There's no denying that PowerDVD 8 gives you a new approach to watching DVDs on your PC and how you interact with them, offering you controls that go way beyond what's on your remote.
Anyone familiar with previous CyberLink products will be able to jump straight in, while fledgling users will have no difficulty getting used to the GUI. A new feature to version 8 is the oddly named Moovie Live, which is an attempt to build a community of DVD fans by organising your own DVD collection.
If you have the time then there's plenty to get from this.
The other major new element of PowerDVD 8 is Movie Remix, which enables you to edit a movie and add new sounds, comments or effects. It's a clever program but the longevity of its features is debatable. If DVD editing is your thing then you'd want to look at more professional products.
CyberLink's CLEV2 technology remains, which sorts out colour and contrast issues, and the DVD playback quality is excellent. The configurations tab is generally the same as previous versions and this is an essential part of how to configure PowerDVD for optimum performance.
If you have a 5.1 system then be sure to change the audio output settings - as you would with Windows Media Center - and use the colour profiling to fine-tune your monitor.
CyberLink PowerDVD 8 is an enhanced version of the excellent package that it's always been. However, the editing extras will have limited appeal as far as most users are concerned.