CyberLink PowerDVD 15 is the latest edition of the powerful do-everything media player.
The program can play 50+ video and 18 audio formats, as well as CDs, DVD and Blu-ray discs, and all your photos. It's able to browse online content - or share your own file - via YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and Flickr. And there's real depth to all of this. PowerDVD 15 doesn't just play AVIs and MP4s: it supports H.265, AVCHD 2.0, Dolby Digital Plus/ TrueHD/ DTS-HD 7.1, HDMI 1.4, lossless APE & ALAC audio, 4K, MKV and more.
There are all the usual PowerDVD extras. TrueTheater enhances video and sound for the best quality; an ultra-configurable library helps you manage your media collection; there's excellent media streaming (DLNA) support, built-in online movie info, a music store and more, all of which can be remotely controlled from iPhone or Android devices via PowerDVD's companion app.
Version 15 comes with a free year's subscription to 20GB of space (up from 10GB last time) on CyberLink Cloud, where you can store media, sync it across your devices or share it with others.
The apps include Power Media Player to play your movies, audio and images, while PowerDVD Remote turns your iOS or Android device into a remote control, wireless mouse pad and keyboard for PowerDVD on your PC.
PowerDVD 15's new Video Scene Selector allows you to select a section of any video, then bookmark it for easy access later, or rip its soundtrack to an audio file.
There's more convenient viewing of videos and image galleries in general, as PowerDVD 15 now - at last - resumes playback where you left off last time.
TrueTheater has got smarter. TrueTheater Color enhances the colours of an image, but leaves skin tones alone, so the picture still looks natural; TrueTheater Sound amplifies vocal range audio to make speech more audible, and improves performance in areas with a lot of ambient sound.
A pile of other improvements includes direct DVD and Blu-ray ISO playback, audio CD ripping, batch audio tag editing, and a smarter rendering system which CyberLink says delivers the smoothest playback of 120/240 fps video.
PowerDVD is also available in two more basic editions.
PowerDVD Pro drops DLNA media sharing/ streaming, can't handle 3D movies/ pictures, doesn't have free Cloud space, has only a limited Media Player app, doesn't support 7.1 audio and loses a few other advanced features (no ISO playback).
PowerDVD Standard also drops Blu-ray support, has reduced audio format support and fewer social media options (can't browse Vimeo, can't upload to YouTube).
Review by Mike Williams.