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  Blu-Ray: OEM Drives and Freeware HDCP Playback? 
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john albrich Oct 29, 2010, 01:19pm EDT Report Abuse
Does anyone have any successful experience with Blu-ray drives (e.g. OEM drive offers on newegg, etc) and Freeware HDCP playback software?

A recent blu-ray OEM drive offer has me seriously considering adding it to my system, but no software is provided, or when it is's trialware and you end up having to buy $50+ blu-ray specific software anyway.

VLC Media Player (freeware) has blu-ray and HD codecs, and

Media Player Classic Home Cinema Edition 1.4.2499.0 (freeware) claims to support blu-ray playback (in the description)

but I've not seen anyone claim actual success with either, and there are some posts that report they did NOT succeed.

clarify that HDCP playback is the issue

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Meats_Of_Evil Oct 29, 2010, 02:50pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Blu-Ray: OEM Drives and Freeware Playback Software?
I think a lot of Freeware media players already support Blu-ray playback. If it were me I would search for one bundled with powerDVD 9 or something.

Everything I write is Sarcasm.
john albrich Oct 29, 2010, 03:56pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Blu-Ray: OEM Drives and Freeware Playback Software?

As I understand it, that's only if the content is NOT protected using HDCP, and even then, only some freeware playback software handles Blu-ray.

I'm guessing that freeware doesn't routinely handle Blu-ray HDCP content because the programmer would have to buy a license to incorporate the code to do so.

I've also read that even when people buy a package like PowerDVD, they are having to update the software every few months to update some kind of HDCP eventually they likely will have to buy "the latest" version of the software to continue getting updates...assuming it follows most retail software models.

I don't know why it seems to be so different from standalone Blu-ray players, since all the HDCP compliant hardware still has to be in place, but that seems to be the case.

john albrich Nov 28, 2010, 09:22pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Blu-Ray: OEM Drives and Freeware HDCP Playback?

From what I've been able to find out, another aspect of at least some freeware that plays Blu-ray discs, is that they will play the movie, but they don't actually play it in any HD (720i to 1080p) mode, and the audio is restricted to CD quality only.

So yeah...they can technically CLAIM they play Blu-ray movies, but you don't get everything out of it you would expect.

In other words, the full 1080p and Dolby 5.1+ theatre quality output you would expect to get from a Blu-ray movie is intentionally restricted to "DVD quality" on the video, and CD TWO-channel only on the audio...even when your hardware supports HDCP and full-blown HD everything.



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