Thursday, September 2, 2010

PowerDVD 10 Review

So powerDVD 10 is out last week. I’m giving this version a try since version 9 didn’t work well for me. On version 9, the Blu-ray loader keeps on halting or disappearing when loading a disc, then after that a reboot is required to load the disc again properly, otherwise powerDVD just refuses to recognize the disc; overall there’s only a 30% chance I could load a disc, I tried keep updating, but each updates even get worse, so I have to give up and revert to version 8 which loads the discs smoothly…


Well, version 10 still has this kind of stupid loader as seen above, but it’s working fine this time. I’ve only experienced one occasion that the player freezes when loading, but that’s a BD-J title. After killing the player and restart, I’m still able to load a disc, no reboot required. So loading is at least stable for this version.

Bad news is that disc mode (Blu-ray folder and DVD VIDEO_TS folder playback) seems to have been completely removed this time. Blu-ray folder playback is long removed since anything after 7.3 3319a updates, so it’s no surprising to see it’s not in this version; but DVD folder playback is further stripped in this version!!! What an absolute shitty move this is! There is still a way to play VIDEO_TS folder by associating *.ifo files with powerDVD 10 though.

Option –> Player –> Advanced –> check play IFO files should give you DVD VIDEO_TS folder playback.
After the *.ifo files are associated with powerDVD 10, just double click VIDEO_TS.IFO, it should start playing from the beginning. powerDVD doesn’t support dragging and dropping folders like Totalmedia Theatre. The only problem I have with this approach is that it seems I can only play the disc mode once, if I need to restart the disc or load a new disc, powerDVD just doesn’t respond. I have to restart it in order to repeat this process… But still, limited folder playback is an option when needed…
There are some GUI changes for this version as Cyberlink seems to have marketed this player as a “Universal Player”. There are three tabs on top, DVD/Blu-ray, Video and Music. DVD/Blu-ray gives the access to virtual/actual drive, Video and Music have a windows file browser built-in to access the file formats it support. Oh, did I mention that version 10 supports *.mkv and external srt, ssa, ass subtitles. But for the one *.mkv file I tested, this player just crashes. Go figure on that one…
So these are the options available in DVD mode. Oh yes, that stupid moovielink or whatever is still in this version. Not only it doesn’t go away, but also now it’s integrated ever so tightly into the GUI… You just see them everywhere. When you pause a movie, it wants you to write some comments by default… No thanks, Cyberlink. I just want to watch a freaking movie, I don’t want the stupid social functions…

This is the Blu-ray options. For BD-J titles, I can’t seem to call the menu by using keyboard shortcut Ctrl+P. But all the shortcuts work fine in HDMV titles and DVDs. So I’m not sure why…


If you have to pick something as an improvement over the previous versions, then the TrueTheater Video is the thing Cyberlink has done right. For DVD playback quality, I could pretty confident to say that it has the best image quality over any other commercial software players (maybe anyone with some knowledge on avisynth with ffdshow could come up with some scripts to have good output as this, but I think it’s too much work). The sharpening and lighting filters work great to make the videos look easy on the eye. I found the motion enhancement to have minimal effect. I haven’t tried noise reduction and stabilizer which are new to this version. While the DVD upconversion quality is quite beautiful, the artifacts it generated isn’t something that’s negligible. It will further signifies the aliasings if the source has it, which unfortunately quite a few anime remastered last few years are plagued with this issue… So overall I think now I can use a PC for some casual DVD playing back without burning a disc, but for serious viewing, I’ll stick with PS3.
Another sales point is the 3D capability, but I don’t think this one is gonna sale this time either. There’ll be a Mark II version (free upgrade) available in summer to enable Blu-ray 3D technology (MVC encoding with two simultaneous 1080p video streams). let’s see how this turns out.
  • Click Start
  • Click Run
  • Enter GPEDIT.MSC
    Group Policy mmc will popup. On left panel:
  • Double-click Computer Configuration to open submenu
  • Double-click Administrative Templates to open submenu
  • Double-click System to open submenu
  • Double-click Turn autoplay off option which will be near the bottom of the list in the right panel.

The default is the Not configured . Set it to Enabled.
Or go to your CD/DVD Icon and right click on propertys and click on the auto play tab and click on take no action.

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