Forum Thread

Streaming Blu Ray videos

palashbari 8 14 February 23, 2016 at 12:26 PM
I'm trying to come up with a way to watch blu ray disks on my laptop. My idea is to put a disk in the BD player and watch it remotely on my laptop screen while laying in bed or a couch. I don't own a TV and my laptop is a Surface Pro 3 which doesn't have any internal drives. The options I'm considering are:

1. Get an external USB BD drive. Seems to be the cheapest option but issue is that I have to plug it into my SP3 and it would get annoying while I'm laying in bed with the drive dangling off to the side. Not ideal solution.

2. Get a BD player that supports streaming like Miracast. Then run a miracast server on my laptop. The problem with this solution is that each time I put in a disk, I have to go through the motion of setting up the streaming. I want to run the BD player "headless" and control it remotely and I'm not sure doing this over Miracast would be ideal. Are there any BD players that will let me accomplish this?

3. Use option #1 but with a wireless router that supports USB (like dd-wrt firmware). Then I would mount the BD drive as a network attached share and play movies that way. Is this doable? Has anyone done this?

4. Get a cheap laptop/desktop with a BD drive. Then use Remote Desktop (RDP) connection to the machine and watch movies that way. Haven't tried this and I'm not sure if RDP connection will support the high resolution of BD videos. (also, this wouldn't be that cheap - I would rather get an XBOX for that price - see #5)

5. Most expensive option but might be the best: get an Xbox One. Has built-in BD drive and can be controlled remotely from a Win10 machine (which is what I'm running on my laptop). My question is: does the Xbox remoting support watching movies? I know this works for games.

6. something else I haven't thought about

As I mentioned, I would like to do this "headless". Additionally, it would be nice to be able to remotely control the player such as play/pause. Another option that would be nice is Wake-On-LAN. (WOL)

So, what are my options? Am I dreaming too much?

Thanks in advance.

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#2
1. simplest / cheapest may require extra software to even play a bluray disc.
2. unlikely to work. I haven't seen any laptops that can act as a miracst receiver.
3. no.

Buying a small tv and a bluray player seems like it might be the cheapest and easiest option. Or you could just subscribe to netlfix.
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#3
Quote from jkee View Post :
2. unlikely to work. I haven't seen any laptops that can act as a miracst receiver.
Thanks for your reply. There are software that acts as miracast receiver. Here is one example: http://www.airserver.com/Download/MacPC
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#4
Portable USB 3 hard drive (50-60 dollars for 1-2 TBs depending on brand), USB 3 blu-ray player (30-40 dollars) and blu-ray ripping software (price varies but around $50) and you will be set. Of course it will take time to rip a disk, but once you have done it you will not need to use the disk again. If you want to be free of the portable disk at any given time, simply copy the ripped movie file to your SP3 disk and play from there.
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#5
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Portable USB 3 hard drive (50-60 dollars for 1-2 TBs depending on brand), USB 3 blu-ray player (30-40 dollars) and blu-ray ripping software (price varies but around $50) and you will be set. Of course it will take time to rip a disk, but once you have done it you will not need to use the disk again. If you want to be free of the portable disk at any given time, simply copy the ripped movie file to your SP3 disk and play from there.
I don't like the idea of having a spinning drive in bed with me. They don't like vibrations it seems to easy to damage the disk. I suppose you could do a long cable and leave the HD on the night stand. Same could be true for the external BlueRay drive.

3 & 4 are unlikely to work well. 3 has limited ability to transfer ripped files at fast enough speeds to support smooth playback. RDP is not built to do video and audio, it's built to do well basic windows stuff.

OP is the surface your only PC?
Do you already have a big collection of Blueray's but not TV or Player?

My immediate thought was stream them from the internet (Netflix, Amazon, etc)

If OP had another PC my second way to do this would be rip the disks, use the other PC as a Plex Server, and then use plex in the browser on the surface to watch on the LAN.
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#6
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I don't like the idea of having a spinning drive in bed with me. They don't like vibrations it seems to easy to damage the disk. I suppose you could do a long cable and leave the HD on the night stand. Same could be true for the external BlueRay drive.

3 & 4 are unlikely to work well. 3 has limited ability to transfer ripped files at fast enough speeds to support smooth playback. RDP is not built to do video and audio, it's built to do well basic windows stuff.

OP is the surface your only PC?
Do you already have a big collection of Blueray's but not TV or Player?

My immediate thought was stream them from the internet (Netflix, Amazon, etc)

If OP had another PC my second way to do this would be rip the disks, use the other PC as a Plex Server, and then use plex in the browser on the surface to watch on the LAN.
I agree, best option is to rip the discs and store the files on a drive somewhere. If it's only a few movies, the drive on the Surface might be big enough (with some compression). Whether the OP uses Plex, or a local media player on the Surface, or something else I dunno. Depends on how many movies, and whether the OP has a second PC.
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#7
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I don't like the idea of having a spinning drive in bed with me. They don't like vibrations it seems to easy to damage the disk. I suppose you could do a long cable and leave the HD on the night stand. Same could be true for the external BlueRay drive.

3 & 4 are unlikely to work well. 3 has limited ability to transfer ripped files at fast enough speeds to support smooth playback. RDP is not built to do video and audio, it's built to do well basic windows stuff.

OP is the surface your only PC?
Do you already have a big collection of Blueray's but not TV or Player?

My immediate thought was stream them from the internet (Netflix, Amazon, etc)

If OP had another PC my second way to do this would be rip the disks, use the other PC as a Plex Server, and then use plex in the browser on the surface to watch on the LAN.

As noted, one could copy the file over to the SP3 disk before lying down. Or one could get a wireless portable drive, though that is going to run about $150+ and really is not needed unless the SP3 has fairly limited space or the Op has a large collection of blu-rays he wants instant access to without any hassle. At a certain point though, it might just be cheaper to get a desktop and setup a media server.
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#8
Way too much trouble to watch a movie you'll only watch once (if that). Get a Netflix account and stream to your surface if you must watch from that little thing.
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#9
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
At a certain point though, it might just be cheaper to get a desktop and setup a media server.
or buy a TV.
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#10
Option #5 won't work. Streaming apps like Netflix, plus the builtin Blu Ray app, won't play over Win 10 streaming.
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#11
Convert your Discs to Digital on Vudu and just stream the movies via Vudu. It only costs $1 per movie when you convert 10 movies. Then you can stream your movies from anywhere you have access to internet.
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#12
OMG, I mean really? Get a netflix account and go to bed.
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#13
you just simply need upload your film to googledrive and relax.
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#14
thank you all for your responses and suggestions. I will try to answer to your questions and suggestions in one post.

- Netflix: Yes, I already have a Netflix account but many titles I want to see are not available for streaming. (Sopranos, SG1, LOTR, Star War, many indie films, foreign movies to name a few). Besides I own DVDs like a series on woodworking and other instructional videos that will NEVER be available on Netflix. I figured whatever Blu Ray solution I go with will also work for DVDs that I already own.

- Getting a TV: It may be an option but I really don't want to get a TV nor want to put one in the bedroom. I would like to keep the bedroom as clutter-free as possible.

- Xbox One: thank you for confirming that Xbox won't stream movies over remote control.

- Remote options: while I only own one laptop (SP3) currently, I'm not opposed to getting a "server" for the purpose of watching BD/DVDs. But as mmathis pointed out, bandwidth might be a problem for either mounted network drive or RDP. However, considering I can watch Netflix in full HD, why would bandwidth be an issue over local networks? A little research for BD bandwidth requirement showed that 100mbits is plenty. I'm running 802.11n which can run at up to 300 mbits. Even at 150mbits with the additional overhead (such as broadcast and other clients), this should be enough in theory. Any comments on this?

Another option I thought about: what about USB over Ethernet? Couldn't I plug in a USB BD drive and "connect" it to my SP3 over network?

Finally, I really like the suggestion of ripping the disks to a harddrive and then watching them later. This might work the best for me.

I will experiment with a network drive and report back on how well it work (or not). This will answer the bandwidth question.

Thanks again.
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#15
Quote from palashbari View Post :
- Remote options: while I only own one laptop (SP3) currently, I'm not opposed to getting a "server" for the purpose of watching BD/DVDs. But as mmathis pointed out, bandwidth might be a problem for either mounted network drive or RDP. However, considering I can watch Netflix in full HD, why would bandwidth be an issue over local networks? A little research for BD bandwidth requirement showed that 100mbits is plenty. I'm running 802.11n which can run at up to 300 mbits. Even at 150mbits with the additional overhead (such as broadcast and other clients), this should be enough in theory. Any comments on this?
I never said bandwidth would be a concern; storage space on the SP3 might be, but not bandwidth. Even 802.11g should be able to handle a single stream of HD video, assuming a good signal. In the end, anything wireless comes down to how good a signal you get. Just because 802.11n can run up to 300 Mbps doesn't mean your 802.11n is running at 300 Mbps. That said, I don't think you'll have a problem streaming anything to your SP3, so ripping the movies to a drive somewhere (second PC, NAS, SP3) is probably the best way to go.
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