Monday, January 11, 2010

Win7 and Blue Ray - is it free?

I been busy - now have an i7 core system up with Win7 Home Premium 64-bit. My 3D rendering with Poser 8 likes the larger memory.

To answer a question I didn't find answered directly: while Win7 'Media Center' now plays DVD for 'free', it does not play Blue Ray.  I always found that annoying in Win Xp Media Center 2002 - you needed to pay someone $20 to play DVD, and if I understand it correctly, the 'theory' is that the fine people creating the DVD encryption/encoding demand a 50-cent per copy royalty.  So your $20 is a $19.50 mark-up.

So now Win7 (somehow) lets one play DVD without buying a third-party addon.  But not so for Blue Ray - trying to run a Blue Ray disk causes a 'cannot play with any installed app' error.

Why Blue Ray?  Well, the internal BD-ROM/drives are now down to $50+ and i needed a new drive.   Just be aware - some of the lower cost drives don't come with software which plays Blue Ray (aka: you get a 'legal' DVD software suite which needs an 'upgrade' to play Blue Ray).

I bought the low-end LG model from, in part because the lower cost LiteOn had lots of customer warnings that the included tool didn't play Blue Ray (seems rather counter-intuitive, but money is money I guess).

So now I have a NVIDIA GT-240 with HMDI/HDCP to an Asus 22-inch 1080p display.  Works great, but on such a small display one doesn't really 'feel' a huge difference between normal DVD and HD.  of course on a 60+inch HD TV I bet it's more meaningful.