Do regular media players just never have quite the power you need? Then you just might be interested in PowerDVD 13 Ultra, the latest edition of CyberLink's popular media player, which comes for support for playing all the media formats you've ever heard of (and probably quite a few you haven't).
The program can handle all the audio, video and digital image file types which matter, for instance: all the main standards, mobile formats such as 3GP and its variants, HD formats, Flash video (FLV), lossless audio (now including APE), many RAW format images, and a whole lot more.
Of course it can also play DVDs, Blu-ray and AVCHD discs. There's support for playing everything from 3D photos and local videos, to native 3D YouTube video content and Blu-ray 3D. And whatever your video type, full 7.1 audio support ensures your movies will always sound great.
Elsewhere. strong internet and networking support allows you to find and play YouTube videos, Facebook and Flickr content. You can upload content, too. And comprehensive home media support can share your media library to DLNA devices, and stream media from them, as well as other network device types (DLNA DMC/ DMR).
And if any of this seems a little overwhelming, no problem, everything can be neatly managed from PowerDVD's Mobile and Remote apps for iOS, Android, and (new this time) Windows 8. What's more, by opting for the high-end Ultra edition of PowerDVD, you get these for free.
What else is new this time? The headlines talk about watching movies "at quality beyond HD", which essentially means the program now includes TrueTheater HD for Full HD video, automatically sharpening your picture, optimising colours and lighting for the best possible results.
A new focus on performance sees "instant start" for regular photo viewing, music and video playback, while CyberLink reports that the new BD-Live bypass technology means Blu-ray playing is 58% faster than the previous edition.
The interface has been revamped. Cinema mode is now available for file playback; automatic scaling delivers much better results on high DPI displays; you can instantly hide your controls in full screen mode; there's a mini music player for easier audio playback; and if you don't like something, new customisation options help you tweak the interface, hotkey and mouse controls to suit your needs.
And there's plenty more, from the very obvious (a new Movie Library to help keep your collection organised) to more technical, but still welcome additions (TV refresh rate now auto-syncs to the DVD frame rate for the best possible movie quality).
Please note, PowerDVD 13 comes in three editions. Ultra is the most capable, including everything we've listed here.
PowerDVD Pro is the next step down, and doesn't include the PowerDVD Mobile app, 3D support, smart syncing with Android devices (including automatically converting videos before sync), or as much DLNA support.
And the base edition, PowerDVD Deluxe, further drops Blu-ray and AVCHD playback.
CyberLink PowerDVD 13 Ultra is a very capable media player, able to play just about any content, wherever it's located. It's not overweight, though, loading quickly on our test PC, so if you need a very powerful player - and you don't mind the price - we'd give it a try