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CyberLink Media Suite 9 Ultra review

Verdict

A good media suite gets a little better, but purchase and upgrade prices are a touch too expensive

Review Date: 24 Jan 2011

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: £75 (£90 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
4 stars out of 6

Media suites have evolved over the years from simple CD and DVD-burning utilities to cover the whole gamut of PC-based media creation jobs. These days they comprise everything from audio file creation to full-blown Full HD video editing and Blu-ray playback, and the latest version of CyberLink's Media Suite follows that trend, adding a sprinkling of extras and a whole new program.

The new application in question is the full version of MediaEspresso 6 Deluxe, a video transcoding tool previously sold for £35. It shares the same slick front end as PowerProducer, is quick and very easy to use, and is aimed principally at converting videos for mobile devices, with the usual presets for iPods and iPhones. But it doesn't stop there. You'll also find presets for BlackBerry, HTC, Motorola and Nokia phones, all the major games consoles, as well as YouTube and Facebook. The list of phones is a little out of date, but it's simple enough to create your own templates by basing them on existing presets.

CyberLink Media Suite 9 Ultra

For video playback, PowerDVD 10 BD Express is included - a version up from Media Suite 8 - and it plays back everything from DVD and Blu-ray discs to MP4s and AVIs. Upgrades here include support for 3D Blu-ray discs, on-the-fly 3D conversion of plain DVDs, and MKV playback. The one thing it lacks compared to the full retail version of PowerDVD is 5.1 audio output, which is an odd restriction; we'd rather forgo the 3D features in favour of proper surround sound support.

When it comes to making your own movies, the video editor also sees a much more useful update. Instead of upgrading to the recent standalone version 9, CyberLink is throwing in the full retail version of PowerDirector 8 Ultra, which means a host of restrictions have been lifted and features added over the previous HE version.

The number of picture-in-picture tracks you can add to your video projects rises from one to nine, for example; music tracks are up from one to three; a number of additional effects and editing tools are included; plus you get the ability to modify keyframes within existing effects, add particle effects and more. It's a much bigger upgrade than first appearances suggest.

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User comments

Could have been excellent... Except!

I bought this about a week after it was released and you should all be warned that it's full of ADWARE, which considering the high price is totally unacceptable and the suite keeps on pestering you to UPGRADE your new software! WHY?

You've just bought it. Perhaps PCPro may like to take these issues up with Cyberlink, because at the end of the day I'm very unhappy with constant pop-ups badgering me to upgrade to new software & Ad's!

By SKINHEAD1967 on 24 Jan 2011

video transcode not flexible

MediaEspresso 6 does convert videos very quickly using nVidia CUDA but there is no 2-pass option, so video quality is not optimal and files are very large compared to nero, badaboom and even freemakevideo converter.

By dong89798 on 27 Jan 2011

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