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How easy is it to watch blu ray movies on your PC?

It would be nice to be able to make a PC that is capable of playing games and watching HD blu ray movies. What would you need for this? I heard that you need a blu ray player as well as $100 software in order to play the movies.

How easy is it though? Is the overall quality and ease of use similar to that of a real blu ray player or would I be better off just watching blu ray movies on my TV?
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  1. If watching Blu-Ray's is the main purpose, a standalone player would be your best bet. You can get a BD drive with software included for around $80, but then you're looking at another couple hundred at least (and maybe an OS) for the rest of the system That price goes up quite a bit if you want to also play games.

    It depends on how much you're willing to spend to get a 'media center' PC, and what you would classify as good enough for gaming.
  2. Best answer
    Yes you need the software, they are coded for regional codes and you can not just play a blu-ray disc on a pc, if i could I would just use a drive in my htpc and give away my blu-ray play.

    As far as quality, if you have the software to play it, and your PC is decent enough then it will be just as good as a dedicated quality blu-ray player. Blu-ray does not require a super computer; integrated graphics on an ivy bridge cpu (even celeron) will handle 1080p just fine.
  3. You will need both the BD-R or BD-RW drive, and also software. While there are free apps that can play BD movies, they aren't all that great or user friendly. VLC comes to mind as a free one... The mainstream apps are Total Media Theater (Arcsoft) and PowerDVD (Cyberlink). Both are worth the investment if you will be using your HTPC frequently. My preference is for Total Media Theater (while it is on sale). Not many problems using the PC other than software updates every so often...
  4. HiTechObsessed said:
    You can get a BD drive with software included for around $80...


    Good point being made here! When buying a blu ray drive, make sure it comes bundled with software. Some do not...
  5. sadams04 said:
    HiTechObsessed said:
    You can get a BD drive with software included for around $80...


    Good point being made here! When buying a blu ray drive, make sure it comes bundled with software. Some do not...


    Yeah, the problem is most people sort by lowest price and take the $40 one lol Then get upset when it's $100+ for the software, when you could buy the $80-$90 one with the software and support included lol
  6. I know this may sound like a given, but you also have to be connected to the TV with HDMI(by far the best since it will also bring audio along the single cable) or DVI supporting HDCP. VGA may not work or may downscale depending on the movie/software.

    As others have said, most systems now deal with blu-ray just fine. It was only difficult when it first came out due to lack of power and not many players using the video card for acceleration. Modern systems can even do all the work on the cpu if it was needed.

    In looking for a good mid level media/game system, I would look i5(or even i3 depending on your budget. AMD has many options as well) and something like a GTX 750 ot 750ti. Those cards use very little power and will give decent(sure it will not be ultra everything at 2560 x 1440/1600, but med/high at 1920 x 1080 for most things) settings in many games.

    I personally use PowerDVD. Bought it separately because it had more features than the included. Some included software does not even support surround sound(not much of an issue on a TV however.).
  7. I have a blue ray player already. I was planning to build a gaming PC and was wondering if I just replaced my dvd optical drive with a blu ray one if my PC would be nice for movies as well. Planning on an i5 and gtx 760, somewhere around there. I was just wondering if my PC could double as a nice movie player :).

    I guess i just have to get the software and blue ray player and i'm set. Thanks for the help guys :)
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