CyberLink PowerDVD 13 Ultra Review



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Extremely slow apparently due to Cyberlink windows services running which need to be disabled in order to play DVDs. Also program needs to be blocked in Windows Firewall. Cyberlink reenables the windows services after updates/upgrades so you have to disable them again. Finally when you’ve messed around doing all that it can turn out there is no sound. Pricey. Unreliable. Uninstalled. Complete waste of money.



So, after using PowerDVD 13 and the TrueTheater HD tech for a while, here's my assessment.

In short, compared to the general vibe of the review, this is not a worthwhile upgrade if your current software is playing back Blu-rays with full resolution, including lossless audio codecs.

TrueTheater HD: Advanced sharpening, but sharpening nonetheless. You can dial it in to give you just enough sharpening without artifacts, but what initially may look like sharper detail is really a loss of fine detail. I'm only using this on low-res content, or bad HD transfers, and then, only sparingly.

TrueTheater Motion: Blech! When will frame interpolation aka crazy smooth video die. If the video was shot that way, fine. But, interpolating low FPS video gives a bobbing quality that frankly makes me seasick. Avoid at all costs.

TrueTheater Lighting: Calibrate your display with Disney WOW, Spears and Munsil, or something similar (unless you have the green for an ISF calibrator). Leave this cartoon color generator off unless you have a low-grade display with very bad contrast and brightness, or are in a difficult environment such as a brightly lit room (and even then, the dynamic mode of your TV/Projector is probably adequate).

Again, if you have a working solution, there is nothing in this software worth paying money for.


Steve Zissou

Thank you for that wonderful review by Steve of



Meh. I had access to PowerDVD12 and just used MakeMKV and VLC. Good enough for me. I don't feel like paying $100 just to have a "sharper" picture.



My local Costco has standalone BluRay players from brand name CEs for $59. Not only do they cost less, they won't intentionally become obsolete in a couple years, and also won't constantly spam you to upgrade to the next tier.

I really wish artificial licensing restrictions weren't preventing us from getting much better, much less expensive software players like we have for every other format.



Media Player Classic has limited Blu-Ray playback support (it won't do the menus, just the main movie) and has had shader-based sharpening for ages. And it's free.

You also are likely to have quite a few video processing options in your video card control panel. I know AMD Catalyst does, things like edge-sharpening, noise reduction, deblocking, color correction and vibrancy, etc. Again, all free.



Why did you need to enlarge the image on the right to illustrate the quality difference? Would the difference be otherwise negligible?



I wish that I were able to still use powerdvd 9 as it was free with my BD drive but I encountered a slew of blurays that it would not play and so I had to go to 12. Now I need 13 to get this sharpening feature... :(

How does this software work with scaling 1080 blurays to 1440?



same here, i have power dvd 9 that came with my Bd drive, but cyberlink killed support for this version, so most bluray released after june 2011 will be unsupported. they want us to upgrade to a newer version, which is like a subscription for every 2-3 years before they end support for it again.