DVD playback software: PowerDVD 5.0

PowerDVD has been one of the leading video and audio playback packages for some time now. While it may be difficult to get too excited about the improvements made to version 5.0, the program is both simple and powerful enough to be the first choice for most users.

With minimum changes to PowerDVD’s interface, CyberLink has concentrated on improvements under the bonnet, particularly in terms of audio quality and wide-screen support. New features include the ability to rename personal bookmarks and pick up movies from where you left off, as well as support for DivX, the popular format for distributing movies online.

We were most impressed by the improved video and audio quality. CLEV (CyberLink eagle vision) automatically changes brightness, contrast and saturation ratios to improve playback, but you’ll need a 1GHz or faster processor for it to work effectively (see here for a screenshot).

CLMEI (CyberLink multi-channel environment impression) converts a stereo output to multiple channels, taking advantage of a system’s surround-sound setup. And CLPV (CyberLink pano vision) uses a smart stretch option that creates full-screen video with minimum distortion.

In brief: CyberLink PowerDVD 5.0
PowerDVD 5.0 performs well and remains one of the best players on the market, with a wide range of options.
Price: $99.95
Distributor: Manaccom
Phone: (07) 3870 4900
URL: www.manac.com.au

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Jason Whittaker

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