A couple of days ago I blogged about two new optical drives from Plextor that, besides many other things, can play both HD DVD and Blu-ray media. That's obviously cool, but this level of coolness always depends a lot on the software player. In my opinion, CyberLink's PowerDVD has always been one of the coolest, and most versatile playback applications. Today, it got even more versatile.
CyberLink announced Tuesday that their all new PowerDVD 8.0 Ultra will support the latest Blu-ray BD Profile 2.0 (aka BD-Live). For those of you who don't know what it means, BD-Live is a Blu-ray format that enables interactive online activities, such as multiplayer gaming, e-commerce, downloading movie trailers and subtitles, and social networking. In short, the new profile will let you have a lot more fun than just watching the movie.
At the moment, though, there's no Blu-ray movie on the market that support BD-Live. (They only support profile 1.1 or BD-J). Rumor has it, however, the first one coming out with this feature is Men in Black and it will be available in June.
Aside from the all new cool BD-Live, CyberLink's PowerDVD 8.0 Ultra also supports next-generation disc features, such as picture-in-picture, networking, interactive BD-J, bookmarks, and advanced disc navigation. Audiowise, the player has support for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD. The player is also optimized to work well with nVidia, ATI, and Intel graphic cards.
You can purchase PowerDVD 8.0 Ultra now for about $100 at CyberLink's Web site, but the BD-Live feature will need another 2 weeks or so to be ready. It will be available then as a free update.