PowerDVD 15 Ultra Review

Editor's note: Power DVD 18 Ultra is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will post the new test results and reviews when we next test the DVD Player Software reviews.

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Our Verdict

PowerDVD 15 Ultra is an outstanding choice for Windows software that can play a wide variety of video, audio and photo formats, as it is packed with features and has top-of-the-line performance on its intuitive interface.

For

  • Its WASAPI Exclusive Mode gives you bit-perfect lossless audio output for a variety of formats.

Against

  • It is not compatible with either Mac OS X or Linux.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: Its interface is intuitive and easy to use, as well as visually appealing.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: Its interface is intuitive and easy to use, as well as visually appealing.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can easily switch between watching videos, listening to music and viewing photos through the interface.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can easily switch between watching videos, listening to music and viewing photos through the interface.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The software's TrueTheater technology helps ensure an enjoyable movie-watching experience, as it optimizes the picture and reduces buffering.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The software's TrueTheater technology helps ensure an enjoyable movie-watching experience, as it optimizes the picture and reduces buffering.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: With the software's Dolby and DTS support, you can enjoy high-definition picture and sound.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: With the software's Dolby and DTS support, you can enjoy high-definition picture and sound.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can watch 4K videos with enhanced playback, eliminating lag for a smooth experience.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can watch 4K videos with enhanced playback, eliminating lag for a smooth experience.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The software lets you easily browse your own collection as well as popular TV shows and movies.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The software lets you easily browse your own collection as well as popular TV shows and movies.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: It gives you lossless bit-perfect audio, even when you use headphones or an HDMI cable, and lets you connect it easily to your home theater setup.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: It gives you lossless bit-perfect audio, even when you use headphones or an HDMI cable, and lets you connect it easily to your home theater setup.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can search music, images and video through different categories, such as brand-new or upcoming.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can search music, images and video through different categories, such as brand-new or upcoming.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The software is compatible with Windows and can play any physical or digital video or audio format.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The software is compatible with Windows and can play any physical or digital video or audio format.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You have full control over a wide variety of options for the player, such as video and audio settings and playback functions.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You have full control over a wide variety of options for the player, such as video and audio settings and playback functions.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The software makes it easy to enjoy smooth high-definition playback.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The software makes it easy to enjoy smooth high-definition playback.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: It has Windows 8 touchscreen integration with large buttons for ease of use.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: It has Windows 8 touchscreen integration with large buttons for ease of use.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can pin YouTube videos to save them to the software and watch them at any time, even offline.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can pin YouTube videos to save them to the software and watch them at any time, even offline.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The auto-resume playback function remembers where you stop watching a video and plays from that point when you choose to watch it again.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The auto-resume playback function remembers where you stop watching a video and plays from that point when you choose to watch it again.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can customize the skin to make the player really yours.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can customize the skin to make the player really yours.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: It loads digital files quickly and takes just 17 seconds to load and start playing a physical disc.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: It loads digital files quickly and takes just 17 seconds to load and start playing a physical disc.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can stream your personal videos that you've stored in the cloud that comes with your purchase of the software, or YouTube videos you've pinned.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can stream your personal videos that you've stored in the cloud that comes with your purchase of the software, or YouTube videos you've pinned.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The player ensures high-quality enhanced playback so you can enjoy a crisp picture.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: The player ensures high-quality enhanced playback so you can enjoy a crisp picture.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can connect to the player with your smartphone and use it as a virtual remote control, so you can stay comfortable while navigating and controlling the player.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: You can connect to the player with your smartphone and use it as a virtual remote control, so you can stay comfortable while navigating and controlling the player.
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PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: Even at a normal speed, you can still enjoy a high frame rate of playback.

PowerDVD 15 Ultra image: Even at a normal speed, you can still enjoy a high frame rate of playback.

Editor's note: Power DVD 18 Ultra is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will post the new test results and reviews when we next test the DVD Player Software reviews.

Whether you just want to watch a movie hassle-free on your laptop or have a massive movie marathon with your best friends in your home theater, you can depend on PowerDVD 15 Ultra to give you a powerful and high-quality movie-watching experience. The DVD player software is compatible with a large selection of video and audio formats, and it can also help you manage and share photos. Because of its strong tools and seemingly endless high-quality features, PowerDVD 15 Ultra heartily earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.

Many people nowadays own a large video and audio collection, but this is often problematic because it is spread across many formats, making it more than a little difficult to have a movie night. This movie player software from CyberLink works for Windows and is compatible with a variety of physical and digital video formats, including DVD, DVD-R/RW, Blu-ray, AVI, WMV, MP4, MOV, DIV, MKV and even ISO files. You can also enjoy listening to your music collection, as the player supports such formats as AAC, WAV, WMA, MP3 and FLAC. In case you are an avid photographer or just want to share your latest snaps with friends, the player also supports a large selection of photo formats, including JPEG, JPG, BMP, RAW, PNG, TIF and TIFF.

As we tested the digital video player, we thought it had outstanding performance. Because it has a variety of carefully engineered smart buffering algorithms, you never have to wait long for the video to start or deal with lag, ghosting, buffering or any other annoying playback issues. We also like that it doesn't require tremendous CPU usage while running in full screen. It averaged about 19 percent with no other programs running when we tested it.

The picture looked terrific during our testing, especially using the software's TrueTheater Color enhancement technology, which intensifies colors when needed and sharpens the picture, even for Ultra HD 4K video. The audio also sounded outstanding, even when we used headphones, as the TrueTheater Sound optimizes bass, reverb, and volume and vocal range amplification for the best possible movie-watching or music-listening experience. It has lossless audio playback and supports Dolby and DTS audio to further enhance the sound.

You have full control over your playback experience, as PowerDVD 15 Ultra lets you tweak a variety of audio and video settings. You can adjust the brightness, hue and saturation of the picture for any video to make it look just right. If there is a part of the movie with a lot of important details, you can screenshot it via the software, zoom in digitally on it, or loop it with the AB repeat function to watch it over and over. The smart stretching feature allows you to stretch the picture to fit your screen or just to change the aspect ratio, though if you do so, the picture may not always fit your screen correctly.

You can easily toggle subtitles or closed captions as needed, which is great for foreign films or scenes with muddy dialogue. The player also allows you to change world regions multiple times so you can enjoy movies purchased from around the world. In case you want a different movie-viewing experience, the software has the ability to upscale standard-definition flicks to HD, or 2D movies to 3D. However, you need to have a 3D-compatible screen and 3D glasses in order to view a 3D video created within the application.

You can personalize the player by customizing its skin, and you can even download wallpapers for it on MoovieLive. The player also remembers where you leave off in a video and resumes playback from that point whenever you continue. For added fun, you can connect to various social media sites to share what you're currently watching or listening to with friends and followers, as well as your opinion on it. The power manager conserves your laptop's battery while you watch without negatively affecting the playback.

If you have questions or are just curious about the software, you can check out CyberLink's user forum on its website, which lets you interact with other PowerDVD users. You can check out its knowledgebase and FAQs section for additional help. If you prefer to talk to CyberLink's technical support team directly, you can do so by filling out a simple user form in the customer support section of its website. The representatives are quick to respond, so you don't have to wait long to get the answers you need.

With PowerDVD 15 Ultra's nearly flawless playback and massive format compatibility, you can enjoy powerful, high-quality playback when watching or listening to your entire movie, music or photo library in one central place. It has a beautiful, intuitive interface that is enjoyable to wade through and easy to navigate. We like that it has so many options for picture and audio customization and doesn't dominate your computer's CPU or quickly drain your laptop battery. Additionally, its wide variety of features, including HD upscaling and social media compatibility, make it the ideal companion for movie lovers.