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Requirements to play Blu-Ray

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 15, 2012 2:06:52 AM

I recently bought an internal blu-ray drive, and it apparently came with every possible form of software besides a blu-ray media player.

Of course, I can buy a media player such as Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 12 for a considerable price. To add some more detail, I am using this computer as a media pc that will be linked directly to a TV. In that case, I feel I should by a graphics card for two reasons: my motherboard does not have an hdmi output, and I have Intel HD 4000 graphics. By any means, it appears capable enough, but I would rather have a dedicated card with hdmi output. My PC is also a slim case.

My question is this: Will a graphics card such as Nvidia's gt8400 have the blu-ray codecs that would allow me to do without a software program - basically, it will provide codes Microsoft's Media Player can take advantage of instead of a third-party player? Or do I still need a media player for blu-rays?

If not, is there a card that does what I am wanting?

Also, I am limiting myself to a low power card since I have a 300 watt power supply, and it needs to fit in a very small case.
a b Î Nvidia
December 15, 2012 2:13:09 AM

BluRay playback is unfortunately a proprietary technology that carries a bunch of licensing fees, so you have to buy paid software to play the disks.

There is a free open source solution in VLC media player, however its support is limited mostly to older BluRay discs. Newer discs using the BD+ encryption (eg. everything from 20th Century Fox in the past two years or so) don't work with VLC. As such, the free solution will be spotty at best in terms of supported titles.

As for buying a card with HDMI output, any reasonably modern card would do. Even an 8400GT should be able to handle BluRay playback. Just get whatever is cheapest I guess, as you'll need to spend money for software to play the movies.
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December 15, 2012 2:15:41 AM

Supernova1138 said:
BluRay playback is unfortunately a proprietary technology that carries a bunch of licensing fees, so you have to buy paid software to play the disks.

There is a free open source solution in VLC media player, however its support is limited mostly to older BluRay discs. Newer discs using the BD+ encryption (eg. everything from 20th Century Fox in the past two years or so) don't work with VLC. As such, the free solution will be spotty at best in terms of supported titles.

As for buying a card with HDMI output, any reasonably modern card would do. Even an 8400GT should be able to handle BluRay playback. Just get whatever is cheapest I guess, as you'll need to spend money for software to play the movies.


Thanks, based on what you said, which would be a "good" paid media player program?
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a b Î Nvidia
December 15, 2012 2:19:41 AM

I've tried PowerDVD and Corel WinDVD. They both handled BluRay playback fine for the most part, though I found PowerDVD to be rather buggy. Cyberlink is sometimes slow in rolling out updates needed to get the latest discs playing without issues, for a while they had lots of problems with 20th Century Fox titles.

For that reason, I would recommend WinDVD over PowerDVD. I'm not familiar with any other software that has BluRay support, that's something you can research.
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a b Î Nvidia
December 15, 2012 2:40:01 AM



The problem with the VLC solution is there are no readily available BD+ keys, so a lot of newer titles won't work. Right now, unless you are only going to be playing movies using the older AAC keys, you pretty much need to have paid software to play BluRay on a computer.
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a b Î Nvidia
December 15, 2012 9:16:13 AM

Just my two cents:

I've been using PowerDVD 9 (lucky that Newegg sent it with my OEM Blu-Ray Drive) for Blu-Ray playback in my HTPC. Aside from the fact that it has to use it's own program to run the codec (it will not play within Windows Media Center), it's been fairly smooth in playing titles. Only one time did I get a Netflix Blu-Ray and it wouldn't play immediately. I checked for updates to PowerDVD, downloaded and installed what it found, and the blu-ray then played without issue.

The only other issue to be concerned with High-Definition Digital Content Protection (HDCP). You need to make sure that each component in your set up is HDCP compliant. While I believe that the Geforce 8400GS (as well as 99% of all HDMI enabled graphic cards) is HDCP compliant, it is something you should verify with both a new graphics card AND your HDTV. It's really not much of an issue, but there is a slight chance of it being a "gotcha".

-Wolf sends
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