Blu-Ray: A Bag Of Hurt - Part 2

A little while ago I wrote about Steve Jobs' quote about Blu-Ray, saying that 'Blu-ray is just a bag of hurt.' I put that to the test today when I purchased a Blu-Ray drive and dropped it into my media PC. Actually putting it into the computer wasn't that bad (considering I had to take apart nearly the whole thing), but that was the easy part.

I first installed the BD Adviser which is a little program that tests the compatibility of your hardware to make sure it is compliant.  After getting the green light (the only issue was that the adviser didn't know if my video card was compatible), I installed the included copy of Cyberlink PowerDVD and the firmware updates for my drive.  Great!, I thought, thinking that I was ready to go.  So, I dropped Transformers in the drive, fired up PowerDVD, and got supercharged for high definition goodness.

No go.  The movie started up, but I only got audio, not any video.  Hrm.  The adviser left me a little doubt as whether I had purchased the right video card, but a search didn't turn anything up as far as compatibility probs.  What was troubling to me is that the card had HDMI out, so it had to be compatible, right?

So I spent the next while researching what the PureVideo HD drivers were.  Turns out that they're part of the nVidia drivers, so I got that installed.  So, I thought that maybe my new HD TV was bum, but it turns out it was OK, too.  After what seemed like an eternity of trolling forums for any useful info, I finally thought maybe it had to do with the software itself.  Turns out it was and I had to download a 100MB update to get the most recent version of PowerDVD, which updated its player keys in order to actually see the video.  Once I got that running, it was time to enjoy the movie.

And smooth sailing thereafter it was.

Now, back to Steve's comment.  While true that Steve said that in the context of actually licensing the technology for use in Apple computers, it was just as complex and troublesome process to get HD content working...

Now the only problem is that I cringe at seeing standard definition content...

Posted on Nov 28
Written by Wayne Hartman