How to Watch Blu-Ray Videos on the Computer

by Adele Eliot

If you're a movie fan, you're probably familiar with the term Blu-Ray. Released in the early 2000s, it's now a household name. Blu-Ray discs offer superior-quality visuals compared to normal DVDs. The comparison between standard DVD pictures and the high-definition pictures supported by Blu-Ray are comparable to the difference between VHS and DVD. While most PCs come with a standard DVD drive installed, you will have to upgrade your drive and check your hardware specifications to ensure you can play Blu-Ray discs.


Check your hardware. In order to play Blu-Ray discs, you will need a good graphics card that supports the Blu-Ray resolution. A graphics card that supports 1,920-by-1,080 pixels will be enough. You will also need to ensure that your card supports HDCP. This is a type of copy protection on Blu-Ray discs and you won't be able to play the disc if your hardware isn't compatible. (See Reference 2)


Install software that supports Blu-Ray codes (Mpeg2, VC-1 and H.264). According to online technical resource Personal Computer World, Cyberlink’s PowerDVD Ultra software supports computers that have HDTV and Blu-Ray players installed, although you will need to purchase version 7.3 or up. (See Reference 1)


Fit a Blu-Ray DVD drive. Although Blu-Ray drives can play Blu-Ray and normal DVDs, normal DVD players won't support Blu-Ray discs, even if you have the correct graphics card and software. The Sony BWU-100A Blu-Ray internal IDE drive is compatible with Windows XP and Vista. (See Reference 2)

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