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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but very functional Blu-Ray Software with little reason to upgrade
I already have PowerDVD 12 running on my Media Center PC, which works just fine. It's also the only Blu-Ray player in my living room, so it gets used quite a bit. It also has no problem playing any 2D or 3D Blu-Ray moving I've thrown at it. However, I had a different need with my primary Windows 8 PC for a blu-ray player. And that is of course, playing as much content as...
Published 19 months ago by Wayne

versus
159 of 168 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be aware of Cinavia Protection
I own Powerdvd 11 ultra but I just want to warn potential purchasers what they could be letting themselves in for. Whether you intend to pick this up from Amazon or from Cyberlink themselves, be aware that from version 12 onwards Cyberlink has included the horror which is called Cinavia. This is basically protection against pirated movies and sits within the audio track...
Published 21 months ago by ymo1965


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159 of 168 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be aware of Cinavia Protection, April 17, 2013
By 
ymo1965 (Peterborough, Uk) - See all my reviews
I own Powerdvd 11 ultra but I just want to warn potential purchasers what they could be letting themselves in for. Whether you intend to pick this up from Amazon or from Cyberlink themselves, be aware that from version 12 onwards Cyberlink has included the horror which is called Cinavia. This is basically protection against pirated movies and sits within the audio track. Many movies at the cinema now contain this and anyone smuggling a camcorder into there local cinema will find it can effect them too. After approx 20 mins the audio will mute and a message will appear telling them what has happened. When used with PowerDVD 12 or 13, this does effect original purchased movies as well, but only if they are using programs such as Anydvd-HD which is used to make your pc region free as well as cope with the latest movie protection etc. It is Anydvd-HD which is falsely alerting the protection, not the movie. If you have no intention of using Anydvd-HD then it doesn't really effect you, though it's worth saying that there is a feature within it to circumvent Cinavia, but is just a work around and does not remove the protection all together. Some original blu-ray 3D movies I own clearly label 'Cinavia' at the bottom of the case on the rear side. Not all do but movies like 'Hotel Translyvania' is one such title. Also note that the PS3 has Cinavia in-built as well. For me I am staying with Powerdvd 11 for this exact reason. Oh, and some other players such as TMT6 also contain this protection. Better to check first before parting with your hard earned ca$h. Plenty of information online about Cinavia (you can check Powerdvd and Anydvd forums etc). Hope this helps you!
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Movies and video player, July 7, 2013
This review is from: Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am writing this after using PowerDVD (ultra) for about 2 weeks, meaning that I have a pretty good idea of what it can do and how well it does it and whether it's something that I feel I need or I am going to keep on using. It's also possible that some of my first impressions may change overtime in which case I am going to come back to this review and update it.

WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR (and what not)

I am likely to keep using PowerDVD on my laptop to:

- Watch DVDs discs
- Watch Blu-ray discs
- Watch movies and videos off our media servers (DLNA)

The following features, while present, are either of no interest to me or don't work as I would expect them to work and I will not use:

- Anything 'online'
-- the Youtube player accessed through a browser is superior
-- the 'Movies' feature found under 'Media Library' is just advertising and trailers spam and I don't need that, thank you very much

- Any of the badly implemented or redundant features
-- PowerDVD remote apps, or at least the one available for Android can't find the main PowerDVD I installed on my laptop (Windows 7, 64-bit)
-- PowerDVD mobile apps, or at least the one available for Android can't find the main PowerDVD I installed on my laptop (Windows 7, 64-bit)
-- anything having to do with 'photos' because there are much better apps
-- anything having to do with 'music' because there are much better apps
-- 'Playlists' because they are awkwardly implemented and it's difficult to add items in bulk and/or import existing

- Any of the gee-whiz features such as:
-- the ability to render normal video as 3D video
-- super-high resolution support that's not likely to be available on a monitor connected to my laptop in the foreseeable future

MY EXPERIENCE

The software was easy to install and it installed relatively quickly. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to keep it on the computer where the initial installation took place so I tried to install while offline. After I entered the key, the program told me that it was fine that I will be able to use it without online validation for 30 days (nice). Sadly, as soon as I started the program while online, the program 'validated' itself so I can't move it elsewhere unless I talk to 'customer support', or so the customer support person told me.

Speaking of which, getting tech support does not seem to be that easy. I couldn't get that far through the site's Byzantine menu trees but it appears that any support beyond the most basic topics (installation or, in my case, transfer to another PC) requires the customer to pay some more if a human technician is needed. The alternative is exploring that 'free' FAQ sections which, in my case, didn't have the information I was seeking and appears to be too generic to be worth much.

Once installed - and I am happy to report that no spyware or carpware was forced upon my laptop - the program ran well, it never crashed while playing a disc or a file and was responsive to controls for the features that actually worked (see my notes above concerning the 'remote' and 'mobile' apps.

Playing movies is the main and in most cases the only reason one would buy PowerDVD and it plays movies and home videos well. The program supports about a million file formats and adds some nice features that can enhance the viewing experience:

- there is a set of 'TrueTheater' controls concerning the video and audio quality meant to improve the quality of non-HD content
- it's easy to zoom if you prefer to have more of your screen to be filled
- there is volume control
- has a 3D button that will instantly turn any movie into something you can watch with 3D glasses (a gimmick you'll get tired of after 30 seconds but it's there nevertheless)
- ability to set languages, subtitles and bookmarks

Overall, movie and video playing is near-flawless if the app can actually get to the source.

PowerDVD will play anything off:

- your computer's integrated optical drive, whether it's a DVD or a Blu-ray drive
- an external optical drive
- your computer internal HDD or any external HDD
- a network drive that your computer connects to
- a DLNA server if it can find it

Of course, bandwidth can become an issue when accessing remote sources. I had no issues playing DVD-quality movies off a DLNA server accessed over Wi-Fi or Blu-ray quality media off an external USB 3.0 HDD. Worth to note that it sometimes required a rescan to discover some of my DLNA servers and at least one of them (our PS3) was never detected even though other apps do see it.

Attempting to use PowerDVD for anything other than 'video' was part of my experience but I quickly realized that, as much as the developers tried to expand into other types of media, this version of their product did not persuade me to take advantage of those features, not when it's so easy to get to YouTube from a browser window and there are superior interfaces for photo viewing and organizing.

MY RATING

PowerDVD gets high marks for its ability to play movies and videos and play them well from practically any source and in almost any known format. Some of the 'frills', especially its ability to interact with the 'remote' and 'mobile' Android apps did not work for me but mine could be a special case. Sadly, I will probably never know because getting the PowerDVD 'mobile' or 'remote' to run was not worth paying CyberLink's tech support for actually supporting their app.

I am not likely to ever use PowerDVD to play or organize or interact in any way with the 'other' types of media because there are vastly better alternatives out there. I wish I could say that it was 'nice' that PowerDVD supports 'photos' and allows me to watch YouTube but the truth is that I don't care and I never will.

I didn't like and I don't appreciate CyberLink's customer support scheme. Once users pay for the product (and, yes, the license does state that the product is never 'yours' and the money you gave them only grants you the privilege to access and use CyberLync's property at their discretion) they should expect some decent level of support without being asked to pay more. Support should be about dealing with the product issues and shortcomings, not running a customer nickel and diming profit center.

These being said, my rating subtracts 1 star for disappointing 'support' and another 0.5 star for the unneeded features that add bulk to the software and unnecessarily complicate the program's controls and menu trees. Another 0.25 star is subtracted for the not so flawless DLNA support and for the Android apps not working, coming down to the grand total of 3.25 stars, fairly rounded down to 3.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You get two years, May 1, 2013
I bought a laptop back in 2010 which came with cyberlink powerdvd 8. After having multiple issues playing newere blurays I realized that this software only is supported for two years before all new title support is dropped and you are forced to buy the newest version of the software you already payed for.

For the discs that it did play it worked well however I will not be updating mine so I can get another two years until I have to buy it again.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deceptive marketing and support, price way too high., May 28, 2013
By 
Jonathan May (Santa Clara, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Got a new movie, and the player informed me I needed to go to a website to update the player, to handle new 'features.' Their website doesn't support Chrome, had to dig out IE. IE wouldn't install the ActiveX plug-in because it was not signed and the publisher was unrecognized. In order to install it, I had to modify the ActiveX security settings to allow anything to be installed, which is really bad. If anyone mistakenly leaves their settings like that, they're left completely vulnerable to malicious webpages. Are you telling me that with such a high cost and huge popularity of this software, they can't get a signed plug-in?

After doing all of that, I was given a simple page in bad English that informed me there was in fact no update, and I needed to buy the latest version. Great, I had to circumvent pretty basic security settings just to be asked for more money.

$100? Are you kidding me? So many movies and shows are streamable these days, and there are a dwindling number I need the physical media for anymore. I could get a whole used XBOX to stream the same movie for this price.

So.. Cut corners, bad security practices, bad support, and deceptive marketing for an unreasonable price. Good luck with that PowerDVD.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Software does not work & catch 22 with Amazon, October 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Even though it was more than twice the price of some other blu-ray player software, I purchased Cyberlink PowerDVD through Amazon because the Cyberlink website advertised, "Shop With Confidence" and a "30 day money back guarantee."

Well after going around and around with their tech support, and being asked to check the same things 2, 3, and even 4 times, it became clear that whoever was in 'support' was just working from a script, and would keep me running in circles forever. So I accepted the fact that, for whatever reason, PowerDVD was just not going to be able to play blu-ray DVDs on my computer, and asked Cyberlink for a refund.

At this point tech support directed me to contact Amazon, since I'd purchased through them. BUT Amazon's policy is that they do not provide refunds on software, and I could not find a way to talk to a human being at Amazon.

So I've initiated a dispute via my credit card company. I've provided them with printouts of all my transactions with Cyberlink support, and a screen shot of their guarantee. I don't know if I'll be able to get a refund yet but, if not, I've just totally wasted about $80 on this product.

So be warned... If you're going to buy software that carries any kind of guarantee, buy it directly from the vendor - do not buy it through Amazon (even though Amazon seems to function as a 'cut through' to the vendor).
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Oct 29, 2013 3:09:50 AM PDT
Dear Martin,

We apologize for the inconvenience and frustration you have experienced. If you can, would you please share your technical support ticket number or VS code with us here and we will escalate your case ASAP. If it is not too late, we would like to try and help you get PowerDVD working on your specific computer system.

Regards,
David
 
 

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cyberlink will kill your player software, to try and force you to buy newer version., June 25, 2013
This review is from: Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra (CD-ROM)
i will NEVER purchase a cyberlink product again. pop in a disc, and you'll get a prompt to update your software, and you'll find that powerdvd 8 is 'no longer supported' by cyberlink. what's that mean? i can no longer watch bluray discs on my pc. fortunately, my playstation 3 and my panasonic bluray player will happily play any disc i put in the tray. the bottom line is, if you want to watch blurays, don't spend a nickel on cyberlink software, spend your money on a used standalone player or a ps3, you'll be better off in the long run.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive for What it Does, August 22, 2013
This review is from: Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm having a hard time finding a good fit for Cyberlink's PowerDVD 13 Ultra software in my home. I ordered this software to specifically use in my home theater setup that includes a 65" Panasonic Plasma, Denon AV receiver, a WDTV Live Hub, PS3, and a networked PC running a raid array containing my DVD/video library, music, pictures and the like. This is my first interaction with PowerDVD since the early 2000's when it came pre-loaded on my Compaq desktop. Clearly Cyberlink's intention is to make PowerDVD the centerpiece of your home theater experience. This software is complete overkill if you're just looking to playback Blu-ray's, DVD's and do some streaming on a laptop and is really geared toward the serious home theater owner.

--------------------
SETUP:

Installing the software on my Windows 7 desktop is about as easy as it gets and is standard fare. Pop in the disc, follow the on-screen guide and finally use the included product code to register the software with Cyberlink. To their credit Cyberlink actually included a full manual in the box with their software which is something that is becoming increasingly rare with software. This makes looking up features, answering the, "what does this button do?" questions very easy. After setup and launching the software it performed a quick scan of my hard drives and indexed my media files as well as presenting a number of video tutorials about the software.

--------------------
FEATURES:

Oh boy, there's a lot to cover here!

First, I suppose is the myriad of supported movie formats including: BD-R (various specs), BDROM Profile 2.0 (BD-Live), BDROM Profile 5.0 (BD-3D), AVCREC, AVCHD, DVD-Video, DVD-VR, DVD+VR, VCPS, VCD, SVCD, CD. There are even more supported video formats (I'll list some of the more popular one's only): AVC, AVI, DIVX, H264, MKV, MOV, MP4, MP4V, MPE, MPEG, MPG, TIVO, WM, WMV. Music formats include: AAC, AC3, ADTS, APE, AOB, DTS, FLAC, M4A, MID, MKA, MP2, MP3, MPA, OGG, RMI, WAV, WMA

For a full listing of supported formats (movies, video, music & pictures): [...]

TrueTheater HD:
Cyberlink touts this as their DVD upscaling and Blu-ray enhancing software. I've used various upscaling DVD players over the years and the effect here is similar. Don't expect Blu-ray quality out of TrueTheater and honestly I'm okay with regular DVD 480p quality for my older movies.

TrueTheater:
PowerDVD features a variety of other enhancement features like TrueTheater Motion that tries to smooth video by enhancing the frame rate. TrueTheater Stretch that stretches a 4:3 frame to 16:9. TrueTheater Denoise & Stabilizer that are geared toward home movie takers. In short a lot of features that you may never use unless you are really, really into tinkering with video quality and getting the absolute most out of your videos and movies.

For my uses I focused more on the ability to playback Blu-ray discs, video files on an internal raid and external NAS. With these functions PowerDVD performs fantastically.

--------------------
POTENTIAL BLOAT:

There is a lot to this software. So much "extra" stuff that I'm tempted to call it bloat. YouTube, Flickr and the now standard Facebook plug-in are alive and present here. I have no interest in connecting to Facebook on my home theater as I already have a myriad of devices that do the job better. The YouTube integration is admirable but still works better from a browser. Flickr is the interesting feature in the chance that you store a lot of photos on that site and like to view them on your PC/home theater.

I also did not utilize the 3D or the 3D conversion of 2D content features as it's not something that's appealing to me. Similarly I did not try out the 4K features as I don't have compatible content.

Cyberlink also offers apps for Android & iTunes compatible devices that allow you to stream content and have basic remote control functions. Again a feature that I didn't use because of redundancy with apps/programs that are already in place in my home.

--------------------
Closing:

PowerDVD is really geared toward someone looking for an all-in-one solution and doesn't want to bounce around from different media players for different content. For folks who already have established processes and software that you use and are familiar with PowerDVD will offer less value and thus be a harder buy at its premium price.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but very functional Blu-Ray Software with little reason to upgrade, July 3, 2013
This review is from: Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I already have PowerDVD 12 running on my Media Center PC, which works just fine. It's also the only Blu-Ray player in my living room, so it gets used quite a bit. It also has no problem playing any 2D or 3D Blu-Ray moving I've thrown at it. However, I had a different need with my primary Windows 8 PC for a blu-ray player. And that is of course, playing as much content as I can find at 4K2K Resolution (3840x2160 @ 30 Hz) via the Seiki Digital SE50UY04 50-Inch 4K UHD 120Hz LED HDTV I'm currently using as a "monitor." I also have a separate review for that as well, in case you were curious. :)

VERSUS POWERDVD 12

After comparing the 2 programs back to back, I'm really having a hard time determining what, if anything has really changed. It really requires visiting the Cyberlink website to see what is in fact "new." Most changes simply involve improvements to the user interface, media library, and new "TrueTheater" features for HD videos. It's really just a lot of small features that one might expect in say, "PowerDVD 12.1." But lets look at the main features I'm using.

TRUETHEATER

This is basically a fairly "advanced" noise reduction and picture quality adjustment for low and standard definition content, such as DVD's. At least that's what it was originally intended for. Now it has features that will help improve HD content. However, after playing back several movies and videos, I really didn't find it to help all that much. With normal DVD's, it helped a bit in certain scenes by sharpening up the image and helping the constrast.

But when it did this same effect to content that is already 1080p, it's less than desirable. If anything it just makes the video a bit more grainy. Fortunately the automatic adjustment is rather conservative for HD content and the changes are minor. I just keep it turned off and use Hardware encoding. Which you should note is disabled when using TrueTheater.

THE 4K LOGO

CyberLink has the 4K logo all over the place on the website and on the box. Initially one might assume it does something pretty nifty with 4K, such as up-converting movies to 4K resolution as some new Blu-Ray players are already doing. Unfortunately, all this is just a logo. It means it can play existing 4K videos that you already have, just like the previous version, and well, like just about any other player can do. In fact, due to copy protection, you can't even play Blu-Ray movies if you have a resolution any higher than 1080p @ 60 Hz.

MEDIA LIBRARY

The media library is kind of interesting. It creates a somewhat organized way to manage all of your media files in one place. Including Movies, which I did add several to see how it worked. It basically scanned all of my movies and tried to find movie data info on them, including rating, synopsis, genre, etc. I did like the user comment and review section. Interesting feature, but I'll stick with XBMC which is also free and does a better job of organizing large media libraries.

Granted, they are a bit more complicated to setup, but are much more rewarding once everything is setup. Otherwise the library hasn't had any issues playing MKV files encoded with H.264 and DTS-HD audio. Since that's pretty much what all of my library consists of, well, everything played just fine.

BLU-RAY PLAYBACK

I couldn't leave this part out because it's pretty much the primary reason somebody is going to buy this program. And well, it does just as good of a job at playing Blu-Ray movies as any of the previous versions. There is still copy protection involved here that is going to require a HDCP (High-Definition Content Protection) connection which is there to simply prevent pirates from copying the movie. Which they've been able to do for quite some time now.

So really all it's doing it limiting folks who actually bought the movie from playing it in certain situations, such as on my 4K TV... at 4K. But enough about copy protection as I suppose it's not entirely CyberLink's fault. Although if the hardware Blu-Ray players can do it, why can't we get the same love in the PC world?

Otherwise Blu-Ray playback couldn't be better. There's lots of nice features such as thumbnail preview via the navigation slider, super fast Blu-Ray start up to play right away, sub-title selection, etc.

PROS:
+ Solid Blu-Ray Player
+ Plays H.264 Encoded Files
+ Basic, but functional Media Library
+ TrueTheater useful for Standard Definition
+ Supports HD Audio Formats
+ Includes Digital Copy version with DVD
+ Still includes a real manual
+ Full 3D Support
+ Lots of features

CONS:
- "4K" Logo is misleading
- Expensive Software
- Can't play Blu-Ray at 4K Resolution
- HDCP limitations still there
- TrueTheater HD not needed for Blu-Ray
- Not enough incentive to upgrade from version 12

CONCLUSION:

Overall, I'm going to rate the software on it's own merit, and not based on the assumption that you already have a recent version of PowerDVD. The bottom line is that PowerDVD 13 really is a solid Blu-Ray player. It still does what it was originally designed for and has made relatively positive improvements from previous versions. I just wish they'd limit some of the bloat and offer a slim-line version that has all of key audio/video features, such as 3D and 7.1 audio. Then leave out stuff you may not want, such as the Library and TrueTheater enhancements.

As it is right now, you're kind of forced into the expensive Ultra version to get everything I'd want. Plus, it almost loses a star just for the misleading 4K logo. I'll continue using with my main media center PC to see how it does long term and update as needed. As usual, any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments and I'll respond ASAP.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lot of hype and not any better than Media Player 12., June 27, 2013
This review is from: Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra (CD-ROM)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been using video and audio players for a very long time and was really hoping that PowerDVD Ultra would solve the problems with old videos and also allow streaming to my other DLNA/WiFi/Streaming devices.

I compared PowerDVD Ultra to Windows Media Player and overall I prefer Media Player. Some simple but significant differences between the two. For example, the controls on PowerDVD Ultra during Video playback overlay part of the video, on Media Player they do not. I could never get the aspect ratio to correctly match the video compared to Media Player (which was correct). There were other differences too.

I tried out the "Breakthrough" TrueTheater video enhancements. I tried numerous settings and configurations. The only "enhancement" that seemed to work was the brightness. and I saw no improvements with TrueTheater HD. In actuality, videos played with Media Player looked better than with PowerDVD Ultra regardless of the mode or settings. Given the amount of hype regarding "TrueTheater", I expected significant and visible improvements, there were none.

I have a number of DLNA devices, WiFi/Internet streaming boxes and TVs with streaming capability, one of which is a Roku that works perfectly. However, PowerDVD Ultra cannot find any of the devices, although the Roku is probably not compatible since it does not have DLNA capability. I also have a laptop computer that is DLNA capable with HDMI output, an Android phone, an Android Tablet and an XBox 360. When I set PowerDVD Ultra to "Refresh DLNA devices list", PowerDVD Ultra goes off and never comes back, the program locks up and requires Task Manager to shut it down. The box hype says "Stream...to DLNA devices" and "Play on TV through your wireless network". It does not work.

I thought about using PowerDVD Ultra to stream to my Android phone and tablet but given that I could not find any advantages to playback with PowerDVD Ultra, I think it is simpler just to copy to a USB drive and go direct.

I have also discovered that Cyberlink installs software services that run whether you are using the software or not, in addition it also attempts to access the internet which I assume is for updates or to pass info about you to Cyberlink. I have now uninstalled the software and will discard it completely.

Overall a very disappointing software package. The video playback enhancements hype appears to be just hype. It cannot find my other DLNA devices so the ability to stream DVD content at BluRay HD resolution is not going to happen. Even if it did find my devices, I am very skeptical about enhanced playback. The only thing I found that I really liked was the slideshow of photos and really hoped I could stream that to one of our HD TVs but since PowerDVD cannot find any devices, that is not going to happen. Keep in mind that all our devices and TVs with WiFi streaming work just fine on our home network. We no longer rent DVDs/BRs and just stream.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NON FUNCTIONING SOFTWARE! AWFUL (EMAIL ONLY, INCOMPETENT) TECH SUPPORT! NO CUSTOMER SERVICE RESPONSE., December 31, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra (CD-ROM)
Purchased this software 2 weeks ago. There is no sound when playing BLU-RAY or DVD. .MP4 sound works fine. Tech Support does not have a telephone number - unless you pay them for 'live' service. I entered an online case report. Tech Support responded 2 days later. Their 'suggestions' did not result in fixing the problem. Follow-up questions / feedback to tech support required opening a NEW TROUBLE TICKET. The amount of time it takes tech support to respond can range up to 2-4 days. Tech response replies do not offer ANY solutions that make the software usable. The latest response from CYBERLINK asked for proof of purchase - even though I already provided the serial number. Their latest response indicated they would escalate to the "RD TEAM TO GET A SOLUTION". This was more than 2 days ago - and I have yet to be contacted. (CS001324146).
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Jan 2, 2014 1:18:55 AM PST
Hello,
Sorry to hear about your trouble playing discs and with technical support. Thanks for the support ticket. I have passed it on to the support team for an internal investigation. They will be in contact with you very soon.
Regards,
David
 
 

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Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra
Cyberlink PowerDVD 13 Ultra by Cyberlink (Windows 7 / 8 / Vista)
$99.95 $59.95
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