1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Looking into external Blu-Ray drives (Was: An old poster looking to do something new...)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by John Kilduff, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I've become somewhat of an oddity around here for not upgrading to Blu-Ray yet, but I'm planning on remedying that in the next year. I currently watch movies on my computer, and those movies are on DVDs. I didn't think to ask for a Blu-Ray player when buying a new computer in 2012, but in 2015, I'd like to buy one. My question is: Do they make external Blu-Ray drives for computers, and if they do, what would be the best one to go with? I know I'm almost a decade late to the party, but I figure better late than never.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    One of the reasons I'm looking to get an external Blu-Ray player is because studios like Shout! Factory aren't doing Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs, and there are some titles I'd like to pick up.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that my computer is a PC, so the options should be for that, and not a Mac.
     
  2. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned
    BANNED

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    2,445
    Likes Received:
    381
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    EricJ
    Yep, combos are going by the wayside, as, sadly, are internal disk drives. :(
    (My latest iMac abandoned the disk drive long ago, which means I can't watch my old DVD's on the screen without an Apple peripheral drive, which are reportedly pretty chintzy compared to the built-in ones we used to get.)

    I'm not sure why the insistence on watching movies on the computer rather than the living room, but most computer-watching has now been the domain of streaming--Which all those free Digital HD codes that Blu's are now combo'ed with have helped fill up.
    But Blu's pretty much the standard for the living room by now, and DVD's just stuck in the middle between convenient low-def streaming and quality hard-disk, not able to be one or the other.
     
  3. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,909
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    I got a Samsung USB blu-ray drive at Amazon for $80 and it works great. The best part is it is a MUCH faster drive for ripping than the one in my computer.
     
  4. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Sounds good...Is it region free, though? I know that Europe has some Blu-Rays that haven't been released in America yet, presumably due to rights issues. I'm thinking of the Arrow Video versions of "The Last American Virgin" and "Runaway Train", for example.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    These special editions could help me out with research into future interview subjects.
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    52,454
    Likes Received:
    14,852
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Hey, John! Welcome home!

    Don't be a stranger! :D
     
    TonyD likes this.
  6. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Well, I'm eyeing several external Blu-Ray drives on Amazon, but I'm still somewhat confused. For example, I'm seeing things about purchasing software to ensure playback on PCs, and the listings won't say whether these drives are All Region or not. As someone who will be a newbie to Blu-Ray, I want to make sure I have the right information and the right technology when I make the leap next year.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    I chose next year because I have some holiday purchases to make and an Indiegogo project I promised a Facebook friend I would donate to. After all that, though, I'll be making my Blu-Ray purchase.
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    17,111
    Likes Received:
    905
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
    Real Name:
    Sam
    I haven't looked, but...change terminology used.There is no such thing as "All Region Blu Ray".It is "Multi Region Blu Ray".Subtle and semantic...Makes an enormous difference in the lingo from DVD to BD.(Basically the "catch all" code '0' that existed for DVD. Not happening for Blu. Everything Multi Region for Blu is set A, B or C before each use.)
     
  8. Stan

    Stan Producer

    Joined:
    May 18, 1999
    Messages:
    5,177
    Likes Received:
    966
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    John, you're not alone.
    I've got a Toshiba DVD player from 1998 :eek: Never had a problem so never upgraded, but no HD outputs, so falling behind. Also bought a new laptop two years ago. Chose the DVD option, then reconsidered and the next day called back to pay the extra $25 for Blu-Ray, seriously only $25! To late, it was already being shipped, no changes allowed. Special deal for university students so got a really good price, but couldn't change the order.Also searching for a similar solution like you are, will have to watch this thread.
     
  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    17,111
    Likes Received:
    905
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
    Real Name:
    Sam
    The Blu drives themselves are "dumb". Once connected to a computer...it is the software that becomes region coded.I've seen threads from years ago that basically say...You need two drives and two separate software on your laptop. Those two can NOT be the exact same. Set one A, the other B.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    22,746
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
  11. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,909
    Likes Received:
    1,430
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    I don't use my blu-ray drive for playback, only for reading disks without playing them, so I have never set the region on my drive. I do have a DVD drive set to region 2 though. It came with software to reset the number of region changes as many times as I want, but I just leave it at region 2.
     
  12. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I have a good idea of which player I'll be going with for my computer, but I won't be able to order it for a couple of months yet. Once I knock down some credit card debt, I'll purchase a Blu-Ray player. I'm thinking I'll be making the order some time in the Spring. I look forward to purchasing the Shout! Factory titles that have interested me.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    The Disney titles as well, since both Shout! and Disney tend to really load up their Blu-Rays with extras.
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    22,746
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
  14. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Well, it's been a little over a year since I was last active in this thread, and I still haven't purchased an external Blu-Ray player for my computer, mainly because I'm still looking for a Multi-Region Blu-Ray player that I can use a USB cord to connect to my PC. I forget what model I was planning on purchasing as mentioned in the last post I made in this thread, but I didn't see anything about a USB connection or Multi-Region playback. The Samsung suggested in Dave F's link back in 2014 did look intriguing, but it didn't say anything about being Multi-Region...At least, not that I saw.

    Why is Multi-Region important to me? It's important for the reason that I've found that, in some cases, the European Blu-Rays of movies have better special features than the American ones. As an example, Arrow Video released a European Blu-Ray of "The Last American Virgin" that had some substantial extras in terms of interviews and the like. The American Olive Films Blu-Ray, by comparison, is bare-bones, lacking even the theatrical trailer that was on the previous MGM DVD. That's just one example of what I'm getting at. There are others as well, but I don't want to take up time listing them.

    I've asked on websites like Amazon and 220 about whether the Multi-Region players they sell can connect to a PC, and I was told that none of them can do that. Since you're all pros of home theater, is is true that there are no Multi-Region Blu-Ray players that can connect to a PC?

    As for why I watch movies on my computer, as asked by one or two posters in this thread, my computer is where I do most everything in terms of leisure activities. I never built a fancy home theater set-up for the DVDs I've purchased over the years. I usually just watched them on a computer. It's a little unusual, to be sure, but that's just how I'm used to doing things.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff....

    I've always been rather unusual.
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    22,746
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
    Is it important that you watch movies "on your computer" or that you can watch them on the same monitor? That is, get an HD monitor with multiple HDMI inputs and a standalone Blu-ray player.

    If there is no solution to your problem, you might have to determine the priorities to find a different solution.
     
  16. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    This is where it gets confusing for me, mainly because I never devoted the same passion to the hardware as I did to the software. I would really need to think about the matter of monitors and things like that. I suppose I could get a different monitor than the one I currently have, but I would need assistance with that, as technology isn't my strong suit.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    If there are no such things as Multi-Region Blu-Ray players you can plug into your computer, are there Blu-Ray players coded to Region A that you can plug in instead?
     
  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    52,454
    Likes Received:
    14,852
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Rensselaer, NY
    Hey John.

    As noted above, there seem to be plenty of External Blu-ray Players available which would connect to your PC via USB.

    The issue is the software. There doesn't seem to be (based on a quick Google search on the subject) a good, reliable PC software which allows multi-region Blu playback. But there are plenty which are good at single-region playback.

    Or, as DaveF points out: You could get a new monitor with multiple inputs and hook up a multi-region free-standing Blu player to it (alongside your PC). In that scenario, you would need to figure out your audio options. Do you use speakers built into the monitor for playback...or do you use external PC speakers that operate off your sound card?
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    22,746
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
  19. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Messages:
    5,971
    Likes Received:
    3,535
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Somewhere in Canada
    Real Name:
    Anthony
    Hi John!

    Perhaps the following may be of some use to you:

    Last spring, I received an External Pioneer Blu-ray Burner, which I use for my Acer PC Laptop. On the software end, there is free Leawo Blu-ray Player that can be readily downloaded online. Within the Player settings, there is a Forced BD Player setting, which allows for setting the Region Code to A, B or C. As I only have Region A and Multi Region ABC Blu-ray discs, I can't really put the function to a proper test, unfortunately. I've selected for Forced Region C playback, but the Leawo Player software still plays my Region A discs, which I had assumed it would not do. Perhaps somebody who has Region B and or C Blu-rays can use this to better determine whether or not this feature actually works as advertised!

    I'll let you know if I can find out anything more regarding this!

    CHEERS! :)

    Tony
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    22,746
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
    for the monitor, if your PC has HDMI output, every current HD TV is a monitor.

    We're back to the '80s, after a fashion, where TVs are again the computer displays. (But without the terrible RF adapter and channel 3/4 confusion :) )
     

Share This Page