New DVD playback software probably doesn't seem the most crucial of purchases, especially since most PCs come with a suitable application. Indeed, the chances are you already have a version of CyberLink PowerDVD.

And with good reason, too. But these are tricky times; the appearance of HD formats Blu-ray and HD-DVD have muddied the waters.

CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra comes with an incredible level of support for playback of both HD formats. From interactive menus and Picture in Picture, to advanced bookmarking and twin formats (in the case of hybrid HD-DVD/DVD-ROM disks), CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra has covered all of the potentially tricky angles that could trip up lesser apps.

CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra supports a slew of formats, from Mini-DVD and Mpeg4-AVC to DivX Pro and WMV-HD. Audio formats are covered in some depth, with the highlights including Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD.

Subtitles are handled with considerable aplomb by CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra, and the interface has been tidied up and enhanced. Laptop users can even speed up a film in the event of battery sudden death. Image quality looks excellent, and CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra's optimisation tools do an exceptional job of producing vivid video.

CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra: Specs

  • 3.2GHz Pentium or 2GHz AMD processor
  • Vista/XP
  • 512MB RAM
  • 60MB hard disk space
  • 3.2GHz Pentium or 2GHz AMD processor
  • Vista/XP
  • 512MB RAM
  • 60MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

There's very little extra we can think of that CyberLink could have put in. If you have some Blu-ray or HD-DVD discs you want to play on your PC, you owe it to yourself to get hold of CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra.

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