A couple of years back, we reviewed CyberLink's PowerDVD 12 in detail. At that time, support for the mobile ecosystem was one of the most important targets for CyberLink. This year, the vendors in this space need to provide HEVC/H.265 support on the core features front. The other buzz-word that has been making the rounds in the tech industry is the 'cloud'. CyberLink has been quick to latch on to this trend, and is offering a cloud backend for their latest PowerDVD version along with HEVC support. Without further digression, we move on to the new features in CyberLink PowerDVD 14. But, before, that, a table summarizing the various editions of PowerDVD 14 is provided below:

  Live Ultra Pro Standard
PowerDVD 14

$14.99 / 3 mo

$44.99 / 1 yr

$99.95 $79.95 $49.95
PowerDVD Remote v2 Free Free Free
Power Media Player (Android / iOS) Free $19.99 $19.99
Power Media Player (Windows 8.x) Free $14.99 $14.99
Feature Differences

Integrated Cloud Services

Full Blu-ray Support (3D / Live)

3D Photos & Videos

UltraViolet Ready

DLNA Support (DMS / DMP)

7.1 Channel Audio Support (5.1 for AAC)

Blu-ray Support up to Profile 2.0 (BD Live OK, no 3D)

No 3D Support

DVD-Only (No Blu-ray Support)

No HD Audio Support

No UltraViolet Support

DLNA DMP (Digital Media Player) Only

5.1 Channel Audio Support

A new entry in the above table is the PowerDVD Live version which is basically the Ultra edition packaged in a subscription model with guaranteed access to the latest version of the software as long as the subscription is live. Along with the cloud subscription offering (PowerDVD LIVE allows for seamless experience across multiple devices using the 'PLAY with CyberLink Cloud' and Director Suite LIVE allows users to 'CREATE with CyberLink Cloud'), this points to CyberLink ensuring stability of revenue generation in its business model that has seen rough weather due to declining PC (and in turn, OEM licensing of its software) sales.

As Blu-ray continues to lose relevance as the primary method of content consumption in HTPCs, CyberLink has started to retarget the PowerDVD application as a 'Power Media Player'. The new features of PowerDVD 14 include:

  • HEVC/H.265 support: PowerDVD 14 supports software decode of HEVC videos in MKV, MP4 and M2TS containers, with a maximum resolution of 8192x4320.
  • CyberLink Cloud: PowerDVD 14 Ultra users get 10 GB of cloud storage for free for a year. The rates for Pro and Standard users (as well as Ultra users who want to upgrade storage or extend availability after one year) come in at $1/GB/year. Available options include 10GB, 20GB, 50GB and 100 GB. Key aspects to note include automatic content syncing, streaming from the cloud using the companion mobile apps and easy media sharing via download link generation.
  • Multiple angle support in MKV files
  • WASAPI exclusive mode support for audio
  • Ability to download YouTube videos for offline viewing
  • Ability to access UltraViolet account, view and download content from within PowerDVD: CyberLink touts PowerDVD14 as UltraViolet Ready, as this functionality is set to be enabled later this year after some announced UV services come out of the beta phase (these are not under CyberLink's control)
  • Support for embedded SRT subtitles in MP4 files
  • Customizable interface / skinning

Improvements include addition of an ALAC audio decoder, faster decoding of RAW image files and support for Vimeo. CyberLink is also providing a touch-friendly Power Media Player app free along with the Ultra edition for use on Windows 8 devices.

We hope that CyberLink will quickly add hardware decode support of HEVC as and when the platforms become available. Also, it would be better if they provide a way to turn off all in-software advertising / MoovieLive features, at least for paying customers. Other than this minor complaint, PowerDVD 14 promises to be an interesting upgrade. CyberLink is keeping in sync with the changes in the ecosystem by adding HEVC/H.265 support as well as cloud capabilities to PowerDVD, and that is good news for HTPC users.

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  • abrogan - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 - link

    45 dollars a year so that you can continue to watch your blu-rays on your computer... what a joke! Reply
  • Deelron - Tuesday, April 08, 2014 - link

    Agreed, it's sad that it's easier and more cost effective to get a lifetime license for a program that removes copy protection schemes (specifically for Blu-Ray) then it its to try and have a "legitimate" software player. Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, April 09, 2014 - link

    Microsoft charges for Bluray and DVD playback because they need to pay for the licensing. In Windows 7 very few people used the built-in codecs so they decided to try and save money and sell them for $9.99. $9.99 isn't so bad, I think it's pretty close to cost. Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    You can't purchase BluRay Playback in Windows 7 for $9.99.
    There is no way to enable Windows Media Player in Windows 7 to playback BluRay.
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    What I mean to say is.. .you cannot enable the Stock Windows Media Player that comes with Windows 7 (any addition.. I have Ultimate) to play back BluRay... There is no Codec purchase option available from Microsoft.

    You have to go 3rd party...at which point you might as well use a 3rd party player too.
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    I hope you guys are following what I've typed.... I've presented it as clear as mud... Sorry.

    My point was, whereas previously purchasing an Ultimate Edition of Windows gave you near endless play back capability of DVD content.... Microsoft washed its hands of BluRay and other advanced codecs. You have to go elsewhere... 3rd party... can't go stock... can't even go stock with options purchase... you have to go 3rd party.

    I use Cyberlink... and I don't like it.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    And the only real affordable option they have is the Media Suite Ultimate for $150, which is 2 year old software missing the cutting edge features. Yes this company is hit with rampant piracy and with good reason, they just arent getting their product out there at a affordable price.

    Look at what steam did to slow PC Piracy, They made it easy to buy software and made it very affordable. PC Piracy has droped 500% in the past 5 years. Cyberlink needs to look at what valve did and make thier whole suite affordable. $50 max per program, unless its the Power Director (i agree it's worth more). and maybe $199 for all of the latest and greatest Ultimate Suite.

    But nah, they want $100 per, and the suite has 10 programs, so that's $1000 you'd have to spend to get the latest and greatest. Their equivalent to Office 365 subscription is only available on 1-2 products. They need to get real with the pricing is all i'm saying
    Reply
  • Morawka - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    And dont forget, everyone else will be rolling out HEVC support in the coming months, and cyberlink will start including the feature in the standard version to remain competitive. Right now they are the first to do it, so they are charging $50 more "because they can". Reply
  • ericore - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    My two cents,
    9.99 DVD and Bluray support inc. 3d for Windows Media Player 9,99
    Standard version with blu-ray support 19.99
    Ultimate version with everything 29.99

    Anything else this bloatware is a scam.
    VLC does always give the best quality, but it has videos filters :)
    WMP Classic home cinema, you will have better luck with.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    They Locked H.265 Support to only the ULTRA and LIVE Versions, which is retarded. If you buy the standard version for $50 it should come with H.265, what a greedy company. No wonder its one of the most pirated software in the world.

    The $50 version cant even play blu rays WOW
    Reply

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