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Lunch » Tags » Software » Reviews » Corel WinDVD 9 Plus (Blu-ray) » User review


  • Oct 16, 2008
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First off, let me just say that I don't own a Blu-ray player and my review is based on DVD's only. Most of the review, however, will most likely apply to Blu-Ray as well.

>> Video Enhancements

Here are just some highlights:

- De-snow, De-block, and up-sampling:
De-block reduces pixelation and up-sampling is a filter that fills in extra pixels to improve picture quality. I am unable to see an appreciable improvement in the picture quality of the DVD's with these enhancements turned on. The De-snow option, however, significantly reduced video noise and dramatically improved picture quality on some of the DVD's I played.

- Trimension All2HD:
Enabling this option helps convert standard videos into "high-definition". The improvements are definitely noticeable - Trimension All2HD reduces noise and makes the picture more crisp. However don't expect the picture quality to be "just like HD." There is even a split screen (or Demo) option where the left side of the screen has Trimension All2HD enabled and the right side doesn't so you're able to see the difference between them.

Here's a caveat - Trimension All2HD is CPU-intensive, so if you have a slower computer, it may slow the other programs running on your computer.

>> Color Adjustments
It goes without saying the WinDVD comes with the standard adjustsments such as Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Color, and Gamma correction. Apart from the Brightness, the colors look great on my player with the color adjustments left at their default values.

>> Audio Enhancements

- Virtual Surround Sound:
If you don't have surround sound speakers, you're in luck. WinDVD uses the patented SRS TruSurround XT technology, which takes 5.1 or 6.1 multichannel content and virtualizes the channels for output to 2 speakers. The result is an immersive audio experience - impressive and the best virtual surround sound I've ever heard coming from 2 speakers!

>> User Interface
The user interface is a pleasure to use. I've read complaints that the controls are not intuitive - I don't understand why - but for me I was thrilled at how quick and easy it was to control the application:

- Click once anywhere on the screen and the menu bar and play controls show up. Click again to hide them.

- Double-click to go into full-screen mode. Double-click again to restore.

- Right-click for a popup menu for some quick options like play, stop, repeat, forward, and most of the controls you'll need to navigate through your video.

- Audio/Picture enhancements and all other options come up in a window overlaid on the video. You can make adjustments (Trimension All2HD, De-snow, color, etc.) on the fly (dynamically) while still being able to navigate your video (pause, play, fast-forward, etc.) unlike some applications where you have to dismiss the windows before being able to access the video controls.

>> Usability
My biggest complaint about usability is the application can be sluggish at times particularly when Trimension All2HD, SRS TruSurround XT, and other CPU-intensive options are turned on. On my 2.5 GHz computer, WinDVD can take a couple of minutes to respond to mouse-clicks while it changes the mouse pointer into an "hour glass." Even though the video playback is smooth, it can become out of sync with the audio at this time. However, once the options are fully enabled, video playback returns to its full functioning capacity.

Overall, despite some issues with the application being sluggish at times, I'm very impressed with the Video/Audio quality. Plus, WinDVD gets high marks for its very user-friendly interface. I was especially blown away by the virtual surround sound feature. So to wrap it up, WinDVD has my vote on being one of the best players!

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More Corel WinDVD 9 Plus (Blu-ray) reviews
review by . September 17, 2008
I like the player but I must say that it was not easy installing it. Basic installing procedure wasn't working so I had to get my computer expert bf to get it to run for me, other than that I like it, although I'm not sure it's really worth all the money they are charging for it.  I think when I was watching DVD of something like "I Love Lucy" the picture was sharper and looked better, movies as well but anything that I have downloaded like music videos or movies were not really improved, …
review by . September 14, 2008
I installed WinDVD 9 Plus on a computer running Windows XP SP 2. The screen has 1920 x 1200 resolution. WinDVD 9 installed without problems.     Probably the strongest benefit this package provides is the number of media formats it will play: DVD-Video, DivX, RealPlayer, QuickTime, Windows Media, AVI, H.264 and MPEG-2 HD Transport Stream (M2T). Additionally, WinDVD supports AVCHD, Blu-Ray from Hitachi camcorders, HDV video, recordable HD DVD or Blu-ray media such as HD DVD-R, …
review by . September 07, 2008
After reading some of the early reviews posted here, I expected my experience with WinDVD 9 to be a bad one. I am happy to report, however, that that did not turn out to be the case.    I did have one little blip when installing the software on first try but I attribute that to the fact that I checked the wrong box early in the installation process and caused the download to abort itself because of a conflict it found with a program already on my hard drive. I paid more attention …
review by . September 06, 2008
WinDVD 9 Plus Blu-ray has been highly anticipated as Corel's answer to Blu-ray technology for DVD and video playback. I was skeptical because some reviews state problems running the program on Windows Vista machines, even though the program is designed to be compatible. Others mention skipping and location of controls.    Notwithstanding, I decided to test the program for myself. (I run Windows XP, Service Pack 3 on my desktop where I often watch DVDs while working on craft projects.)   …
review by . September 04, 2008
WinDVD 9 Plus Blu-ray provides an improved interface, new higher definition viewing capabilities up to 1080p, and superb surround sound quality. The new `Graphite' user interface looks sleeker and makes viewing and navigation much easier and user friendly. The audio and video controls can easily be personalize to your preferences. I had to contact support (which they were very helpful) in order to get all the "bugs" correctly working, but after making some adjustments to the sound card settings …
review by . September 03, 2008
This is not a bad program as a matter of fact its a very Good Media Player....with a couple of exceptions.    Pros: Simplicity, video's better quality WITHOUT the up-conversion. It took me by surprise when I realized the up-scaling feature was still off.    Being able to tweak the up-scaling was new to me and is really nice. If this is what we have to look forward to since COREL took over, WinDVD just may dominate without busting a sweat.    Cons: …
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WinDVD 9 Plus Blu-ray is DVD, Blu-ray Disc and video playback software that delivers quality and entertainment in style. Play spectacular Blu-ray and HD DVD discs on your PC, or enjoy standard DVDs with state-of-the-art HD-quality upscaling. Take your movies on the go with advanced battery optimization controls for laptops. Play home movies recorded on the latest high-definition AVCHD camcorders. Choose WinDVD 9 Plus Blu-ray for the ultimate DVD and video playback experience.

Choose WinDVD 9 Plus Blu-ray for the ultimate DVD and video playback experience.

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DVD & Video Playback for Today

  • Blu-ray and HD DVD support--Experience stunning high-definition entertainment on your PC.
  • State-of-the-art Upscaling--Play standard DVDs at HD resolution with unique upscaling and motion enhancement.
  • Movies on the Go--Powerful laptop features ensure the best movie experience--wherever you are!
  • Memories--Enjoy the full quality of high-definition home movies recorded with the latest AVCHD or Blu-ray camcorders.

Unique All2HD offers state-of-the-art upscaling.

See more of the action with advanced Digital Natural Motion.

Enjoy your video collection like never before. Watch standard DVD movies at near-HD quality with captivating surround sound.

Watch movies wherever you are.

Play crystal-clear high-definition home movies from the latest AVCHD camcorders.

Stylish Good Looks
The sophisticated graphite interface blends seamlessly with your Windows XP or Vista desktop....

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