3 Best Media Players for Your Home Theater
As streaming services and broadcast television costs continue to increase, there’s never been a better time to integrate your PC into your home theater system. In the past, this would require a dedicated system connected directly to your TV via an HDMI cable.
Nowadays, there are many options available for you to connect any PC to your home theater system wirelessly. With the right media player, you can create a simple but comprehensive network that allows you to watch media from any device while enjoying superior sound and video with your home theater system.
Finding the best media player for your home theater system can be challenging. To help you out, we rounded up and reviewed the three best options.
Best Home Theater PC Playback Software
When it comes to audio and video quality, no media player compares to CyberLink. This isn’t just our opinion. Top Ten Reviews calls it “the all-out winner” when it comes to playback.
Now, don’t let the name fool you—this software can do far more than just play DVDs. With an HDCP-capable GPU, PowerDVD offers support for new Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and can play virtually any video or audio file format.
If you enjoy the cinematic experience of watching home movies via your home theater speakers and TV, PowerDVD’s playback improvement features are particularly valuable. You get TrueTheater enhancements like HDR color, HD upscaling, motion compensation, stabilization, and noise reduction, along with access to the latest technology, including 360-degree video with spatial audio, 3D, HDR, and 8K.
With PowerDVD, you can stream content directly from online platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo or access your content library from any device connected to your network or in the CyberLink Cloud.
The software offers two interfaces: PC Mode and TV Mode. The TV Mode is perfect for those looking to enjoy content from their couch, as you can navigate it using the Power Remote app.
PowerDVD features sophisticated cloud storage, CyberLink Cloud, that allows you to store, share, and remotely view your content. View your movies on the go or share them with friends and family.
If you want to listen to music, play video files, DVDs, Blu-rays, or Ultra Blu-ray discs using your PC, or watch streamed content on your home theatre system, PowerDVD is the best media player for the job. PowerDVD makes integrating your PC with your TV and surround sound system a quick and easy process.
- TrueTheater enhancements for optimal viewing
- Sophisticated library management features
- Support for 4K, 8K, and Blu-ray videos
- CyberLink app for interface navigation
- Download feature for offline viewing
- Wireless media casting to your TV
- CyberLink Cloud storage
- Exceptional video playback quality
- YouTube and Vimeo streaming to TV
- Support for copy-protected discs
- User-friendly TV Mode interface
- Cloud streaming and sharing
5Kplayer’s most prominent feature is its built-in hardware accelerator that allows for 1080p, 4K, and 8K video playback without lagging. Like PowerDVD, it supports all major video formats, including MP4, WMV, FLV, AVI, MKV, and M2TS, along with DTS multichannel surround sound, MP3, WMA, and AC3 audio files.
5kPlayer allows you to share content via a Wi-Fi network without losing quality. You also get a video downloader that supports all popular online platforms, including YouTube and Vimeo. The download function lets you download and save videos so you can view them later. The addition of AirPlay mirroring allows you to stream content to and from Apple devices.
Unfortunately, 5KPlayer does have some drawbacks. Finding YouTube videos with the downloader’s search function is particularly challenging. You have to go on YouTube, copy the video URL, and paste it into the downloader. It’s not nearly as intuitive as PowerDVD’s download function.
Also, many users complain that 5Kplayer’s customer support is relatively poor. If you have an issue with the software, expect to search online forums for a solution.
- Support for 1080p, 4K, and 8K video playback
- Plays all major audio and video formats
- Wireless streaming of content via AirPlay and DLNA
- Video library that is easy to navigate
- Video downloader for YouTube and Vimeo
- Built-in hardware accelerator to prevent lagging
- Video casting to and from Apple products
- Built-in radio player
- User-friendly interface
Corel WinDVD is a popular DVD and media player for Windows that offers basic features to maximize your home theater experience. The software’s most significant appeal is its sleek and responsive interface.
The software supports Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and AVCHD, along with various file formats, including WMV, DVD, DivX, MP4, Blu-ray 3D, AVCREC, BD-Live, and BDXL. You can also convert 2D files to 3D. However, this feature is not available for all file formats.
FlixFinder is another great feature you get with Corel WinDVD. It allows you to search your favorite online platforms to find movies and shows without visiting each site individually.
On the downside, Corel WinDVD lacks the cloud streaming and sharing features PowerDVD offers. So if you like watching YouTube videos on your TV, Corel WinDVD is likely not the best option. You also have to navigate the media player’s interface using your PC, as Corel WinDVD doesn’t have a remote app.
- Support for Blu-ray 3D and DVD
- 2D to 3D conversion compatibility
- DVD playback enhancement features
- Easy playlist creation and management
- Support for all major file formats, including MP4, MKV, and FLV
- Cinematic surround sound optimization
- Intuitive user-interface
- FlixFinder tool for searching online content
Download the Best Media Player for Your Home Theater PC
There’s no shortage of high-end media players that can handle 1080p, 4K, and 8K video playback, but few options provide cloud storage capability for easy content access and sharing. Or TV casting so you can stream content wirelessly to your home theater system.
CyberLink PowerDVD offers all of this and much more. Watch and stream optimized high-resolution content, share movies with friends and family, or download videos to watch offline with ease.
To get the most out of your home entertainment system, try PowerDVD today.