Skip to main content

CyberLink PowerDVD 20 Review

PowerDVD is full of features, and is easy to navigate and use. It's perfect for playing DVDs and Blu-rays on your computer.

CyberLink PowerDVD 20
(Image: © CyberLink)

Our Verdict

PowerDVD 20 has a great mix of functionality, easy-to-use controls, and clever tricks for minimizing the drain on your PC's power. It's our top choice.

For

  • Loads of playback features
  • Doesn't strain your PC's resources

Against

  • Not compatible with macOS
  • No free trial

PowerDVD Ultra 20 is top-quality Blu-ray player software with a visually appealing interface that is easy to navigate and use. It comes with all the important major features as well as some minor customization features. With all this and extensive customer support options, it’s our best overall choice for this category.

Though it’s not compatible with macOS, the software is fully available to Windows 10 users. It's an especially great video player option for Windows since it has no native media players. The extensive Windows 10 integration allows the program to work on a compatible touchscreen, and it gives you large buttons that are easy to use for the operating system.

You can watch your entire movie collection, whether it is physical or digital in format, on this player. It plays Blu-ray discs as well as standard and rewritable DVDs. Additionally, it quickly loads up to 4K playback for all kinds of digital video formats, including MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV and MKV.

PowerDVD 20 review: Features

The player is also a great option for listening to audio files, such as WMA, MP3, FLAC and ALAC. Additionally, you can rip audio off from the videos you watch, using the Video Scene Selector function. You can even connect it to your computer's hard drive, an external hard drive, or your included PowerDVD-sourced cloud storage to create a playlist of videos you want to watch in one sitting. This is convenient for movie marathons with friends.

The player runs effortlessly without monopolizing your computer's CPU capacity, averaging just 20 percent. Although, it should be noted that program that is lightest on your system resources is Leawo Blu-ray Player at just four percent on our test PC.

The upscaling capacity allows you to convert standard-definition videos up to HD, as well as standard 2D movies up to 3D. It can even upscale the videos you watch on sites like YouTube and Vimeo, taking them from standard to high definition, or from 2D to 3D.

Since the player software has Dolby and DTS support, you can enjoy high-quality audio along with your video. It also has bit-perfect lossless audio playback, allowing you to use good quality headphones for private viewing or to connect to an external screen via HDMI cable without having to deal with degraded sound.

PowerDVD Review: Playback

You can let your friends know what you're watching at any time with the player's built-in social media function, sharing your opinion of the movie on sites like Twitter. The player also has BD-Live support, which, through an internet connection, gives you access to additional special features not available on Blu-ray discs. The customizable player skins add some fun and personalization for the software.

On any video, you can easily tweak the brightness, hue and saturation through the player, so you get the perfect picture. The software's auto-resume playback remembers where you leave off in a video and continues from that point when you resume watching it, so you don't have to waste time trying to figure out where you stopped watching previously. Furthermore, the subtitle options make it easy to watch foreign films or comprehend muddy dialogue.

The player lets you enjoy movies from around the world, as you can change regions multiple times. You can also conserve your laptop's battery power with the built-in power manager, letting you multitask or watch more movies without being tethered to a power cord. For added convenience, you can use your smartphone as a paired virtual remote control for the player, letting you navigate and play movies from the comfort of your couch, even if you're using the player for your home theater setup, or you can watch videos from the software on your smartphone.

PowerDVD Review: Technical Help

You have several options for technical support, should you need it. You can contact CyberLink's customer service representatives directly via email, though there are other options if you don't want or need to talk them directly. The website has a FAQs section and various tutorials as resources, and even a community user forum where you can interact with other PowerDVD users.

You can enjoy an optimal movie-viewing experience with PowerDVD Ultra, whether you prefer physical Blu-ray discs, DVDs or digital formats. The player performs consistently well, it's pleasant to navigate and use, and it offers many levels of customization and picture optimization. Multiple customer support options round out this player as the best one on our lineup.

J.D. Chadwick
J.D. Chadwick joined the Top Ten Reviews team in 2008 and has been one of our most prolific content creators. Originally the head writer of the video content department, he was essential in the creation of hundreds of review videos. Additionally, he created, wrote and produced the daily tech news show Top Ten Reports throughout its 2009-2011 run. Since 2011 he has created content and articles on a wide variety of our product categories. With over a decade of service at Top Ten Reviews, he has produced thousands of articles, reviews and videos on hundreds of topics. He is currently our Multimedia and Home Improvement Editor.