Up until recently I have used Cyberlink Power DVD Ultra as my primary playback software for Blu-Ray/HDDVD. Whilst I have not been impressed with it’s integration into Media Centre it was on my setup way ahead of the competition in terms of stutter free playback.
I have often cast envious eyes at the integration of Arcsoft Total media Theatre (TMT) into Media Center but for a long while I could not get it even to start up in Vista. To be fair this was mainly due to being on the beta programme for Vista SP2 and was resolved in the final release of SP2. What was not resolved was a general level of flakiness in playback on my setup. It used to exhibit very jerky movement and struggled to keep up with playback. Now I have a very good setup, with a Phenom x4 processor and a very reasonable ATI graphic chip set, so it really had no excuse. Much trawling of websites didn’t offer any solutions with many people pointing to the fact I use an external Blu-Ray drive as a likely cause.
Anyway all that has changed with the release of TMT3. Rock solid playback. No jerkiness at all., excellent sound(with one gotcha of which more later) and a fantastic image. On top of which the integration into Media centre is just excellent. I know it is actually shelling out to an external application but it just doesn’t feel like it is.My only gripe is that I use an sp-dif output to my speaker system and whilst the volume control in Media Center happily controls this, the one in TMT3 doesn’t. Funnily enough mute does still work.
Ignoring that one gripe though it is a very solid contender for the Cyberlink crown especially as it still supports HDDVD which Cyberlink doesn’t in its recent incarnations.
I would go as far as saying it is now my player of choice.
Note: only the platinum edition supports Blu-Ray/HDDVD and as ever with the costs of licensing the included technologies the price is a little steep but google for discount codes.Publisher's Site