Forget the program name - PowerDVD Ultra is now much more than a DVD player. CyberLink now bill it as more of a universal media player, and with some justification, considering the program's extremely lengthy feature list.
The program can now handle and play all the video, audio and digital image formats which matter, for instance: all the main standards, mobile formats such as 3GP and its variants, HD formats, Flash video (FLV), many RAW format images, and a whole lot more.
It can also handle all your DVDs and Blu-ray discs, including 3D content. CyberLink's TrueTheater technology can now convert all your media - photos, videos, DVD and Blu-ray discs - to 3D, for any display type: anaglyph, 3D-ready HDTV, shutter glass, HDMI 1.4. And a new focus on audio sees extended support for surround and lossless HD Audio formats, including DTS-HD 7.1, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, OGG and FLAC.
Of course the content you need won't always be located on your own PC, so PowerDVD is now better able to reach out, and access media wherever it might be. You can open local files as normal. Comprehensive DLNA support sees you able to stream media to or from compatible PCs, media servers or other devices. And online media support sees you able to access YouTube, Facebook and Flickr content from within the program.
Yet none of this ever gets too complex, because PowerDVD 12's media library provides multiple ways to organise, view and search your files, so the content you need is never more than a click or two away.
And by way of demonstrating this, PowerDVD 12 Ultra now includes free Android and iOS apps so you can access media in your library from iPhones, iPads or Android devices. The system will intelligently convert videos and photos for the best possible display on your devices. You can set up Smart Sync rules to automatically synchronise your media with Android devices, so they're ready to take anywhere. And when you're at home, your device can become a PowerDVD remote, so you can easily control the program from a distance.
And if you're short on content then CyberLink would also be happy to see you stock up at their integrated music store, where over 17 million DRM-free tracks await your attention (in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, anyway). The practical benefit being that this lets you store your music in the cloud, so again you can access your content from anywhere, via up to 5 devices.
Please note, PowerDVD 12 comes in three editions. Ultra is the most capable, including everything we've listed here, and is priced at $99.95.
PowerDVD Pro is the next step down, and doesn't include the mobile device apps, or quite as much DLNA-related support (the DLNA Digital Media Controller and Renderer are omitted). It's priced at $79.95.
And the base edition, PowerDVD Standard, also drops Blu-ray playback, 3D playback, TrueTheater 3D, Android device syncing, HD Audio and the program's DLNA Media Server abilities: but then it's priced at only $49.95.
Note that the trial version of PowerDVD 12 installs as the Ultra edition. There is no trial for PowerDVD 12 Pro or Standard.