A new feature to version 8 is the Moovie Live feature, which is an attempt to build a community of DVD fans, a Facebook for movies if you will. I suspect it's powered by a database similar to the CDDB database for music CDs. It's a neat feature (which at the time I looked had only been used by a few users), but it really does feel like a version 1.0, merely a fraction of what we will see in future iterations. At the moment it's little more than an organising website for your DVD collection.
The other new feature is the Movie Remix, which allows users to do all manner of destroying the original movie; cut and reorder scenes, record new audio and create new subtitles. These can then be uploaded to Moovie live. Essentially, this is a simplified DVD editing software. I am not sure what DVD distributors are going to think of this feature, but for those that want to flex their creative muscles and make their own fan edit of Star Wars: Episode One, then go right ahead (wait, wasn't that done before?)
Overall, PowerDVD, even with the teething problems in this new build, and the new lack of HD-DVD support, is still the best DVD playback software on the market, at least in my opinion. The new features, especially Moovie Live, have yet to truly prove themselves, but the future is potentially quite exciting for this feature. It just needs to get a good community behind it, and then it should thrive. Its core feature; DVD playback, is as good as ever and with the improvements made in Blu-ray playback, PowerDVD is now well placed to become the ultimate Blu-ray playback software, which will ensure the programs relevance for some time to come.
Addendum: Just as the review was about to go live, I receive another e-mail from CyberLink. Not even a week after the release of PowerDVD 8, a new build has been released (version 3730a ), featuring two main features; the addition of BD Profile 2.0, otherwise referred to as BD Live, and fixes to BD Java titles. Unfortunately I don't have a BD Live title as of yet, but I was eager to check if Across the Universe worked now, and unfortunately it still does not. As CyberLink release updates to PowerDVD 8, I will keep you guys in the loop.
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