If you’ve bought a new computer at any point in the last 2 years, it’s likely that CyberLink as a name will be familiar to you. After all, it’s PowerDVD movie theatre is the number one choice for most manufacturers to bundle with their PCs.
The free software is great for watching movies but the full paid-for suite offers plenty in the way of additional value. With ten different tools on offer, this package consists of PowerDVD 7.3, PowerProducer 4.2, PowerDirector 6.5 HE, Power2Go 6, PowerBackup 2.5, InstantBurn 5.0, MediaShow 3.0, PowerDVD Copy, LabelPrint 2.0, and PhotoNow!
Essentially, the package is split in to two main areas, the first being editing of video and the second handling burning and copying of discs.
However, the focus for the suite is high-definition, as this is the best package we’ve seen to handle both Blu-ray and the now sadly defunct HD DVD. PowerDVD 7.3 is able to handle both formats with ease and our test samples looked stunning.
It’s not only visuals that are state-of-the-art as Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD are also supported, so you can make the best of audio tools too.
When it comes to video editing there are more powerful suites on the market, such as Adobe Premier Elements, but for entry-level use we found PowerDirector had a number of new features that help the first-time user get to grips with video editing. The new Magic Movie Wizard makes simple work of importing and editing footage, either from an external source or from your PCs hard drive.
The interface is fairly easy to get to grips with – something that isn’t always the case with video suites – and the use templates and easy-to-use features means you won’t need to read the manual to start using it.
One feature you don’t often find in packages of this style are backup features, which is great if you don’t already have such software in place, as it means you can backup your movies, as well as all your other data, to external disc as soon as you’ve finished editing.
The second half of the package is about taking your finished movies and burning them to disc. In much the same way as the market leaders, Nero and Roxio, CyberLink allows you to drag-and-drop and also offers support for LightScribe and LabelFlash technologies.
The only problem we had with the package overall was the generally feel and use of it, as it lacks a slick execution. We found that when it came to ripping discs and generally creating DVDs, it took to many clicks to get the process up and running. Once the discs were burning, we found it a quick and stable process but for the asking price we were expecting something a little more polished.
If you have invested in high-definition hardware and are looking to make the most of it, then CyberLink DVD Suite 6 Ultra has lot to offer. However, the vast majority of people won’t find this a compelling enough suite to switch from the current market leaders.