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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  • Spivonious - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    I knew there was a reason version 11 was on a fire sale. I had to upgrade from 9 to play those profile 5 discs. Hopefully they continue support for 11 for a while. Reply
  • jwcalla - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon but the idea of having to pay for software to get the magic keys to play the BluRay discs you paid for is ridiculous. Why are people so eager to grab their ankles? Reply
  • Spivonious - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    That cost is included with standalone players. That said, I'd love it if Microsoft would sell a blu-ray codec for $10-$15 and let me play them right inside of Media Center. I will never use the mobile features of PowerDVD, nor the image enhancement and fake 3D features. Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    I can understand a commercial license being needed to release the codec as part of a retail player but a non-commercial home license should be totally free. Reply
  • Alexstarfire - Friday, February 3, 2012 - link

    Yes, the cost might be included with the stand-alone players but you're also paying for the hardware. When you are playing back Blu-Rays/DVDs on your computer you've already paid for the hardware. I see no reason that the software would be as expensive as a solution that provides hardware and software. I don't believe it should be free, though that'd be very nice, but even $50 is more expensive than I think it should be. Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Wholeheartedly agree. Wasn't there an article here a few days back about adding blu-ray support to VLC by just copying the keys into the right folder? Maybe that was ars. At any rate it's infinitely preferable to paying for the bars and chains that keep you locked up as a consumer. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - link

    Yes, VLC can handle Blu-rays with encryption now (albeit with some exceptions).

    But, VLC will not be reliable with menus, HD audio decoding etc. (Look up the VLC piece I wrote in the Pipeline section as to why Blu-ray support being added in VLC is just the beginning of a long process)
    Reply
  • joel4565 - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    I am sure the latest version of Powerdvd is quite nice and lovely, but honesty how can it ever be justified at $100 for the full version when a quick glance on Newegg shows several standalone blueray players for <$100 and several well rated at just over a hundred dollars.

    And for tablet/mobile For the same ~$100 you could get a two year subscription to AnyDVD HD and Handbrake to transcode the video to x264 for a much better tablet experience. AVplayerHD is a good IOS app that plays 720p x264 mkv videos quite nicely on ipad2 and I am sure there is a similar app for Android.

    The fact that bluray drives require such expensive software to get the full experience shows just how little the movie & tv industry cares about PC users. Even the cheapest bluray drive $57 + the basic version of software $50 is more expensive than several stand alone players that will probably do a better job.
    Reply
  • daneren2005 - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    Of course. In fact they HATE PC users. PC users tend to want to do crazy stuff like own content and to be able to use it on multiple devices after paying for it the first time. The media industry on the other hand wants you to pay for the same crap every single time you get a new device, and PCs allow you to get around that. Reply
  • Braumin - Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - link

    I bought version 7 Ultra for HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Verion 9 came out with Media Center integration, so I figured that was worth the upgrade.

    Cyberlink is a horrible company. They never had updates for 9, even when it was the most current offering. Movies would often not play for months before there was updates. Of course, that got worse as 9 moved out of main support.

    $100 is basically a subscription for this software, since they release a new version every year and ditch support of the old version quickly.

    I stopped trying to watch blu-ray on my HTPC. For $90 I got a Samsung wi-fi blu-ray player which has played every disc I have thrown at it.

    Keep your junk Cyberlink.
    Reply

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