Most of PowerDVD 12 improvements are rather incremental, rather than revolutionary. The focus this time seems to have been to turn PowerDVD into the centerpiece of your digital media hub, and there are certainly some very useful new inclusions, such as the ability to use PowerDVD as your DLNA server, and media renderer.
3D wise, the inclusion of 3D upscaling for Blu-ray movies is helpful for those that don't have access to a TV with a similar function, and instantly boosts your 3D Blu-ray collection, even if it's done artificially.
And with little improvement left to make for Blu-ray playback, the addition of DTS-HD 7.1 support will be welcomed by those using PowerDVD (as opposed to a dedicated amp/receiver) as their audio decoder.
And the continued improvement to mobile/smart device support keeps PowerDVD fresh and relevant in the age of smart phones and tablets, and gives the Ultra version extra value by including the mobile apps as part of the package for free.
And with other changes, such as improved YouTube integration, 7digital music store support, and basic video transcoding support, PowerDVD 12 is clearly the best version of PowerDVD yet. Whether it makes it worth the price of the upgrade, depends on each user, but if you want to make PowerDVD the hub in which your smart devices, home media server all resolves around, then there are plenty of new features in this area to tempt you into an upgrade.
PowerDVD 12 Ultra Ratings:
The review version of PowerDVD 12 Ultra was provided by Cyberlink.
For archives of all previous PowerDVD version reviews, please refer to the PowerDVD Review Archive.