Blu-Ray and Linux – Or Why We Don’t Have Blu-Ray Yet

Blu-ray Disc
Image via Wikipedia

Many years ago, we owned a hardware DVD player. Then, over time, we dropped the extra device in favor of playing movies back through our Home Theater PC.

But Blu-Ray is a bit more complicated. We use Linux, and a group of intrepid individuals reverse-engineered the DVD standard, as no one would offer a licensed copy. At least until this past July, when Fluendo released a licensed DVD player for Linux. They have not yet released a Blu-Ray player.

Which leaves the reverse-engineering road. The latest versions of mplayer now support most of the Blu-Ray codecs. But that isn’t playback of the disc. That means you still need to rip and encode the disc for it to work. Which is where the problem comes in. There is a limited guide available for Ubuntu that offers some updates on what you might do.

MakeMKV has a Linux version, which apparently works for ripping Blu-Ray discs, even many BD+ encrypted titles. It will take them directly to the Matroska(MKV) container format.

A Blu-Ray rip will take at least 50GB, before post-processing down to a smaller format, which is a lot of hard drive space. Especially if your goal is to merely watch the disc.

Am looking forward to testing all of these methods someday, but will need a Blu-Ray drive and a sample Blu-Ray disc. Will likely choose to wait. Although we may choose to try a hardware Blu-Ray player to dip our feet into the world of Blu-Rays. We don’t really need to watch HD movies, as much as it would enhance our experience, but we want to slowly phase out purchasing DVDs in favor of Blu-Ray for new releases. Not that we buy any movies regularly. We save purchases for special titles.

We’d like to hear what other people think on the subject.

2 thoughts on “Blu-Ray and Linux – Or Why We Don’t Have Blu-Ray Yet”

Leave a Comment