Note : This is an archived review for an older version of WinDVD. For the latest review, please refer to this page.
Click here to read the official WinDVD 9's version comparison page.
This page tries to list all the significant new features of WinDVD 9 (as compared to WinDVD 8.0) - the actual review of WinDVD is on the next page.
WinDVD is now available in 3 versions: Standard, Plus and "Plus Blu-ray" (which also includes HD DVD playback). The features listed in bold are new to WinDVD 9.
The Plus version adds the following to the Standard version:
- All2HD - SD DVD to HD upscaling
- AVCHD support
- H.264 and VC-1 decoding support
- Dolby Digital EX decoding
- Dolby Prologic IIX processing
- DTS Neo 6 support
- DTS 96K/24bit decoding
- DTS 6ch decoding
WinDVD "Plus Blu-ray" then adds these following additional features on top of WinDVD Plus:
- HD DVD playback
- Blu-ray playback
- Blu-ray "BonusView" Profile 1.1 compatibility
- Dolby Digital Plus 2ch
- Dolby Digital Plus multi-channel
- Dolby TrueHD 2ch
- Dolby TrueHD multi-channel
- DTS-HD 2ch
- DTS-HD multi-channel
The most obvious new video feature of WinDVD 9 is the "All2HD" mode. This is basically a DVD upscaling engine that upscales DVD to HD resolutions with some processing thrown in the make everything look better. The review on the next page will examine this feature in more detail, including frame by frame comparisons.
For even lower resolution video, there are the new "de-block" and "de-snow" filters to improve picture quality.
AVCHD is now supported as well in the Plus versions of WinDVD. AVCHD is a format based on Blu-ray that allows MPEG-4 AVC audio and PCM or AC3 audio, and for DVD to be used as storage. Some HD camcorders also use this format for video storage.
And of course, in the "Plus-Blu-ray" version of WinDVD, both Blu-ray and HD DVD playback are supported, with full interactivity up to Blu-ray Profile 1.1 standards. More about the high bitrate audio support that both of these formats use below.
The Plus version now includes DTS Neo:6. Neo:6 is a matrixed sound technology, which basically means it can artificially turn mono or stereo audio into multi-channel audio. Also new in the Plus version is DTS 96K/24bit decoding.
The rest of the new audio features are Blu-ray and HD DVD related. Support for both 2 channel and multi-channel Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD are present.
The interface of WinDVD 9 has been given a complete overhaul. Below are some sample screenshots of the new interface:
Pressing the "Q" button or the icon at the top can introduce the "Show Viewing Area Only" mode, which removes the top (source, audio, video ...) and bottom playback controls to show only the title bar and the playback area.