PowerDVD Mobile v4 is available in the Android market as well as the Apple app store. Upon installation, a code (present in the Home Media section of PowerDVD 12 Ultra under PowerDVD Mobile) needs to be entered to activate the app. PowerDVD Mobile talks to the DLNA server run by PowerDVD on the PC only. By default, the CyberLink DLNA server doesn't share any media. It needs to be explicitly told to share the library with the home media (DLNA) clients.

Coming back to the Android app, CyberLink presents the various media options in one row. On choosing a category, all the local media on the device is displayed for playback first. Choosing the Home Media option makes the app poll for the media server. Only the CyberLink DLNA server is visible through the app. By default, all the files in the library are listed alphabetically. The only other way to view the library is with the folder view.

Unfortunately, all visible files are not necessarily available for playback. For exmaple, I had an XviD movie file which, though visible, caused PowerDVD Mobile to error out.

However, I was able to get some H.264 files to work.

Of course, the most interesting aspect was what could be done with the files in the media library on the device. Upon selecting a media file, it is possible to beam it across to another DLNA Media Renderer (I had two other renderers in my network, a Popcorn Hour A300 and my Sony KDL46EX720 TV). It is also possible to save a transcoded stream to the local device.

The transcoding process occurs on the server side, and it doesn't take advantage of QuickSync. In addition, transcoded archiving seems to work only for media files which could be successfully played back in the initial attempt. This is a good way to get media onto the device for enjoyment outside the network, but it is very puzzling as to why unsupported media doesn't get transcoded into a valid profile.

While I tested the app out with the HTC Vision and the Motorola Xoom, Jarred used a Qualcom MSM 8x60 based tablet as well as an iPod Touch to test the same app on his side. Jarred couldn't get the iOS app working as smoothly as the Android app, but, suffice to say, both of us spent more time with the Android app. All our observations and suggestions for CyberLink are presented in the next section.

 

 

Online Services Concluding Remarks: What’s Next for CyberLink?
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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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