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Dear Reader, I have a large collection of Region A Blu-rays (Criterion Collection mostly) and living in the UK Region B I need to use my main computer to watch ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Advice about Buying/Building a HTPC


    Dear Reader,

    I have a large collection of Region A Blu-rays (Criterion Collection mostly) and living in the UK Region B I need to use my main computer to watch them.

    I would like advice on building or buying a HTPC. I know a bit about Linux I have been using Ubuntu and Fedora a year or two now.

    I'm looking to build a region free media box but don't know where to start or if it's even possible. This will be my first attempt at a self-build, if I don't buy a pre-configured PC.

    I'd prefer it to be the smallest, cheapest box possible that would still get out 1080p Blu-ray playback.

    Any help or advice you can offer would be most welcome.

    My Thanks

    Imogen

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Convert DVD to mkv media files - region codes and other such cruft will be removed. Then, you can play it anywhere (vlc or kaffeine work very well). As for playing on a BR/DVD player directly, you can also purchase region-0 enabled and ntsc/pal capable players, which can play any region or format. I don't have such a blu-ray player, but I do have a panasonic player that has been customized to handle all regions and formats. So, I can play any region or format dvd. Do some Google searching for such - there are a number of vendors of that equipment in my (the Chicago, USA) area.

    On your PC, VLC or Kaffeine (assuming you have the libdvdcss package installed) will happily play ANY region and format (ntsc/pal) dvd.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    Convert DVD to mkv media files - region codes and other such cruft will be removed. Then, you can play it anywhere (vlc or kaffeine work very well). As for playing on a BR/DVD player directly, you can also purchase region-0 enabled and ntsc/pal capable players, which can play any region or format. I don't have such a blu-ray player, but I do have a panasonic player that has been customized to handle all regions and formats. So, I can play any region or format dvd. Do some Google searching for such - there are a number of vendors of that equipment in my (the Chicago, USA) area.

    On your PC, VLC or Kaffeine (assuming you have the libdvdcss package installed) will happily play ANY region and format (ntsc/pal) dvd.
    Thanks Rubberman I have seen a modded Blu-ray Player but it's awfully expensive and wouldn't a firmware update potentially circumvent any mods? I watch Blu-rays region free via VLC but I was hoping to build a system where I could just put the disc in and press play without having to open programs etc. I find VLC a bit clunky with Blu-rays at the moment it won't play menus, special features etc...

    Yours,

    Imogen

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imogen View Post
    Thanks Rubberman I have seen a modded Blu-ray Player but it's awfully expensive and wouldn't a firmware update potentially circumvent any mods? I watch Blu-rays region free via VLC but I was hoping to build a system where I could just put the disc in and press play without having to open programs etc. I find VLC a bit clunky with Blu-rays at the moment it won't play menus, special features etc...

    Yours,

    Imogen
    Yes, this is a problem with BR discs. DVDs, not so much. I can rip/burn DVD's without problem. BD discs are not so much fun, but since, as mentioned, I don't have one to futz with, I haven't been able to figure out how to circumvent that pesky DRM. That's also why I am not purchasing one yet.

    When a BD player comes included with my next PC/Laptop, then I'll sort that cruft out!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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