CyberLink Media Suite 9 Ultra review

Price when reviewed

The Power2Go disc burning application adds support for BDXL formats (writable Blu-ray discs up to 128GB in size). Plus there’s the usual hotch-potch of extras which go to make up the remainder of the suite, encompassing everything from audio editing and MP3 CD compilation to simple backup and photo touch-up tools.

The backup tool is worth a mention as it offers a surprisingly good range of features, including the option to choose between standard, differential and incremental backups. Finally, the suite’s launchpad window has had a makeover, with more easily understandable, task-based shortcuts and a slicker look than before.

There’s an awful lot here, and if you add everything up it would easily come to many times the cost of the overall package. The video editing, transcoding and playback software alone adds up to £125 inc VAT when bought separately, and the package includes another eight applications to play with after that.

CyberLink Media Suite 9 Ultra

Perhaps most importantly, we prefer these individual video applications over Nero’s equivalents. CyberLink’s PowerDirector 8 has a more elegant interface than Nero’s Vision Xtra: it lets you fit more onscreen, and therefore feels more comfortable in use. PowerDVD is more fully featured than Nero’s equivalent, and we particularly like the fact it has a plugin option for Windows Media Center; Nero’s player is strictly standalone. The transcoder and media management tools are far more responsive too, and occupy far less memory than Nero MediaHub.

The elephant in the room is Nero’s more sensible pricing. CyberLink only offers three versions of Media Suite 9 – Centra (£50 inc VAT), Pro (£70) and Ultra (£90) – each offering steadily more features, but the only way to get Blu-ray playback is to plump for the full Ultra package. Nero, on the other hand, offers a cut-down video-only version for just £60 (inc VAT), which includes Blu-ray playback, the Vision Xtra video editor and the MediaHub management tool, without all the other extras that may or may not be needed.

We really like CyberLink’s package, but it’s difficult to recommend with full conviction. It’s good value compared to buying the core apps separately, and those – especially PowerDVD and PowerDirector – are excellent. On face value, it would seem to be the most comprehensive media suite around, but that pricing structure means it’s far from the most flexible option, and the upgrade cost is on the high side too.


Software subcategoryMedia software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Linux supported?no
Operating system Mac OS X supported?no

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