Back in late 2006 Cyberlink released updates to PowerDVD which added support for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback, the last major functionality change to the software. Since then there have been various new releases with refinements and enhancements that have improved the user experience. From enhanced performance through support for NVIDIA Puervideo to PowerDVD 10s TrueTheater3D which adds 3D effects to standard DVDs and video files.
Today Cyberlink are adding the next big feature to PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D in an update called Mark 2, free to existing v10 Ultra users, which adds support for the Blu-Ray 3D platform; the official standard for 3D optical media in the home.
Blu-Ray 3D is backwards compatible with standalone 2D players as the Multiview Video Coding (3D) stream used on the discs is an extension of the H.264 Advanced Video Coding codec which standard players use. Essentially the older 2D players are able to ignore the additional data in the H.264-MVC stream. In the home PC market the majority of Blu-Ray drives will support 3D as the playback and codec support is handled by the software (e.g. PowerDVD 10). All that is required is a Blu-Ray drive which is capable of 2x read speed and a display setup which is 3D capable, likely NVIDIAs 3D Vision.
As luck would have it we have a system which fully supports NVIDIA 3D Vision using a Samsung SyncMaster 2233rz screen, Geforce GTX 465 graphics card and Sony BDU-X10S Blu-Ray drive. With Forceware and 3D Vision driver version 258.69 running on Windows 7 we installed our preview copy of PowerDVD with Blu-Ray 3D support. On the next page we will look at the user experience from this stage on, followed by the performance of the software to find out how polished this new technology is.