Reviving a neglected HTPC - what's the latest/greatest BluRay software

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by MeghanA, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. MeghanA

    MeghanA Extra

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    After a year of neglect and a couple years of stasis before that, I'm finally reviving my Win7 Media PC for BluRay playback. Everything is up and running with HDMI, AnyDVD, and (technically) functional playback.


    However, I'm currently using a 3+ year old version of ArcSoft Total Media Theater for my BluRay playback, and not only is it showing its age it has developed a bizarre habit of not using the full display, instead putting a blue border around the edge of every movie. NOT.COOL.


    So, since I know BluRay tech has come a long way since I last looked, what is the newest/greatest/best software for playing BluRay on a Windows Media Center PC? It looks like ArcSoft is out of the game anc Cyberlink is still distributed with every BluRay drive, is there anything else out there?


    Thanks!
     
  2. DaiTengu

    DaiTengu Server Admin
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    Cyberlink and Arcsoft are probably still the two bits of software that are "stable" and "working". If you like tinkering, there's a free solution called PotPlayer that has a pretty devoted following. I haven't used it personally, though, as I've pretty much given up on watching blu-rays via a HTPC due to buggy / unsupported / expensive software a long time ago.


    Maybe I'll tinker with it a bit when I get some free time.
     
  3. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Screenwriter

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    Ok.
    I can't believe how I didn't know about this, but I just found perhaps the best bluray software out there?
    It's free, it's Region Free and you don't need to run AnyDVD or anything else (i don't know how they do it) to play Bluray discs of whatever region.
    I was trying to play Stanley and Iris, which is my latest Bluray, and nothing worked, but THIS worked!

    Leawo Bluray Player

    The only thing is this:
    I have a Region B Bluray drive, and in Criterions which are Region A locked, it couldn't play the menu.
    I did have access to the menu though in Region Free or Region B discs.

    note: I haven't watched a full movie in this player yet.
     
  4. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Screenwriter

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    Also freeware is VLC Media player ...
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I like Cyberlink's PowerDVD (I bought it). It's stable, plays DVD and blu-ray, does 3D, and can also play video files particularly 3D MVC files. It supports bistreaming, so Atmos works. It's not region free. And version 16 doesn't seem to handle PIP video commentaries right. But in all other ways it's a fully functional player.
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Cinematographer

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    VLC requires a lot of elbow grease to work properly with bluray discs, without resorting to "grey market" programs.
     
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  7. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    I prefer Corel Windvd honestly. Cyberlink has a serious stuttering problem on my computer and also has trouble playing back 7.1 content for some reason.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    WinDVD 11 was missing key features when I was shopping last year. Version 12 looks like it's been substantially improved.
     
  9. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    Surprised jRiver didn't get a mention here. It's a very comprehensive HT solution, although perhaps geared more for audio. I am [laugh if you must] just getting into 3D and was disappointed with how jRiver handled my first attempts, Avatar and Titanic. It basically didn't handle them but on all other levels it's a pretty good product though certainly not free.
     
  10. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    Thanks for the information. I hadn't heard about this one but I'm giving it a spin tonight.
     
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  11. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Screenwriter

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    VLC needs AnyDVd running or another decryption software to play original Blurays.
    This does not!

    I don't know how.
    I played Stanley and Iris (a 2017 bluray) perfectly fine,
    I see the last version of the player was in 2015. Hope it plays other new Blurays too..
     

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