A large part of using a computer, or any multimedia device these days, is watching videos – from streaming music to feature films to TV shows and personal shots – video watching comprises a significant chunk of our over overall usage. In the world of computers, when it comes to media playback, many big players instantly spring to mind. VLC Media Player, KMPlayer, Media Player Classic are perhaps the top three all across the product line, and perhaps rightly so. With the bucket list of features that these applications bring, its hard to fathom a newcomer making any place. Hence, this was the question in my mind when I came across the software Power Video Player, and my investigation of the tool revolved around finding something unique about this tool that would make it worthy of a review. Luckily, I did find one aspect, and you can read more about it just past the fold.
I played with for a while, wondering if there was anything in this player that would qualify it for a review. As I was to give up, I noticed something, HD playback. Power Video Player had the most amazing rendering of 1080p videos.
Let me explain. I have an Intel Core i3 processor in my laptop with a 15.6”, 1366 x 768 screen. Theoretically, with VLC or KMPlayer, 1080p videos were at best grainy, with obvious stuttering. VLC fared even worse with those on default settings. With PVP, the difference was obvious. The software claims to employs DirectShow, COM Interop and PInvoke programming, and the resulting 1080p playback was as smooth and crystal clear as any other video format. There was no stuttering element at all.
Other than this, the interface is minimalist, with not much settings to play with. Primary features include:
- Convenient UI
- Plays almost all multimedia formats (requires appropriate codecs to be present on the client system)
- Full DVD Support (MPEG-2 and AC3 decoders should be installed on the client system)
- Video control: Video size, aspect ratio
- Playback speed control
- Windowed and fullscreen playback
- Displays detailed information about each video and audio stream
- Reports the format that could not be rendered because of the missing codec(s)
- Customizable keyboard and mouse actions
- Multilingual interface: English, Russian
- Skinnable (only one default skin is shipped now)
- Supports various video renderers: Legacy Video Renderer, VMR/VMR9, EVR
The program is written in C# as a Windows Forms application and works with all versions of Windows. Our testing was done with Windows 7 32-bit OS.