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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a BD writer for my HTPC.
But, the included software was crippled and would only deliver stereo sound.

I bought BD software.
But, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-D was crippled because my HTPC doesn't have a protected audio path. So the audio is downsampled.

I bought some Blu-rays.
But they all have a warning that they might not play on older players. And one didn't and had to be returned.

I bought Windows 7 Media Center
But none of the fancy popup menus, or BD live features work with a standard MCE remote control or even with a mouse.

So, I'm a little disappointed with the format.
 

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The problem is not the BD format at all. You are being prevented from watching the movie in its proper format not by the BD format but by the content deliverers. I think you should be complaining to the makers of the apps and OSes, not about what is an excellent format. The fact is, the movie industry has decided that people using Windows to watch BD movies are to be cheated of the full experience since they are of course all pirates, don't you know. Not only have they killed your joy, but they've also rigged a law (DMCA) that criminalizes any attempt to watch the full BD experience on a computer. There you have it, evil, conniving, thief consumer. :)

So, the BD format is to blame for that how?
 

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I blame Sony ... and, of course, Warner Brothers :)

More seriously, though, does Sony have s/w players (for their Vaio laptops) that works better? If you have a buddy with one, maybe you could borrow his CD.
 

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Michael, I agree. Blu-ray has been a disappointment in many ways

I would like to playback Blu-ray video on my tv via hdmi and monitor via dvi but can't do it because of HDCP.

I especially hate the massive load times much of which is the FBI warnings, commercials etc that can mean upwards of 5 or 10 minutes to start a movie.

I love the Quality when it gets rolling but the restrictions and problems certainly temper my positive attitude.
 

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I purchased a Bluray player (Sony) for my mother at Christmas. Popped in Avatar and it needed a USB stick to play the movie. Not a nice Christmas gift message when the stores are closed. These type of restrictions encourage ripping instead of making it easy to play a Bluray disk. I took the Bluray player back - too complicated for a 75 year old to figure out.
 

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Why did it need a USB stick? You should not need it for simple playback, but maybe for BD Live features? Or is it a USB wireless adapter? In either case, you should not need it for simple playback.
 

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Yes, it is for BD Live storage space so that the manufacturer does not have to build in a chunk of RAM into every box. As far as I know that machine would have worked fine without a USB stick by de-selecting BD Live in the menu system but I could be wrong about that. Can someone confirm/deny that?
 

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I sort of agree with Michael's sentiment but it's not surprising. When you consider that it took several years for DVD playback on an HTPC to really get to a seamless, high-quality experience I was expecting BluRay to be a mess.

I avoided putting a BD drive in my HTPC for a while and only did so last year. Even with that, the early S/W was simply not good.

After a couple of attempts I am now using Arcsoft's TMT. So far it has played all the BDs I have without issue. As an added bonus it also plays my HD-DVD collection with my Xbox 360 external drive connected by USB.

My receiver isn't HD audio enabled so I use the downsample to DTS feature of Arcsoft and have been quite happy with that.
 

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I certainly don't feel cheated by Blu-ray. I get a better picture and sound for the same rental price. I feel cheated by inadequate PC software for playback. Spending $100 for a BD drive and another $100 for software, only to find that the software is crap doesn't sit well. Commercial DVD/BD software players are way overpriced in the first place.

warning that they might not play on older players.
As anyone who has been through this before knows, early adopters often get stuck with expensive, obsolete hardware. I've done that twice too often.

the included software was crippled
It almost always is, whether it's BD software or something else. I've yet to see a full, up to date version of any software bundled with a piece of hardware. I've got a dozen or more copies of <your software choice here> LITE that requires an upgrade to become fully functional.

Windows 7 Media Center... none of the fancy popup menus, or BD live features work...
Why is this a fault of Blu-ray? MS has stated publicly that they won't support Blu-ray in Windows 7 so there should be no surprise there. I expect that might change when MS gets better licensing terms from the Blu-ray licensing group.

The real problem is that there is too little support for Blu-ray from third parties. That may be due, in part, to overly strict licensing terms. It does not differ that much from the requirements for licensing DVD or DRM'd music software or hardware. It's just that the Blu-ray market is less mature.
 

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Most people I know who are serious about HTPCs use AnyDVD HD to improve the Blu-ray user experience.

While I do have a HTPC with a Blu-ray drive, I find myself using streaming video much more often. Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were correct when they made statements that Blu-ray isn't interesting and that the future of video is streaming/digital delivery.
 

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I've seen how AnyDVD and the latest version of XBMC work together. It's not 100% yet but quite impressive. If the Blu-ray group was less restrictive with its licensing, there would be better options available.
 

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Can someone confirm/deny that?
I can't say about Sony, but my Samsung had the same thing. If I wanted to use the BD live stuff, I had to plug in a USB flash drive. I currently have a 1 GB one plugged in, but certainly had no problems watching movies without it.
 

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I have been using my HTPC to view all my movies ... DVD, HD DVD and Blu Ray. I am extremely happy with my setup

Hardware
Core2Duo @ 3.2gHz
2GB Ram
40GB SSD
LG BluRay/ HD DVD drive
ATI 5670 Video

Software
Win 7 HomePrem 64-bit
ArcSoft TMT 3 (soon will be 5)
AnyDVDHD
MediaBrowser in MediaCenter for all my ripped movies. This is excellent software for presenting your movie ISO rips

Server has 16TB ... almost filled with BluRay rips (and I own every one)

Since I have a Protected Path Audio, my Pioneer receiver receives an unaltered bitstream from TMT. I very often see 192K 22 bit DTS-MA streams. Sound and video quality excellent. Better than my Samsung Blu Ray player.

So it can be done ... all though for a much higher price than a blu ray player.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
DTS-HD (Useless) Audio

Road House for $8.00 at Wal-Mart. Once again, cheated by Blu-ray. I was really looking forward to rockin' out with Jeff Healey and the boys only to discover that the rear channels were a full 1/4 to 1/2 seconds out of sync. The sound was a jumbled mess. Fortunately they included a DVD as backup. Not only did it have decent Dolby Digital 5.1, but all of the special features they were too cheap to put on the BD.

This is a mature technology?
 

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It seems that to fully integrate BD content you need to use AnyDVDHD to break the DRM locks.Hollywood seems to be really pushing people to use pirated content, just like the music industry before them.
 

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Don't Blame BD

I could list a whole range of "features" with BD that I personally don't like but frankly a lot of what I'm reading here are not BD problems at all. It has more to do with the inadequacies of your PC hardware/software. My question is was BD ever intended for PCs or was it assumed that it would be for stand alone players only?
 

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Michael DeAbreu, I haven't heard of a persistent format problem causing such audio sync problems across widespread BD disks, so I would say that you experienced a poor implementation of Road House in particular, not a technological problem with BD in general. It's kind of like condemning all LPs of the 1970s because Steely Dan's "Katy Lied" album had a studio glitch that ruined the sound, or all CDs because the early generation re-used the dynamic range mastering meant for LPs. Fair is fair.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In my very small collection of 17 Blu-rays,
  • one was unplayable with PDVD10 or TMT3. But a different pressing worked flawlessly. (2001 A Space Odyssey)
  • the DTS-HD lossless track is unplayable with TMT3 and AnyDVD6. (Road House)
  • 2-3 titles flat out state that their menu systems do not work with a computer mouse.
  • and while not a defect, per se, many have inserts warning that they may not work with your BD player. Contact the manufacturer.

A 10% failure rate is a lot of problems for what should be a stable format. (I'm just very unlucky.) The audio sync might be a glitch. But like the other problems, I believe it is a direct consequence of the DRM restrictions built into the format which prohibit Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD from playing on PCs without protected audio paths. The forced down sampling sets up a situation where this type of problem becomes more likely.
 

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As stated above, this has so much more to do with your system than anything to do with the Blu-ray format. I'm using ancient tech in both standalone players ( BD-P1400 ) and HTPC ( LG GGW-H20L ) and have had almost zero problems with either. I keep the 1400 up to date on firmware, and the LG has just given me no problems. Using AnyDVDHD to watch and burn both work equally as well, and I have a burned copy of Roadhouse with no audio sync issues.

For me the hardware has been a pleasant surprise. The LG is going on 3.5 years old and has burned over 150 discs and still going strong. I love the format.
 

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I have approx 150 BluRays titles that I have purchased and ripped to my server. I have zero problems playing them with the following hardware software. I have never had any audio sync problems with the setup below.

Intel e6600 OC'ed to 3.2 gHz (I know it is not needed)
Gigabyte 775 motherboard
AMD 5670 video card
2 GB ram
BluRay drive

Win 7 32 bit
TMN 3 and 5
AnyDVDHD
Virtual CloneDrive
Media Browser

I get FULL audio streams in any format to my receiver. The picture looks better that my Samsung BluRay player.

Instead of fighting DRM, just go with it. It is not going away and complaining about it will not help you solve your problems. Any 5000 servies video card with Win7, AnyDVDHD and TMN 3/5 will give you perfect results.
 
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