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Old 07-02-2022, 08:30 AM   #1
HDTV1080P HDTV1080P is offline
Blu-ray Knight
 
Jan 2007
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Default Cyberlink PowerDVD 22 Ultra (latest 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray software for the year 2022)

Cyberlink PowerDVD 22 Ultra (latest 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray software for the year 2022 (user review)

On May 12th 2022 the retail box version of PowerDVD 22 Ultra was released in retail stores and at various websites like Amazon (UPC code 884799006494). At the time of this post only Amazon online has it in stock, and I paid the full price which is $99.99 plus shipping and tax. However, for the July 4th holiday weekend, Amazon has PowerDVD 22 Ultra on sale at 20% off for only $79.99. Amazon instead of using a box to ship PowerDVD 22 Ultra, is using a padded envelope for a $99.99 item, which is not good since the retail box arrived a little damaged, which a normal shipping box would have prevented. That is an Amazon issue with their shipping department and has nothing to do with Cyberlink.

PowerDVD 22 Ultra is officially compatible with the Windows 11 operating system, however since my 7 year old desktop computer lacks the security requirements to use the Windows 11 operating system, I am using the Windows 10 Professional 64 bit operating system. Windows 11 requires a recent new desktop or Notebook computer with secure boot and TPM 2.0 enabled located on the motherboard with the latest CPU that supports TPM 2.0. However, PowerDVD 22 Ultra is fully functional with both the Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating system.


For $99.99 the PowerDVD 22 Ultra retail box contains the software installation on a CD-ROM optical disc, product key, and paper quick start guide. PowerDVD 22 Ultra has no PDF manual offer and instead like last years version offers an online interactive help menu.

https://help.cyberlink.com/stat/help/powerdvd/22/pc-mode/enu/index.html


For those that need Blu-ray 3D support they should stick with Cyperlink PowerDVD 19 Ultra since that was the last official version that supports Blu-ray 3D discs. In PowerDVD 20 Ultra Blu-ray 3D support was removed. I see no major changes or improvements that are offered with PowerDVD 22 Ultra, just minor improvements. New for PowerDVD 22 Ultra is Trim and convert video and extract non-protected Blu-ray/DVD to MP4. However, since 99% of Blu-ray discs use AACS encryption with sometimes a second layer of BD+ encryption. On a standard Hollywood Blu-ray disc/4K Blu-ray disc release one gets a message on the screen saying “The disc is copy-protected. Converting is prohibited.” Perhaps in the future the movie studios might want to consider using the secure managed copy feature of the Blu-ray format so the small number of consumers can copy 4K Blu-ray’s to their 4K portable tablet PC or Smartphone. PowerDVD 22 Ultra appears to be slightly faster at loading optical discs when compared to some prior versions of the software. Most consumers that buy PowerDVD 22 Ultra are using the software to play DVD discs and that is one of the main reasons why the player is not called PowerBlu-ray 22 Ultra. Windows 10 and Windows 11 does not ship with a software program that can play DVD discs, therefore PowerDVD 22 Ultra is a top of the line software program consumers can purchase for both Blu-ray disc and DVD disc playback (plus audio CD’s are supported).

Cyberlink PowerDVD 22 Ultra is a top of the line media player and currently the only company that supports 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc playback from a PC with HDR10 support (Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+ is not supported from PowerDVD 22 Ultra, and hopefully in the years to come Cyberlink might add more HDR support). Therefore, ones still needs to own a high-end standalone 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player if one wants to play 4K Blu-ray discs that have Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+.

As long as one owns a 4K BD-ROM drive or a standard BD-ROM drive, PowerDVD 22 Ultra is very easy to use. There are more then 1.4 billion devices running Windows 10, and if one has an internal or external BD-ROM drive hooked up to their computer its very easy to play standard Blu-ray discs, DVD discs, and audio CD’s (Blu-ray 3D is no longer supported by the software). However, many modern computers either do not have an optical drive installed or only a DVD-ROM drive is installed. When a DVD-ROM drive is only installed, it limits people to playing only audio CD’s and DVD discs until one purchases a 4K BD-ROM drive or standard BD-ROM drive. It needs to be mentioned that due to the high security hardware based encryption method put in place by the BDA, less then 1% of Windows 10 owners can play native 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. For example, my 2015 computer around seven years ago was top of the line with a 4K graphics card that supports HDCP 2.2 and a year 2015 4K computer monitor that also supports HDCP 2.2. However, since the motherboard BIOS and Intel CPU do not support SGX security technology I am unable to play native 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. There is no software solution for SGX security, and the technology is exclusive to Intel, which means zero AMD based motherboards and AMD based CPU’s can play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. To make matters worse if I was to purchase a top of the line Intel based X299 motherboard, the top of the line Intel based motherboards and most other motherboards lack SGX technology. So, most consumers have given up on playing 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs on a Windows 10 based computer device, and have instead went with a standalone Sony or Panasonic 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player. So to play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs on my 2015 native 4K Ultra HD computer monitor I have to connect my computer monitor up to an old 2016 standalone OPPO UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player. But my 50 inch 2008 Pioneer Elite PRO-101FD 1080P display monitor has a better picture quality when it comes to motion and deep black levels. The only advantage of the 4K LCD computer monitor is the higher 4K resolution, but the motion is 60Hz 3:2 pulldown with poorer black levels when compared to a plasma or OLED display. In the ideal world someone should make OLED computer monitors with absolute black levels.

Therefore, due to limitations in the equipment I am using, I was not able to get PowerDVD 22 Ultra to play native 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, since my equipment and 99% of everyone else equipment lacks SGX hardware based security technology. However, I can stream 4K Ultra HD movies using the free Windows 10 Netflix app on my computer since streaming does not have the strict SGX hardware security requirements.

That being said playing standard Blu-ray discs, DVD discs, and audio CD’s was almost flawless on my 7 year old desktop computer system. Mixing down 7.1 lossless audio tracks to 2.0 PCM by the software sounded fine with the Blu-ray disc titles I used. Bitstreaming lossless audio to a A/V receiver is a non-issue since the A/V receiver does the decoding of the audio. Also, I know people with a 15 year old Notebook computer and a BD-ROM drive that are also having no problems with playing standard Blu-ray discs, DVD discs, and audio CD’s while using PowerDVD 22 Ultra. I tested the BD-LIVE function on some Blu-ray discs and it also worked perfectly fine (some studios like Showtime still support BD-LIVE for old legacy titles). Scanning forward at 32 times speed and scanning backwards at 16 times speed was nice and smooth and is the maximum scanning speed possible by the program. PowerDVD 22 Ultra just like prior versions of PowerDVD automatically adjusts the graphics card frame rate (Hz) output from the default 60Hz mode to 30Hz (29.97Hz) when playing back material that is 30fps like DVD discs with 3:2 pulldown, and also some BD-LIVE material that was 30fps. Also, the graphics card switched to 24Hz (23.976Hz) when native 1080p/24 material was played from a Blu-ray disc. Since my computer monitor is native 3840 x 2160P with native 60Hz, any 24Hz and 30Hz material gets converted to 60Hz by the computer monitor. But if one hooks up an external display like a Pioneer plasma the native 1080p/24 from the graphics card well be triple flashed to 1080P at 72Hz by the Pioneer plasma display. Or native 2160P/24 at 96Hz if one hooks up a 4K LCOS projector and is able to play 4K Blu-ray discs.

PowerDVD 22 Ultra has an optical disc information screen that shows basic information like the video and audio codec located on the disc, disc resolution, and audio and video bit rates. However, PowerDVD 22 Ultra still does not show the frame rate on the disc and if the source material is interlaced or progressive. Therefore, movie reviewers still need to use the 2016 OPPO UDP-203 Blu-ray player that mentions the native frame rate of the disc and if the image is progressive or interface. Plus, the OPPO UDP-203 informs one what the output frame rate and output resolution is. Hopefully a future version of PowerDVD well offer frame rate and progressive/interlace information. Next to the resolution all they need to do is place a letter “I” or a letter “P”. Then have a native Hz info on screen also.

My desktop computer uses a Windows 10 Professional 64 bit operating system. Programs that run in 64 bit mode instead of 32 bit mode are more powerful and faster (that is true 99% of the time as long as the programmer designed the program correctly). Cyberlink PowerDVD 19 Ultra was the very first PowerDVD software program to offer native 64 bit software code for the main program. While its true that PowerDVD 22 Ultra also runs in 64 bit mode, that is only true for the main program and many times PowerDVD 22 Ultra runs in a hybrid 64 bit and 32 bit mode. For example, when playing an audio CD, PowerDVD 22 Ultra runs in 64 bit mode, but when one plays a video from a DVD, or Blu-ray disc, PowerDVD Ultra must access 32 bit software code in order to play that video. In the ideal world when and if Cyberlink makes PowerDVD 23 Ultra for the year 2023, they should rewrite the program so that its 100% 64 bit application code running instead of the hybrid 64 bit and 32 bit code that is currently being used for video. For example, while viewing the “Platform” column under “Details” tab in Windows Task Manager, one gets to see all the 64 bit and 32 bit software programs that are running. As soon as one clicks on the PowerDVD 22 Ultra desktop icon, the main core program called “PowerDVD.exe” well run in 64 bit mode on a 64 bit Windows operating system. Then for a second or two “PowerDVD22Agent.exe” which is also 64 bit well briefly run and then close as soon as “PowerDVDMovie.exe” software is launched automatically. The problem is the “PowerDVDMovie.exe” software is only running in 32 bit mode. While audio CD’s only use the 64 bit “PowerDVD.exe” program, when one wants to play any video based program from a DVD or Blu-ray they are accessing the 32 bit “PowerDVDMovie.exe” software code. Therefore PowerDVD 22 Ultra is not 100% 64 bit and only the main program, therefore it has to always access 32 bit software code in order to play video based material. In the ideal world the next version of PowerDVD, which in theory will be called PowerDVD 23 Ultra, most likely will be released in 2023, and hopefully the Cyberlink company programmers will have re-written the software so that the “PowerDVDMovie.exe” portion of the software uses 64 bit code instead of 32 bit software code. If that was to occur then the program would no longer be a 64 bit and 32 bit hybrid but 100% 64 bit software program.

If one does not need support for playing back Blu-ray 3D discs, I highly recommend PowerDVD 22 Ultra. Overall PowerDVD 22 Ultra appears to be a little bit better when compared to PowerDVD 21 Ultra. PowerDVD 22 Ultra (and also versions 17 through 22) is the only Blu-ray software on the market that supports the playback of native 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs (native 4K Blu-ray discs requires special equipment with SGX technology). PowerDVD 22 Ultra is also the best Blu-ray software for a Windows PC for those that own a BD-ROM drive and want to playback standard Blu-ray discs, DVD discs, and audio CD’s.

Last edited by HDTV1080P; 07-02-2022 at 11:10 PM.
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