Today, CyberLink announced the imminent availability of bundles that include both the company’s PowerDVD media playback software and Pioneer hardware to play Ultra HD Blu-rays. These bundles, which will include either a Pioneer model BDR-S11J-BK or BDR-S11J-X drive and a customized version of PowerDVD, will be available at retail by the end of February 2017.
Running PowerDVD on an HDR plus UHD capable home theater PC (HTPC) requires a machine that has a seventh-generation Core i5/i7 processor, an Intel HD Graphics 630 chipset, as well as HDR, HDCP 2.2, and an HDMI 2.0a compatible motherboard and display(s). Per the press release, computers featuring the required specs will be available in early 2017.
“As a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), CyberLink is working closely with PC manufacturers to lead consumers to the ultimate 4K experience,” said Dr. Jau Huang, CEO of CyberLink. “PowerDVD is already recognized as the number one solution for playing media content on Windows PCs, and with the added support of Ultra HD Blu-ray we are excited to bring next-generation technology in home and personal entertainment to every family.”
Compatible systems running this new version of PowerDVD will be able to offer Ultra HD Blu-ray with 3840 x 2160 resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut (WCG), and frame rates up to 60 fps. I currently don’t have any specifics regarding pricing.
The HTPC is an endangered species in a world of affordable streaming sticks and pucks and gaming consoles, plus smart TVs. Thanks to CyberLink and Pioneer, computers will finally catch up to these other devices in terms of video format support. I’m a big fan of HTPCs and would love to see them make a comeback—how about you?