasts ($69.95) still provides MPEG-4 (H.264) along with 2-channel DTS and AAC decoding. The basic PowerDVD 9 for DVD fans ($49.95) supports 5.1 Dolby Digital decoding, but lacks many of the features found on the higher-end versions. If home theater is your focus, PowerDVD 9 Ultra is the best choice.

PowerDVD 9 Ultra Features

Supported Audio Formats
  • DTS-HD
  • Dolby TrueHD (7.1-channel)
  • Dolby Digital EX (7.1-channel)
  • Dolby Digital Plus (7.1-channel)
  • Supported Audio Technologies
  • CyberLink TrueTheater™ Surround
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIx surround sound
  • Dolby Virtual Speaker
  • Dolby Headphone
  • Performance
    We installed PowerDVD 9 Ultra on two different HTPCs - one featuring a Quad Core Intel with 4 GB of RAM and the other with a Quad Core AMD processor and 3GB of RAM. Both machines delivered excellent performance with multi-channel 5.1 audio from Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks. Video ran smoothly without the interruptions often associated with processor or resource limitations.


    CyberLink RemoteCyberLink IR Remote
    What would a powerful Home Theater PC be without a full featured IR remote to control Blu-ray and DVD discs running PowerDVD 9? CyberLink has an answer with their new IR remote designed to work with any PC or laptop with a USB port. Simply plugin the IR receiver into a vacant USB port and the remote is ready to be used. A front USB port is ideal for line-of-sight reception. However, CyberLink provides an extension cable in case a rear port is used, allowing the receiver to be optimally placed. A set of "AAA" batteries are also included with the remote. The IR remote comes equipped with a full set of navigation buttons and a standard set of standard DVD playback controls. There are dedicated buttons for launching PowerDVD and Windows Media Center.

    Color-key buttons are available for quick access to Blu-ray disc features. These can be found on many new discs. The remote provided a strong IR signal to the USB receiver. On the downside, the remote lacks backlighting needed for viewing in the dark environments. Controlling DVD and Blu-ray movies were so much easier with the CyberLink IR remote than having to use a keyboard and mouse. Finally, a remote that does not require the keyboard and mouse when watching movies from a PC. This has quickly become a part of our home theater system and for less than $20 it is a no-brainer.

    Conclusion
    CyberLink's PowerDVD 9 Ultra and IR remote are a combination every home theater PC system should have. We found the products deliver as promised and provided us with the performance we expect in a reliable system. CyberLink's PowerDVD 9 and IR Remote make watching movies so easy on HTPCs.






    OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




    Review System

    Projector: Mitsubishi HC5500 1080p LCD Projector
    Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100" FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall
    Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
    Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
    Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
    A/V Receiver: Denon AVR-5308CI THX-Ultra 7.1 Channel Receiver
    Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier

    Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
    Set-top Box: Dish Network ViP722 HDTV Satellite and Terrestrial Receiver with HDMI
    Blu-ray DVD Player: Sony PlayStation3 with HDMI 1.3
    HD-DVD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player with HDMI
    DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
    DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
    DVD Player: OPPO Digital OPDV971H DVD Player with DVI Output
    Media Server: Kenwood Sovereign MRH1 Entre
    Remote Control: Remote Technologies Inc. T4 Controller
    HDMI Video Switcher: Octava 4 Port HDMI/Toslink Audio Switcher
    HDMI Cables: Accell 45-meter UltraRun HDMI Cable
    A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables


    Review - At a Glance


    CyberLink - PowerDVD 9

    System Requirements


    WINDOWS 7 & VISTA

    For Blu-ray Disc Playback

    CPU Minimum Requirements

    Intel

    • Pentium 4 541 (3.2 GHz)
    • Pentium D 840 (3.2 GHz)
    • Pentium D 930 (3.0 GHz), 935 3.2GHz or 940 (3.2 GHz)
    • Core Duo T2400 (1.83 GHz)
    • Pentium M 755 (2.0 GHz)
    • Core 2 Duo E4300 (1.8 GHz) or T5600 (1.83 GHz)

    Recommended

    • Pentium EE 840 (3.2 GHz) or 955 (3.4 GHz) or 965 3.73 GHz, Pentium D 945 (3.4 GHz), 950 (3.4 GHz) or 960 (3.6 GHz),
      Core Duo T2500 (2 GHz), T2600 (2.16 GHz) or T2700 (2.33 GHz), Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.8 GHz), E6400 (2.13 GHz), E6600 (2.4 GHz),
      E6700 (2.66 GHz) or X6800 (2.93 GHz), T7200 (2.00 GHz), T7400 (2.16 GHz), T7600 (2.33GHz) Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4 GHz), Core 2
      Extreme QX6700 (2.66 GHz), or X6800 (2.93 GHz).

    AMD

    • Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (2 GHz) or 4000+ (2 GHz)
    • Turion 64 X2 TL-50 (1.6 GHz)
    • TL-52 (1.6 GHz) or TL-56 (1.8 GHz)

    Recommended

    • Athlon 64-FX, FX-60 (2.6 GHz) or FX-62 (2.8 GHz), Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.2 GHz), 4400+ (2.2 GHz), 4600+ (2.4 GHz),
      4800+(2.4 GHz) or 5000+ (2.6 GHz), Turion 64 X2 TL-60 (2.0 GHz).

    System Memory (RAM)

    • 1 GB or above is recommended.

    Disc Drive

    • Super Multi Blue combo disc drive.
    • BD-ROM/BD-RE.

    Graphics Cards (GPU)

    Intel

    • 965, G33, G35, G45 graphics software decoder (Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.66GHz) / AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 (2.8GHz) or above is
      recommended).
    • Recommended driver version: 15.8 or later.
    • Video RAM: memory requires 256MB or above.

    NVIDIA

    • Minimum: GeForce 7600 GT, GeForce 7800 GTX 512, GeForce 7900 GX2, GeForce 7900 GTX, GeForce 7950 GX2.
    • Recommended: GeForce 8400 series, GeForce 8500 series, GeForce 8600 series, GeForce 8800 series, GeForce 9400 series,
      GeForce 9600 series, GeForce 9800 series, GeForce GTX280.
    • Recommended driver version: 174.53 or later.
    • Video RAM: graphics card memory requires 256MB or above.

    ATI

    • Minimum: ATI Radeon X1600 series, X1800 series, X1900 series.
    • Recommended: ATI Radeon HD 2400, 2600, 2900 series, ATI MOBILITY RADEON HD 3400, 3600, 3800 Series, ATI HD 4600
      Series, ATI HD 4800 Series.
    • Recommended driver version: 8.44 or later.
    • Video RAM: graphics card memory requires 256 MB or above.

    Note: we strongly recommend that you update your graphics card driver to the latest version.

    Display Devices

    • HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) compliant display for digital output.
    • TV or computer monitor for analog output.

    WINDOWS 7 & VISTA

    For DVD Playback

    CPU

    Intel

    • Minimum: Pentium 4 (2.4 GHz)
    • Recommended: Pentium 4 (3.0 GHz) or above

    AMD

    • Minimum: Sempron 2600+ (1.6 GHz).
    • Recommended: Athlon 64 2800+ (1.8 GHz) or above.

    System Memory (RAM)

    • 512 MB or above.

    Display Devices

    • TV or computer monitor for digital/analog output.

    Disc Drive

    • DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD-RAM, DVD+R/RW, DVD Dual, DVDMulti, or a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive with 1394, USB2.0,
      ATAPI, SCSI, or CardBus interface.

    Graphic Card (GPU)

    • AGP or PCI Express graphic accelerator supporting DirectX 9.0.

    Note: we strongly recommend that you update your graphics card driver to the latest version.


    PowerDVD IR Remote

     

    • Operating System: Windows Vista, XP, 2000
    • Processor: Dual core recommended for high-definition content
    • Memory: 1 GB for applications running on Vista
    • Screen Resolution: 1024 X 768 pixels, 16-bit color
    • Hard Disk Space:
      • 25 GB (50 GB recommended) for Blu-ray Discs
      • 15 GB (30 GB recommended) for HD DVDs
      • 10 GB (15 GB recommended) for DVDs
    • Video Capturing Device
      • HDV camcorder video capture: IEEE 1394 I/O devices compliant with OHCI standards
      • DV camcorder video capture: IEEE 1394 I/O devices compliant with OHCI standards
      • Analog video capture: USB or PCI capture devices compliant to WDM standards
      • Digital camera photos import: USB interface
    • Burning Device
      • A BD-RE burner is required to burn Blu-ray Discs
      • An HD DVD burner is required to burn HD DVDs
      • A DVD burner (DVD+R/RW or DVD–R/RW) is required to burn DVD/MiniDVD titles
      • A CD (CD-R/RW) is required to burn VCD/SVCD/ titles
    • Microphone
      • A microphone is required for recording voice-overs


    Company Information
    CyberLink USA
    46750 Fremont Blvd, Suite 200
    Fremont, CA 94538
    Phone: 510-668-0118 (for OEM business enquiries)
    Fax: 510-668-0121

    Source: Manufacturer Supplied
    Power DVD Ultra - MSRP: $99.95
    IR Remote - MSRP: $19.95
    URL: www.cyberlink.com


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