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PowerDVD Ultra - Just Installed - Won't Play My BD-RE Menus...



After a bit of research, I bit the bullet and downloaded PowerDVD Ultra. I've got a Sony Vaio AR290G, and I haven't been able to play my BD-RE's from my machine (using DVDitProHD) with the standard player that came with it (InterVideo WinDVD for Vaio).


I installed the software and it looked promising. Popped my first test disc in which has a menu as first play with music behind it. The music pops up, but the image does not. It is a 1920x1080 bitmap. It just shows as a black screen, with the music - however, if I mouse around, I can find the buttons that I laid there and access the videos. If I mouse to the 'hidden' buttons and click, the appropriate video plays. If I'm in the middle of a video and hit the menu button, it goes back to a black screen - again with the menu music.


I tried this on the laptop screen only (no other video hookups), hooked via HDMI to a Sony 46" 1080p monitor (dual-view), and hooked to that LCD as HDMI only (LCD only, no laptop display). Same scenario all the way around. Very odd.


I thought I was as current as possible with the software - version 7.3


I'm also not impressed with the video quality of the video played back on the LCD screen. My text looks rastered/scaled, and the video has a complete 24p look - that is, the majority of it is 60i content, but it looks like it's deinterlaced/progressive. The same disc looks great played through the same LCD with the Sony set-top player. I also tried a 2nd test BD-RE with similar content - same issue.


I tried getting into the tools/setup/advanced functions in the PowerDVD app. Many of the selections are grayed out/unaccessible. I have a feeling that it's automatically doing de-interlacing, etc. Quite irritating.


BTW - I ran the Cyberlink utility prior to purchase. It came up as green lights - good to go.


Any suggestions?



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BTW, I found that the 'rasterizing' was due to having the video card's output setting at 1080i rather than 1080p. In 1080p, the text looks smooth - but then so do interlaced images.


It's not perfect, and not completely identical to the set-top output, but it's close.



I tried uninstalling the drivers and going back to the system build and it still didn't take care of the menu issue.


I have no idea what/why BD-RE menu's won't play on this thing... It looks like it's the last thing to figure out...

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FYI - I received a reply from their support. It doesn't resolve the menu issue, but here's some additional information that may help others.


If you launch PowerDVD, right click and go into 'Configuration'. This is how you can get into the settings, without them being 'greyed out' (which I was trying through their little tools icon). It's also how I was able to get into the de-interlacing/fullscreen settings.


I have a feeling that the rasterizing is characteristic of the Vaio's output - and perhaps not solely the software itself. Will have to experiment more, but I don't know that I'm able to get a true 1920x1080 output to the LCD panel via HDMI. I've tried all the Nvidia settings and I've noticed some harsher edges on Hollywood titles as well, even when I have the settings optimized (as well as I can try/calculate so far). Bottom line is, I can't get a disc to look as clear/crisp from the Vaio HDMI/Vid Card settings as it looks on the Sony set-top player. Would love to know if you can get this/these laptops to play as razor crisp as the BDPS1 - but that's getting into another topic.



Anyway - anyone that can still shed light on the Menu (or actually non-menu image) issue will certainly be welcomed - even if just to confirm that they can successfully play their Menus on a BD-RE with PowerDVD Ultra - especially from a Vaio.



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