We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

CyberLink PowerDVD 8.0 review

£49 inc VAT

Manufacturer: CyberLink

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

We’re now entering the high definition age, and with Blu-ray currently set as the best bet for a true hi-def experience at home, CyberLink has introduced PowerDVD 8

Playing DVD films on a Windows PC is simpler these days, now that Microsoft has finally included DVD playback capability with Vista – only ten years after the launch of the DVD format. Before Vista, PC-using film enthusiasts were consigned to finding their own software solution from a third party. Step forward CyberLink, maker of PowerDVD, one of the most popular DVD playing suites around, and one sporting useful features not found anywhere else.

We’re now entering the high definition age, and with Blu-ray currently set as the best bet for a true hi-def experience at home, CyberLink has introduced PowerDVD 8. Of the three versions available – standard, Deluxe and Ultra – it’s the latter Ultra package that also incorporates support for the latest HD video codecs such as MPEG-4 AVC and AVCHD, and thereby the Blu-ray disc format.

While deeper pocketed users can take advantage of the BD compatibility, CyberLink has also added features that should appeal to a younger audience, such as Movie Remix, which allows a certain amount of mash-ups of clips from commercial films. You can overlay your own captions, graphics, even voiceovers to existing DVD films – with plenty of scope for comic effects. To overcome DVD’s DRM limitations which hinders copying from a disc, the effects are overlayed on the original film, which means the disc must be in the tray whenever you want to play these remixes.

The unique features of PowerDVD extend to playback of DVD-Audio discs, once mooted as a replacement for CD with better quality sound reproduction, plus other specialised formats such as DTS 96/24 and DTS-ES Discrete for multichannel audio systems.

In use, we found a few minor foibles with PowerDVD 8 Ultra, such as unreasonably high sound volume through our laptop speakers, even at the lowest settings, and annoying adverts for CyberLink’s Power2Go product in the configuration panel. But these are outweighed by the facilities on offer, such as its very broad compatability with many DVD-related formats, and neat techie touches like the option to see codec and bitrate info about the playing media. And most importantly, high-definition video from Blu-ray played well on our laptop screen, even if it could not be piped out via DVI to an external screen, due to DRM restrictions on displays that do not carry HDCP certification.

CyberLink PowerDVD 8.0 Expert Verdict »

Windows XP/Vista
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8GHz or AMD 2GHz or faster
GPU with DirectX 9.0
min 256MB video RAM for BD
HDCP-compliant screen required for BD playback
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 8 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

With the latest iteration of PowerDVD, CyberLink has brought the product right up to date, and is a must-have program for anyone who wants to access just about every DVD video and audio format, and the latest Blu-ray Discs too.

  • CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra HD playback software

    CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra HD playback software

    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. But CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra wins a PC Advisor Gold Award. To find out why, read our review.

  • CyberLink PowerDVD 9 Ultra review

    CyberLink PowerDVD 9 Ultra

    CyberLink PowerDVD 9 Ultra expands the media player's Blu-ray capabilities, and adds picture processing for standard DVD video too.

  • CyberLink PowerDVD 10 Ultra review

    CyberLink PowerDVD 10 Ultra

    CyberLink PowerDVD 10 Ultra is the most powerful and stable DVD and Blu-ray movie player available, offers an array of new features in the new version. The biggest boost, however, comes from 3D support.

  • Plextor PX-B120U review

    Plextor PX-B120U

    The Plextor PX-B120U is a one-trick pony - this external USB optical drive can play, but not record to, Blu-ray, DVD and CD discs.

  • Lite-On IHES112-115 review

    Lite-On IHES112-115

    The Lite-On IHES112-115 is an internal optical drive that can read Blu-rays and write to CD and DVDs.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

See the festive spots creative companies have released for Christmas

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad