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Thread: Blu Ray on PC945 days old

  1. #1
    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    question Blu Ray on PC

    I was watching an avi file of the film 'Avatar' and just a couple of minutes in thought it wasn't good quality so stopped watching. My daughter Sophie said it was such a good film I should buy the disk and watch it in top quality. So I decided I'd watch it in Blueray format but I don't have a Blueray player.

    After taking measurements of HTPC setup realised didn't have enough room to house Blueray player so decided on Blueray drive for media PC. It arrived today, was bemused to find MS Media Center (within Vista) or in fact any MS software does not support Blueray playpack. Oh dear Mr Ballmer, is Microsoft still smarting from supporting HD-DVD and losing out? I think so but that's no excuse for MS not supporting a popular format, shame on them.

    So I installed all the software that came with LG Blueray RW drive I bought (65 from Ebuyer, btw) but their diagnostic software said my system wasn't up to par for Blueray video playback. The software includes something called Cyber DVD Player, btw, which can play Blueray format. I noticed my budget version of Nero also offered to play the Blueray disk I'd loaded.

    My video capability on this PC is onboard graphics on a cheapie motherboard about three years old based around the Nvidia 8200 chipset with shared memory of 2Gb motherboard memory. So, not surprising it can't handle Blueray.

    I have ordered a cheapie vid card from E-Buyer which should arrive tomorrow, cost 42, probably not much good for gaming but does have 2Gb onboard memory and seems to meet all requirements for Blueray playback.

    So we shall see what occurs tomorrow when I fit new vid card.

    Thinking about this PC, all it's used for is audio and video playback and burning the occasional DVD/CD so I'm seriously considering using Linux Mint 12 KDE on it. I have Vista installed atm, mostly because I have the attitude 'I Paid for it so I'm damn well going to use it' but Vista is Soooooooooo slow, Mint 12 is very quick in comparison.

    So whatdya all think? Will Linux suit my needs? I do know one disadvantage, Media case came with software including a remote control, that only works in Windows. If I used Linux I'd have to ditch remote control and rely on mouse.

    But that's probably a minor inconvenience, all things considered.

    Your views apreciated

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    Hell's Very Own Grogan's Avatar
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    The problem with the Blu Ray is the DRM... the encryption. There are some strict rules that must be followed before full HD playback of protected Blu Ray content is allowed (if at all). I would doubt that there is any legitimate blu ray playback in Linux. (I don't mean the ability to read blu ray disks, that's already a given, I mean the content protection.) There are ways to play blu ray movies, but to my knowledge they essentially involve ripping it and converting to other formats (e.g. .mkv) or cleverly matching a known key from the movies you want to play, or attempting to decrypt it which is hit or miss.

    For Windows you'll need HDCP compliant hardware and drivers, and approved software that has the keys. (and here's the rub... the keys are revocable). For you, probably new video card will be enough. Look for HDCP compliance in the specs... probably even the lowest models will have it. You probably already have an LCD with HDMI or DVI inputs.

    Mr. Camerseni would, I'm sure, be happy to tell you all about this if he were to see this thread. He has gone to Hell and back with this nonsense. It all started when he wanted to do a clean install on some HP shitbox PC. He did that, and had everything working tickety boo, but couldn't get blu ray playback to work. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and he discovered that for the player to work, there were some keys that were only available in the factory image. Something like that, anyway. That wouldn't happen if you bought a blu ray drive and installed the included player and stuff.

    Personally I refuse. If I ever get a blu ray drive it will only be because it's an important data storage medium. It won't be for commercial movies. At this time, there is not much call for it so I don't need one.

    Sony bites the baloney.

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    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Well I'll be fucked. Hmm. So bsically the choices are I buy a proper Bluray player and try and make it fit into current physical space or revert to piracy?

    Well fuck, may as well just get DVD of Avatar and fuck Bluray.

    I note this optical drive supposed to be able to burn 95Gb of data. I've bought a pack of 10 disks. That would make outlay worthwhile. But still, feel like I've been kicked up the bollocks over this issue.

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    ......... Fingerle's Avatar
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    Got Bluray for my desktop. Cyber DVD is cheesy junk. (Explains why it's bundled with all the drives)

    Purchased a copy of Total Media Theater 5. Downside: I had to pay for it. Upside: Can run the same copy on both my PC and Notebook.
    Another plus. It's smart enough to play bluray that's been ripped to the hard drive. (Notebook doesn't have bluray drive) Wireless-N can just barely keep up with pulling BD across the network as long as nobody else tries to use the connection.

    Another downside concerns ripping them to HD. Damn things suck up 30-40gig. However if you want to convert a movie to a different format, converting from bluray provides most excellent results.

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    Hell's Very Own Grogan's Avatar
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    Basically, for playback on a PC the only legitimate option is Cyberlink or similar software that comes with your Blu Ray drive. So yes, any other McGyver'ing is essentially "piracy" lol

    But it would be useful for data storage, provided burning is reliable enough to be readable across different drives. (we'll see in time)

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    Another gotcha with Blueray...your monitor has to have some stupid DRM compliant hardware in it too. I went through that when I bought a Blueray drive for my computer a couple years ago. Everything else was good to go. I have a Blueray player hooked up to my 50" Plasma too. To be honest, I don't see a whole lot of difference between Blueray and DVD. As Fing noted, the rips are enormous. If I rip one I always convert it to another format so it only takes up about 5GB.
    My life is slipping away
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    ......... Fingerle's Avatar
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    Seems most TVs have sufficient hardware to perform excellent upscaling of DVDs and other "standard" format media.

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    Hell's Very Own Grogan's Avatar
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    They are so afraid that someone is actually going to enjoy a movie, it seems.

    The only blu ray movies I will watch, will have BDRip in the filename of the torrent

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    After Read this Rate the Nut s camerseni's Avatar
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    That HP was much more difficult because the Motherboard has HP DRM and Needed their Player and Drivers and Video Card. If you have a home built system most new Video Cards with
    512 ram and up should do the trick. DVI or HDMI is also important. I like Cyberlink Power DVD 11 and Corel WinDVD Pro.v11 the best. The Corel is cheaper and Very good.
    Most of what I do now with the Blu is Downloading MKV's and Converting them to Blu-Rays. It takes almost all day to do one Movie. The Quality can be Amazing and very close to a bought
    Blu-Ray. For some reason it is not as good in the MKV as the finished Blu Movie. The Audio is especially better. If you want to get into processing BluRay files a quad core or more CPU is
    important. Watching not so much.

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    ......... Fingerle's Avatar
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    Been a long time since I've played with WinDVD.

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    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    I fitted the video card, disabled onboard graphics and I had Bluray playback with sound, looked pretty good to me.

    I then installed the Nvidia drivers for the GT520 card and after that I have video playback but no audio. I'm using a TV as a monitor with DVI out from the video card to HDMI in on the TV and after installing Nvidia drivers the sound output somehow made the TV speakers default. For my audio out I'm using the optical S/PDIF output to a DAC then into a normal hi-fi audio amplifier, plain stereo.

    All audio and video files playback ok with audio but a Bluray disk in CyberlinkDVD has no audio. I've messed with the player's settings but to no avail. I did get audio out briefly when I set the player's audio out to 'primary audio only' but then it just went away again. I looked at the Nvidia control panel and it had set the TV as the default audio out device. The only other option there was to 'disable audio' so I did but it made no difference. I wonder why video drivers have an audio facility. The motherboard chipset, incidentaly, is Nvidia.

    I'm baffled. Only other things I can think to try are taking the analogue output from the onboard sound rather than the optical digital and bypass the DAC and go straight into the audio amp. Or I may take the Creative X-Fi audio sound card out of another computer and try that. Sure is a lot of kerfuffing about.

    EDIT: The Creative card has no optical out so I'll have to forget that option.

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    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    When I installed the Nvidia drivers I ticked the 'recommended' box instead of custom setup and Nvidia audio drivers were installed. It saw the TV through DVI/HDMI cable and set it up as default audio playback device. However, uninstalling vidia audio drivers made no difference. So I got me's a cracked copy of Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre 5 and after some tinkering I now have video and audio playback within that software. And sometimes a firewall is a marvellous thing

    I only have one Bluray disk atm, popped out yesterday early evening to local 2nd hand shop and bought 'Quantum Of Solace' for a fiver just to test the drive. I have Avatar extended edition and Das Boot both on Bluray ordered from Amazon, should arrive tomorrow. And that's it, three Bluray movies. The drive cost 67.50 and the Video card cost 42 a total of 109.50. Plus the cost of the movies, Avatar was 15 and Das Boot 6. I do wonder what possessed me, on reflection I don't think I should have bothered.

    I have 29 official DVD's and comparing the two formats Bluray most definitely has the edge in terms of quality but I'm not convinced it's worth the extra expense. It's not as if when you're engrossed in a good film you suddenly notice the quality and get the urge to whack off over it after all. I'd also overlooked the fact that Bluray is Sony's baby and I don't like Sony very much at all, had I realised that it would definitely have put me off, I won't even buy a Sony optical drive. My Bluray drive, incidentally, is an LG BH10LS38 and the video card is an Asus GT520 with 2Gb memory and no fan cooling, just a massive heatsink.

    I don't regret buying the video card, that was a worthwhile upgrade but had it not been for the Bluray drive's ability to burn massive data disks I would be severely regretting my decision.

    So, let me look on the bright side and look forward to watching Avatar. It probably won't be everybody's cup of Bovril but it does look to be the sort of movie I'll enjoy.

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    Hell's Very Own Grogan's Avatar
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    Avatar is a great movie... it's just Blu Ray that I hate. (I have a very high quality Blu Ray rip of Avatar, the extended edition)

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    ......... Fingerle's Avatar
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    Oooo.. Das Boot. Excellent movie. Didn't know they had it on BD. Last time I watched it the damn thing was on two DVDs. Had to swap disks halfway through. Might haveta wonder over to amazon.

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    Hell's Very Own Grogan's Avatar
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    Formatting a 30 year old movie for Blu Ray after the fact is pointless. It's not like they re-filmed it in high definition to make the Blu Ray edition. No, they just reformatted it for that resolution.

  16. #16
    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grogan View Post
    Formatting a 30 year old movie for Blu Ray after the fact is pointless. It's not like they re-filmed it in high definition to make the Blu Ray edition. No, they just reformatted it for that resolution.
    I did wonder about that. I saw Ben Hur on Bluray in the 2nd hand shop last night and thought to myself 'Is it really worth re-rendering a 1959 movie?'

    Here's the shop I went to btw, open til 20:00 if you're passing by

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    After Read this Rate the Nut s camerseni's Avatar
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    That's a good point to bring up. It is pointless to buy a collection of old films on Blu-Ray. If it was not filmed or made using HD your not going to see a true HD film. Just one formatted for
    HD and Just DVD quality.
    Grogan it's really funny you would mention that HP Blu-Ray system I was working on. It is right here again in my shop for an Update and cleanup. The guy that owns it did not know
    how to manage his Space and after copying and converting Blu-Ray files he filled up his Drive C:. Working with True HD files requires a lot more space. I had to configure all his Programs Temp Directories to point to a Partition with more space on his system. It's an awesome machine and one of the fastest I have worked on. This is the first time it's been here since I did it a year ago and it still runs great.

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    Dang! Has it been a year already? Wow time flies...

  19. #19
    After Read this Rate the Nut s camerseni's Avatar
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    I know what your mean. Years are starting feel like Months.

  20. #20
    Hell's Very Own Grogan's Avatar
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    Heheh... filling up C drives. I had a customer the other day who had bought a special gaming system while in the city. (Actually a very nice generic build with parts I would have used myself. Well done!)

    Except for one thing... the C drive is a 120 Gb SSD. I would not bother. It only helps in one way... seek times. When working with a lot of little files, there is a benefit. Not even under all circumstances either, because buffering and caching aids disk access anyway.

    Anyway, he has a 2 Tb mechanical drive but doesn't know how to use it and had that small C drive filled up in no time with torrent crap and the like. Most people just go with defaults. I changed the location of the My Documents, Music, PIctures directories etc. of 4 user profiles to the second hard disk and showed him how to install games and stuff to the big drive as well.

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