In our recent media streamer roundup, we discussed various commercial Blu-ray video profiles and presented our test suite for the same. We reused the same test suite for this review also. Before testing out the ISOs and folder structures which had their copy protection removed, we tested the original Blu-rays from an optical drive and also a few other unlisted Blu-rays such as 'Waltz with Bashir', 'FIFA World Cup 3D' and 'The Lion King'. CyberLink PowerDVD 12 was able to play back all the Blu-rays from the optical drive without issues.

The tables below present a summary of how CyberLink PowerDVD 12 fared in our local media test suite.

Container Compatibility Details
CyberLink PowerDVD 12
Version 12.0.1227.54 Ultra
Container Notes
DVD Menus Supported
ISO Supported
Folder Structures Supported
Blu-ray ISOs Supported
Folder Structures Supported1
BD Profile 1.0 Supported with Menus
BD Profile 1.1 (Bonus View / PiP) Plays with Menus, PiP Available
BD Profile 2.0 (BD Live) Plays with Menus, BD Live Available
BD Profile 5.0 (3D) Supported
Non-BD Profile 5.0 3D Blu-rays Play in 3D with Menus
Seamless Branching Works Perfectly
MKV Supported Video Codecs: H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (DivX / XViD)
Supported Audio Codecs: AC3, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HR2, AAC, MP3, LPCM
Supported Embedded Subtitles: SRT, ASS/SSA
Multiple Video Tracks Not Supported
Multiple Audio and Subtitle Tracks Supported
Forced Subtitle Tracks Not Supported
Chapters Not Supported
Header Compression Supported
MKV3D (Stereoscopic Flag) Supported
Half SBS / TAB 3D Plays Back with Manual TV Mode Change, Auto-Switch Spotty
M2TS Supported Video Codecs: H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2
Supported Audio Codecs: AC3, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HR, LPCM
Supported Embedded Subtitles: PGS
AVI Supported Video Codecs: MPEG-4 (XviD / DivX), MJPEG
Supported Audio Codecs: AC3, MP3, PCM
SBS 3D AVIs Don't Autoswitch Reliably
MP4 / M4V Supported Video Codecs: H.264
Supported Audio Codecs: AAC
Miscellaneous Containers DVR-MS and TRP Supported
WTV Files Play Back with Audio Only
TS and MTS Supported
M2V Supported
1 Our BD Profile 1.1 ripped folder structure test stream (Band of Brothers (Disc 1)) failed to load beyond the initial startup screen. ArcSoft Total Media Theater 5 played back the same folder structure without issues
2 Our MKV test stream with AVC video and DTS-HD HR audio repeatedly crashed PowerDVD 12. Other MKVs with AVC video played back without issues

 

Video Compatibility Details
CyberLink PowerDVD 12
Version 12.0.1227.54 Ultra
Codec Notes
H.264 1080p60 Level 4.2 Camcorder Streams / Level 5.1 User Encodes Fully Supported
Maximum of 12 Reference Frames Supported (16 reference frame videos show heavy artifacting)
Maximum frame size of 4096 x 2304 (multi-threaded software decode)
10 bit H.264 Decoding Not Supported (Blank Video Screen)
Erroneous Bitstream Recovery OK
Upto 80 Mbps H.264 Streams Play OK (over eSATA)
VC-1 Supported
720p60 / 1080i60 (Interlaced Streams - Advanced Profile) Also Supported
MPEG-2 Supported
MPEG-4 (DivX / XviD) Supported (up to 1080p24)
Global Motion Compensation with More Than 2 Warp Points Supported
Real Media Video Fully Supported (up to 1080p24 tested)
Miscellaneous Codecs WMV8 Supported
VP6 Not Supported
VP8 Not Supported
Theora Not Supported
MPEG-1 Supported

 

Audio Compatibility Details
CyberLink PowerDVD 12
Version 12.0.1227.54 Ultra
Codec Bitstream Decode Downmix
AC3 (Dolby Digital) Yes Yes (up to 5.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
DTS Yes Yes (up to 5.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
Dolby Digital Plus Yes Yes (up to 7.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
DTS-HD HR Yes Yes (up to 7.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
Dolby TrueHD Yes Yes (up to 7.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
DTS-HD MA Yes Yes (up to 7.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
WMA Pro No Yes (up to 5.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
AAC Not Tested Yes (up to 5.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
MP3 Not Applicable Yes Not Applicable
FLAC Not Tested Yes (up to 5.1) Yes (down to 2.0)
Cook (Real Audio) Not Applicable Yes Not Applicable
Vorbis Not Applicable Yes Yes
APE Not Applicable No No
AIFF Not Applicable No No
DVD-A Partially Supported (AC3 Version)
SACD Not Supported
BD-Audio Supported with bitstreaming
Playlists M3U and PLS files don't show up in the media library
Gapless Audio Not Supported
Sampling Frequencies Faithful Decoding to LPCM up to 192 KHz for all audio codecs

 

Subtitle Compatibility Details
CyberLink PowerDVD 12
Version 12.0.1227.54 Ultra
Format Notes
PGS Supported only in M2TS (PGS in MKV is Unsupported)
Forced Subtitles in M2TS Supported
SRT External Subtitles Supported for All Formats
MKV Muxed Subtitles Supported
Automatic Subtitle Encoding Detection Works
SUB/IDX External Subtitles Supported, But SUB overlay blanks out the screen every time it appears
MKV Muxed Subtitles Not Supported
ASS / SSA Supported without Stylization or Font Effects

 

Image Formats Compatibility Details
CyberLink PowerDVD 12
Version 12.0.1227.54 Ultra
Format Notes
JPG Tested Upto 40MP ; Instantaneous Decoding and Scaling to 1920x1080
GIF Not Supported
JPS Supported
Miscellaneous Formats MPO Supported
DNG Supported
TIFF Supported (Multipage Files Display First Page)
PNG Supported

 

Setup and User Interface Online Services
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41 Comments

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  • sholling - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    It seems like the only real change from 11 to 12 is the ability to get rid of the giant advertizement screen. The settings screen still doesn't let you change audio defaults or at least make them stay changed, and it still doesn't support ISOs despite the feature chart. I wish the reviewer had actually tested that feature because it would have saved me $50. Net time I'll be a lot less trusting when a reviewer here makes a claim. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Whoa! Of course it plays ISOs when it is mounted with Virtual Clone Drive. Definitely tested and it works. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    And of course, I have mentioned that in the concluding section too:


    The software could implement native support for Blu-ray / DVD ISOs, thereby making it unnecessary for users to mount them in a virtual drive.


    Next time around, it would be really nice to not blame the reviewer when the necessary information is actually available in the review and is clearly explained.
    Reply
  • sholling - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    If BD ISO is going to be claimed in the table then it needs to be in reference to direct support not through a some 3rd party tool that's doing the heavy lifting. Any program can access an ISO if a 3rd party program is doing the work for it. The author needs to go back and correct the table to read "ISOs supported through 3rd party tools only". Many readers are going to be coming from appliances alike the WDTV Live and NeoTV550 where BD ISO support actually means BD ISO support. Reply
  • sholling - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    BTW Other than the ISO thing it was a nice review. Reply
  • cjs150 - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    I have had bad experiences - never again.

    If I like a Blu ray I will rip it off the disc down to my NAS (any number of programs can do this) and then replay using a low power HTPC (still looking for the perfect one).

    Yes it may be a grey area but my standalone Blu-ray player does a brilliant job - until you get to a quiet bit in the movie. I want to hear the movie not the Blu-ray player (to be fair it is probably just sound of disc going round at high revs).

    I particularly enjoyed the lack of support for forced sub-titles - so when I watch Battle of Britain and Germans are speaking German I will not get the sub-title translations?
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    Forced subtitles work off Blu-rays, just not off standalone files.

    The advantages of ripping a Blu-ray to disk are many, but not everyone wants to do that (and it is definitely a legally gray area at least in the US)
    Reply
  • Golgatha - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    There is nothing grey about it. The DMCA makes it completely illegal to do a legally grey thing. Namely the exercise of your fair use rights. Sorry to derail the thread. Nice review of apparently improved software (since I last used it anyway). Customer service, cost of upkeep, and support of the product should be in the review too. Those are the main reasons I chose ArcSoft's TMT5. Reply
  • maglito - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    It seems no software player supports this niche. It makes plenty of sense for current HTPC projector owners to get a 2nd projector identical to their current one(cheaply on the used market), some passive filters, cheap $1/pair glasses and possibly go to a silver screen depending on what they use(if their current screen won't maintain polarization of the reflected light). In fact JVC projectors are ideal for this as all colors are already polarized at 0 degrees (I have a JVC RS-1 from back in 2006 and I know Anand got a RS-2 shortly after).

    If any video card manufacturer or media player software supported this output type from 3d Blu Ray or 3D MKV files that would help many people investigating this solution out tremendously. The current work arounds to make this work are a bit of a joke.

    As usual, nice write up Ganesh.
    Reply
  • justniz - Thursday, February 2, 2012 - link

    I never liked the way PowerDVD apparently has to take over your whole system just to play a DVD.

    Does PowerDVD 12 still need to switch your whole GUI from glass mode to basic mode when it runs? That was always retarded, especially on PCs with high end video cards.
    Reply

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