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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 Producer

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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 Screenwriter
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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 Screenwriter
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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..
     
  12. DaleLewis

    DaleLewis Auditioning

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    I keep trying the new releases of freeware players, complete with the MadVR enhancements... and endless tweaking...and I keep coming back to Mirillis Spash. It simply produces what I regard as the best picture, on my rather "dated" Mitsubishi 82" HDTV. Splash, itself is rather dated, and it's followers keep begging for a 3.0 update, but with it's picture enhancements features, , it still beats MadVR, in my estimation.
     
  13. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I have a more recent free version of Leawo, which also does full 1080p resolution snapshots. One downside is that the disc menu doesn't display for some Blu-rays, although this can usually be circumvented by using the titles sidebar that displays on the right hand side.

    CHEERS! :)
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I’ve not heard of Mirillis Splash. What’s it do compared to other players?
     
  15. John Dirk

    John Dirk Screenwriter
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    I also hadn't heard of this player. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!!! It looks like the Premium Home version costs $20.00 but it does seem to give you a good set of basic features absolutely free.

    For me It always boils down to the same thing. "Freeware" is great but you can't expect regular updates or even stable performance. I haven't yet tried Mirillis Spash so I don't mean to imply it is unstable. On the other hand, JRiver is an excellent product and is constantly updated. The single OS license costs about $50.00 and you also have to pay for major version upgrades so it's clearly more expensive over time. While I use Kodi here and there and feel it is, all things considered an amazing solution, ultimately I need reliable software since I don't have the expertise to fix it if it is not. When it comes to hardware I can usually solve my own problems.
     
  16. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    I was running Cyberlink PowerDVD 12 (free download) for my LG external bluray R/W; it worked really well until recently I got a message saying no disc in player (there was, I checked) and a message saying version 12 no longer supports Windows 10. It invited me to purchase PowerDVD 17 for about 60 bucks. I haven't yet; hoping for a viable, preferably free, alternative.
     

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