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-   -   I'm thinking of getting a Blu-ray drive for my computer (some questions) (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=114614)

Urzu 7 2012-09-08 02:08

I'm thinking of getting a Blu-ray drive for my computer (some questions)
 
I'm thinking of getting a Blu-ray drive for my computer because I'd like to be able to start buying anime on Blu-ray. I started looking up Blu-ray drives on newegg, and I read reviews and I found out that you need software that will play Blu-rays in order to watch Blu-rays.

I use Media Player Classic, which is free. Will that allow me to watch Blu-ray discs? Or do I need to buy Blu-ray software? Or is there another good free media player that will play Blu-rays?

If my only solution is software you have to pay for, are there any good products for playing Blu-ray discs (for the U.S. market)?

-KarumA- 2012-09-08 03:42

They have some suggestions and can cover some basic questions you might have; http://lifehacker.com/5806252/how-ca...on-my-computer

SeijiSensei 2012-09-08 09:26

This subject has come up for discussion on ANN recently.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/....php?t=1170768

I think buying a standalone player and connecting it to a TV or monitor with HDMI makes much more sense than buying a drive for your computer. A decent player can be had for about $100, sometimes a bit less, and it should work with nearly everything. Over in the ANN thread potatochobit claims that the decryption keys in BD software for computers expire after a couple of years. I don't know whether that's true, but it isn't likely to be the case with a physical player. You might need to upgrade the firmware occasionally though.

(It looks as though the prices on BD players have gone up since I last checked them at the beginning of the year. Is this my imagination, or an accurate perception of prices?)

You can browse this thread for suggestions. The Panasonic 220 gets a lot of favorable reviews.

Urzu 7 2012-09-08 12:28

Karuma, thanks for the link. That info could be of help.

SeijiSensei, I have a PS3 so I could watch blu-rays off of that and watch them on a HDTV. My preferred way to watch anime is with headphones, so I watch anime on my computer. That alone doesn't make it worthwhile to get a blu-ray drive, but I would like a blu-ray drive so that I could rip some anime blu-rays to my hard drive, as well. I found a blu-ray drive with good reviews for $50 or $55 (one of the two), which is great. I was thinking I was gonna have to pay $100-$120.

SeijiSensei 2012-09-08 16:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urzu 7 (Post 4341827)
SeijiSensei, I have a PS3 so I could watch blu-rays off of that and watch them on a HDTV. My preferred way to watch anime is with headphones, so I watch anime on my computer.

I, too, have a PS3 and enjoy watching Blu-rays with my surround sound setup. Most anime is recorded in Dolby 2.0, though, so surround isn't as big of a deal for those. (There are exceptions like Ghost Hound, but they are uncommon.) R1 licensors actually remix the Japanese audio tracks to create 5.1 tracks, but sadly they rarely mix the Japanese dialogue track back into the surround mix. You're usually left with JP 2.0 with subtitles, or EN 5.1 with dubbing.

TheFluff 2012-09-08 20:18

AACS decryption keys can be revoked/blacklisted (the revocation list is included with new blu-ray discs) and since the media industry is worse than Hitler they keep revoking keys left and right at their whim, so yes, playback software does "expire" (or at least it eventually becomes incapable of playing new discs). Many blu-ray drives (the ones in "retail" packaging, not "bulk" or OEM) do come with PowerDVD or something equally terrible software which, while being a horrible media player, usually has a decent chance of being kept updated with new keys (you may or may not have to pay for updates).

I suggest one of these two options:
1) buy the blurays, put them in your bookshelf and don't watch them; watch downloaded files instead, or
2) buy AnyDVD HD (which transparently circumvents the protection) and watch in MPC or whatever your favorite player is. AnyDVD HD is sort of expensive though.

As for the bluray reader itself, buy the cheapest one you can find. There is really no meaningful difference unless you want to burn bluray discs (and you don't, it's cheaper to buy external HDD's these days). Historical anecdote: back in the day it used to be cool to buy certain LG drives because there used to be a highly interesting firmware patch for those floating around which assisted in circumventing AACS. These days AnyDVD HD just does everything for you automagically though.

Urzu 7 2012-09-09 21:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheFluff (Post 4342484)
AACS decryption keys can be revoked/blacklisted (the revocation list is included with new blu-ray discs) and since the media industry is worse than Hitler they keep revoking keys left and right at their whim, so yes, playback software does "expire" (or at least it eventually becomes incapable of playing new discs). Many blu-ray drives (the ones in "retail" packaging, not "bulk" or OEM) do come with PowerDVD or something equally terrible software which, while being a horrible media player, usually has a decent chance of being kept updated with new keys (you may or may not have to pay for updates).

I suggest one of these two options:
1) buy the blurays, put them in your bookshelf and don't watch them; watch downloaded files instead, or
2) buy AnyDVD HD (which transparently circumvents the protection) and watch in MPC or whatever your favorite player is. AnyDVD HD is sort of expensive though.

As for the bluray reader itself, buy the cheapest one you can find. There is really no meaningful difference unless you want to burn bluray discs (and you don't, it's cheaper to buy external HDD's these days). Historical anecdote: back in the day it used to be cool to buy certain LG drives because there used to be a highly interesting firmware patch for those floating around which assisted in circumventing AACS. These days AnyDVD HD just does everything for you automagically though.


Is AnyDVD HD legal software? I just ask since it circumvents AACS. What does AACS stand for?

So if I buy some other software, I'll need to update AACS keys, and depending on the software I buy, I'll have to pay for that periodically? Do I understand this correctly?

demonix 2012-09-10 07:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urzu 7 (Post 4344545)
What does AACS stand for?

Advanced Access Content System

SeijiSensei 2012-09-10 08:49

How AACS was broken

TheFluff 2012-09-10 14:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urzu 7 (Post 4344545)
Is AnyDVD HD legal software? I just ask since it circumvents AACS. What does AACS stand for?

I'm no lawyer, but it's possibly technically illegal in the US due to the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA, but you're exceedingly unlikely to get in trouble because of it, as long as you stick to watching your own legally owned disks. That in itself is obviously legal, it's the software capabilities (doing "unauthorized" things with the disc content) that are possibly illegal, and I'm not sure if just owning such software is illegal or if it's selling or developing it that is illegal.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urzu 7 (Post 4344545)
So if I buy some other software, I'll need to update AACS keys, and depending on the software I buy, I'll have to pay for that periodically? Do I understand this correctly?

It depends on the software. Some may be free but only able to play older discs. Some may be free and updated, some may require a subscription of some kind for updates. VLC can play some older discs because many older disc keys (or more specifically, sets of keys used on a number of discs) are known. AnyDVD HD is the only software I know of that completely circumvents the entire system.

You can probably start with just buying the drive and try playing stuff with VLC. If it doesn't work you might have to find a different player or wait for an update.

TJR 2012-09-10 17:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by SeijiSensei (Post 4341582)
(It looks as though the prices on BD players have gone up since I last checked them at the beginning of the year. Is this my imagination, or an accurate perception of prices?)

Prices tend to fluctuate a bit since manufacturers are always refreshing their product lines and clearing old stock.

Currently, new models cost more than corresponding iterations from last year since 3D and Wi-Fi support are becoming standard.

Urzu 7 2012-09-10 22:59

Man, Sony really has made it awful with the access keys, like someone here said. I hate how Sony are complete control freaks with things like DRM and controlling their proprietary creations.

SeijiSensei 2012-09-10 23:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheFluff (Post 4345706)
I'm no lawyer, but it's possibly technically illegal in the US due to the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA, but you're exceedingly unlikely to get in trouble because of it, as long as you stick to watching your own legally owned disks. That in itself is obviously legal, it's the software capabilities (doing "unauthorized" things with the disc content) that are possibly illegal, and I'm not sure if just owning such software is illegal or if it's selling or developing it that is illegal.

The "anti-circumvention clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides, among other things that
Dynamic tag cannot be rendered. (PrintableThread)
This makes it impossible for a US-based company to sell a product like AnyDVD. To avoid this, the company is based in the Caribbean. You as the purchaser of the product take it upon yourself to determine whether you want to import the software.

Whether you can still import the software without running afoul of the law is still very murky. Even if you can legally import the software, you probably cannot use it legally.

Dynamic tag cannot be rendered. (PrintableThread)

blaze0041 2012-09-11 00:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Urzu 7 (Post 4346411)
Man, Sony really has made it awful with the access keys, like someone here said. I hate how Sony are complete control freaks with things like DRM and controlling their proprietary creations.

Not just Sony, as the Wikipedia article on AACS and the AACS founders page demonstrates.
I'd probably point the finger at the movie studio execs who think that copy protection actually benefits the consumer.

Urzu 7 2012-10-12 20:51

Does Windows 7 Home Premium have software that allows you to play Blu-rays?

If not, what software should I buy to watch Blu-rays?

Random32 2012-10-12 21:28

1. Don't bother with BluRay (unless you like backing things up as discs or happen to feel an incredible amount of sympathy for Sony). Buy the disc to support the creators and just torrent/xdcc/etc the content. Way more convenient. Also, that way, your discs stay nice and shrink wrapped

If you still want to.
2. Windows does not have built in BluRay support.
3. AnyDVD HD combined with your media player of choice works. Added bonus that it doesn't care about regions and all that other bs.

Urzu 7 2012-10-12 22:46

Is it legal to have the downloaded videos if you own the discs? Also, what if I own the DVDs but download the content in HD (what is found on the Blu-rays)? Should that be okay?

I'm just getting anime Blu-rays. Not buying Hollywood blockbusters.

Random32 2012-10-13 00:14

It's not legal, but
1. Anime companies aren't very interested in cracking down since they would be hurting themselves by doing that a lot more than Hollywood.
2. BitTorrent cases tend to fall apart in court. They get their money from people falling for extortion letters.
3. They won't catch you at all if you xdcc since most law enforcement agencies are focused on torrents.

4. You didn't ask, but it is important to note that AnyDVD HD isn't legal in the US since it circumvents DRM. There isn't really any other good solution though, the rest require you to comply with the shitty DRM (region, compliant graphics card and screen, etc) and that is just a pain.

Urzu 7 2012-10-13 17:58

What is xdcc?


And...geez. The DRM is just ridiculous with Blu-ray. It is like they are asking people not to follow the law with Blu-ray viewing on PCs.

Random32 2012-10-13 18:57

XDCC == eXtended Direct Client (to) Client

It's what people use when they download from IRC. Most fansub groups tend to have an xdcc bot in their channel or two, and you can use xdcc to ask them to send you the episodes you need.

Wikipedia if you want to read more

This is safer than BitTorrent because:
1. It's not as popular so it doesn't get as much attention from law enforcement
2. You aren't broadcasting your IP to the world


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