CyberLink Launches PowerDVD 18 - UltraHD Blu-ray Playback with Value Additions
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CyberLink's PowerDVD 17, introduced in April 2017, was the first software player to bring UltraHD Blu-ray playback to the PC market (albeit, with plenty of hardware restrictions). We also took it for a hands-on test drive in our article on building a 4K home-theater PC setup. CyberLink made PowerDVD 18 official a few weeks back. While the major features - UltraHD Blu-ray playback and support for virtual reality head-mounted devices (VR HMDs) - remains essentially the same, the company has introduced a number of interesting value additions.
On the home-theater front, PowerDVD 18 brings the ability to play back Blu-ray titles on non-16:9 displays without letterboxing.
While PowerDVD 17 could play back HDR Blu-ray titles, it unfortunately didn't support HDR from online sources such as YouTube. PowerDVD 18 addresses that with support for YouTube HDR playback. This is thanks to the addition of VP 9.2 support (the codec used in the WebM HDR files).
PowerDVD 18 also improves on support for 'casting' devices. In addition to the existing support for Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast, CyberLink has also added Fire TV to the mix. This makes it possible for users to simply cast the video being watched on a PC or notebook using PowerDVD 18 for playback on a TV to which the target media streamer is attached. This path can also take advantage of the TrueTheater pciture quality adjustments possible using the PowerDVD playback engine.
Yet another interesting feature for consumers using PowerDVD in a non-home-theater setting is the new 'always on top' functionality that allows the playback window to be always visible irrespective of the current focus window.
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