This latest Ultra version goes much further then ever before, being designed principally to play back both HD DVD and the new Blu-ray disks that have considerably more storage space than conventional DVDs. Even if you haven't moved into these rarified atmospheres yet, this software will support pretty much every movie format available, from standard DVD, AVI, Mini-DVD and WMV to MPEG-4 AVC, WMV-HD and DivX Pro.
If you are lucky enough to have Blu-ray movies, then extra features include overlaid interactive menus, the ability to add your own bookmarks, high-definition audio support and High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection support, so that no quality is lost through playback via HDMI-capable monitors. HD DVD playback has the same features plus zoom, Picture-in-Picture and Twin Format support where there is HD DVD and standard DVD content on the same disk.
There's a significant change in the control system too. When playing within a window, you have the standard control wheel plus two supplementary panels that can be revealed on the sides. One of these handles audio output (including CyberLink Multi-Environment Impression-2), the equalizer and video enhancement (where you can manually alter the light and contrast levels) and the other is a number pad and menu for such features as karaoke (dimming the background sound so you can sing along!), Say-It-Again (instant replay of a few seconds of dialog) and visualization.
Subtitles can also be removed from the screen to below the line using the Read-It-Clearly facility. Once you've finished your modifications, the menu can then be 'docked' to the bottom of the video window and expanded to full screen. The only minor niggle is the fast forward in full screen mode is via an unwieldy 'Open Speed Control' rather than the considerably easier wheel.
If you happen to be watching on your laptop, there's a clever addition called See-It-All which calculates how much battery life you have left and then speeds the film up sufficiently so you won't miss a frame!
The range of sound formats supported is also awesome, running the spectrum to include everything from the humble WAV and MP3 to Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD and DTS-HD. Home cinemas benefit from true 7.1-channel Dolby Digital EX and 5.1-channel DTS as well as imitating surround sound quality via sound systems, headphones and laptops.
The official change log for version 7.3 Build 3730 is as follows
- Support BD-Video Profile 1.1.
- Improves BD-Java compatibility to enhance interactivity with some BD-ROMs.
You may download this updated version here