Best Blu-ray 2.0 Player? Could Be Your PC with CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra

When we bring up Blu-ray Profile 2.0 with BD-Live, you guys are divided. Some of you say "Who gives a damn?" while others say "PS3 FTW!" But a small minority say that the PS3 doesn't meet your other hardware requirements. Well now it might not matter: by the end of this month, when CyberLink's latest PowerDVD Ultra update arrives, you can assemble your own PC-based Blu-ray 2.0 player with whatever video and audio hardware you like.

According to a press release sent out today, PowerDVD Ultra is already certified for BD-Video Profile 1.1, BD+, AVCHD and BD-RE 3.0. Adding BD-Live means making it fully 2.0 compatible. "Next-generation" disc features (Picture-in-Picture, networking, interactive BD-J, bookmarks, and advanced disc navigation) are covered. And there's support for Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD technologies. In addition, the software has "optimized performance" for graphics cards featuring NVIDIA PureVideo, ATI Avivo and Intel Clear Video technology.

Blu-ray 2.0 discs are coming soon from Sony Pictures, starting with such toe-in-the-water projects as Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and the slightly more respectable The 6th Day, both which include, according to Sony, "exclusive downloadable content that goes beyond what is available on the actual Blu-ray discs." Yup, sounds like a download.

The newest PowerDVD is a free upgrade for people currently using CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra, and $100 for anyone just jumping in. Of course, if you don't want the hassle of building your own BD playback system, the PS3 is still a very attractive option. [CyberLink]