Originally Posted by chucky2
Does anyone know if it's been confirmed if the existing PC drives that support BDXL will natively be able to handle ULTRA HD BLU-RAY? All I see are assumptions, no actual official press release stating that BDXL will be format.
I believe the format is the same, but the current drives would probably need at least a f/w upgrade to support the new UHD Bluray discs, so I would wait until BDXL drives advertise full UHD Bluray compatibility (or early adopters/existing owners report full compatibility) before buying a specific model. That's unlikely to happen until the first discs are released towards the end of the year.
Then you would obviously need not only software to be updated to play the discs - either licensed like PowerDVD or unlicensed like jRiver, XBMC, MPC-HC etc once/if HDCP 2.2 protection is cracked - but depending on the power of your CPU you might also need a GPU supporting hardware acceleration for HEVC, as well as supporting HDCP 2.2 to be able to use a licensed player.
So I do plan to upgrade my HTPC with a BDXL drive and a GPU supporting HDMI 2.0 level A, HDCP 2.2 and HEVC h/w acceleration, but the products are not there yet.
In theory though, this will be all you need to be able to play UHD BD on a PC.
The big question is whether the BDA would grant a license to an official player like PowerDVD, as if I remember correctly it is licensed players on PC which allowed to crack the last HDCP version. They might have learnt from that...