[mythtv-users] Any Blu-Ray success stories?

Florin Andrei florin at andrei.myip.org
Thu Sep 11 17:48:03 UTC 2008

Norm wrote:
> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats/BluRayAndHDDVD
> It mentions the right driver is in the 2.6.26 kernel.

That's very nice. Upcoming distributions will get that automatically. Cool!

> DumpHD seemed to work but the video was garbled compared to AnyDVD's
> output.

I am under the impression that DumpHD relies on a database of keys that 
you need to keep updated and that may miss the key(s) for just the disk 
you want to watch. Am I wrong?

I've heard most people say that AnyDVD HD works great for BD decrypting 
on Windows. I find it hard to believe it will work under WINE, due to 
the way the application operates, but you never know. Somebody should 
try it and let everyone know.

Now, according to Internet chatter, DVDFab HD Decrypter is known to work 
pretty well with DVD under WINE and it's free. It should work with BD 
under Windows, is my guess. Anybody tried to watch their legally 
purchased BD with it on Linux yet?


Of course, even assuming you solve decryption, then just playing HD 
compressed with AVC or VC-1 (two out of the three codecs used by BD) may 
not be quite trivial on Linux.
I know for a fact that interlaced (1080i) AVC, as created by AVCHD 
camcorders such as Canon HF100, is essentially impossible to play on 
Linux with the current tools, due to some issues that libavcodec is 
having with interlaced AVC: heavy artifacting/corruption at random 
times; it's maybe OK if you just want to do a quick superficial check-up 
of a clip, but for normal watching it's not usable.
Perhaps progressive AVC material is playable, but I never tried it. In 
any case, you'll need a very fast machine.

HD MPEG2 (the third codec commonly used by BD) should be playable on 
Linux with minimal or no problems on fairly recent hardware. But it 
seems like it's used mostly for old or foreign movies, according to what 
my PS3 is telling me on the disks that I watched so far.

VC-1 seems to be used mostly for titles that were initially released on 
HD-DVD and then moved over to BD (but it's not an absolute rule). It's 
essentially the same like Microsoft's Windows Media video codec, in HD. 
I guess libavcodec may be able to decode it? But I'm worried about speed.

Then there's the issue of the sound tracks. AC3 is definitely playable 
on Linux. So is PCM. Not so sure about DTS and the other common formats. 
Some disks offer 5.1 (and higher) only in DTS or some other kind of 
strange formats. I don't want to be restricted to 2.0 audio.

Also, is there any support for .sup subtitles? I rarely use them, but 
sometimes you just need them. Ever tried to understand what Brad Pitt is 
saying in the movie "Snatch"? :-) On a standalone player of course the 
subtitles work just fine, but I'm not aware of any Linux tools that can 
display them.

Finally, you said you want to watch the whole disk. I'd be happy to just 
have access to the main title, but fine, let's assume it.
In some cases you may need to run the weird Java thing inside the player 
in order to access the whole content. I don't think there's anything on 
Linux that can currently do that. Correct me if I'm wrong.
There's quite a few BD movies already that require Java for the menus 
and games and stuff:


So, the way I see it, we're not even close.

Florin Andrei


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