PowerDVD 16 adds TV streaming and 4K support

The latest version of CyberLink's PowerDVD software now includes a dedicated TV mode and Chromecast streaming, in addition to future 4K Blu-ray support.

Ty Pendlebury
Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
2 min read
Fershad Irani

Update 12/2/2016: PowerDVD (Pro and Ultra) has now received certification from the Blu-ray Disc Association for playback of Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs. However hardware which supports 4K BD has yet to be announced.

Once upon a time, home theater PCs were a thing, and users armed with a TV capture card, a DVD drive and the Media Center mode built into Microsoft Windows formed what became known as the HTPC (Home Theater PC) community.

In today's environment, that all seems like a distant memory. Windows 10 unceremoniously dumped Media Center, and most laptops don't even include optical drives. Meanwhile, Blu-ray players cost well under $100 and streaming sticks under $50 -- so who needs PC-based media software anymore?

Hard-core, old-school PC enthusiasts, that's who. And to the rescue of this too-long-neglected group comes CyberLink, with PowerDVD 16. More than just DVD and Blu-ray playback, this new Windows video software supports 4K video, with some nifty "play to" casting tricks to boot. It will even support 4K Blu-ray playback -- if and when compatible PC 4K Blu-ray drives arrive.



It seems crazy, but for some reason it's taken PowerDVD until its sixteenth iteration to include a dedicated TV mode. Taking a leaf from other HTPC interfaces that have come (and gone) before it -- including Boxee and Windows Media Center -- PowerDVD's TV Mode offers an horizontally scrolling interface designed to be used in conjunction with the PowerDVD Remote for Android or iOS, or a mouse.

But TV Mode is merely the first item in PowerDVD's bag of tricks. The software can also stream video files (though not Blu-rays) to your Chromecast, Roku or Apple TV. The "Play To" feature currently supports 4K content (but will downconvert to a 1080p TV) and the company says it is working on streaming 4K content natively. Native support for YouTube and Vimeo is on board, too.


The system currently supports DVD and Blu-ray, and a CyberLink representative confirmed to me that the software will support 4K Blu-ray once PC hardware becomes available (and the Blu-ray Disc Association releases a PC-based standard).

Power DVD Ultra is available now for $99, and upgrades for previous versions are available from $49. Power DVD Live and Pro are available for $44.99 for 12 months or $79.95, respectively, but don't include the full feature set..

Fershad Irani

Australian and UK pricing have yet to be announced, but pricing for the full Ultra version converts to about £70 or AU$130.

Of course, anyone interested in PowerDVD and its features should also compare and contrast to Plex, VLC and Kodi.

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