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Old 01-11-2021, 07:03 AM   #1
KingOfBunnies KingOfBunnies is offline
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Default Do I absolutely need to pay for a program to play Blu-rays?

Forgive me if there was a general thread for this. I hope I didn't miss it.

So, back in 2018 I bought a pre-built PC rather that build a new one. When I bought it, I decided to get a optical drive with it. It was a ASUS 12X Blu-ray Reader, DVD Rewriter Combo Drive. However, it can't play Blu-rays. DVDs it does just fine. Everywhere I go says to buy something like PowerDVD. Which, I guess I can buy, but I mainly use VLC. VLC says it can't play them without an AACS library. Which then tells me it has missing AACS configuration files when I use it. I know like $70 isn't a lot, but I'd rather not have to buy it if I don't need to.

Not in terms of doing anything illegal, but if there's an easier way to play Blu-rays on my PC and I don't have to shell out any money, I'd prefer that.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:50 AM   #2
janoroh janoroh is offline
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You can use a free BD Player software like Leawo. It's not as Powerful as PowerDVD, but does the job and is free: https://www.leawo.org/blu-ray-player/
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Old 01-15-2021, 02:32 AM   #3
BijouMan BijouMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfBunnies View Post
Forgive me if there was a general thread for this. I hope I didn't miss it.

So, back in 2018 I bought a pre-built PC rather that build a new one. When I bought it, I decided to get a optical drive with it. It was a ASUS 12X Blu-ray Reader, DVD Rewriter Combo Drive. However, it can't play Blu-rays. DVDs it does just fine. Everywhere I go says to buy something like PowerDVD. Which, I guess I can buy, but I mainly use VLC. VLC says it can't play them without an AACS library. Which then tells me it has missing AACS configuration files when I use it. I know like $70 isn't a lot, but I'd rather not have to buy it if I don't need to.

Not in terms of doing anything illegal, but if there's an easier way to play Blu-rays on my PC and I don't have to shell out any money, I'd prefer that.
It is illegal to attempt to play a(n) (Ultra HD) Blu-ray Disc using software not legally licensed by the Blu-ray Disc Association. Only legal playback software can properly use a combination of the drive’s keys and computer hardware to securely decrypt the disc. Proper software will also allow you to use all of your discs’ functions just like when you play them on your home player.

Last edited by BijouMan; 01-15-2021 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:47 AM   #4
PhysicalMediaNut PhysicalMediaNut is offline
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I used to be Powerdvd all the way. Now I’m not so sure. I would say you should try to find a workaround even if it is a bit time consuming. I think there are better alternatives out there if you are willing to put the time in.

Edit: I should mention that I have Powerdvd 19. I’m just not happy with the quality of image that the software provides. All of the image enhancements are terrible also.

Last edited by PhysicalMediaNut; 01-23-2021 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:30 AM   #5
hariseldon hariseldon is offline
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The freeware Leawo player seems to work fine -- clunky interface, but it has some advantages as well. As far as I can tell it's a legal player

I don't use it much on my PC, but I occasionally load up a disc to watch a scene or extra when i don't won't to fire up the standalone player.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:16 PM   #6
Jonathan McLeod Jonathan McLeod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BijouMan View Post
It is illegal to attempt to play a(n) (Ultra HD) Blu-ray Disc using software not legally licensed by the Blu-ray Disc Association.
Maybe in the US. No such restrictions in Europe.
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:17 PM   #7
ps3bd_owner ps3bd_owner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan McLeod View Post
Maybe in the US. No such restrictions in Europe.
In Europe-EU countries, I assume. Non-EU countries could have different laws.

The U.K. for example is going through various changes.
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:47 AM   #8
DVD Phreak DVD Phreak is offline
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Leawo can't show the original menus, so it uses made-up menus for navigating content. Sometimes it can't detect all content, and you wouldn't be able to play it. And you wouldn't know you are missing content unless you have a real Blu-ray player to compare it to. The only Blu-ray players that let you view BDs on a PC with original menus and content are PowerDVD and WinDVD, because they are the only industry-licensed players. All others aren't.

DVD playback isn't free either, and has to be licensed too. But VLC uses a loophole by basing its operation in a country (France) that allows DVD playback to be free. If VLC were made in the US, it would have to pay licensing fee for DVD too. Windows used to have free DVD playback built-in but it stopped paying for the license because watching movies on PCs stopped being a thing anymore.

In short, if you want to play BDs on PCs today, expect to pay -- either by buying a licensed player or by forgoing some features with a free player.

Last edited by DVD Phreak; 01-28-2021 at 01:52 AM.
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