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CyberLink Corp. have today announced a major new release of their PowerDVD player boasting features that include: built in support for high definition H.264 playback, five interface modes, movable subtitles, UPnP functionality (i.e. home media servers), support for the latest DRM such as VCPS and CPRM, one-click dialogue looping, extra support for DTS standards (DTS-ES Matrix and Discrete, DTS 96/24, and DTS Neo:6), and some clever power saving features.

The most significant addition from the list above is H.264 playback from the player itself and with further plans through an additional module to support new video cards with integrated decoding such as the ATI® Avivo™ and NVIDIA® PureVideo™ later in the year. This means it'll be able to support the latest H.264 encoded trailers via PowerDVD's own decoding technology as well as those rare DVD releases that feature HD content.

Read-It-Clearly (the subtitle positioning feature) will be popular with fans of foreign cinema since this will allow users to override the positioning of subtitles as defined by the DVD producer, so they can view the subtitles on the letterbox part of the screen. Whilst One-click Say-It-Again provides an easy way to view the previous scene automatically to make sure those vital scenes aren't missed.

CyberLink PowerDVD 7Power management has been improved with this release for those watching on their laptops. When a laptop is running on battery power PowerDVD 7 will calculate if there is enough capacity in the battery to allow a complete viewing of the movie, if not then it will switch into a mode whereby the movie will actually play 1.25 times faster than normal. Other power management extras in this release include a battery level indicator and additional Mobility Features to allow 30% more movie viewing.

The release will arrive in two flavours: Standard (USD 49.95) and Deluxe (USD 69.95). The Standard release will lack H.264, DivX Pro, and only support: Dolby Digital 5.1, LPCM audio, MP3 and WAV. Whilst Deluxe will offer a more reasonable package for power users except for the latest DTS and SRS options mentioned above. There will also be the usual upgrade path with a reasonable price tag of USD 19.95. These prices quoted are for purchases direct from CyberLink, alternatively they will be available from standard retailers as: PowerDVD 7 (USD 39.95) and PowerDVD 7 Max (USD 59.95).

Add-on modules include: HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc, HD264, InterActual®, Advanced Audio (table above) and Mobility Pack (for laptops). Some are already available, others are awaiting the completion of standards and graphics hardware releases.

This release comes only a few days after CyberLink announced another update to their family of products - Power2Go 5.5 - with the ability to burn your own HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs. This is the first consumer product available at a retail level to offer such functionality.

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