Multimedia software company CyberLink is at CES showing the latest versions of their applications, including PowerDVD 7 Ultra which was one of the first programs you could use to play back Blu-ray Discs on your PC. CyberLink was showing the latest update which allows your PC to become Profile 1.1 compliant.
Using the newly released Fox Blu-ray Disc of Sunshine, the folks at CyberLink demonstrated how the PC can now be a fully functional Profile 1.1 Blu-ray player. The update changes the interface slightly: in addition to the standard play-skip-pause (etc.) buttons they have added the red, green, blue, and yellow buttons. The PC's hard drive is used as persistent storage. The movie played the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) material perfectly. CyberLink expects to have this update available (free to owners of PowerDVD Ultra) next month.
Another point of interest to people is that they confirmed that PowerDVD Ultra does play DTS-HD soundtracks. This has been a point of confusion since the actual logo does not appear on the box or splash screen. They also confirmed that a DTS-HD Master Audio update is coming as well, but could not give a timetable. Until then, you can enjoy the HD extension of those soundtracks for higher quality sound than normal (core) DTS Digital Surround.
Other products available from CyberLink include PowerProducer 4 and Power2Go 6 which allow people to author and burn Blu-ray Discs. PowerDirector 6 can now capture and output High Definition formats. All these have been bundled together, along with PowerDVD, in DVD Suite Ultra. People with HD camcorders now have a complete solution for capturing, authoring, burning, and playing back their home movies in Blu-ray format.
Of interest was CyberLink's CyberLink Live. It allows people to stream videos, pictures, music and even retrieve documents remotely. They are even working on an update to allow people to remotely play their Blu-ray discs! Also shown was Media Server which allows streaming from a PC to any DNLA device, including the Sony PlayStation 3.
I would like to thank Manal Ma of CyberLink for showing me these great products that helps folks like us create our own Blu-ray Discs!
That would be the only reason keeping me from buying a stand alone BD player, is having the PS3 bitstream DTS-Ma and DolbyTrueHD, right now it only decodes DolbyTrueHD into uncompressed PCM's...but I want my Denon to do the job of decoding and all the PS3 has to do is bitstream/pass encoded audio.
There is a real problem getting lossless audio out of a PC (currently can not be done?) and all audio is currently downsampled to 48hz, 16 bit in PowerDVD Ultra. Something to be aware of before you spend your cash on a PC solution. Perhaps this new version improves things but I would do some research if you are expecting lossless from the PC.
The only thing that is holding me to update my computer to blu-ray htpc is software. Why must the audio be downsampled. Why why why... I would purchase this software if this problem would be fixed for analog output. Until this, no blu-rays for MadCow.
To JT_Designer: There are blu-ray players for PC (I don't know about Mac). You can get one online for as little as $185.00. My audio out of Powerdvd Ultra (full version) is excellent. I'm happy and satisfied.
To Papi4baby - Powerdvd Ultra is included with all blu-ray drives but its a striped down 2 channel decoder - only way for multichannel is to go SPDIF out or to update to Full Ultra. ArcSoft also has Total Meida Extreme (not for sale-yet.. they are going to send me an email when the US version is ready) It promises to do very well and decode the new audio formats. The PC may become a Major Blu-ray player yet.
To everybody: The whole fuss about the downsampling of hd tracks is mute (IMO). Good human hearing is 20hz-20khz (and I'm talking about good hearing). Anydvd HD can rip any blu-ray to your drive making it unprotected content - now the question, are the studios really fearful of the PC industry?