'PowerDVD' is much more than a free, bundled video player, and now it's helping users into the cloud. Hugh John reports
We’re all pleased to find free, bundled software, and the rise of the internet, tablets and apps has conditioned us to expect something for nothing. A huge number of free apps on the Android, Windows and iOS platforms perform exceptionally well. There is, however, a down side.

Few question the worth of large market leading programs – take a bow Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite – but there’s a reluctance to shell out for applications that come in the middle price range. For graphics and media editing this would include companies like Corel and Cyberlink, both of whom produce excellent software but somehow exist in the shadows cast by the giants. So why not step out from the shadows and into the cloud?

Cyberlink certainly deserves a higher profile than it currently has.despite its global penetration. Its best known product, PowerDVD, is bundled with most new Windows releases but it is also available as a free-standing product. The latest iteration, PowerDVD 13 (PDVD13) is an excellent tool for editing and collating digital material. Versatile and sophisticated, it's a friend for those who take their movies seriously.

Very few file formats that PDVD13 can't handle

Not only does it execute comprehensive search techniques for specified data, it’s also able to decode and read it when it does. There are very few file formats that PDVD13 can't handle. Even better, the current version is available for a huge range of platforms and formats. PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones... bring ’em on (all apart from, so far, Mac). And while it’s not free (from £49.99), it certainly brings new life to the phrase "value for money". The PowerDVD Mobile app is free for Ultra purchasers and PowerDVDRemote, which turns your phone into a remote controller for PowerDVD on your Windows machine, is free for all purchasers of PowerDVD.

My colleague used the PowerDVD app on a Microsoft Surface tablet and it handled all the formats thrown at it including the high-quality .mkv. Just try and do that on other tablets. He said it was the best mobile movie experience he had ever had. He just slotted in an SD card with the movies and PowerDVD handled it all with ease.

As the name implies PowerDVD 13 has been, in the first instance, a tool for the sort of digital media that comes on a silver disk, that is, CDs, DVDs and BluRays. In fact, one wonders whether the recent move towards digital file storage might lead Cyberlink to consider renaming this product as PowerDVD doesn’t really come close to describing the functionality of a tool such as Studio Theatre tool which can appreciably enhance the quality of HD or BluRay media.

There is also support for the new UltraViolet digital download service and with more and more media being delivered on USB sticks and online PDVD13 stakes a powerful claim to be considered the pre-eminent film and digital media player.

The good news is that Cyberlink has created online storage space for its users. A nominal amount is available free and there are charges for increasing that. Now Cyberlink's movie fans can store their favourites in the cloud to be accessed anywhere and at any time/

Prices for PowerDVD 13 start at £49.99 version, through £59.99 for Pro to £79.99PowerDVD 13 Ultra 
PowerDVD Mobile for Ultra is free to Ultra Purchasers
PowerDVD Mobile        IOS/Android  £14.99
PowerDVD Mobile        Windows   £10.99
PowerDVD Remote        Free for PowerDVD13 purchasers

Further information from www.cyberlink.com