CyberLink releases PowerDVD 13

CyberLink has unveiled PowerDVD 13, the latest edition of its popular media player. And it’s an interesting upgrade with new features wherever you look.

New support for APE and AVCHD 2.0 1080p/3D extends your playback support, for instance, while everyone will benefit from a new focus on performance. The media player has been optimized to deliver an “instant start”, while new BD-Live Bypass technology means Blu-ray playback is 58 percent faster than PowerDVD 12.

A new Movie Library organises your MKV and MP4 files, DVD and Blu-ray discs in a single folder, with cover art, and links to more information on the movie. New conveniences include the ability to resume watching a movie just where you left off, and you can add comments and connect with friends via social media.

The playback interface has been revamped. There are more straightforward controls, which can instantly be hidden; it’s easier to find movie scenes; you can jump backwards and forwards through a video via the keyboard, and a new speed navigator helps you set fast or slow motion playback. (And if you’re still not happy, new configuration options allow you to customise the interface, change hotkeys, mouse wheel actions and more.)

PowerDVD 2013′s TrueTheater technology is now even available for Full HD video, automatically sharpening the picture, optimising colours and lighting for the best possible image quality.

And there’s also a new mini Music Player; an all-new subtitle engine with dual subtitle support; and various Windows 8 additions, including touch optimisation, and a Windows 8 edition of PowerDVD’s Mobile app.

As usual, PowerDVD 2013 comes in three edition. Deluxe ($54.95) is the base, with core media and DVD playback issues; Pro ($79.95) adds Blu-ray support, while Ultra ($99.95) includes 3D support, smart device syncing, full DLNA support, 7.1 audio and more.

Not exactly cheap, then, but PowerDVD 2013 does at least have some worthwhile new features to help justify the cost. The performance and interface enhancements are particularly welcome, and if you need a high-end media player then PowerDVD 13 is still worth a look.

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