As Blu-ray movie prices came down, I was looking for a Blu-ray Disc drive for my custom built high performance Windows 10 PC, not just to read discs, but write to them as well!
When I searched on Amazon.ca for USB Blu-ray drives, I drew a blank! The items mentioned on that first search were the flimsy USB-C laptop Blu-ray drives. A few searches later, I found an OWC Mercury Pro enclosure, which has external power and USB 3.2 Gen 1 support, alongside an LG 16x Blu-ray Rewritable Internal Drive, and that’s a better option indeed! I also got myself some Blu-ray Recordables so that I can write my own Blu-ray Discs as well!
When the drive and the enclosure got to my door, they were well packaged! After the unboxing, we found out that we didn’t need any instructions since the installation of the enclosure was very easy!
After the installation, the first order of business is to find a Blu-ray movie player. I chose Leawo Blu-ray Player, because it is great for newcomers of the Blu-ray format for computers! I find that VLC can be tricky to install the Blu-ray components, so that’s why I picked Leawo as a better option!
When using Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect, you might notice that Leawo Blu-ray Player freezes when trying to configure the audio options. I had to turn any of those off on my Sound Blaster Z’s control panel so that I can regain my optical output passthrough when playing back Blu-ray movies, and to finally configure the audio options without any problem! I usually set the audio options of my Leawo Blu-ray Player to the Sound Blaster Z’s speaker output, as well as the optical output passthrough without the Sound Blaster Z taking control of the passthrough with Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect. I have a VIZIO 5.1 Sound Bar connected to my 4K TV setup, so if ever I want to watch a Blu-ray movie on Windows 10, this could be another option for me aside from the PlayStation 3 which also plays back Blu-ray movies!
Some Blu-ray movies may not playback correctly on the Leawo Blu-ray Player, for example, on Don Cherry’s Rock’Em Sock’Em 24, Leawo Blu-ray Player silently crashes when the menu starts. On the 2013 Blu-ray release of Matilda (1996 film by TriStar Pictures), when the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment logo comes on, there is a timing issue where the menu comes on late during the logo and also comes on early when it switches to the menu background, and the Blu-ray controls are inoperable, so I had to use the Task Manager to kill the Leawo Blu-ray Player before trying my next disc, which is the 2010 Blu-ray release of the Back to the Future trilogy, and when I started any of the discs, there was no warning screen or logo, but jumps straight into the menu animation with no menu to access! The only Blu-rays that I got working successfully with little to no issues are A View from Space (2006), and the Mill Creek Entertainment Blu-rays, the latter suffering from the same menu timing issues mentioned earlier, three of them which are Another Stakeout, Big Business, and Straight Talk.
I’ve tested out the writing capabilities of my new Blu-ray drive by putting my entire music library on three Blu-ray Discs! A few weeks later, I put the three recorded Blu-ray Discs onto my PlayStation 3, and it reads it as a data disc, so I went to the Music section, selected the disc, pressed the triangle button on the DualShock 3 controller, then selected “Copy”. It took almost half an hour to copy three Blu-ray Discs (25GB each) worth of music! I didn’t know about that until now! If I want to record something that can’t fit on a DVD or CD, Blu-ray is the way to go! Did I mention that my new Blu-ray drive can also read and write DVD’s and CD’s? That’s something many manufacturers added on the new optical drives!
So, Blu-ray on computers was a success! I am ready for the future! Speaking of the future, there will be more blog posts coming your way here at Katie Cadet’s Computer and Video Game Collection, so stay tuned! For now, take care!