Back in the day, home theatre PCs used to be a fad. Users would often arm themselves with a DVD drive, a TV capture card, and even a Media Center pre-installed within Windows, which later created the “HTPC” or “Home Theater” community.
Fast forward to today, and everything seems like a memory from far off. Windows 10 decided to dump its Media Center. Even a majority of laptops these days lack DVD drives. Blu-Ray players are priced under $100. Streaming sticks are becoming affordable at just $50 or so. So that leaves one important question: who would want a PC-based media program this time around?
Traditional and hardcore users are the ones who still want it. And to rescue them is the highly neglected Cyberlink with PowerDVD program. Now, it does more than support Blu-Ray and DVD playback. This new iteration for Windows 10 now offers 4K video support as well as “play to” casting additions to boot.
Friendly for TVs
It may appear a little insane, but for some reason, it took PowerDVD until the 16th version to finally bundle a dedicated TV mode in its set. It took from other HTPC interfaces that came and went, which included Windows Media Center and Boxee. The program’s TV mode provides a horizontal-angled scrolling UI made for use with iOS, Remote for Android, or a mouse.
The TV mode is barely a functionality in the program’s arsenal. The program is capable of streaming video files to one’s Chromecase, Apple TV, or Roku. It’s “Play To” functionality offers 4K content support. The manufacturer says it’s still in the middle of trying to natively stream 4K content. In addition, it comes with native support for Vimeo and Youtube.
For now, PowerDVD is only limited to Blu-Ray and DVD support. A rep from Cyberlink made a confirmation that the program will provide 4K Blu-Ray support as soon as PC hardware is readily made available.
Power DVD Ultra is now available in the market at around $100. Software upgrades from its older versions are priced at $50. Meanwhile, the Power DVD Live and Pro are priced at $45 (for 12 months of use) and $80 respectively. Keep in mind that these lack complete functionality.
Pricing for the full version can anywhere be around $80 to $130. Obviously, those who are keenly interested with PowerDVD and the functionality it offers should compare it with competitors like Plex, VLC, and Kodi.