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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read a lot of threads around here and I can't seem to find much consensus on this topic, so I'm hoping to get some clarity. Apologies if this is not the appropriate subforum; please feel free to move if necessary.


Basically I just built my first HTPC and failed to consider the purchase of blu-ray software. So I'm wondering what people think the best choice of blu-ray software would be.


Mostly I'm just looking for the cheapest thing out there. (I assume there's nothing free due to the licensing.) Pluses would be decent DVD upscaling, WMC integration, lack of bloat, etc.


I tried the demos for TotalMedia Theatre, WinDVD, and PowerDVD, but none of them worked. I assume that's because they're trial versions. I did go into Explorer and confirm that the drive can actually see the files on the blu-ray disc.


Thoughts?


Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostclusters /forum/post/19633483


I think MPC-HC plays just about everything and it is still free, afaik.

does not play blu-ray. there is currently no free blu-ray playing software.


can play blu-ray mkv rips though. which you can still do for free.


EDIT: if you want completely free, download makemkv (free while in beta) or another eacui to gui and rip the movie to your hdd. then play it with mpc-hc. you will lose the disc menu but can keep everything else (hd audio, chapters, and subtitles).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojangles139
does not play blu-ray. there is currently no free blu-ray playing software.


can play blu-ray mkv rips though. which you can still do for free.


EDIT: if you want completely free, download makemkv (free while in beta) or another eacui to gui and rip the movie to your hdd. then play it with mpc-hc. you will lose the disc menu but can keep everything else (hd audio, chapters, and subtitles).
MPC-HC does play blu-ray...


I have this installed and use for comparing TMT / PDVD quality...


The only major difference I know is that MPC-HC doesn't support BD-Live et al...


With FFDSHOW correctly configured MPC-HC bitstreams HD audio as well...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by abw1987 /forum/post/19633214


I tried the demos for TotalMedia Theatre, WinDVD, and PowerDVD, but none of them worked. I assume that's because they're trial versions.

I just recently finished trials of all three of those. I could not get the WinDVD product to work, but the other two worked fine.


The one I ended up buying was PowerDVD, mainly because it's so similar to WMC if you configure it a certain way, but also because it was easy to configure/change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer /forum/post/19633246


TMT3 (or the newer TMT5) gets my vote.

Seems like most people recommend this. I'm just a bit hesitant because the trial version didn't work on my computer, and I'd rather not spend $100 (which is way more than I was hoping to spend anyway) on something without knowing it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostclusters /forum/post/19633483


I think MPC-HC plays just about everything and it is still free, afaik.
Quote:
Originally Posted by balky /forum/post/19634089


MPC-HC does play blu-ray...


I have this installed and use for comparing TMT / PDVD quality...


The only major difference I know is that MPC-HC doesn't support BD-Live et al...


With FFDSHOW correctly configured MPC-HC bitstreams HD audio as well...

That sounds good but then wouldn't I still need some software to decode the blu-ray (such as AnyDVD HD, which would mean spending like $65 anyway)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojangles139 /forum/post/19633601


does not play blu-ray. there is currently no free blu-ray playing software.


can play blu-ray mkv rips though. which you can still do for free.


EDIT: if you want completely free, download makemkv (free while in beta) or another eacui to gui and rip the movie to your hdd. then play it with mpc-hc. you will lose the disc menu but can keep everything else (hd audio, chapters, and subtitles).

That's certainly something to explore although I really just want to be able to pop a disc into my drive and play it, without having to first worry about ripping it. Especially since I mostly play BDs from Netflix, rather than my own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob7145 /forum/post/19633914


I bought a read only BR drive for cheap and it came with Cyberlink PDVD_8 OEM 2channel audio that plays BR so I bought the PDVD10.0 Ultra Upgrade (3D, 2D to 3D) @ a discount.

Thanks. Unfortunately, like TMT above, the trial wouldn't play a blu-ray disc, so I don't know if I should trust it. If this is due to the fact that it's merely a trial version, I'd like to understand what the pros and cons are between TMT and PDVD before I pull the trigger.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by balky /forum/post/19634089


MPC-HC does play blu-ray...


I have this installed and use for comparing TMT / PDVD quality...


The only major difference I know is that MPC-HC doesn't support BD-Live et al...


With FFDSHOW correctly configured MPC-HC bitstreams HD audio as well...

aite, i have a blu-ray folder structure and i tried it out. yes, mpc loaded the movie up but it does not have the menu, chapter or subtitle support. all it does is play the .mt2s video file.


while it will play it, it does not decrypt the movie (meaning need anydvd or dvd's passkey) or have a lot of functions that you could other wise get from a ripped mkv or a full software player.


if it was me, i'd look for the one that has the best 7mc integration. beyond that, i think they are all pretty much the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojangles139 /forum/post/19635362


aite, i have a blu-ray folder structure and i tried it out. yes, mpc loaded the movie up but it does not have the menu, chapter or subtitle support. all it does is play the .mt2s video file.


while it will play it, it does not decrypt the movie (meaning need anydvd or dvd's passkey) or have a lot of functions that you could other wise get from a ripped mkv or a full software player.


if it was me, i'd look for the one that has the best 7mc integration. beyond that, i think they are all pretty much the same.

I just downloaded the AnyDVDHD trial and can confirm that watching blu-ray movies does work in MPCHC. Of course there's no menu etc like you said. So it's kind of a ragtag solution. If I'm going to spend $65 on AnyDVD, I'd might as well spend the money on a real blu-ray software suite.


But anyway at least I now know that my computer can handle blu ray movies completely stutter-free.


So I mean, if it's down to PowerDVD, WinDVD, and TMT, which would you guys recommend? (Or is there another decent software that I am forgetting?)


Thanks.
 

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I vote for TMT5. It has great support (both here and on the user forum, though their own tech support is about the same as everyone else's). It does a great job upscaling DVDs, and does a bit more...all without the horrific bloatware that is added to PDVD.


EDIT: I also want to say that AnyDVD HD is an excellent purchase (buy the lifetime subscription). When the studios screw over the Player program makers (by changing things around on them) and the player makers have to issue patches, you can fire up AnyDVD HD and it strips the protection off the disc so you can play. It also allows you to rip your BR to the HDD, which is what I do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by abw1987 /forum/post/19635403


I just downloaded the AnyDVDHD trial and can confirm that watching blu-ray movies does work in MPCHC. Of course there's no menu etc like you said. So it's kind of a ragtag solution. If I'm going to spend $65 on AnyDVD, I'd might as well spend the money on a real blu-ray software suite.


But anyway at least I now know that my computer can handle blu ray movies completely stutter-free.


So I mean, if it's down to PowerDVD, WinDVD, and TMT, which would you guys recommend? (Or is there another decent software that I am forgetting?)


Thanks.

My vote goes to TMT5...



If you wish to bitstream HD audio in MKV's then you will need to MPC-HC installed and setup with FFDSHOW... no alternative...


If you can live with TMT converting MKV audio to PCM, then you're golden... in that case TMT5 will be all you need.


But nevertheless, if you wish to pop in ANY movie disc (new, brand new, very brand new, very very brand new) without any worries about new BR protection, HDCP encryption et al you will definitely need to have AnyDVD-HD running in the background...


AnyDVDHD + TMT5 is worth the investment IMO ...



At the end of the day, you will realize how nice it is to rip your original disc to iso with AnyDVD-HD and use mediabrowser (or an alternative) to enjoy your media from the couch.


I remember when avatar first came out on blu-ray... I watched it the same day the disc was delivered... thanks to AnyDVD-HD.

Majority of the others had to wait until the patch to play avatar was out before they could watch their legally obtained copy on their HDCP compliant systems...
 

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I've used TMT and PDVD for years and learned to hate both of them. Every time I upgraded either one, something would go wrong. Additionally, they both had a complicated set of sound/video settings that I could never understand nor get quite right. Then I found Corel WinDVD Pro. It's much cheaper than TMT and PDVD, AND it works right out of the box. Not only did it bitstream DTS HD for me without having to go into special audio settings, it even played a my dts audio cd's -- neither TMT or PDVD would play them. At the price, you can't beat it.


If you do try the free trial download, just like TMT and PDVD, you won't be able to play blu-ray so you will need to buy it to really see what it does. But I thought it also did a great job with upscaling my standard dvd's as well.


Here's the link:
http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satelli...1&tabview=tab0
 

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Which one offers the best integration with 7MC?


I'm currently using Mediabrowser which automounts (VCD) an iso and then launches PDVD7.3 externally. Mediabrowser is finicky when it comes to minimizing 7MC, and even when it does minimize 7MC and launch PDVD correctly, it's still kinda kludgy looking, and the WAF is very low. Is the new version of PDVD any better? Howabout TMT and WinDVD?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you for all the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage /forum/post/19636350


TMT5... without the horrific bloatware that is added to PDVD.

Good to know, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage /forum/post/19636350


I also want to say that AnyDVD HD is an excellent purchase (buy the lifetime subscription). When the studios screw over the Player program makers (by changing things around on them) and the player makers have to issue patches, you can fire up AnyDVD HD and it strips the protection off the disc so you can play. It also allows you to rip your BR to the HDD, which is what I do.

Yeah, I'm considering it. As I understand, the lifetime subscription won't be available much longer anyway. But man, even with the current 20% discount it's ~$115 - which I can afford, but I just can't fathom having to spend that much on a hardware that merely decrypts a disc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer /forum/post/19637709


"None of them worked" is pretty vague - exactly what didn't work?

All of the software installed correctly, but wouldn't play blu-rays, each giving me some error or just sitting there doing nothing. I presume this is because they are trial versions. But as noted above, the AnyDVD trial does work (otherwise what would the point of its trial be, haha).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wooddog /forum/post/19638063


Arcsoft has a 35% off storewide sale. The coupon is XMAS2010. You can get TMT 5 for $65

Very helpful, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by balky /forum/post/19638998


AnyDVDHD + TMT5 is worth the investment IMO ...

That seems to be the general consensus!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nalawod /forum/post/19639748


Then I found Corel WinDVD Pro. It's much cheaper than TMT and PDVD, AND it works right out of the box. Not only did it bitstream DTS HD for me without having to go into special audio settings, it even played a my dts audio cd's -- neither TMT or PDVD would play them. At the price, you can't beat it.

Hahaha, aw man, just when I think I have a definitive answer, I read a post like this. Can anyone explain why TMT and/or AnyDVDHD would be worth more than this?



So even if I do pull the trigger on TMT ($65 on sale) + AnyDVD HD ($115 lifetime) = total $180, which seems ludicrous to me, will I be all set? What's the deal with licenses? Can I install these on as many HTPCs as I end up building? Or will I have to plan on shelling out $200 for software every time I build a new machine?


Thanks again for the responses; you guys are the best, Jerry, the best.
 
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