Turn a laptop in to a Bluray DVD player?
April 3, 2016 4:48 PM   Subscribe

I have an TV with a built in DVD player that I didn't realize is ancient and a couple of older Windows 7 laptops and an HDMI connection. There seems to be a few different downloadable software options that would allow Bluray DVDs to be recognized by a laptop, without spending hours using trial and error, is there one that is better?
posted by readery to Technology (6 answers total)
Are you looking to play Blu-ray disks or DVDs? The hardware is different. No software will allow a laptop to play Blu-ray disks if the optical drive in the laptop doesn't support it.
posted by zachlipton at 5:33 PM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yeah. Software isn't going to turn your DVD drive into a Bluray drive. You'll need to replace the drive for this to happen, or get an external one.
posted by destructive cactus at 5:45 PM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Well, that explains that. I have one Toshiba laptop that plays Bluray and one that doesn't. I didn't realize they had different drives and would prefer to have the non Bluray drive laptop tethered to the TV. Obviously I will not get an invite to join any AV Club.

posted by readery at 6:33 PM on April 3, 2016

It might be possible to swap out the drives. There's usually one screw on the bottom of the laptop that you can undo and the entire optical unit just slides/drops out after that. My older MSI has the screw marked with a circle-in-a-box disc thing embossed in the plastic, something like this -> [O]. The bezel pieces that match up to the side profile of the laptop may or may not be easily removeable. So there's a possibility of getting things how you want them...
posted by mcrandello at 7:05 PM on April 3, 2016

Actual Blu Ray players are cheap and small these days.
posted by w0mbat at 8:19 PM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Once you have a Bluray-capable drive in your computer, the software you want to use with it is VLC. Free, solid, plays anything without needing a crapton of extra codec packs.
posted by flabdablet at 12:16 PM on April 4, 2016

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