PowerDVD 13 Deluxe may be the budget edition of CyberLink's popular media player, but it still has plenty of powerful features to explore.
The program can handle all the audio, video and digital image file types which matter, for instance: all the main standards, mobile formats such as 3GP and its variants, HD formats, Flash video (FLV), lossless audio (now including APE), and many RAW format images.
You also get DVD playback with support for 5.1 channel sound (you'll need the Pro or Ultra versions if you want to play Blu-rays).
Elsewhere. strong internet and networking support allows you to find and play YouTube videos, Facebook and Flickr content. You can upload content, too, and stream media from home network devices (DLNA DMS).
What else is new this time? The headlines talk about watching movies "at quality beyond HD", which essentially means the program now includes TrueTheater HD for Full HD video, automatically sharpening your picture, optimising colours and lighting for the best possible results.
A new focus on performance sees "instant start" for regular photo viewing, music and video playback.
The interface has been revamped. Cinema mode is now available for file playback; automatic scaling delivers much better results on high DPI displays; you can instantly hide your controls in full screen mode; there's a mini music player for easier audio playback; and if you don't like something, new customisation options help you tweak the interface, hotkey and mouse controls to suit your needs.
And there's plenty more, from the very obvious (a new Movie Library to help keep your collection organised) to more technical, but still welcome additions (TV refresh rate now auto-syncs to the DVD frame rate for the best possible movie quality).
Please note, PowerDVD 13 comes in three editions.
PowerDVD Standard is the base version, which includes everything we've described here.
PowerDVD Pro, the mid-range build, adds Blu-ray and AVCHD playback.
And PowerDVD Ultra, the most powerful version, adds 3D support (pictures, movies, YouTube and Blu-ray), the PowerDVD Mobile app, smart syncing with Android devices (including automatically converting videos before sync), and much improved DLNA support.