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Blu-Ray drives on PCs, worth while?

see317see317 Registered User regular
I was curious about your thoughts on this.
Personally, I think it seems likely that they'll never really come into their own in the same way as CD or DVD drives with more and more software moving to a digital download distribution model.
On the other hand, with PCs becoming more central to the entertainment center it seems a logical extension to just have the desktop replace the blu-ray player altogether.

see317 on
Ringo wrote: »
Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.

Posts

  • BolthornBolthorn Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If I didn't have a PS3, I would have put one in the HTPC that I recently built. I think if you're going to have a PC hooked up to a HDTV that you watch on a regular basis, why not go ahead and get a blu-ray drive for it? A burner might not be required with how expensive the media is, but a standard drive sounds like a good idea to me if you have a setup that can utilize the features of blu-ray.

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  • martyllianmartyllian Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Yes.

    Blu ray drive + video card capable of playing blu ray+software is about 200 dollars cheaper than a Playstation3.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If you watch blu-rays on your computer or use an HTPC yes, otherwise not so much. I suppose you could make an argument to use BD-R's for archival purposes, but I'd rather use hard drives, tape or offsite storage. You can score a standalone blu-ray player for under $100 if you just want to watch blu-rays on your tv but don't want to deal with a PC.

  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Playing a Blu-ray directly on your PC is agony. Here's my experience:

    * Install PowerDVD and some firmware update thing off a DVD
    * The firmware updater asks to have its permissions elevated every time I log in to windows
    * It turns off the hardware accelerated desktop when it's running, switching to "Basic" mode
    * It cranks up the volume of everything on the PC while running
    * It can crash during playback
    * Even if you go into windows settings and tell PowerDVD not to run after inserting the BD, it will friggin' run anyway because that's how it rolls. There is no option to disable this.

    A PS3 is less hassle by miles if you just want to stick in a disc and watch something.

    But a BD drive on a PC does let you rip movies, which can give you the best results of all. Rip with x264, constant quality 18-20 and you can get gorgeous 1080p .mkv files. Stick that on a network share and you'll be watching that HD movie in seconds. Even on the PS3 you can have really obnoxious Blu-ray boot times.

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  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Well you installed PowerDVD and expected results. TMT5 is much nicer (plus still plays HD-DVDs for the few out there).

    - Never have it ask me for elevated privledges (except when a patch is out, not very often, and you do it when you want to)
    - Doesnt have to turn off Aero (but I leave Aero off, since mine is on an HTPC with shit maximised 99% of the time
    - Doesnt touch my volume
    - Skips the bullshit because I ripped out the ads

    - PS3 is still easier if you dont mind the loading and some ads.

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  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I have it on my laptop (which also has hdmi out,) and do find it handy once in a while to have a portable blue ray player on hand.

    I don't have one in my PC, but frankly that's because with the one in the laptop I can still rip any bluray discs I buy, which is handy for my since my PC is also my home entertainment centre/server. So, for those uses, I'd say they're handy.

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  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    martyllian wrote: »
    Yes.

    Blu ray drive + video card capable of playing blu ray+software is about 200 dollars cheaper than a Playstation3.

    There's no way a Bluray Drive and video card costs 100 dollars.

    And even if you can find a drive that cheap, it probably either comes with awful bluray player software or no bluray player software at all.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    martyllian wrote: »
    Yes.

    Blu ray drive + video card capable of playing blu ray+software is about 200 dollars cheaper than a Playstation3.

    There's no way a Bluray Drive and video card costs 100 dollars.

    And even if you can find a drive that cheap, it probably either comes with awful bluray player software or no bluray player software at all.

    Blu-Ray Drive.

    Video Card.

    $92.97. With shipping. Little higher than I expected, because nothing's really on sale right now.

    That's an OEM drive, though, so you're right it won't have software. For that, you'll probably have to spring for the retail version, which is another $5...so $97.97. And you're also correct, that'll probably come with PowerDVD, which is substandard (but my experience was better than RandomEngy's...it at least worked fine).

    But like RE said, I don't watch Blu-Rays "live" on my HTPC...I throw 'em in, and rip 'em. Takes me about four clicks (and a couple hours) and I'm left with a 1080p .mkv file that plays just fine in XBMC.

    If you're already building (or already have) an HTPC, it's a no-brainer. However building a new HTPC from scratch will definitely change matters...that shit's a bit pricier, especially for something nice.

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Frankly I think that we're getting to the point where you can probably build a computer without any optical drive at all and get by pretty much fine. In ten years we'll be thinking of this question the way we used to talk about floppy disks.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Frankly I think that we're getting to the point where you can probably build a computer without any optical drive at all and get by pretty much fine. In ten years we'll be thinking of this question the way we used to talk about floppy disks.

    Depends what you're doing. If you're just doing standard "computer stuff," yeah...I really had to think about whether the $30 I spend on the DVD drive on my current desktop build was worth it. I decided that installing some base software (like Windows) was too much of a pain without it.

    DRM still makes it more difficult, though, for media-based computers. At least if you like using your own software. I can get "Digital Copies" of some of my Blu-Rays, and I can buy HD versions of most of the rest (if I didn't want a hard copy), but unifying it all into a single location/app would be a pain in the ass (if it's even possible) without locking myself in to a single vendor.

    Whereas I can rip all* my Blu-Rays (and DVDs) onto my HTPC, and load them all into the app of my choice (such as XBMC).

    Though you really only need a single optical drive in your house to do that; I could just as easily have a single Blu-Ray drive in my desktop, and no optical in my HTPC (and it would rip the movies faster, since my desktop has a faster processor). The only reason I go the other way around is because I do occasionally like to be able to pop a rented Blu-Ray in and just watch it "live," and using the HTPC as my standalone player is how I (in part) justified the cost.

    The single-app (of my choice!) thing is big, though. Every now and then I still poke around looking for a way to convert the .wtv files Windows Media Center creates into something XBMC will read (I don't even care about removing commercials, I wouldn't bother, I just want to change the format so I can use one player).


    * - "All" used loosely to allow for the cat-and-mouse copy-prevention schemes that pop up every now and then. As of right now, though, I only own one movie that I can't seem to get onto my hard drive.

  • Nakatomi2010Nakatomi2010 Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Frankly I think that we're getting to the point where you can probably build a computer without any optical drive at all and get by pretty much fine. In ten years we'll be thinking of this question the way we used to talk about floppy disks.

    You sir bring up a very valid point. In fact, it's tempting me to build my second server without an optical drive and just use that bay for more storage. I can isntall Windows from a thumb drive...


    I ran an HTPC with a BluRay/HDDVD drive. I used it for at least a year or two before phasing it out for a real BluRay player, on both TVs. they both stream NetFlix and Hulu, and for a total of 300$ between them.

    As for a BluRay player in a computer. Depends on whether or not you need you. Are you planning on watching a BluRay on your computer? If yes, then do it. If no, then don't worry about it. I don't think PC Games will be released on BluRays for awhile, if at all.

    Also bare in mind the PC itself has to be pretty good to start with. I was unable to watch BluRays till I'd gotten a quad core with at least 2GB of RAM, and a proper HD video card of some kind. And I ran into several problems over time with my HTPC, mostly just "Oh hey, you can't watch this movie until you update your PowerDVD version", and so on and so forth. Very annoying over all. sometimes the update wasn't always readily available either, had to wait a week or so. And the updates were important too, was the different between audio skipping at a certain sport, or the movie working at all.

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    Honest simple answer:

    - If your PC is connected to a TV or it's a media server/HTPC: yes.
    - If it's a gaming/work/internet PC that's far from a TV, don't bother.

    And, Azarazar (are you Brazilian? what's up with your nick?), one regular external HDD can hold 1TB, and that's a lot faster and easier to use than 43 bd-roms. I don't buy a new HDD every time I move files, i use the same one over and over.

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This discussion has been closed.